Dean Smith Papers Now Available for Research in Wilson Library

Publicity photo for Smith’s biography, A Coach’s Life, first published in 1999. [Folder 129, Biography: Photographs of Dean Smith]

We are thrilled to announce that the personal papers of Dean Smith are now available for research in Wilson Library. Donated by Coach Smith’s family earlier this year, the papers include materials from his youth in Kansas, scrapbooks kept by his parents for many years, and files kept by Smith in his retirement. The collection offers the opportunity to learn more about Smith’s life and interests, his work after he left coaching, and the lasting impact he has had on his players, fellow coaches, and Carolina fans everywhere.

The papers contain materials going as far back as 1946, with a report Smith wrote on his hometown of Emporia, Kansas. (He got an A.) There is a program from the NCAA champion 1952 Kansas men’s basketball team, of which Smith was a member, along with copies of his yearbooks from the University of Kansas.

For those interested in learning more about Smith’s career at UNC, there is a wealth of information available in scrapbooks that were maintained by his parents over several decades. These include newspaper clippings and programs and are a great way to follow the progress of some of Smith’s legendary Tar Heel basketball teams.

The largest part of the collection is the files from Smith’s retirement office (as he often said to his correspondents, after retirement he still went to the office every morning, but he left whenever he felt like it). The retirement files include lots of correspondence with friends and coaches. Smith faced a seemingly endless number of invitations to speak and to accept awards. He accepted some, participating in ESPN’s 25th anniversary celebration and Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year award. Perhaps of more personal importance, he traveled Kansas in 2001 to accept the Kansan of the Year award and returned again in 2007 for the 55th anniversary of the 1952 basketball team. His papers show that he kept up with many longtime friends and family members in Kansas.

Smith’s papers reflect his interest in faith and social issues, including a number of articles he was reading and discussing. There are a few files on political fundraising he participated in and a very interesting folder on discussions he had about running for U.S. Senate in 1990. The papers also include drafts of his autobiography, A Coach’s Life, first published in 1999, along with audio cassette recordings of interviews conducted with Smith by John Kilgo and Sally Jenkins, who collaborated with Smith on a revised edition of the book.

If you have questions about the collection, or if you’d like information about using the Dean Smith Papers, contact Wilson Library at

Posted in University History | 3 Comments

Carolina Firsts: Vermont C. Royster

At the University Day celebration on October 11, 2016, Chancellor Carol Folt announced a new program to name scholarships after notable “firsts” in UNC history. In recognition of the individuals recognized as pioneers at UNC, the University Archives is publishing blog posts with more information about each of the twenty-one “firsts.” This post is part of that series.

When Vermont C. Royster began his studies at UNC in 1931, he was no stranger to the campus.  He was born in Raleigh, and his father, Wilbur Royster, was a professor of Greek and Latin at the university. Although Royster did receive his degree in Classics, his mark on UNC as a student, alumnus, and professor was made through his journalism — writing for the Wall Street Journal and later teaching at the School of Journalism. Royster was one of the first UNC alumni to receive a Pulitzer prize in 1953 (the same year as W. Horace Carter), and he later received a second Pulitzer in 1984.

Royster’s profile in the 1935 Yackety Yack.

Royster began his journalism career at UNC, where he worked for several campus publications, including The Daily Tar Heel and The Student Journal.  During his senior year, he revived and wrote a column in the Daily Tar Heel titled “Around the Well,” which highlighted and described various campus happenings and gossip.

In addition to being drawn to journalism at UNC, he was also an active writer and participant in the Department of Dramatic Arts.  As part of a play-writing course, he wrote and staged two plays — Shadows of Industry and Prelude — both of which can be found in the archives.

After graduating, Royster went on to begin the journalism career for which he is well known.  He moved to New York and began working for the Wall Street Journal in 1936.  He retired from the Wall Street Journal in 1971 and joined UNC’s School of Journalism as a faculty member later that year.  Over the course of his career — both as a professional journalist and university professor — he won two Pulitzer Prizes: the first in 1953 for Editorial Writing and the second in 1984 for Commentary.

Royster died in 1996, and his personal papers are housed in the Southern Historical Collection at Wilson Library. In addition, Royster published several books over the course of his life — including My Own, My Country’s Time, A Pride of Prejudices, and Journey Through the Soviet Union — all of which can be found in UNC Libraries.

Sources & Additional Readings:

Collection of “Around the Well” columns

“Vermont C. Royster (1914-1996),” written by Will Schultz.  North Carolina History Project.

Vermont Royster papers #4432, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The Essential Royster: a Vermont Royster reader. edited by Edmund Fuller. Chapel Hill, N.C. : Algonquin Books, 1985.

My Own, My Country’s Time: a journalist’s journey. Vermont Royster. Chapel Hill, N.C. : Algonquin Books, 1983.

A Pride of Prejudices. Vermont Royster. Chapel Hill, N.C. : Algonquin Books, 1984.

Journey through the Soviet Union.  Vermont Royster. New York, D. Jones [1962].

Posted in Carolina Firsts, University Archives, University History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An evening with William Shatner at Memorial Hall, 1976



Shatner speaking with “pomp, bombast, humor, and terror.”  The Daily Tar Heel,  November 8, 1976

Trekkies unite! 41 years ago today, William Shatner, a.k.a. Captain Kirk, spoke at Memorial Hall, where he gave a performance about the history of science-fiction.

However, the Enterprise captain experienced less-than-smooth sailing in Memorial Hall on November 4, 1976.  The Daily Tar Heel reported on November 8, 1976, that Shatner “couldn’t command the film projector of the PA system to work” and was therefore unable to show planned video footage.

Despite the lost battle against machines, Shatner continued his performance with gusto. Although many guests left because of the technology problems, those who stayed enjoyed a passionate performance.

His appearance at UNC was part of a 40-day tour of 40 colleges and universities, and his performance at Hofstra University was recorded for distribution.


Advertisement in The Daily Tar Heel, November 1, 1976

Posted in Events, From the Archives, University Archives | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Graham Plan for Intercollegiate Athletics, 1935

From the University of North Carolina Portrait Collection (#P0002), North Carolina Collection.

In an article published Friday, the Raleigh News and Observer‘s Rob Christensen made reference to former UNC president Frank Porter Graham’s plan for intercollegiate athletics, known as the “Graham Plan.” The plan, developed by Graham and colleagues at a 1935 meeting of the National Association of State Colleges, was intended to suppress corruption and de-emphasize the role of athletics in university life. It limited athletic recruiting and abolished athletic scholarships, forbade post-season play, required athletes and athletic departments to provide accounts of their income and expenses, and placed athletics under the control of the faculty. Despite having support from administrators at many other colleges and universities, the plan faced significant opposition and was not successfully implemented.

You can read the plan’s proposed regulations here:

Standards of Athletic Eligibility, as Endorsed by the National Association of State Colleges (November 21, 1935)

This document comes from the Records of the Office of the President: Frank Porter Graham (#40007), which includes 20+ folders of correspondence and other materials related to the plan.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New in the Archives: Newsletters from the School of Pharmacy

Recently we were pleased to receive a series of newsletters from the UNC School of Pharmacy. These newsletters provide a window into the activities of the School and its students from 1962-1965 and frequently feature creative cartoon covers. Check out a preview below, and stop by Wilson Library to browse the collection!


Posted in New and Noteworthy, University Archives | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Now Available: Edie Parker Papers

We are pleased to announce a new addition to University Archives, the Edie Parker Papers.

Edie Parker (then Edie Knight) attended UNC from 1947 to 1949. As a student, she was active in student government, Greek life, and the Model United Nations. The collection — mostly in the form of a scrapbook — includes materials from the Women’s Intercollegiate Government Forum that Parker planned, orientation booklets, rush invitations, clippings about the Model UN from the Daily Tar Heel, and letters from male suitors. While at UNC, Parker also participated in a conference about the U.S. role in European recovery from World War II that Mademoiselle magazine hosted in 1948. Her notes from the conference are included in the collection. Parker’s scrapbook and accompanying papers provide insight into the life of a woman student at UNC during the late 1940s.

Below, we’ve highlighted just a few items from the Edie Parker scrapbook, including photographs of UNC students and the 1949 UNC Commencement program.

