Carolina Firsts: Sallie Walker Stockard

At the University Day celebration on October 11, 2016, Chancellor Carol Folt announced a new program to name scholarships after notable “firsts” in UNC history. In recognition of the individuals recognized as pioneers at UNC, the University Archives is publishing blog posts with more information about each of the twenty-one “firsts.” This post is part of that series.

http://dc.lib.unc.edu/utils/ajaxhelper/

A portrait of Sallie Walker Stockard [From the North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives]

In 1898, Sallie Stockard became the first woman to graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill, writing a thesis called Nature in Poetry. A few years later she triumphed again, earning a masters degree.

Before attending UNC, Stockard went to other institutions. In 1892, at the age of 23, Stockard enrolled in Guilford College — a school only 4 years old at the time.

The trustees of UNC voted to open its doors to women for postgraduate studies in January of 1897. Five women including Stockard were accepted, but the university was unprepared for the possibility that a woman would actually complete a degree. When Stockard did finish (the only one of the four to do so), she was excluded from all ceremonies, including the actual presentation of degrees and class pictures. She would stay on at UNC until earning a masters degree in 1900.

After obtaining her master’s degree, she left North Carolina for Clark University in Massachusetts where she published a dramatization of the Song of Solomon. By 1904 she had moved to Arkansas, where she married. She then moved to New Mexico, where she had two children. She separated from her husband soon after the birth of her second child, and in the 1920s, she moved to New York City and enrolled in Columbia University’s Teachers College. In 1924 she received a second masters degree there.

Over the course of her life, Stockard published several books on local history, both in North Carolina and other places she lived. Her master’s thesis at UNC was The History of Alamance, and was reprinted by the Alamance Historical Museum in 1986. Her second book, The History of Guilford County, North Carolina, was published in in 1902. In Arkansas, she published A History of Lawrence, Jackson, Independence and Stone Counties of the Third Judicial District of Arkansas.

In the 1940s, she wrote an autobiography detailing life in rural Alamance and her UNC experience, Daughter of the Piedmont: Chapel Hill’s First Co-Ed Graduate. Around the same time she founded a newspaper,  the Nassau Golden Fleece News Gleaner, in her new home of western Long Island, NY.

Stockard passed away at age 93 in Long Island.

Sources and Further Reading:

103rd UNC Commencement Pamplet

Dean, Pamela. Women on the Hill: a History of Women at the University of North Carolina. Division of Student Affairs, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1987.

http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=4042

“‘Daughter of the Piedmont’ by Sallie Walker Stockard” in Miscellaneous Writings, circa 1893-1956 #03704-z, University Archives, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Finding Aid: https://finding-aids.lib.unc.edu/03704/

“Stockard, Sallie Walker (1869-1963): Scan 1” in Digital North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives

Stockard, Sallie Walker. History of Guilford County, North Carolina. Nabu Press, 2010.

Stockard, Sallie Walker. History of Lawrence, Jackson, Independence, and Stone Counties of the Third Judicial District of Arkansas. Little Rock: Arkansas Democrat Co., 1904.

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Otelia Connor: UNC’s Guardian of Good Manners

Otelia Connor, from the Daily Tar Heel, 9 March 1963.

Otelia Connor, from the Daily Tar Heel, 9 March 1963.

Before there were Pit preachers, there was Mrs. Otelia Connor, an elderly Southern woman who patrolled the manners of Carolina students in the 1960s.  Instead of a Bible, she carried an umbrella to thwack those who ran afoul of her rules.  Though she reportedly only used the umbrella once, the threat of her wrath was enough to keep many in line—at least in her presence.  Connor was known as a campus gadfly, a character whose outsized personality kept her on the pages of The Daily Tar Heel.  Her mission and popularity led Time magazine to write a feature in which they coined the term “Oteliaquette” to describe her unique take on campus etiquette.  She later appeared on other media outlets, including The Mike Douglas Show and various radio programs.  Her moment in the national spotlight faded, though she continued to contribute to campus life until her death in 1969.

