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Archive for the ‘Artifact of the Month’ Category

Francis J. Hale, co-founder of the UNC Parachute Club, recently dropped in with July’s Artifacts of the Month. Hale, Class of 1973, organized the Club in 1969 with fellow student Bob Bolch. Not surprisingly, the University did not easily warm to the idea of its students jumping out of airplanes. Hale recalls “The athletic department […]

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When Ellen Douglas Brownlow asked the former Civil War general in 1870 for a lock of his hair as a keepsake, he would not have considered it a strange request. In fact, it was common in the Victorian era for friends to exchange a cutting of human hair. Civil War soldiers often left some of […]

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When the Thomas Wolfe Society meets later this month, they’ll honor Thomas Wolfe the writer. We’d like to take a moment to salute Thomas Wolfe the actor. In 1919, Wolfe was an eighteen-year-old college student in a playwriting class at UNC, which was taught by Carolina Playmakers founder Frederick “Proff” Koch. The student playwrights’ first […]

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Maybe the suddenly spring-like weather has a hold on me, but I can’t shake the thought that our April Artifact of the Month is smiling. This puffer fish is part of a large collection of artifacts and specimens that were transferred to the North Carolina Collection Gallery in 2005. The objects came from UNC’s Wilson […]

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In honor of Women’s History Month, the North Carolina Collection looks back at 1944 — which was an interesting year to be a woman at UNC. Women’s enrollment numbers climbed while men left the classroom in unprecedented numbers to serve in the military. Women’s athletics flourished, with “coeds” playing soccer, volleyball, tennis, basketball, and badminton. […]

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Everyone knows that Elvis Presley had an immense influence on popular music and culture from the mid-twentieth century to the present. But who knew that he had a presence in the first part of the nineteenth century? Evidence of his early life is found in an image on an 1837 bank note from Philadelphia’s Manual […]

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When freezing temperatures dig in, as they did last week and undoubtedly will again before this winter is through, it’s helpful to remember that we’re not the first generation of North Carolinians to know what ice looks like. Our January Artifact of the Month is a pair of ice skates that belonged to Pittsboro native […]

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Where can you find North Pole resident Santa Claus fraternizing with a lion and a puma? Only on this souvenir decal from Santa’s Land Park and Zoo in Cherokee, NC. The undated decal, our December Artifact of the Month, gives us Santa-as-cultural-icon, as opposed to Santa-as-symbol-of-Christmas. Aside from Mr. Claus, nothing in the image is […]

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Sam Cooke was just being clever when he sang “…don’t know what a slide rule is for.” I, on the other hand, genuinely don’t know. But that won’t stop me from declaring a 1916 slide rule to be November’s Artifact of the Month. UNC alumnus Bill Higgins generously donated this artifact as part of a […]

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Our October Artifact of the Month serves as an important reminder: Hollywood dazzle aside, the impulse to turn a two-dimensional image into a three-dimensional experience is nothing new. The artifact in question, a 19th-century stereoscope, comes from the collection of the NCC Photographic Archives. The stereoscope gives the illusion of depth to a side-by-side pair […]

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