Elephants and Butterflies . . . and Contraceptives

This post contains information about reproductive health that may be sensitive for some readers. 

A decade of change in UNC’s student population sparked several changes in reproductive and sexual health dialogue on campus.  From 1967 to 1977, women grew from 28.7% of the student body to 49.2%. Women were first allowed to enroll as freshman in most programs at the University in the early 1960s, and were admitted based on a higher academic standard until Title IX in 1972 (OIRA Fact Book, 1994). 

In December 1970, in response to a recognized need for more open dialogue about reproductive health on campus, a student and a faculty member started “Elephants and Butterflies,” a weekly column in the Daily Tar Heel. Created by student-activist Lana Starnes and Dr. Takey Crist, activist and Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the column featured their responses to anonymous letters about health and sexuality.

dr. crist and lana starnes in office

Dr. Crist, holding a copy of the Elephants and “Butterflies…and Contraceptives” booklet and Lana Starnes, from “Rebellion in Black and White” by Robert Cohen and David J. Snyder

Some of the reasons Starnes and Crist cited for the necessity of the column were the high rate of unwanted pregnancies and the high rate and danger of illegal abortion (Bobo, 1973). Starnes noted that about 25,000 women sought an illegal abortion in North Carolina annually (Starnes, 1971). A few years earlier, in 1968, campus research showed that 60% of sexually-active women surveyed had not used contraceptives (Morrow, 2006, p. 12). Around the time, UNC administration denied the prescription of birth control to unmarried women, fearing that access to birth control and information would increase sexual activity (Warren, 1967). To make matters more difficult, if a student were unmarried and pregnant or found to have sought an illegal abortion, she would not be permitted to continue school (Unwed Pregnant Student Policy, Collection # 40124). 

The column grew out of the sexual health booklet titled “Elephants and Butterflies…and Contraceptives,” co-written by Dr. Crist and released in 1970.  To combat stigma and help dymystify human sexuality, Starnes and Crist wrote of their column:

“It is not our purpose to cause embarrasment or fear or shame, but to allow students to examine their educational presuppositions and value judgments concerning human sexuality. We feel your questions are legitimate, necessary and should make us respond thoughtfully, adequately and honestly.” (Starnes & Crist, 1971) 

Elephants and Butterflies newspaper column

Elephants and Butterflies column, Daily Tar Heel, February 14, 1972

The name of the booklet and column came from that same commitment to openness. It is a reference to the E.E. Cummings fairy tale, “The Elephant and The Butterfly”, a sweet, short story about love and dedication written for Cummings’ daughter (Popova, 2013). The story was printed in the beginning of the booklet, representing sexual relationships as ones that should be entered into with “caring and trust” (Cohen & Snyder, p. 201) In the health booklet, male physiology is described in the “Elephant” section and female physiology in the “Butterfly” section. (Starnes & Cheek, 1970)

the elephant and the butterfly front page

E.E. Cummings, Fairy Tales, illustrated by John Eaton [Rare Book Collection, Wilson Special Collections Library]

Subjects covered in the column ranged from how smoking affects sexual functioning (Sept. 6, 1971) to pregnancy after having a miscarriage (March 5, 1973). Sometimes, in leui of questions, readers could match definitions to a reproductive organ diagram (Sept. 25, 1972) or read an informative guide on STDs (October 1, 1973).

In 1972, the March 6th column was left blank in memory of an 18-year old student who died seeking an illegal abortion. That day, a somber message from Starnes and Crist in place of their usual advice asked if her death could have been prevented with proper birth control and counseling, ending with “We mourn in silence.” (March 6, 1972)

The final column was the seventh in a series of columns about contraception (March 4, 1974).  They omitted the recurring section requesting that students send in letters, but stated that the next essay (presumably the eighth) in the series would be on the future of birth control. They did not mention whether or not the column would return.

Learn more about Dr. Crist, Lana Starnes and “Elephants and Butterflies” in “Sexual Liberation at the University of North Carolina,” by Kelly Morrow, a chapter in Rebellion in Black and White: Southern Student Activism in the 1960s. (Robert Cohen and David J. Snyder, eds., Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2013). The article is based on Morrow’s 2006 master’s thesis, available in Carolina Digital Repository: https://cdr.lib.unc.edu/concern/dissertations/d504rm21k.

Sources:

Bobo, M. (1973). Lana Starnes: the woman who helped bring ‘Elephants and Butterflies’ to UNC. The Daily Tar Heelhttp://newspapers.digitalnc.org/lccn/sn92073228/1973-02-09/ed-1/seq-1/  

Cummings, E. E. & Eaton, J. (1965). Fairy tales. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World. https://catalog.lib.unc.edu/catalog/UNCb3123616

OIRA. Fact Book: Bicentennial Edition, 1793-1993. https://oira.unc.edu/files/2017/07/fb1994_bicent.pdf 

Morrow, K. (2006). Navigating the “sexual wilderness”: The sexual liberation movement at the University of North Carolina, 1969-1973.