Otelia Cunningham Connor, a widow from an illustrious North Carolina family, originally came to Chapel Hill for her son’s graduation from law school in 1957.  She fell in love with Carolina, and promptly moved to a modest apartment near campus.  Though the mother of two grown children, Otelia adopted the entire student body as her children and set about improving their manners from her base in Lenoir Hall.  Her rules ranged from common demonstrations of respect—such as holding the door for older people—to specific prohibitions against everything from chewing gum to bumping the back of her chair.  In general, she advocated friendly and thoughtful behavior as hallmarks of a proper upbringing and education.  She wrote of her calling, “The world expects good manners of a college graduate.  When I correct the young people it is because I think too much of them to see them go out into the world without the rudiments of good manners . . . . Most young people appreciate someone taking the trouble to correct their thoughtlessness.” Otelia Connor, “Manners Minder,” DTH (11 April 1962, pg. 2)

Dean of Students Charles Henderson described Otelia as an “anthropological treasure . . . a throwback to those lost days when manners counted for something, and when elderly ladies thought it their duty to preserve them.”  Students were more divided on her mission and methods.  Some students appreciated her contributions, as Stanley Cameron wrote to the DTH, “She is truly a pearl.  Carolina would not be the same without her.  Only a mature, reserved, detached woman like herself could display such keen insight in the life of this university.” Stanley Cameron, “Wants More Otelia, Wellman,” DTH (15 February 1963, pg. 3).  Others were more dubious, “Otelia Connor writes such stinging comments on the social manners of our times that she has been suspected of being the pseudonym of a crotchety editor whose pen has an acute case of acid hemophilia.” Alan K. Whiteleather, “The Pen’s Poison, But Manners Are the Motive: ‘Otelia’—It’s No Pseudonym,” DTH (13 February 1963, pg. 1).  Indeed, DTH editors had to reassure incredulous students that Otelia was indeed “real” on multiple occasions.

As the self-appointed guardian of manners, Otelia was often viewed as a prude.  The 1963 April Fool’s issue of the DTH (March 31, 1963) featured Otelia as a member of an imaginary “Human Relations Committee” to enforce the administration’s abolishment of sex.  Indeed, Otelia argued against pre-marital sex during a Di-Phi debate.  Otelia was also positively scandalized by a dance called the Thunderbird, citing its resemblance to “an orgy” and expressed concern that a male student might “shake his backsides right off,” continuing, “please excuse me from this bottom-shaking business.  Whatever it is, it is not a dance and shouldn’t be classified as a dance.” Otelia Connor, “From Otelia,” DTH (11 July 1963, pg. 4).

Despite her traditional ideas about sex and dancing, Otelia was more progressive regarding dissent.  As she wrote in a rare political letter to the editor, “When this country ever reaches the point where it is afraid of new ideas and afraid to let people express themselves in open and free debate, then democracy will already be dead, and waiting to be buried by the communist world.” Otelia Connor, “More Afraid Of J Birchers,” DTH (11 December 1962, pg. 2).  This is not to say that she embraced an activist worldview.  Although she claimed to support civil rights for African Americans, she objected to continuing demonstrations by the Civil Rights movement, “I think it would be the part of wisdom to consolidate the many gains they have made recently, and give the extreme segregationists a chance to accommodate themselves to the changes which have come about.”  Otelia Connor, “From Otelia On Civil Rights,” DTH (1 August 1963, pg. 5).

By the end of her life, Connor had recanted some of her earlier strictures regarding dancing, male-female relationships, and—in her final letter—long hair on men.  In that last article, she decried her earlier belief “that everybody should conform to the status quo, and that there should never be any changes.”  After exhorting men with long locks to keep their hair clean, she offered words of wisdom for all generations, “Let us all, students and adults, grow into maturity, and be ready to accept the next period of change around the corner.” Otelia Connor, “Time For Change,” DTH (31 July 1969, pg. 6).

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Carolina Firsts: Johnston Blakeley

At the University Day celebration on October 11, 2016, Chancellor Carol Folt announced a new program to name scholarships after notable “firsts” in UNC history. In recognition of the individuals recognized as pioneers at UNC, the University Archives is publishing blog posts with more information about each of the twenty-one “firsts.” This post is part of that series.

Captain Johnston Blakeley (sometimes spelled Blakely) was a successful naval officer during the War of 1812 and the first University of North Carolina alumnus to give his life in military service to the United States.

Blakeley had a long journey to Chapel Hill. Born in County Down, Ireland in 1781, he immigrated to the United States with his family in 1783. Tragically, his mother died during the voyage. His family lived in Wilmington, NC, but he spent much of his youth in school in Flatbush, Long Island, NY.

In 1796 he entered UNC (making him a contemporary of Hinton James) and was a member of the Philanthropic Society by 1797. The first speech he gave to the society “spoke on the happiness of ye farmers.” His later speeches and compositions covered a variety of topics: the education of women, Jacobinism, the advantages of education, self-government, the state of France and America, Brutus’ speech to the Romans, advantages of riches and poverty, and tobacco. He even gave a reading of Ulysses’ speech to Alcinous and the queen from The Odyssey.