Posted in From the Archives, New and Noteworthy, Student Life and Student Organizations, University History | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Playmakers Repertory Company Playbills Now Available Online

We are pleased to announce the availability of a new digital collection that is certain to be of interest to the UNC community and theater lovers everywhere: Playbills from the first 40 years of the Playmakers Repertory Company are now available online.

The Playbills begin with the first shows from the company in 1975 and continue through 2016. (We’ll add the most recent season shortly).

From the Playbill for The Cherry Orchard, fall 1989.

We’ve digitized the full playbills, so you can see the cover artwork, cast lists, notes, and advertisements. The text of the playbills is also searchable by keyword.

I gave the digital collection a test run by doing a keyword search for Ray Dooley and then sorting the results by season. The top result was the Playbill for The Cherry Orchard from fall 1989, Dooley’s debut performance with Playmakers.

The Playbills complement the extensive collections in Wilson Library on theater at UNC, including photographs and scrapbooks from the Carolina Playmakers and records from the Department of Dramatic Art.

Playbill for Mad Dog Blues, from 1975.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

100 Years of the Daily Tar Heel Now Available Freely Online

We are very excited to announce that papers spanning the first 100 years of the Daily Tar Heel have been digitized and are now freely available online through the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center.

First issue of the Tar Heel, February 23, 1893.

The digital collection covers the years 1893-1992. It contains 73,179 pages in 12,168 issues. For anyone interested in UNC history, it’s a fantastic resource.

The papers were digitized from microfilm (which is why they’re all in black and white) as part of a partnership between and the UNC Library. The digital DTH is also available on, along with hundreds of papers from across North Carolina.

The DTH is now freely available thanks to the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center, a statewide digital library based in Wilson Library at UNC and supported by the State Library of North Carolina and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The North Carolina Digital Heritage Center has already digitized papers from colleges and universities around North Carolina, including a few from UNC-Chapel Hill (Black Ink, the Cloudbuster, and the UNC Newsletter).

We’ve had lots of fun looking through the digitized DTH issues. You can browse by year or search by keyword. The transcription was done using optical character recognition, so it’s not perfect, but it’s pretty good (thanks it part to the great quality of the microfilm, which was done here in Wilson Library).

If you’re looking for issues of the DTH that are not available in the digital collection, you can access articles from the past few years through  and older issues on microfilm in Wilson Library.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Guide to Good Times: Summer Fun in Chapel Hill in 1979

Chapel Hill has always slowed down in the summer. Even with a growing population of summer school students and programs, the campus and town remain comparatively quiet in the months between commencement and the start of fall classes.

The summer staff of the Daily Tar Heel in 1979 took on the challenge of finding a summer activity for every letter of the alphabet. Presented below, from the issue published on May 31, 1979, is the “Guide to Good Times,” the ABCs of summer entertainment in Chapel Hill.

Posted in From the Archives, University Archives, University History | Leave a comment

Carolina Firsts: Patricia Horoho

At the University Day celebration on October 11, 2016, Chancellor Carol Folt announced a new program to name scholarships after notable “firsts” in UNC history. In recognition of the individuals recognized as pioneers at UNC, the University Archives is publishing blog posts with more information about each of the twenty-one “firsts.” This post is part of that series.

Patricia Horoho was born in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. She went to school in Fayetteville and then enrolled at UNC, graduating in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

After leaving UNC, Horoho began a successful career as a nurse and later as an administrator in the U.S. Army. She was serving in the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, and provided first aid to many of the victims of the attack. The American Red Cross and Nursing Spectrum honored her service on September 11 by recognizing her as a “Nurse Hero.” In 2009, Horoho received the USO Woman of the Year award.

In 2011, Horoho was nominated by President Barack Obama to be the Surgeon General of the U.S. Army. She was the first nurse and the first woman to serve in that role. She completed a four-year term as Surgeon General in December 2015 and retired from the Army in 2016.

Sources  & Further Reading

SON Alumna Becomes Army Surgeon General.” December 6, 2011. UNC School of Nursing news release.

“First Rank: Nurse Nominated to be Army Surgeon General.” Carolina Alumni Review, September/October 2011, p. 57.

Campus Events 2011: School of Nursing and the Kenan Flagler Business School: General Patricia Horoho (Presentation), in the News Services of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records #40139, University Archives, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Posted in Carolina Firsts, University Archives, University History | Leave a comment