Morrow, K. (2013) “Sexual Liberation at the University of North Carolina.” Rebellion in black and white: Southern student activism in the 1960s. Edited by Robert Cohen and David J. Snyder. The John Hopkins University Press: Baltimore.

Popova, M. (2013). Vintage illustrations for the fairy tales e.e. cummings wrote for his only daughter, whom he almost abandoned. Brain Pickings.

Starnes, L. & Cheek, T. (1970). Elephants and butterflies..and contraceptives. The Daily Tar Heel. http://newspapers.digitalnc.org/lccn/sn92073228/1970-10-11/ed-1/seq-3/  

Starnes, L . & Crist, T. (1971). Elephants and Butterflies. The Daily Tar Heel. http://newspapers.digitalnc.org/lccn/sn92073228/1971-08-31/ed-1/seq-50/

Starnes, L. (1971). College loans for abortion? The Daily Tar Heelhttp://newspapers.digitalnc.org/lccn/sn92073228/1971-04-08/ed-1/seq-8/ 

Starnes, L. (1972). Elephants and Butterflies. The Daily Tar Heel. http://newspapers.digitalnc.org/lccn/sn92073228/1972-02-14/ed-1/seq-6/

Starnes L. & Crist, T. (1973) Elephants and Butterflies. The Daily Tar Heel. http://newspapers.digitalnc.org/lccn/sn92073228/1973-04-16/ed-1/seq-6/

Starnes L. & Crist, T. (1974) Elephants and Butterflies. The Daily Tar Heel.

Unwed Pregnant Student Policy, 1967, in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records #40124, University Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Warren, V. (1967). Should university health services provide the pill?”. The Daily Tar Heel. http://newspapers.digitalnc.org/lccn/sn92073228/1966-02-03/ed-1/seq-1/

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Did UNC Really Lose to Wake Forest in 1888?

In the University Archives, our work often has us viewing contemporary events with an eye toward the past. So while we look ahead to Friday night’s football game between UNC and Wake Forest, we see it not just as an important matchup for the undefeated Tar Heels, but also a chance for Carolina to avenge its loss to Wake Forest on October 18, 1888, in the first football game played by UNC.

Or maybe not. We thought the facts were pretty clear when we looked at newspaper coverage of the game, which was played in Raleigh at the State Fair. The News and Observer mentioned the game in the following day’s paper as part of its coverage of the fair: 

Decidedly one of the most interesting features of the whole fair was the game of foot ball yesterday between Wake Forest and Chapel Hill, resulting in a victory for Wake Forest. The game was exciting and was played by excellent teams on both sides. It was witnessed by a tremendous crowd. The players were uniformed and were a skilled and active set of boys. (News and Observer, 19 October 1888).

Official records have the final score as a 6-4 in favor of Wake Forest. But the coverage of the game by UNC students tells a different story. 

At the time the game was played, there was no student newspaper (the Tar Heel was established five years later, in 1893). The primary student publication on campus was the University Magazine, a professionally-printed periodical that included essays, stories and poetry, and campus news. 

The University Magazine reported on the football game in its next issue, in an unsigned column called “The College World.” At first it seems to match the newspaper story: “A game of foot-ball was played at Raleigh during Fair week between the Wake Forest team and the University Soph. Class team, under a set of improvised rules. The score was two goals to one in favor of Wake Forest.” Then the story gets confusing. The Magazine report quotes the coverage in The Wake Forest Student, which seems to describe three different games (maybe they were three periods in the same game?). The response from the Magazine is pretty direct: 

No one objects to The Student’s exulting over the victory (?), if it can find anything in it to exult over, but it should be fairer towards its opponents. There were many more rules which were strange to the University than to the Wake Forest team. It was by these rules, unfair and peculiar, that Wake Forest got the credit of a victory . . .” (University Magazine, vol. 21, no. 2, 1888, p.85). 

The Magazine goes on to compare the game to the one played between UNC and Trinity College (predecessor to Duke University) a month later, which it called the first “scientific” game of football played in North Carolina. It’s certainly understandable that the very first game of what was a new sport to all involved would result in some misunderstandings about the rules. As the debate continued in the student press, the Magazine remained adamant that UNC was the superior team and that the October 18, 1888 victory for Wake Forest did not count. By contrast, the student authors conceded that the UNC team was outplayed in a fair game against Trinity. 

The next issue of the Magazine continued the debate, responding at greater length to more claims from the Wake Forest student paper. It’s worth reading in its entirety. In closing, the author continued to insist that the game against Wake Forest did not count, writing:  

A fair-minded man likes to see merit win, whoever possesses it, and can admire it in an opponent. The University team has played but one game of foot-ball, and was then beaten fairly as this Magazine cheerfully acknowledged. It wished to show that, while in the game with Trinity merit won, in that on Thursday of Fair week it did not. (University Magazine, vol. 21, no. 3, 1889, p. 137). 

