We have a number of new collections that are preserved, processed, and now available for research. Love and war were in the air, as the bulk of the materials include courtship correspondence and letters written by people while they were serving in the Armed Forces. Some highlights:
New materials span from the 1830s-2007
Subjects geographically range from the Kwajalein Atoll to Martha Washington College to the New Orleans levees.
Lots of love! Many of these collections feature letters between loved ones.
Some interesting mentions include a pair of waraji rice straw sandals, some 375 reported yellow fever deaths, and former UNC System President Frank Porter Graham participating in anti-war efforts of the 1930s.
Click on any of the collection titles to learn more about the materials, view any digital items, and request them for use in our reading room.
The South has witnessed unspeakable historical violence, hardship, and unrest. Whether it is a system developed over hundreds of years or the single act of one person, Southerners have used these circumstances as fuel to protest for a better reality and a better future.
At first blush, an archive might seem like an unusual place to learn about current events. We can’t provide the latest headline, updated numbers, or 24-hour news coverage. What an archive can do, though, is help explain how we got here in the first place. It can provide context, it can set the scene, and it can fill out a timeline. It can help draw comparisons, and it can bear witness to cycles, to repetition, and to causes and their effects. It can show what has worked in the past, and what has not.
We continue, as we always have, to collect the stories of those who stand up against violence and hardship. Below are just a few of our many collections that highlight how people have confronted difficulties in the past and fought for a South they could believe in.
There are few winter days after the start of the New Year that are exciting, but in the midst of the cold, gray winter comes a ray of hope in the form of Groundhog Day! As a native Pennsylvanian, I have been tracking the groundhog for as long as I can remember. Every year we would make paper groundhogs and hope that he didn’t see his shadow. For those of you that didn’t grow up following the exploits of a rodent, Groundhog Day takes place every February 2nd, and legend has it that if the groundhog sees his shadow then it’s six more weeks of winter, but if he doesn’t see his shadow, spring is right around the corner. And although I’ve heard of there being other animals in other states (apparently even Raleigh has a groundhog it watches named Sir Walter Wally), the true forecaster to me will always be Punxsutawney Phil of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
There are some nonbelievers out there who doubt the prognosticating prowess of the groundhog. Holt McPherson was editor of the High Point Enterprise from 1930-1937 and 1952-1972. In the Holt McPherson Collection, we have source materials that he used for the editorials he wrote. Below is a slanderous article he found written for the magazine People Today, which surmises that the groundhog is not the weatherman he’s cracked up to be.
Regardless of the haters, on February 2nd the first thing I will do when I get out of bed will be to check if Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on Gobbler’s Knob. Afterwards I will check if Sir Walter Wally saw his shadow for a local forecast, and then of course put on one of my favorite movies: Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray.