Professor Robert Allen and UNC Library Honored for Innovation in Digital History

Check out the announcement about Professor Robert Allen and UNC Library’s recent award: the Roy Rosenzweig Prize for Innovation in Digital History, given by the American Historical Association (AHA) and the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University.

Allen, Library honored for innovation in digital history

Professor Allen and the Library received the award for “Going to the Show,” a searchable digital archive, which brings together thousands of artifacts about movie theaters in the state –photographs, newspaper ads and articles, city maps and directories, old postcards and architectural drawings – to document and illuminate the way movie-going became one of the most important social practices of the early 20th century. It also highlights the ways that race conditioned the experience of movie-going for all North Carolinians.

The digital project features material from around the state, but many of the original items that were used, including newspaper clippings, postcards, city directories, and Sanborn maps, come from the North Carolina Collection.

Paperweight survived (too bad bank didn’t)

This mirror-paperweight (3 1/2 inches diameter) shows off the elegant Citizens National Bank building mentioned by Catherine Bishir.

The swastikas, though jarring now, were a common symbol of good luck before being hijacked by the Nazis in 1932.

‘Dixie’ had defenders at N.C. State

On this day in 1965: About 1,000 N.C. State students converge on the student newspaper office to demand that editors apologize for having proposed that “Dixie” be stricken from the repertoire of campus musical groups.

About 400 protesters march on to the Capitol. In the evening’s only conflict, a poster reading “Down with Dixie” is ripped from the hands of two black students and destroyed.

On the right side of Rocky Mount — at last

“For years, whenever I returned to New York from visits to North Carolina and failed to bubble with enthusiasm while reporting on my barbecue eating to the displaced Carolinians I knew, they would question me about precisely where in the state I had been.

“Then they’d solemnly inform me that I had eaten west of Rocky Mount and the superior barbecue in North Carolina is east of Rocky Mount — unless I’d been east of Rocky Mount, in which case I was informed that every bit of the North Carolina barbecue you wouldn’t throw rocks at is found west of Rocky Mount. I finally concluded that someone who grew up in Kansas City is unlikely to make it to the right side of Rocky Mount….

“[In 2002] while tucking into the barbecue provided by E. R. Mitchell of Mitchell’s Bar-B-Q in Wilson, North Carolina, I realized that I had finally gotten myself on the right side of Rocky Mount.”

— From “Feeding a Yen: Savoring Local Specialties from Kansas City to Cuzco”  by Calvin Trillin (2004)

Watch Charlotte Grow (but not THAT fast)

This pinback button would’ve been produced shortly after the creation of the Greater Charlotte Club, forerunner of the Charlotte Chamber, in 1905.

To the surprise of no one who has observed the city’s unrelenting boosterism over the years, the stated population projections proved wildly optimistic: Not until 1940 did Charlotte inch past 100,000 — and then only after insisting on a census recount. (Sports columnist Furman Bisher, then covering a city beat for the Charlotte News, later recalled “great municipal exuberance.”)

In 1960 the city hit another landmark, and of course the News was eager to tout it: “Swelling her chest like a lady trackster, Queen Charlotte broke the 200,000 tape….”

Check out what’s new to the North Carolina Collection.

Several new titles just added to “What’s New in the North Carolina Collection?” To see the full list simply click on the link in this entry or click on the “What’s New in the North Carolina Collection?” link under the heading “Pages” in the right column. As always, full citations for all the new titles can be found in the University Library Catalog and they are all available for use in the North Carolina Collection Reading Room.

When town meets gown, who picks up the tab?

“In Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where the university once had more resources than the town, the school built and still operates the water, electrical and telephone system; it has paid half the cost of two sewage disposal plants and all but one fire truck bought by the city; and it makes an annual payment, based on an agreed formula tied to enrollment ($4.96 per student, or $42,000 in a recent year).”

— From “The Free List: Property Without Taxes” by Alfred Balk (1971)

Balk, best remembered for a First Amendment case resulting from his 1962 Saturday Evening Post expose, “Confessions of a Block-Buster,” died last week at age 80.