 While this was clearly a spirited debate at the time, history seems to have come down on the side of Wake Forest. Some long-lasting rivalries have disputed games in their past (see for example, Georgia-Florida), but there is no further record that we could find of the earliest UNC game being contested. In everything we have read online and in print, the October 18, 1888 loss to Wake Forest is widely credited as being UNC’s first football game. To be fair, the UNC and Wake Forest teams definitely played on that date, and the News and Observer report did not refer to it as a scrimmage or unofficial game. In an era well before the establishment of the NCAA or other governing bodies, the very idea of an “official” game would have been an unfamiliar concept. 

But the student authors of the Magazine were persistent in their claims. What do you think: does Wake Forest really deserve credit for their 1888 victory over Carolina? Will “Avenge 1888!” be the rallying cry that leads Mack Brown and the Tar Heels to victory tomorrow night? Here’s hoping so. Go Heels.

University Magazine, vol. 21, no. 2, 1888, p. 185.

University Magazine, vol. 21, no. 2, 1888, p. 185.

University Magazine, vol. 21, no. 3, 1889, p. 137

University Magazine, vol. 21, no. 3, 1889, p. 137

 

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“New” Wilson Library Doors a Return to the Past

This fall, the doors of the Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library are getting a new look with the installation of glass panels – but it actually marks a return to the their original design.

From the library’s construction in 1929 through the 1970s, its front doors were wood and glass, allowing passersby a look inside and filling the lobby with natural light. You can see the original doors in the photos below, identified by photographic archivists Stephen Fletcher and Patrick Cullom.

Though we haven’t been able to confirm when the doors were replaced with solid wood, the photographic evidence places it in the late 1970s or early 1980s. Wilson Library underwent major renovations between 1984-1987 after Davis Library opened as the new central library, and it’s likely that the doors were replaced in that period.

 

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The War Information Center

During World War II, Wilson Library (then the University Library) was home to the War Information Center, a hub of information and resources related to the war effort.

A gif showing a man approaching an information desk, surrounded by shelves of books, in the Wilson Library Lobby. There is a US flag in the background.

The War Information Center, shown in the US Office of Information film “Campus on the March (1942).  University Librarian Charles Rush and librarian and Center supervisor Agatha Boyd Adams are at the desk. See the full film here: https://archive.org/details/Campuson1942

Briefly called the “Information Center on Civilian Morale,” the Center opened on December 8, 1941: the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Plans for the Center had been in the works for at least a month, but its organizers recognized the immediate need for information as the United States entered the war. The Center was supervised by librarian Katherine Kirtley Weed until the spring of 1942, when librarian Agatha Boyd Adams took on the role.

The War Information Center provided access to books, pamphlets, maps, charts, posters, and news on a wide variety of topics related to the war. Its original collection was drawn from the library’s existing collection, consisting largely of reference materials on countries involved in the war. The collection grew quickly as librarians purchased additional materials and added publications distributed by the United Nations and US government agencies. To make sure up-to-date information was available to students, librarians didn’t catalog the materials, instead making them immediately available on the Center’s open shelves.  At its height, the collection consisted of roughly 20,000 pamphlets and 2,000 books (regularly weeded for outdated materials). Center volunteers – 16 women in the first half of 1942 – clipped relevant articles from newspapers, maintained a newspaper clipping file, and staffed the desk.

The Center’s impact was not confined to campus. Its services were open to all North Carolina citizens. The Center distributed reading lists across the state, and discussion groups could borrow “discussion packets” including books and pamphlets by mail. It also provided reference services to state agencies.

The Center closed shortly after the war ended and its books were cataloged and absorbed into the library’s general collections.

 

Sources:

Office of the University Librarian at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records (#40047)

Cranford, H.C. “Local Morale Information Center Among First in Nation.” Daily Tar Heel, January 25, 1942.

 

 

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Behind the Scenes: 3D Printing for Preservation

Many collections we receive at Wilson Special Collections Library include a wide range of legacy digital storage media. Floppy disks, of the 3.5″ and 5.25″ variety, are very common and our standard work computers obviously don’t come with floppy disk drives anymore! In order to process these materials for preservation and access we need to have legacy hardware to access the disks. We have developed workflows and a lab space to handle these collections (read more here). The lab includes hardware that is sometimes available online (often via eBay) or from specialty retailers. Often the drives or devices aren’t housed in a computer tower or protective case by default. To improve the handling and care of these items, we’ve 3D printed several cases. 

Two of the cases we’ve printed used designs available on Thingiverse.

The first was a case for 5.25″ floppy drive. You can find the design on Thingiverse. UCLA Special Collections’ digital archivist, Shira Peltzman, shared their design which was created by graduate student Yvonne Eadon – thank you!

3d printed blue case housing a 5.25" floppy drive

The Carolina blue case for the 5.25″ floppy drive.

The second was a case for a KryoFlux board. You can learn more about KryoFlux on their website. The design is available on Thingiverse.

