Ms. Powell goes to the State of Black Research Collections Conference (New York, NY)

As you can tell the staff of the Southern Historical Collection is working hard to bring fresh content to our new and improved blog platform. For my part, I will be sharing the most recent highlights of my experience in the stacks, on campus, and around the town, state, country, or the world (wishful thinking), as a member. I imagine that this will be helpful for aspiring archivists and anyone who enjoys the process of discovery.

The facade of the Bryant Park branch of the New york Public Library, October 31, 2014.

The facade of the Bryant Park branch of the New york Public Library, October 31, 2014.

During Halloween weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the State of Black Research Collections conference at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City. The conference was intended for anyone who had an interest in African American archives which included museum directors, teachers, archivists, artists, and scholars. The sessions were highly interactive and all of the participants were encouraged to speak up in order to have our comments and observations featured in an upcoming white paper. The organizers were able to host the conference with funds from a Mellon grant, apparently a gathering like this had not happened in the last 20 years! Do you know how much could happen in 20 years? Not the least of which is the evolution of an entire segment of the archives. To give you the proverbial gut check, Kurt Cobain and TuPac Shakur both died 20 years ago, it feels like we have been living without them for a lifetime.

Some of the issues discussed in the conference included funding, supporting young professionals, aggregating collections, collecting current events, working with audio visual materials, and outreach to communities other than traditional scholars. Representatives from the Amistad Research Center (New Orleans, LA), Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (Washington, D.C.), and the California African American Museum (Los Angeles, CA) and many places in between gave presentations. The director of the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center at Howard University, Howard Dodson, gave the key note address, focusing on the growth of Black collections from the rare books of Mr. Schomburg himself to the highly disparate collections that we steward today. I appreciated the way that museums, libraries, and archives of all sizes were asked to participate and we were able to see how many of our challenges and goals are essentially the same. After the first day of traditional sessions and plenaries, the second day was all about “moving the needle forward”, where we worked as a group to share ideas about what the next steps might be. I’ll save this content for the white paper, but one popular idea was the establishment of a professional organization that serves black research collections, wouldn’t that be a sight to see!

I would be remiss if I did not share with you sense of wonder just outside the walls of the Schomburg, located on 135th Street and Malcom X Blvd, also known as Lenox Ave. Directly across the street is the Harlem Hospital Center, which has murals, paintings, and sculptures, from Work Progress Administration artists like Charles Alston (papers at the SHC), Alfred Crimi, and Georgette Seabrooke. The sculpture adorning the entrance, Untitled (Family) is by John Rhoden.

Facade of the Harlem Hospital Center, October 31, 2014

Facade of the Harlem Hospital Center, October 31, 2014

Ten blocks south is the incomparable Apollo Theater, Studio Museum of Harlem, and the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building. 125th Street is considered Harlem’s main street as it is serviced by buses and trains and has been the site of so many commercial and entertainment options for African Americans for close to 100 years. This was the home of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920’s, where poets like Langston Hughes, and musicians like Duke Ellington, and writers like Zora Neale Hurston. The Cotton Club where a young Lena Horne got her start was on 142nd and Lenox Ave. Ella Fitzgerald was the first winner of amateur night at the Apollo Theater and went on to perform with the band at the Savoy Ballroom (140th and Lenox Ave.) in 1934.

Chaitra rubbing the famed, "tree of hope" on statge at the iconic Apollo Theater, November 1, 2014.

Chaitra rubbing the famed, “tree of hope” on statge at the iconic Apollo Theater, November 1, 2014.

As a sophomore in high school, I was completely enchanted by these figures and to be fortunate enough to occupy the spaces of my idols was a real treat indeed. Perhaps Billy Strayhorn and I have something in common as we have lived in Orange County, NC but our hearts stay on an “A train” uptown.

 

 

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Staff Profile: Bryan Giemza, Director of the Southern Historical Collection

Contributed by Bryan Giemza, Director of the Southern Historical Collection

What do you do for the Southern Historical Collection? 

My chief responsibility is to build and develop a high-research-value Collection, and to preserve the items in our care.  An important part of that process is connecting talented people who are passionate about the Collection with the resources to achieve its vision.  I’m enjoying playing a part in shaping that vision, too.

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At work in a storage unit in Oxford, Mississippi

My work as director is tremendously varied, which is one of the fun things about the position.  On any given day I might be traveling a backroad or rummaging in an attic to appraise a collection, meeting with donors and colleagues to solicit input, or making a presentation on some aspect of the work we do.  It’s my astonishing good fortune to meet with cultural creators and innovators of every description, and to take part in the larger exchange of ideas about the history and culture of a fascinating region.

