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An Alphabet of Treasures: Special Collections from A to Z

Layout 1An Alphabet of Treasures: Special Collections from A to Z
Melba Remig Saltarelli Exhibit Room
Wilson Special Collections Library
Jan. 26 – Apr. 20, 2015
Free and open to the public
(919) 962-3765 or

From A (“activism”) to Z (“zombies”), the Wilson Special Collections Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is full of rare and sometimes surprising treasures.

More than 75 of those documents, books, images, and artifacts are now on view as part of the exhibition An Alphabet of Treasures: Special Collections from A to Z.

Some of the items on view are notable for their special connections with North Carolina and the University. For example, visitors will be able to see an elementary school composition book belonging to future author and UNC student Thomas Wolfe; a poem by George Moses Horton, who was a slave in nearby Chatham County when he wrote verses for 19th-century UNC students; and a script and film cans for a 1960 episode of The Andy Griffith Show, starring one of UNC’s most beloved alums.

Other items reveal the global scope of UNC’s special collections. A four-thousand-year-old cuneiform tablet is among the earliest items in the UNC Library. Copies of Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung (“known as the Little Red Book) and Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species represent key moments in world history.

The Wilson Special Collections Library consists of five independent but closely coordinated collections: the North Carolina Collection, devoted to publications about the state; the Rare Book Collection; the Southern Folklife Collection, archiving American folk music and popular culture; the Southern Historical Collection, with more than 16 million unique documents relating to the American South; and the University Archives, which documents the history of the University.

Also on view are items from the special collections at the UNC Health Sciences Library, including the first published work by Edward Jenner – the “father of immunology” – about vaccinating against smallpox.

“Whether you have an hour or an afternoon, the A to Z exhibition lets you stop into Wilson Library and discover something wonderful,” said Rachel Reynolds, coordinator of special collections exhibits and outreach.

The free public exhibition will run through Apr. 20 in the Melba Remig Saltarelli Exhibit Room on the library’s 3rd floor. Contact Wilson Library at (919) 962-3765 or for information.

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