Empty 3d printed kryoflux case with lid.

The KryoFlux board case with the lid – also in Carolina blue.

Kyroflux board in the 3d printed case

The case with the KryoFlux board inside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The third item we needed a case for was the controller board for the 5.25″ floppy disk system from Device Side Data. We couldn’t find an existing case, so graduate student assistant Miana Breed took on a project to create and print a design.

Below Miana describes her process:

When given the task of creating and printing a case for the floppy controller circuit board, I was a little daunted. I had never used any CAD programs before or worked with item design. My initial attempt to get a case printed consisted of me going to the Kenan Science Library and hoping that someone would create the case for me! But, alas, I was given instructions for TinkerCAD and sent off to figure it out on my own. (A hands-on learning technique that ended up being very helpful.) 

The experience was both interesting and frustrating. I enjoyed testing out the shapes, cutouts, and extensions in the online platform, which is more intuitive than you might think. The program allows two kinds of objects: shapes and holes. Your design is created using these shapes and holes, which are placed around the grid plane wherever you’d like. Objects can be levitated above the grid plane, lowered into or below the plane, and turned at any sort of angle. It takes a bit of playing around to get the hang of creating objects, but I found it to be very user-friendly. There are even some tutorials available through TinkerCAD that show you how to create certain types of objects.

Screenshot of the design in TinkerCAD

Screenshot of the TinkerCAD online design environment.

Luckily, because UNC is a research university, the Kenan Science Library was more than willing to print multiple iterations of my design. It took three tries before I finally landed on the right design for the case that offered the most protection with the best fit. 

Our highest priorities when making the case were keeping the board secure in the case and protecting the delicate pins on the upper side of the board. The features that keep the board in place inside its tray are the two screw holes on either end of the tray. These line up with the mounting screws on the controller board that are intended to mount the board inside a computer tower. 

Two of the cases I made were not quite tall enough to avoid brushing the pins, and one of the cases didn’t slide over the USB port. The most difficult pieces to get right were the cutouts on the front of the case. Measuring in TinkerCAD is relatively easy, but sometimes your design gets shifted by millimeters without letting you know. Each time I printed a new case, I thought I had gotten the cutouts measured correctly, with the right depth and distance apart, but I finally decided to go with a design that had one long cutout rather than two individual ones for the USB cable and ribbon cable. One lesson learned from this process is that, sometimes, the simplest design is the best design.

In the photo below, the two cases printed in clear plastic were my first two attempts. If you look closely, you can see two small black marks where I measured how much wider the cutouts needed to be.

Shows four 3-d printed cases. Three attempts and the final case.

Iterations on the design. Sometimes it’s hard to tell how successful the design is until it’s printed.

My final design for the board included tracks for the inner tray to slide on that aim to keep the tray in place inside the outer case. These tracks were another stumbling block in the third print (grey case in the picture above). Because you can move shapes around so easily in TinkerCAD, designs can sometimes become tilted or swiveled in a way that doesn’t fit all your pieces. When I received my printed case, the tracks were at a slight diagonal and the inner tray slid into the case at an angle that popped one of the seams.

Finally, after several consultations with makerspace staff at the Science Library, I landed on three fixes for my final design: 1) A thicker top and sides for the case that wouldn’t break at the seams. 2) A higher top that would avoid all pins and the USB port. 3) Tracks that were perfectly parallel with the sides of the case. The end result keeps a majority of dust and other particulates off the circuitry and provides some protection for the board. The case also allows the appropriate wires to be attached without removing the tray from the outer case, which will help prevent damage to the pins.

5.25" Floppy Controller Case with the controller board inside

The final print!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.25" Floppy Controller Case with controller boarder. Close up showing the the lid slides off.

Close up showing the slide feature of the base.

While I was initially a bit reluctant to take on this 3D printing project, I see this sort of design as a valuable skill to have when working with digital archives. Some of the devices we use to read legacy media are difficult to find in their original housings, and some, like the Kyroflux, Device Side Data controller board, and 5.25” floppy drive will come without protection for their inner workings. These pieces of hardware need cases in order to protect and maintain functionality of the devices and our ability to access legacy storage media. 

You can find Miana’s design on Thingiverse.

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The Black Arts Festival, 1972-1981

There are many forms of protest and one of them is the uninhibited celebration of your culture and the artistic achievements of your peers. Last month at the Project STAND (Student Activism Now Documented) symposium in Atlanta, one of the student panelists emphasized the necessity for uplifting depictions of black joy in addition to recognizing some of the struggles of activism. The Black Arts Festival, held by the Black Student Movement from 1972 to 1981, is an example of such joy.

