Tag Archives: programs

Creator of the Month… The North Carolina Fund

[Each month we feature a "creator" or one of the SHC's manuscript collections. In archival terms, a creator is defined as an individual, group, or organization that is responsible for a collection's production, accumulation, or formation.]

The North Carolina Fund, an independent, non-profit, charitable corporation, sought and dispensed funds to fight poverty in North Carolina, 1963-1968. Governor Terry Sanford and other North Carolinians convinced the Ford Foundation to grant $7 million initial funding for a statewide anti- poverty effort aimed at rural and urban communities. This money–plus additional funding from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation; the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation; the U.S. Dept. of Labor; U.S. Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare; U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development; and the Office of Economic Opportunity–enabled the Fund to support a broad program of education, community action, manpower development, research and planning, and other efforts to fight poverty.


The Southern Historical Collection is proud to be the repository that preserves a giant collection (some 187,000 items) of the Funds records.  To read more about the North Carolina Fund and to learn about the collection of North Carolina Fund papers preserved in the Southern Historical Collection, please view the finding aid for the North Carolina Fund Records, 1962-1971.


Finally, we thought we’d note that a great deal of attention has been paid lately to the work of the North Carolina Fund and its volunteers.  Rightfully so!  In 2008, filmmaker Rebecca Cerese created the documentary “Change Comes Knocking: The Story of the NC Fund” to tell the history and legacy of the Fund.  It’s a really great film.  In fact, we’ll be hosting an event featuring Rebecca Cerese in the fall – check back soon for full details.

We also understand that a book is soon to be published by UNC Press on the history of the Fund.  The publishing of this book has been an integral part of a new UNC Press digital publishing venture called “Publishing the Long Civil Rights Movement.”  You can read all about the new book and learn more about the project here.

New Book Examines the Life of Chief Justice Susie Sharp (1907-1996); Biographer Anna Hayes to Speak at Wilson Library 9/11/2008

From left to right: Justices J. Will Pless Jr., Susie Sharp, William H. Bobbitt, R. Hunt Parker (Chief Justice), Carlisle W. Higgins, I. Beverly Lake, and Joseph Branch

From left to right: Justices J. Will Pless Jr., Susie Sharp, William H. Bobbitt, R. Hunt Parker (Chief Justice), Carlisle W. Higgins, I. Beverly Lake, and Joseph Branch

Susie Marshall Sharp (1907-1996) of Reidsville, N.C., attorney and jurist, was elected chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court in 1974, becoming the first woman elected chief justice of a state supreme court in the United States. A graduate of the North Carolina College for Women and the University of North Carolina School of Law, Sharp began the practice of law in Reidsville in 1929. She served as Reidsville city attorney, 1939-1949; North Carolina superior court judge until 1962; and as supreme court justice, 1962-1979.

Sharp’s family background, her career as an attorney, judge and politician, and her previously unexamined private life are recounted in a new book by Anna Hayes, Without Precedent: The Life of Susie Marshall Sharp.

Published by the University of North Carolina Press, the book will be launched Sept. 11, in Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The free public program will be at 5:45 p.m. in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room. For program information, contact Liza Terll (919-962-4207). A full event notice is available from the main UNC Library website.

In writing Without Precedent, Hayes drew heavily from the personal and professional papers of Susie Sharp which are preserved in the Southern Historical Collection (SHC). The SHC will exhibit several selected items from the Sharp Papers in the lobby of Wilson Library during the book release event. The photograph above will be among those displayed.  Join us September 11, 2008 to view other items from the Sharp papers and to hear a great presentation.