The brittle pages of an old book hold more than words – they are a tangible link to the past, a chance to imagine the hands that turned them decades or even centuries before.
Bob Anthony has spent more than 40 years preserving these connections to the past, including 20 years overseeing millions of books, pictures, maps and other items as curator of the North Carolina Collection based at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Raised in Halifax County, Anthony says his job is that of a “professional North Carolinian,” charged with collecting all manner of materials related to the state’s history and people. He’s only the fourth curator of the collection, which is considered the nation’s largest devoted to a single state.
In recent years, he’s expanded his efforts toward a different kind of connection – making these and other materials more widely available to historians and others across the world as head of the N.C. Digital Heritage Center.
- Tar Heel of the Week: Bob Anthony is the keeper of NC’s history
- North Carolina Collection
- North Carolina Digital Heritage Center