Blue Poster Announcing Events

1975 Black Arts Festival Poster [Carolina Union of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, University Archives]

Called by 1973 Cultural Coordinator Algenon Marbley, “soul-stirring events” that “exemplify our culture through song, dance and drama,” the Black Arts Festival was an explosion of performances, workshops and lectures that featured artists not only from on campus, but throughout the United States. (Marbley, 1973)

Letter on BSM letterhead

Letter from Marbley to Chancellor Taylor [Carolina Union of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, University Archives]

The annual festival happened from 1972 to 1981, and featured performances from Black Student Movement subgroups like The Readers (now The Ebony Readers/Onyx Theatre), Opeyo Dancers (now Opeyo! Dance Company) and the Black Student Movement Gospel Choir. The festival was lauded as an event where black students could come together and express themselves through performance.

The relationships and roots of Black American art in the African diaspora were consistent themes in the 1973 festival. While performance seems to be the dominant form of expression in each year’s festival, the week-long series of events also featured panel discussions and classes. The festival in 1973 included a conversation between Chapel Hill’s first black mayor, Howard Lee, and activist Owusu Saudaki (Mills, 1973). Often, the BSM reached out to communities near UNC and workshops were taught by Durham’s Ebony Dance Theatre and the Bowie State Dancers (Starr, 1979).

In 1975, students expressed concern for continuing the festival, and conversations were had about how a black student organization on a predominantly while campus could thrive in terms of funding and administrative support. The festival was put on hiatus between 1976 and 1978, during which time the organization focused on other concerns like recruitment of black faculty and students (Carolina Union Records).

Speaker Contract with Black Panther Party

1974 Contract with Black Panther Party Speakers’ Bureau [Carolina Union of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, University Archives]

Recruitment Recommendations Text

BSM Recommendations for Recruitment 1975 [Carolina Union of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, University Archives]

Distressed by the lack of black artists coming to Chapel Hill, members of the BSM worked to revive the festival (Worsley, 1979). In 1979, black film and theater legend Cicely Tyson was invited to appear at Memorial Hall. That same year, co-sponsored by the Carolina Union, the award-winning and Grammy nominated New York Community Choir performed.

In 1980, the festival saw much less of an audience outside of the 300 audience members who came to support the Freshman Bloc, a skit-based variety show. The festival continued in 1981, with Wanda Montgomery as Cultural Coordinator. (Blossom, 1981). This is seemingly the last year, because in 1982, the BSM continued to fight for funding. The Black Arts Festival was under scrutiny, funding was cut and some of the events were added to Black History Month (Black Ink, 1982).

There are some occurrences of week-long events similar to the Black Arts festival after this. In 1991, an African American culture week called “African Americans in the Arts,” sponsored by the Black Cultural Centers Special Programming Committee, featured the Opeyo! Dancers (Mankowski, 1991). In the early 1990s, African American Culture Week is still mentioned in Black Ink. The Black Student Movement and its subgroups continue to produce, sponsor and curate performances, continuing their legacy as an organization that uplifts black joy.

References:

Black Student Movement in the Carolina Union of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records #40128, University Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Blossom, Teresa (1981). “BSM Black Arts Festival Arrives Mar 18-25”. Black Ink. Retrieved from
http://newspapers.digitalnc.org/lccn/2015236558/1981-03-17/ed-1/seq-3/

Mankowski, Melissa (1991). “Opeyo! Dancers Mix Modern with Traditional Steps”. The Daily Tar Heel. Retrieved from http://newspapers.digitalnc.org/lccn/sn92073228/1991-09-27/ed-1/seq-5/

Marbley, Algenon. (1973). “BACF Affect Apathy”. The Black Ink. Retrieved from http://newspapers.digitalnc.org/lccn/2015236558/1973-04-01/ed-1/seq-4/

Mills, Janice. (1973). “Realm of Black Arts Explored”. The Black Ink. Retrieved from http://newspapers.digitalnc.org/lccn/2015236558/1973-04-01/ed-1/seq-4/

Starr, Mary Beth. (1979). “Notable Groups Reflect Culture in Performance”. The Daily Tar Heel. Retrieved from http://newspapers.digitalnc.org/lccn/sn92073228/1979-03-23/ed-1/seq-12/

Williams, Linda (1974). “’74 Festival Set” Black Ink. Retrieved from http://newspapers.digitalnc.org/lccn/2015236558/1974-03-01/ed-1/seq-1/

Worsley, Carolyn. (1979). “A Week of Arts, Entertainment.” The Daily Tar Heel. Retrieved from
http://newspapers.digitalnc.org/lccn/sn92073228/1979-03-23/ed-1/seq-12/

Unknown Contributor. (1982). “Choir Guilty as Charged” Black Ink. Retrieved from http://newspapers.digitalnc.org/lccn/2015236558/1982-04-29/ed-1/seq-2/

Posted in Student Life and Student Organizations, Uncategorized, University Archives, University History | Leave a comment

Records Retention Schedule Updated

The UNC-Chapel Hill Records Retention and Disposition Schedule underwent a routine revision process in 2018 and the newly updated Schedule is now available (effective April 8, 2019).  The new Schedule document is available on our Records Management Guide. If you have any questions, please contact us. Below we’ve outlined some of the major changes you’ll see in this newest edition of the Schedule.