What did you do before joining the Southern Historical Collection?

My journey to the SHC unfolded as part of an academic path.  You can learn more about my background by having a look at my curriculum vitae. I’m a graduate of Notre Dame and UNC (tarheel born and bred), and I count myself a “graduate” of the Appalachian Trail, too.  As a graduate of UNC Law, I’ve taught courses in law, the environment, and the humanities, too.

Prior to arriving at the SHC, I was a tenured associate professor of American Literature at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia. So, what I did was what professors do: I wrote and edited five books, I taught lots of courses in history and literature, and, most rewarding, I tried to make a difference in my students’ lives in my capacity as a teacher, mentor, fellow sojourner. I’m continuing on the academic journey, with several books in the pipeline, and teaching opportunities—but with the SHC, I have a wonderful new canvas and new ways of directing my energies.

How did you get into this line of work?

As a literary scholar with a historical turn of mind, it might be said that the SHC has always been a central part of my work, always been a companion. I’ve benefited immensely from its resources as a researcher, and my career has been shaped by its centrality in the academic understanding of American and regional culture.  I’ve been inspired by, and benefited from, the organizations, publications, and partners that have grown out of the Collection: The Center for the Study of the American South, the Southern Oral History Project, the Southern Folklife Collection, and the journal Southern Cultures. Not to mention the great programs in American studies, folklore, history, and literature.  For someone with my intense curiosity, it’s a delight to be at the hub where all these things come together.

I have some other important jobs, too: I’m a father and husband and occasional swamper. I love to write, and I’m currently at work on a novel. It’s a kind of morally purposeful thriller, set in the coastal Carolinas and Central Americas of the 1970s, about a Vietnam veteran turned smuggler.

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With Mayor Darryl Johnson of Mound Bayou, MS

What do you like about your job?

E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.  And I’m not exaggerating.  There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t marvel at how fortunate I am to be a part of the Southern Historical Collection and the University.  We have a young, energetic, and inspired team here at the SHC, and I learn from my colleagues every day.  I get to see how circles of generosity ripple outward. As I like to say, we’re in the business of outrageous generosity, which is the very best business, after all.  Most of all, I like the way the job allows me to pursue service to others, which, as Bill Friday often suggested, is key to a meaningful life.

I recently heard an anecdote from friends in the North Carolina Collection about Charles Kuralt’s father.  It was said that he planted trees and worked on landscaping at every place the family lived, even when they were renters.  This didn’t quite compute for young Charles, since they would be moving on, but his father pointed out that you should always leave a place better than you found it.  When I was moonlighting in wetland restoration during graduate school, I saw the truth of that as we planted trees to establish forests that we would not see during our lifetime.  The best jobs, I think, are never finished, and you may not get to see the ends.  Similarly, the best stories don’t end, and the SHC is a continuously written chapter in the larger volume of history.  We might be the longest-standing collection of our type, and we are only beginning….

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A Mississippi delta sunrise on the horizon

What are you working on right now? What are some new and exciting projects on the horizon?

Right now I’m focused on leading the strategic planning process for the Southern Historical Collection, and aligning our work with the vision of Wilson Library, the University Library, and the many academic communities and constituencies we serve.  We have a clear sense of where we want to be in five years, and we are setting out with a unified plan and sense of purpose. I’m excited about gathering the resources to realize our vision, and to grow the collection in new areas and with new initiatives. For example, I’m developing plans to reach out to the Latino communities that are an important part of our state and region, and that will make crucial contributors to our collections.

I’m just coming back from an energizing trip in which Biff Hollingsworth and I crisscrossed the state of Mississippi: four days, five collections, six or more donor meetings, and over 700 miles. And at least two catfish suppers.  One promising element from the trip that is on the horizon: a chance to support the Historic Black Towns and Settlements Alliance.  We are privileged to have a chance to participate in building sustainable communities through historic preservation!

P.S. I’m going to follow Chaitra and offer a little help in pronouncing my (Polish) surname: it’s pronounced GEM-za, with a hard G, to rhyme with stem-za…!

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Happy Halloween! Haunting North Carolina Ghost Stories

1376Preparing for Halloween around the SHC can get a little spooky! Wandering through Wilson Library’s dark and silent stacks may uncover some truly spine-tingling tales. The archive documents many stories that hold cultural importance for the South, including some creepy North Carolina ghost stories.

