Hugh Morton’s 103rd

1950s portrait of photographer Hugh Morton with Graflex camera.
1950s portrait of photographer Hugh Morton with Graflex camera.

Today marks the 103rd anniversary of Hugh Morton’s birth. It also serves as a herald for the next three years of A View to Hugh.

It’s safe to say this blog is a COVID-19 victim. Closure of the UNC campus meant no access to the Morton collection and the library resources that Jack Hilliard and I use to build the stories around Morton’s photographs. The reopening of campus and Wilson Library, however, did not lead to the revitalization of A View to Hugh. A shift in my priorities after reopening, most notably the curation of an exhibition commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Warren County PCB Landfill protests that opened in August 2022, left insufficient time for me to ramp up the regular creation of new stories for the blog.

Now, a new closure awaits us: Wilson Library Special Collections will close this August for improvement projects, with reopening expected during 2027. Just like during the pandemic, there will be no access to collection materials. Library staff is currently working to determine the projects on which we will work during closure. It is possible that digitization and metadata projects related to the Morton collection could occur. Between now and then, staff have much planning and preparation work to accomplish. There just isn’t the time available to rekindle A View to Hugh back to the way it used to be. It’s quite possible we could engage this blog’s followers and future newcomers through digital projects, but it is too soon to say.

For now, blog post comments will remain open and monitored, but with less frequency. Most importantly, if you have research you need to conduct on any topic using any collection in Wilson Library, you will to need complete that work by August—which means you have about five months. Since reopening after the pandemic, Wilson Library now requires reservations for research appointments. Don’t delay . . . make yours today.

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