Appendix policy on managing email

This policy reflects a new approach to selecting and retaining email at the University. It was developed in consultation with the State Archives, University Counsel’s office, and UNC Information and Technology Services.

This approach is based on the Capstone Approach developed by the National Archives and Records Administration. It enables us to collect email of permanent historical value based on an employee’s position and function rather than the content of individual email messages. Under this approach, email records created and received by employees in selected administrative positions will automatically be retained as permanent records in the University Archives. All other email accounts will be retained for a period of five years after the employee leaves the University and then discarded. All employees still have a responsibility to evaluate emails, like other record formats, based on the Records Retention Schedule and individuals not in “Capstone positions” can still work with us to transfer permanent records if needed.  

Document structure changes

Due to some changes to terminology and series headings the Schedule was re-alphabetized and reordered. You may find that a series you were used to using has changed location in the document. This does not necessarily mean the content of the series has changed.

New navigation has been introduced to the PDF document. The table of contents are now links and can lead directly to the desired section. Every page includes a “back to top” link at the bottom of the page that leads back to the table of contents. We hope this helps to make the document easier to use.

Significant content changes

1.24: Insurance Records

Changed retention from permanent to destroy in office after 6 years. Changes will bring this schedule in line with the statewide college and university schedule and the State Archives.

11.13: Disciplinary Records

Longer retention period as proposed by University Counsel’s office.

11.34: Immigration Filings

Revision as proposed by UNC Office of International Student and Scholar Services.

11.46: Search Records

Removing requirement to retain records of administrative searches permanently after consultation with State Archives.

Required retention period for applications from unsuccessful student candidates (11.46b) changed from 1 year to 2 years to match statewide requirements.

12: Public Safety Records

Several changes made in this section in order to ensure compliance with Clery Act record-keeping requirements.

13: Sponsored Projects and Research Records

There are many changes in this section, all suggested by the UNC-CH Vice Chancellor for Research and University Counsel. Specific changes include:

    • 13.2: Animal Research Records: Retention period reduced from 7 years to 3 years to match NIH and other federal guidelines.
    • 13.11 and 13.12: Research Misconduct Reviews and Scientific Review Committee Records: New sections.

14.17: International Student Records

Changes as proposed by UNC Office of International Student and Scholar Services.

18.1: Disciplinary Records

Changes as proposed by UNC Equal Opportunity/Compliance office.

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“Proving a Secret is Difficult”: Zora Neale Hurston at UNC

Image of the Zora Neale Hurston Hall plaque created by UNC MFA candidate Jeanine Tatlock.

On May 28, 2015, the UNC Board of Trustees voted to remove the name of Ku Klux Klan leader and Confederate Army colonel William Saunders from a campus building and rename it “Carolina Hall.” Additionally, the Board voted to place a 16-year moratorium on renaming campus buildings. The removal of Saunders’ name came after decades of work by student activists on campus, particularly the collaborative efforts of student organizations (the Black Student Movement, Real Silent Sam Coalition, and the Campus Y) in 2014.

Activists had urged the administration to rename the building for renowned black anthropologist and novelist Zora Neale Hurston. They cited a belief that Hurston attended UNC as a “secret student” in 1940, more than a decade before the first African American students were admitted to Carolina.

Even after the Trustees’ decision, student activists continued to celebrate Hurston’s life and call for a new name for Carolina Hall. In the fall of 2015, student activists held an “opening ceremony” for Hurston Hall. A statement by the Real Silent Sam coalition acknowledged the importance of naming the building for Hurston: “We named this building after Zora Neale Hurston precisely because racist and sexist admissions policies excluded her and other Black women from UNC.”

In March 2017, UNC MFA candidate Jeanine Tatlock added an additional plaque to the building, naming it Zora Neale Hurston Hall and acknowledging that “against all odds and despite a system that did everything in its power to keep [Hurston] from attending college she went on to become one of America’s most celebrated authors.”

From what we can tell, the Board of Trustees never collectively addressed the idea of renaming Saunders Hall for Zora Neale Hurston. However, in a letter to the Daily Tar Heel editor in 2017, UNC Trustee Alston Gardner argued that students never formally proposed the name change from Saunders to Hurston. Responding to the suggestion, Gardner wrote, “of course, proving a secret is difficult, so I applied a reasonableness test and came up short.” Many details of Zora Neale Hurston’s connection to Carolina are unclear, but the question of whether or not she was really a secret student here before UNC integrated in 1951 still remains on many of our minds. After an extensive search of resources in the Wilson Special Collections Library (and some from the University of Kansas’ Kenneth Spencer Research Library) we’ve established the following:

According to Cecelia Moore’s The South as a Folk Play: The Carolina Playmakers, Regional Theatre and the Federal Theatre Project, 1935-1939, in 1934, Zora Neale Hurston met playwright and UNC professor Paul Green and Carolina Playmakers founder Frederick Koch at the National Folk Festival in St. Louis, Missouri (p. 167). Recruited by Koch, Zora Neale Hurston came to North Carolina in 1939 to assume a theater teaching position at North Carolina College for Negroes in Durham (now North Carolina Central University)(Moore, p. 154).