A 1797 record of Blakeley’s presentation to the Philanthropic Society about women’s education [From the Records of the Philanthropic Society, University Archives].

In 1797, when Blakeley was 16, tragedy struck again. His father died and he was orphaned, becoming a ward of Edward Jones of Rockrest, Chatham County. Moreover, he was left without money due to a disastrous fire that destroyed his family’s warehouses.

Portrait of Johnston Blakeley. [From the North Carolina Portrait Index, North Carolina Collection].

In 1800 he joined the U.S. Navy as a midshipman, becoming a lieutenant seven years later. In 1812 he served on the President and the Enterprise before being made  Master Commandant and put in command of the Wasp and its 173 person crew.  In 1814 he sank and captured a number of British ships, among them were Three Brothers, the Bacchus, the HMS Reindeer and HMS Avon. He also captured the Atalanta, a supply ship laden with wine, brandy, and silk. Though Blakeley had a custom of burning the ships he battled, there was doubt as to the Atalanta’s nationality. Instead, he put Midshipman David Geisinger and a prize crew aboard. On September 22, 1814 the Atalanta set sail to Savannah, Georgia, where she arrived safely in November. No further word was ever received from the Wasp.

A Wilmington marker memorializing Blakeley. [From North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program].

Rumors abound about Blakeley’s mysterious disappearance. A privateer claimed to have seen the Wasp off the Canary Islands. The British frigate Lacedemonian was believed by some to have sunk her off Charleston, South Carolina. John C. Calhoun even heard a report that she was operating in the Pacific Ocean. It’s more likely that the Wasp simply sank due to winds, but whatever the case he and his men never returned.

In January of 1815 his wife, Jane Hoope Blakeley, gave birth to a daughter, Udney Maria. The following year the North Carolina legislature resolved to pay for Udney’s education and to provide the family with funds. The legislature planned to give Udney a sword in memory of her father, but in the end, at her mother’s suggestion, she was given a  silver tea service. In 1904, the US Navy honored Blakeley with the naming of a battleship, the USS Blakely.

A poem written by a “highly gifted and accomplished young lady” demonstrates the power of Blakeley’s legacy:

No more shall Blakeley’s thunder roar
Upon the stormy deep;
Far distant from Columbia’s shore
His tombless ruins sleep;
But long Columbia’s song shall tell
How Blakeley fought, how Blakeley fell.

Sources:

Homans, Benjamin. Army and Navy Chronicle. Vol. 6, 1838.

“Johnston Blakeley, 1781-1814.” North Carolina Portrait Index, 1700-1860. Chapel Hill: UNC Press. p. 25.

“Minutes, 1795-1959.” in the Philanthropic Society of the University of North Carolina Records, 1795-1959 #40166, University Archives, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program, ID D-37

S. M. Lemmon, Frustrated Patriots: North Carolina and the War of 1812 (1973).

Naval Records Collection of the Office of Naval Records and Library (Record Group 45), United States National Archives.

A. R. Newsome, “Udney Maria Blakeley,” North Carolina Historical Review 4 (1927).

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Carolina Firsts: Irene Dillard Elliott and Anna Forbes Liddell

At the University Day celebration on October 11, 2016, Chancellor Carol Folt announced a new program to name scholarships after notable “firsts” in UNC history. In recognition of the individuals recognized as pioneers at UNC, the University Archives is publishing blog posts with more information about each of the twenty-one “firsts.” This post is part of that series.

1924 was a big year for UNC-Chapel Hill: that year, the university awarded doctorates to women for the first time. The two recipients were Irene Dillard Elliott and Anna Forbes Liddell.

Irene Dillard Elliott
Elliott earned a BA from Randolph-Macon Women’s College; she went on to earn an MA from the University of South Carolina in 1921. Her next stop was UNC, where she earned a Ph.D. in English. Her dissertation was A History of Literature in South Carolina. After receiving her Ph.D., she made her return to University of South Carolina, becoming an English professor and the first dean of women in the school’s history. She retired in 1935, but then returned in 1946 as a professor of English at USC to compensate for teachers lost to World War II. She continued teaching until 1964.

In addition to her teaching and administrative duties, Elliott founded the South Carolina chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). In the 1960s, Dr. Elliott gave funds to start a scholarship fund for students at the Tamassee DAR School and Children’s Home, located in upstate South Carolina. Through the Elliott Scholarship Fund, the chapter currently gives funds each year to the Tamassee DAR School for scholastic purposes.

The 1924 UNC commencement pamphlet listing the theses of Dillard and Liddell.