A journalist, and active University of North Carolina Alum, named John Harden, compiled records of well-known ghost stories from different areas in North Carolina. Out of these grew two books, Devil’s Tramping Ground and Tar Heel Ghosts. The tales tell chilling supernatural events from familiar North Carolina locations. In 1955, WUNC television produced some of these stories as short programs. From the script drafts and illustrations for these shows, I’ll summarize two of the spookiest stories for you, to set the mood for a truly spook-tacular Halloween!

Colonial Apparition

This truly hair rising tale is a sailors’ story of terrifying apparitions seen on a stormy sea near the appropriately named Cape Fear, North Carolina. Legend from the area tells of two Scotsmen who were executed by the British during the American Revolution, between Wilmington and Southport on the Cape Fear River. African-American superstition in the 19th century told of two ghostly apparitions appearing during storms at the same spot.

One evening a well-known Captain, Captain John M. Harper was sailing the haunted stretch of river between Wilmington and Southport. The weather started to turn stormy and cold. In the darkness, some of the men on his boat began recounting times during which these ghosts had been seen. One man suggested that the two ghosts were probably the Scotsmen looking for a ship to carry them home. As the wind and the rain got worse, one man on Captain Harper’s ship saw an apparition clutching the railing, with a beard encrusted in ice. The crewman tried to save him from falling overboard, but the man disappeared. Returning to the captain, he reported what he had seen.  To keep the men calm, Captain Harper began joking about how they should watch out for more ghosts.

As the weather grew worse they began passing the plantation where ghosts had been seen previously. All the crew grew more and more uneasy. A shrill shrieking sounded across the water from the direction of shore.  The screams began getting louder and louder coming from a spot where colonial ships used to anchor. An object began to take shape in the darkness, and an impossibly ancient, seaweed-covered barge appeared before them.

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The Captain ordered the crew to help the barge. But no sooner had they begin to throw a line, than they saw two figures dressed in Scottish garb wrapped in chains on board. The ghostly figures reached toward Captain Harper’s ship. As soon as they tried to pull the rotting barge closer it was swallowed by the angry river waves.

As they continued down the river, they came upon another boat wrecked by the storm. On board were two weakened men who had been shouting for help, revealing the source of the earlier screaming. However, most of the crew remained convinced that some of the unearthly yelling originated from the phantom barge they saw in midst of the terrible storm.

A Haven for Ghosts

A North Carolina man built his dream home near the banks of the Yadkin River upon the foundation of an old tavern. On his first night in the new house he heard what sounded like digging outside. Thinking that the construction men returned to find something, he looked out the window and saw his empty yard. Yet while gazing out into the dark he still heard sounds indicating that there was digging. Concerned, since animals could not be making that noise, he went to look around his property. When he went to turn the bolt on the door– that he carefully locked before bed–he found it already unlocked. Gazing around the property, he saw no evidence of anyone having been near the house. He heard a noise coming from his basement and quickly entered the basement shouting, but no one was there. Determining to investigate more in the morning, he returned to his bedroom. Just as he was about to drift off to sleep he heard the sound of something heavy falling in the room. But when he turned on the light nothing was disturbed.

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As this series of events continued each night with no physical evidence, he began inquiring about it to neighbors and others from the area. They told a tale of a traveler who was rumored to be wealthy. The traveler had stayed in the old tavern after the Civil War on his way home. He was stabbed by a group of thieves looking for his money and buried outside. The thieves, however, were unable to find any money and searched the cellar.  Months later a bag of gold fell from the rafters of the tavern, and many believed this to be the traveler’s money that the thieves were unable to turn up.

Though he was never able to rid himself of the noises in the house, the man began to unearth rumors that every structure built on the old foundation had always burned down, every so often.  A year after the man finished building his house he went on an infrequent trip out of town. When he returned he found that his brand new house had burned down to the original foundation, giving the blackened stones a fresh charcoal coating.

Feel free to check out more of these spooky stories documented in the John Harden Papers, found here in the Southern Historical Collection!

Source for these stories:
From Folders 1879-1897, In the John Harden Papers #4702, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Staff Profile: Susanne Erb, Administrative Assistant

What do you do for the Southern Historical Collection?

As the Administrative Assistant for the Southern Historical Collection, I coordinate the day-to-day operations, which is to say I do a little bit of everything. I am usually the first person someone speaks with when they reach out to the Southern Historical Collection. I answer the phone and the mail and help potential donors or patrons figure out their next step. When materials are donated, I help with accessioning and completing paperwork to track the donations properly.