Daily Tar Heel, 7 October 1939.

Daily Tar Heel, 7 October 1939, describing Hurston’s presentation at the Carolina Dramatic Association.

Hurston is now best known for her folktales and novels telling black stories, but in the 1930s she was invested in writing and producing folk plays: plays that highlighted everyday black life. On October 7, 1939, Hurston spoke at the fall meeting of the Carolina Dramatic Association, a statewide organization of theater directors and educators. The group met in Playmakers Theater on UNC’s campus. The following day, the Daily Tar Heel quoted her as telling the group, “Our drama must be like us, or it doesn’t exist.” She wanted to create theater that better exhibited the fullness of black life. Green, drawing from the legacy of the Carolina Playmakers under Frederick Koch, was similarly interested in writing folk plays.  He wrote and produced many works and won a Pulitzer Prize in May 1927 for the play In Abraham’s Bosom

Daily Tar Heel article describing the Sunday night Radio Writing and Production course, lists Zora Neale Hurston among other students, March 30, 1940. 

In the spring semester of 1940, Hurston joined Paul Green’s small theater group. The March 30, 1940 issue of the Daily Tar Heel lists Zora Neale Hurston among the students in Green’s “Radio Writing and Production” course, meeting Sunday nights in Caldwell Hall. A class of that name does not appear in the catalog for the 1939-1940 academic year, suggesting that it may not have been officially offered through the University. Several of the class participants, including Hurston, were not enrolled at UNC at the time. There is also conflicting information about where they met: Hurston biographer Robert Hemenway writes in Zora Neale Hurston: a Literary Biography that they moved to Green’s home due to a complaint from a white student (p. 255), while Laurence G. Avery in A Southern Life: Letters of Paul Green, 1916-1981 says the meetings were always at Green’s house (p. 312).  In a 1971 interview with Robert Hemenway, Paul Green said they often had to work “sort of specially separate from the class,” and she would come to his house quite often.

Although Paul Green was the instructor for the course, his relationship with Hurston appeared to be more collaborative. In one energetic letter, Hurston writes to Green imploring him to send someone to record a spiritual she found at a black church in South Carolina. The spiritual could help them in the writing of their play, with the working title John De Conqueror. In the letter, she says, “Now, don’t sit there Paul Green, just thinking! Do something!” (p. 312). She feared a fellow student would record the spirituals and sell them before they could use it in their work. Unfortunately, the recordings weren’t made, and John De Conqueror was never finished.   

Daily Tar Heel article describing the Sunday night Radio Writing and Production course, lists Zora Neale Hurston among other students, March 30, 1940.

Despite not being officially recognized as a student, the spirit of the plaque students placed on Carolina Hall two years ago is still represented in Zora Neale Hurston’s abundant life as a black scholar. Her work initially received mixed reviews, but by the time she arrived in North Carolina, she had already earned a bachelors degree from Barnard College in 1928 and published several noteworthy books—including one of her most popular works, Their Eyes Were Watching God. Paul Green said in that 1971 interview that he remembered Hurston driving around campus in her “little red sports car” with a “jaunty little tam o shanter” on her head. Students would “jeer” as she drove by. On one occasion, he recalled, even the professors mocked her — she responded by calling “Hi, freshmen! Hi, freshmen!” It seems she never backed down from a challenge.

As Gardner noted, “proving a secret” is a challenge, and one archivists face often. Reference archivists frequently receive questions about aspects of campus history that, for many reasons, went undocumented or unpreserved. It is a struggle to find answers and adequate evidence to support them. It all depends on what has been collected and preserved. When we find these gaps in the historical record, it is frustrating but encourages us to think more deeply about what we’re collecting now and its uses in the future. In the case of Zora Neale Hurston at UNC and many parts of university history that we take extra time to research, we relish in the small crumbs we have but find ourselves hungry for more information.

Learn More: “Saunders Hall” essay in Reclaiming the University of the People: Racial Justice Movements at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Charlotte Fryar, 2019.

Sources:

Carolina Hall History

The Daily Tar Heel

Frederick H. Koch Papers, 1893-1979.

Letter to the Editor of the Daily Tar Heel

Paul Green Interview, 1971, Personal Papers of Robert E. Hemenway, PP 487, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Paul Green Papers, 1880-2009

The South as a Folk Play: The Carolina Playmakers, Regional Theatre and the Federal Theatre Project, 1935-1939 [in the Carolina Digital Repository]

A Southern Life: Letters of Paul Green, 1916-1981

UNC T-Shirt Archive

University Archives Web Archives

William Laurence Saunders Papers, 1712-1907.

