Category Archives: Digital SHC

Holiday Festivities Through the Years: 1913-2007

Happy Holidays! Please enjoy a few of Wilson Library’s favorite photographs of seasonal celebrations across the South:

Group on their way to Ronda, N.C. for a Christmas dance, circa 1913.  From the Thomas F. Hickerson Papers, #3809, Southern Historical Collection.

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Hatteras Island “Old Christmas” celebrations in Rodanthe, N.C., circa 1940s  From the North Carolina County Photographic Collection #P0001, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives.

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For more on “Buck” and Old Christmas on the Outer Banks, click here.

Nashville Community Sing, 1949.  From the Charles S. Killebrew Photographic Collection (P0091), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives.

nashville sing

Bunn Family Christmas, 1951.  From the Charles S. Killebrew Photographic Collection (P0091), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives.

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Elizabeth Spencer with unknown companions, New Year’s Eve party, 1994.  From the Elizabeth Spencer Papers #5145, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Poster, A Rockabilly Christmas Party, Hideaway BBQ, Raleigh, N.C., 14 December 2007.  From the Jason Lonon Poster Collection #20451, Southern Folklife Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

OP20459_5_Rockabilly Christmas Poster

“May a Good Christmas Be Yours!”: Seasonal Greetings from Paul and Elizabeth Green

Paul Green, a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and Carolina alum, was known for writing “The Lost Colony” and many other outdoor dramas. However, during the holidays he and his wife Elizabeth put their creative genius to a specifically festive use.  Each year, the Greens crafted a Christmas card featuring lyrics, and sometimes sheet music, to seasonally-themed songs.  Some of the tunes were borrowed, but the words were the Greens’ own writing, sometimes featuring songs from Paul’s published plays. Check out a few of these cards below:

MayAGoodXmas

Lost Colony

1945poem

1955poem

1969music

1979music

MaryPoemStar

From the Paul Green Papers, #3693, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Thanksgiving Recipes from the SHC

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Why scour Pinterest? The SHC has your Thanksgiving menu right here! Check out this selection from Recipes in the Culinary Art, Together with Hints on Housewifery & c. by Lancelot Minor Blackford, 1852.

Do you recognize any dishes from your Thanksgiving table?

Click any of the images below for a larger view.

Ode_to_roast_pig

Excerpts from Recipes in the Culinary Art, Together with Hints on Housewifery & c. Lynchburg: Blackford and Bro., First American Edition, 1852. Copyright by Launcelot Minor Blackford. From folder 162 of the Blackford Family Papers, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence

“…to secure unimpaired their inalianable rights, priviledges, and liberties from the Dominant grasp of British imposition and Tyranny.”

This Fourth of July marks two hundred and thirty-seven years since the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, but did you know that Mecklenburg County set out to declare its independence from Great Britain even earlier? On May 19th and 20th of 1775, immediately after receiving news of the Battle of Lexington, a convention in Charlotte adopted but did not publish resolutions of independence from the British government.  Days later, the Committee of Safety in Charlotte adopted twenty resolves establishing independence and local laws.  These resolves were taken to Congress in Philadelphia, which considered them a premature action, and the National Declaration of Independence was not adopted until the next year.

However, those who had participated in the drafting of the Mecklenburg Declaration continued to profess its historical importance.  Since no formal declaration was published, the original copy was considered to be the minute book of the Mecklenburg convention recorded by its secretary, John McNitt Alexander. This minute book was destroyed in a fire in 1800, but copies of the record in Alexander’s possession survived. Later that year, Alexander created a new copy from his surviving records for William R. Davie. While the accuracy of surviving copies of the Declaration has been disputed by historians, this copy is given credence due to the accompanying certificate from Samuel Henderson testifying that he received it directly from Davie’s son. That document (known as the Davie Copy) as well as the accompanying certificate from Samuel Henderson, can be seen in the images below.

[click on images for full-screen view]

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MecDecDC04MecDecCert

Item citation: From folder 1 of the Mecklenburg Declaration Papers (#00501) in the Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Other sources:

McNitt, V. V. (1960). Chain of Error and the Mecklenburg Declarations of Independence. Palmer, Massachusetts & New York: Hampden Hills Press.

Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. (1961). Chapter 4: Verifying the Facts. Hornets’ Nest: The Story of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Charlotte, NC: Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Retrieved from http://www.cmstory.org/history/hornets/facts.htm

SHC partners with Southern Jewish Historical Society, grant supports digitization of part of the Mordecai Family Papers

Earlier this year, the SHC received $1,000 from the Southern Jewish Historical Society‘s Lowenstein Archival Grant program to support the digitization of 39 writings (diaries, travel accounts, memoirs, prose and poetry) from the SHC’s Mordecai Family Papers. The SHC’s Mordecai Family Papers are heavily used on site by scholars, students, and members of the local community. We were honored to receive this support from the SJHS and we are pleased that we can now make these writings available to researchers online, via the Digital SHC.

We are also pleased to share the news that the SJHS will hold its Thirty-fifth Annual Conference in Chapel Hill this year, October 22-24, 2010. In honor of the SJHS conference, the SHC will mount an exhibit celebrating the history of Jews in the American South.  The exhibit will run October 22-December 22, 2010 (on the 4th floor of Wilson Library).

From the Digital SHC

Detail from a page in the Martha Ryan Cipher Book, SHC #1940-z

Today’s digital feature is the Martha Ryan Cipher Book, SHC collection #1940-z. From the finding aid:

“School mathematics exercise book kept by Martha Ryan, probably of Perquimans County, N.C., circa 1781. The volume is bound in homespun fabric with ornate decorations on each page. Mottos, ship designs, and other patriotic decorations, and inscriptions such as “Liberty” or “George Washington” on many of the pages reflect the Revolutionary influence.”

We have digitized the entire cipher book. Please see the finding aid to view it online (once you reach the finding aid, scroll down and click on the link for “Folder 1″ to view the digitized material). Enjoy!