What did you do before joining the Southern Historical Collection?

Susanne Erb in front of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Susanne Erb in front of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Before joining the SHC, I lived in Charlotte and worked for a company that organized USA and Canadian participation in Food and Defense Trade Shows in Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. I worked directly with the exhibitors to make sure they had everything they needed for a successful show, which included vendor order coordination, product shipping and transportation, pavilion design and construction, hotel block registration, and on-site event setup. It was exciting, but stressful work to make sure all of our participants were ready for a show.

How did you get into this line of work?

When I was a senior at North Carolina State University, I worked in the Special Collections Library part-time. I really enjoyed the work, but unfortunately when I graduated very few libraries were hiring. When I moved to Chapel Hill a little over a year ago, I was excited to see there were jobs posted in the library and thrilled to get this position.

What do you like about your job?

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Susanne Erb and Thaddeus Dog in front of Wilson Library, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

I like how excited everyone is about the materials we collect. Whenever a new donation comes in people are genuinely enthusiastic to see what we received and how it will fill in the gaps in what we already have. Whenever I find an interesting photo, letter, or diary entry, there is no shortage of people to share it with who are just as interested in it as I am. It is great to work with people who share your enthusiasm.

I also like seeing the journey a document takes. I like when someone will go into the field and bring us back something that hasn’t seen the light of day for decades. Then we examine and assess it, repackage it up nicely and give it a good, safe home. It’s rewarding when a researcher will come in and use that material, or when the family that donated the material can see how well we’ve cared for it and how we’re preserving their story.

What is your favorite movie to take place almost entirely in a library?

The Breakfast Club.

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Events at the Southern Historical Collection: Edward E. Baptist

We interrupt our regularly scheduled posting to give you the inside scoop on what you may have missed at Wilson Library last week.

The Southern Historical Collection had the privilege of hosting Edward E. Baptist as he presented findings from his new book The Half Has Never Been Told: The Making of American Capitalism. The book received media attention when The Economist published a now-redacted review criticizing his argument that the slave system in the pre-Civil War south is largely responsible for the capitalist system in America. Due to his book’s attention (and its increasingly positive reviews), we couldn’t wait to hear what evidence for this argument he found in our archives!

Edward Baptist at Wilson Dr. Baptist opened by explaining how he began trying to find accounts of slave survival and endurance during the migration of slaves deeper south to meet the growing demand for cotton. He explained that what he uncovered during the process was the systematic torture of slaves, to increase the amount of cotton that was picked.  Not many personal accounts of slaves from that time period exist, what he was able to find though was ledgers, receipts, and bank notes revealing how slaves provided collateral on bank loans, how foreign investors provided the funds for new plantation owner’s to buy slaves, and how slave owner’s systematically exploited slaves to increase the amount of cotton they picked.

The ledgers he found here at the Southern Historical Collection reveal that the growing world demand for cotton drove plantation owners to push slaves into picking greater and greater amounts of cotton. The ledgers reveal the weight of cotton picked by a slave, at three points during a single day. They forced slaves to exceed their past weights through systematic torture; they would be beaten if they fell under their quota, and exceeding their past performance resulted in the owners setting a higher quota for them. This widespread system of torture made the slaves valuable, and was the only way to meet the economic demand for cotton at the time. During the lecture, Dr. Baptist expressed how troubling this is to the American conception of capitalism, which is often associated with freedom and equality.

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An example of one of the ledgers recording weight of cotton picked by slaves. 

Item Citation: From Folder 447, in the Rice C. Ballard Papers #4850, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

This is only a small portion of what Dr. Baptist found in his book, and we highly recommend that you check it out! It expands on slavery as an economic system, while also illuminating the resilience of slaves from their own personal accounts.

See you on Wednesday, when you can expect to find another staff profile! We hope you’re getting to know us a little better. In the meantime, please feel free to let us know what you think of Edward E. Baptist’s book!

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Staff Profile: Chaitra Powell, African American Collections and Outreach Archivist

What do you do for the Southern Historical Collection?

Since joining the Southern Historical Collection in August of 2014, I have really embraced what it means to be on the curatorial side of an archive.

Chaitra Powell, African American Collections and Outreach Archivist in the Southern Historical Collection

Chaitra Powell, African American Collections and Outreach Archivist in the Southern Historical Collection

As the African American Collections and Outreach Archivist, the primary goal of my position is to cultivate donor relationships and facilitate the acquisition of African American materials into the collection. In the course of pursuing this objective, I collaborate with UNC library and university staff members, as well as diverse community stakeholders around the region. In addition to relationship building, my job gives me the opportunity to participate in all aspects of archival work, including appraisal, description, processing, digitization, preservation, reference and outreach.

What did you do before joining the Southern Historical Collection?

Prior to my position at SHC, I participated in an archival fellowship and worked as an archival consultant in Los Angeles, CA. The host site for the fellowship was the Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum, an African American history and culture museum, in Culver City, CA. While there I trained volunteers to help me process 140 linear feet of manuscript material from the museum’s founder, Dr. Mayme A. Clayton, co-curated a hallway exhibit, Audio Assault: Sights and Sounds of the Black Power Movement in Los Angeles, 1965-1975, and coordinated a public program, Roses and Revolutions Listening Party. As a consultant, my clients ranged from art gallery owners to churches. One of my greatest achievements was establishing the Marilyn E.P. White Legacy Project to honor the 1964 Olympic medalist and Los Angeles native.

1964 Olympic medalist Marilyn White and Chaitra looking over the video files of her oral history in her home in Inglewood, CA.

1964 Olympic medalist Marilyn White and Chaitra looking over the video files of her oral history in her home in Inglewood, CA.

How did you get into this line of work?

In January of 2010, my last semester of library school at The University of Arizona, I took an internship at a local hospital. The hospital was getting ready for its 100th year anniversary and all of the historic documents and photos were haphazardly placed in file cabinets in the medical library. With minimal supervision and an SAA workbook on arrangement and description, I put together a finding aid for that collection, and I knew that this was what I wanted to do, albeit for something more personally fulfilling than the evolution of dialysis machines and other medical instrumentation. I took my enthusiasm to a wide assortment of volunteer, project based, grant funded, and consulting gigs before landing this wonderful position at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

What do you like about your job?

I love that my position has a focus on African American history and culture. One of my first mentors in the archives told me that the best archivists are passionate about the subjects of their collections. The position of African Americans in the American South has been complex since inception and continues to be discussed today in so many contexts; I am thrilled to identify and secure the types of collections that will provide the evidence to enhance this dialogue for future generations.

What are you working on right now?  What are some new and exciting projects on the horizon?

Right now I am focused on learning what it takes to be a successful team player at Wilson Library and within the Southern Historical Collection. While I have discussed projects based on my interest in social/political activism, African American art and culture, multi-ethnic representation in the archives and technologically advanced ways to share/interpret history, I have much more planning to do in order to make those ideas a reality. One legacy collecting mission that I am happy to take the lead on is the African American Family Documentation Initiative.

Display table of materials featuring reproductions of African American family materials that we have accessioned so far.

Display table of materials featuring reproductions of African American family materials that we have accessioned so far.

This program represents SHC’s commitment to collect the homegrown records of the everyday lives of African Americans in the South. We are off to a great start with families in the Raleigh area but we are always searching for more reco throughout the state. As the SHC is fully staffed and clarifying our goals, I’m looking forward to answering this question with many more details in the weeks and months ahead.

This is definitely an exciting time to be a part of the Southern Historical Collection, and I have no doubt that this team will shaking things up all around campus. I would encourage you to check out this blog often as we will be posting about the happenings in the collection and the topics that are of interest to us individually and as a unit. If I can answer any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at chaitra@email.unc.edu.

P.S. In case you were curious, my name is pronounced, SHAY-tra…might save some awkwardness in our first conversation!

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Staff profile: Biff Hollingsworth, Collecting and Outreach Archivist

[As we look to “reboot” the Southern Sources blog this semester, we plan to focus some attention on the people who make the wheels of the Southern Historical Collection turn: our wonderful staff, students, volunteers, donors, and SHC champions. We hope this series of profiles will give a human face to our work, especially since we have so many new faces on our team. Today we are featuring Biff Hollingsworth, Collecting and Outreach Archivist for the Southern Historical Collection.] 

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Biff Hollingsworth, Collecting and Outreach Archivist, Southern Historical Collection

What do you for the Southern Historical Collection?