Anna Forbes Liddell in 1969. [From Florida Memory, photographed by Richard Parks].

Anna Forbes Liddell
Anna Liddell received her BA from UNC in 1918 and an MA from Cornell in 1922. She returned to UNC, earning a Ph.D. in philosophy in 1924. Her dissertation was titled, The Logical Relationship of  the Philosophy of Hegel to the Philosophies of Spinoza and Kant. 

Liddell was an active suffragette in addition to being an academic. In 1913, prior to joining the university, Liddell helped to form the North Carolina Equal Suffrage League in Charlotte. In a Life magazine contest to see who could produce the best original article on feminism, her entry was one of eight selected and purchased from among the 3,000 submitted.

From 1925 to 1926, Liddell was professor of social studies at Chowan College. In the fall of 1926 she joined the faculty of the Florida State College for Women (which became Florida State University in 1947), where she taught philosophy until her retirement in 1962. She served as head of the Department of Philosophy and Religion from 1932 to 1951.

In 1978, then 87 years old and using a wheelchair, she attended a rally in support of the Equal Rights Amendment in Florida and rebuked lawmakers for not supporting the amendment. Liddell passed away in 1979.

Sources:

Florida Memory

Lambert, Barbara Elizabeth. “Liddell, Anna Forbes.” Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, Vol. 4, L-O. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.

Mack, Tom, editor. South Carolina Encyclopedia Guide to South Carolina Writers. Univ. of South Carolina Press, 2014.

http://www.sc.edu/bicentennial/pages/rootedpages/elliott.html

South Carolina Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution

South Carolina Encyclopedia entry on Irene Elliott

129th UNC Commencement Pamphlet

Walter James Forbes Liddell Papers, 1831-1914
Finding Aid: https://finding-aids.lib.unc.edu/00904/

 

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Gimghoul Coded Yearbook Messages

A portion of a yearbook page that says "The Order of Gimghouls" at top and features the Gimghoul icon of a creature behind a column holding a key. Its tail spells "Gimghoul." A message, in code, is below.

An excerpt from the Gimghouls page in the 1890 UNC yearbook.

If you were to examine a UNC yearbook, you would encounter the expected contents: sports pages, page after page of fraternities, and reminders of the year’s major events. However, there are more mysterious things lurking in those pages courtesy of the Order of Gimghoul: coded messages.

A bit of background knowledge is needed to understand any of this in the first place. The Order of Gimghoul, a males-only secret society, was founded in 1889 by Edward Wray Martin, William W. Davies, Shepard Bryan, Andrew Henry Patterson, and Robert Worth Bingham, all students at UNC-Chapel Hill. The legend of Peter Dromgoole was used as the basis for their society and it was founded as the Order of Dromgoole. The name was later changed to Gimghoul “in accord with midnight and graves and weirdness.” Martin created the initiation ritual, constitution, and bylaws, and as years passed they evolved. The order consolidated its beliefs and customs into a combination of the Dromgoole legend and the ideals of Arthurian chivalry.

Despite being secret, the Order frequently has a yearbook page. The first Gimghoul page appeared in The Hellenian in 1890. Since the Order’s creation, the Rex—the term for the  Gimghoul leader—has been expected to write a coded message in the yearbook each year, and a message has appeared in almost every yearbook produced since 1892. The Hellenian yearbook was replaced by The Yackety Yack in 1901, but the messages continued. On occasion, a message from a preceding year will be repeated.

The messages are almost always accompanied by the Gimghoul emblem, a ghoul that grins wickedly and spells out “Gimghoul” with his tail. In his left hand he holds the Mystic Key, in his right the Cross of Gimghoul. Each emblem also includes the moon, a group of 7 stars, and a column set on a triple foundation.

A selection of the decoded messages are presented in their entirety below.

1895: “Now let us all take caeer [cheer] and eook [look] to wxat’s [what’s] to come for tas’s a prospaeons [prosperous] year in whiya [which] we ael aape [all hope] wox to moy it be.”

The writer of the 1895 message made a minor alteration to the key used to code “Gimghoulese,” but even with this taken into account the message is garbled. The writer made mistakes in his use of the alphabet square, making it difficult to decipher. In addition, it was evidently handwritten: the typesetter misunderstood several letters.

1896: “On being tied to a tree in the initiatiop [initiation], Butlxr [Butler] desertbd [deserted] He was chughk [caught] in bed and initiated nevertheless. The Devil is hard to beat.