Zora Neale Hurston: a Literary Biography

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Introduction to the History of Performing Arts at UNC Library Guide

UNC’s campus culture and the lives of students can be examined through the sometimes exciting, sometimes fraught lens of the performing arts.  From controversial visiting artists to the joyful and attentive work of student and faculty artists on campus, performance has played a major part in representing the sentiment of any given time in UNC’s history.

A sample of resources you might use for research and curiosity about UNC’s relationship with performance is now available through the History of the Performing Arts at UNC library guide.

Students and Teacher in Music Classroom

Music Department, circa 1940s-1969 [UNC at Chapel Hill Image Collection, Folder P0004/0694]

Following the resources in this guide, you may come across some interesting facts:

There are several sketches, drafts of music scores and notes from Paul Green’s work with Richard Wright on the theater adaptation of Native Son. Native Son is one of Wright’s most well-known works and was staged in 1941 by Orson Welles “with imagination and force” (Atkinson, 1941).

Preliminary Draft of Native Son [Paul Green Papers, 1880-2009, Folder 3278cb]

 

-Some performing arts groups on campus have been around longer than you might think. The Opeyo! Dance Company, founded by Herman Mixon in 1971, continues to participate in outreach. They still host Dancing for Hope in the Fall semester, a benefit offering donations to charitable organizations.

-Carolina Performing Arts’ records are surprisingly helpful for theater architects! Folders of information provide insight into the specifications required for remodeling Memorial Hall. The correspondence related to theater acoustics and audience seating are as architectural as they are performance-oriented in nature.

Visitors entering Memorial Hall

Transformed Memorial Hall [Carolina Performing Arts Records, 1990s-2014, Digital Folder DF-40428/2]

Using the Guide:

Kick off your research by using the Home tab as a directory to the subject, department, organization or medium you are exploring. For example, if you’re looking for the work of a playwright who was a professor at UNC, check for resources under the Academic Departments tab. If you’re looking for general photographs, ephemera or video, check the Visual Materials tab. You can access the library guide here.

Happy searching!

 

 

References:

Atkinson, Brooks (1941). “‘Native Son’ by Paul Green and Richard Wright, Put on by Orson Welles and John Houseman”. New York Times. Retrieved 10 April 2019 from https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1941/03/25/85265284.pdf

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Behind the Scenes: Workflows Development Bit by Bit

Born-digital accessioning, processing, and ingest work has been handled in a variety of ways at Wilson Special Collections Library since about 2010. This post is about our most recent development in the evergreen quest to optimize and improve archival workflows. Over the past two years, improving workflows for born-digital materials at Wilson Library has often meant centralizing and standardizing.  

Image shows a 3.5" floppy disk, yellow zip disk, 5.25" floppy disk, CD, USB thumb drive, and external hard drive.

These are some of the most common types of born-digital storage media that we process.

If you are an archivist, you might wonder, why centralize? Over the past couple of years there have been calls for moving away from the lone digital archivist model in our institutions. This can be a beneficial staffing move, but I also think it depends a lot on institutional context. At Wilson Library, we are not necessarily trying to centralize the work to one person, but are striving to use a consistent workflow across units and make a portion of the workflow (the really technical bits) centralized with a smaller number of people. The idea is that it will be easier to implement the workflows with a smaller number of staff who have capacity to become experts in the technical workflow. Other bits of the workflow like acquisition or description still happen elsewhere in our building wide workflows.  

So, what have we done so far to work toward this goal? 

One thing was the creation of more detailed workflow documentation and training resources that could be easily available to all staff. This included filling in some workflow gaps between acquisition and ingest, creating more documentation of the software and hardware available that addressed why and when to use various tools, creating a metadata template for archival folders in the repository, training resources, and more. The documentation was then compiled into a website for easier navigation and use. The review and creation of documentation also presented an opportunity to think more about our goals in technical processing of born-digital materials. In an effort to reduce focus on specific tools, I drafted some digital preservation statements the underpin our workflow goals and development. Hopefully these statements can guide us no matter what tools we use in the future. 

Image shows a cubicle space with two computer workstations, whiteboard, and a small round table

The Digital Preservation Lab is currently located in this fun cubicle space.

Another important development was making the hardware and software acquired over the years by the University Archives more available to all Wilson collecting units. This process evolved into the development of our Digital Preservation Lab and centralized service. Instead of each Wilson Library department developing their own born-digital workflows, staff can now bring born-digital accessions to the Lab where one of three dedicated staff (myself and two graduate students) will prepare the materials for appraisal and ingest to preservation storage. This has greatly reduced the number of people who need to learn the entirety of the pre-ingest and ingest workflows. It is also helping to highlight non-technical aspect of the born-digital workflow that need further assessment and development. 

We still have more to do to integrate born-digital workflows into other accessioning and processing workflows—and of course there is always the on-going process of planning and managing the big picture of digital preservation over time—but we are well on our way!

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