I would say I’m kind of the “utility infielder” for the Collection. Depending on the day, I might be involved in any number of collection management activities: meeting with donors to discuss new materials for the collection, performing on-site reviews of materials being offered to the Collection to determine whether or not they fit within our scope, processing gifts, and working with other library departments to solve collection issues that come up each day (from mold and critter abatement to handling special shipping and receiving requests). I am also responsible for a few outreach duties: I curate onsite and online exhibitions, I develop programs, workshops, and tours, and I co-manage our social media efforts.

How did you get into this line of work?

My journey to the archival profession has been full of switchbacks and detours, as I’ve held various jobs in my life, from managing a small immigration law office, to teaching Spanish classes, to working as an electrician and delivering pizzas to pay my way through college. But, I first had the idea of becoming a librarian during a 2004 stint as a volunteer at a public library in my hometown of Atlanta. So, I moved to North Carolina in 2005 and was accepted into the School of Information and Library Science program at Carolina. I joined the Southern Historical Collection in the fall of 2006 as a graduate assistant. Later, in 2008, I was hired into my current professional position with the SHC, and I’ve been here ever since.

A briefcase full of documents that had been stored in the cellar of a historic home in Yanceyville, N.C.

A briefcase full of books and documents that had been stored in the cellar of a historic home in Yanceyville, N.C.

What do you like about your job?

As I mentioned, I am involved in the day-to-day work to acquire new material for the Collection. Most of the time, this happens by way of a donation being brought in to the library for our consideration. Other times, our staff travels to do onsite reviews of possible new acquisitions. The most fulfilling part of my job is the sort of archaeology of it, getting to unearth materials that have long been stored in attics, closets, crawlspaces and storage units.

Also, like all archivists, I enjoy learning about the context behind the collections that we acquire. I work directly with the creators of these records, or with their descendants or relatives, and so I’m responsible for listening and recording as much as I can about their lives and experiences. This as an extremely important part of my job because this context will impact what kind of arrangement and description we give to the collection, which can translate to the level of accessibility (or searchability) of each collection for our researchers.

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[Right to left]: Biff Hollingsworth working with Rev. Edgar J. Moss (community photographer who recently donated his collection to the SHC), and Karida Brown (founder of the Eastern Kentucky African American Migration Project).

What are you working on right now?  What are some new and exciting projects on the horizon?

We are very proud of the work we have been doing on a new project called the Eastern Kentucky African American Migration Project (EKAAMP), a community-driven archival and digital humanities project aimed at documenting the lives of African American coal miners and their families in Harlan County, Kentucky, as well as the story of the intergenerational migration of members of this community into and out of the Appalachian region during the 20th century. This is an exciting project because it allows us to work with a community that has been historically underrepresented in the archival record, and because it has truly been a cooperative effort among the SHC, our fantastic partner Karida Brown (sociologist at Brown University, Harlan County native, and EKAAMP founder), and with many wonderful individuals who have been donating their stories and archival collections to EKAAMP and the SHC. I have really been inspired by the generosity of everyone involved in this project and I’m proud of what we are building together. So far, Karida Brown has recorded several hundred oral history interviews with members of the community and we have archived these recordings alongside collections of photographs, organizational records, and family papers. We hope you’ll follow our progress on the EKAAMP project website (ekaamp.web.unc.edu).

I am glad I could take a few moments to introduce myself and share some of the work that I have been doing with the Southern Historical Collection. I’m looking forward to writing more about the new collections that we acquire, the projects and programs that we develop, and the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead as we seek to broaden the understanding of the history and culture of the American South.

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Welcome to Southern Sources!

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Hello and welcome to the Southern Historical Collection’s blog!

We wanted to take this opportunity to reintroduce you to the updated space, and give you an idea of what you might expect to find here in the future! We know we’ve been absent for a while, and want to avoid that in the future by committing to weekly posts. That’s right, from now on, you can expect posts every Wednesday that will shed insight into what’s happening here at the Southern Historical Collection, including exciting events, collections, and other initiatives.

During these next few weeks, we’d like to introduce you to the team at the Southern Historical Collection, to give you a better idea of what we do, and who is writing these blog posts. We’d like to share with you our interests and roles in supporting the Southern Historical Collection.

For your first introduction, I’d like to introduce myself, Ashlyn Velte, as the graduate student worker here at the SHC. As the newest member of the SHC team, I hope to learn along with you about all the amazing things the collection has to offer! You can see some of my contributions in the blog’s new design, and my presence over on our Facebook page!

Hopefully, this blog will pique your interest in southern history, and our collection. You are always welcome to visit us, and our documents in our reading room at Wilson Library. Looking forward to seeing you around here on our weekly Wednesday posts!

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