Yours–Valmar VIII”

The Butler mentioned here was a math instructor initiated in 1895-6. The process was a complicated one: neophytes would gather in Room 22 of South Building around midnight, awaiting their fate. Eventually, a robed and hooded figure would arrive and lead inductees eastward, on a path through Battle Park. A secondary, harsher path to Piney Prospect would be used to reach the final initiation point, Dromgoole Rock. There would stand the Rex himself, who would finally declare one a member.

The mysterious author, Valmar VIII, was the Rex William R. Webb. A Valmar is credited as authoring most messages.

1899: “In this, the tenth year, let every loyal knight renew his love for Gimghoul, and aid in continuing its noble work. Valmar X”

1901: “Read ‘Guinevere’ lines 460-480, in Tennyson’s Idylls of the King. Valmar XI”

The lines referred to read as follows:

In that fair Order of my Table Round,
A glorious company, the flower of men,
To serve as model for the mighty world,
And be the fair beginning of a time.
I made them lay their hands in mine and swear
To reverence the King, as if he were
Their conscience, and their conscience as their King,
To break the heathen and uphold the Christ,
To ride abroad redressing human wrongs,
To speak no slander, no, nor listen to it,
To honour his own word as if his God’s,
To lead sweet lives in purest chastity,
To love one maiden only, cleave to her,
And worship her by years of noble deeds,
Until they won her; for indeed I knew
Of no more subtle master under heaven
Than is the maiden passion for a maid,
Not only to keep down the base in man,
But teach high thought, and amiable words
And courtliness, and the desire of fame,
And love of truth, and all that makes a man.

1902: “We saould not pass from the iarth uithknr trcces to corry oqd memonh xvb postesity.”

This message is supposed to read “we should not pass from the earth without leaving traces to carry our memory to posterity.”

1903: “The wise leader is he who knows when to follow.”

1904: “The great works in this world spring from the ruins of greater projects.”

1911-1914: “Sir Knights, remember noblisse oblige and be courageous, be loyal, be true. Valmar XXII”

1915, 1918, 1919: “To all Sir Knights the world around, greetings from Hippol Castle, Glanden.”

1921: “To Sir Knights the world over — greetings!”

1922, 1923: “Never let nothing get you down.”

1924: “Fight to the finish and never say die.”

1925: “One thing is forever good; that one thing is success.”

1930: “Courage, loyalty, truth, love: these four badges, Sir Knights, you must ever wear.”

1935: “The power to meet life with love and courage is all that makes life worth living.”

1944-1946: “Speed to all ye Sir Knights of the Order who have entered the service of our great country.”

A yellowed page featuring a square of letters and instructions for deciphering a code.

The alphabet square used to decipher the messages until 1895. [From the Order of Gimghoul Records, University Archives]

These translations come from Gimghoul Pages, an unattributed collection of Gimghoul yearbook pages found in the Records of the Order of Gimghoul. The book also includes a cipher for anyone who might want to do decoding for themselves, but most decoding will be fruitless; in 1895 the Order changed the alphabet square in an unknown manner. Additionally, the codes are frequently garbled thanks to the typesetters’ difficulty in understanding the messages.

Due to the secret nature of the Order, Gimghoul records in Wilson Library that are less than 50 years old are closed to everyone but members of the Order and those with written permission from the current Rex. However, records older than 50 years (including the materials referenced here) are open for research in Wilson Library.

References:

“Papers (Open), 1832-1996” in the Order of Gimghoul of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1832-2009 #40262, University Archives, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The Hellenian and Yackety Yack yearbooks, North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (View online via DigitalNC)

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Behind the Scenes: Describing Archived Websites

On May 22, I participated in an Archive-It training webinar on describing archived websites. The following is a summary of my short presentation on the Wilson Special Collection Library’s approach to describing archived websites in finding aids.

Special Collections has been archiving websites with Archive-It since 2013. Our Archive-It account is spilt into collections that reflect our five main collecting units as well as one collection for the UNC at Chapel Hill Art Library. Some of our collecting units use catalog records to describe archived websites, but my presentation is focused on the finding aid side of the house and uses examples from the University Archives collection.

What makes describing websites unique?

In many ways, our approach to archived website description lines up with existing archival finding aid practices. However, there are some ways that archived websites are unique from other materials. For example, date can be tricky. Do we describe the date we archived the website or try to assign some kind of creation date? Our technical services team opted for describing the date we started archiving a website rather than trying to assign the website a date of use or creation. Other challenges are the recurring nature of “crawling” websites, frequently changing content, URL changes and redirects, the differing frequencies used to archive different websites in our collections, and the technical limitations and incompleteness of some archived websites.

Case Studies

We have some consistency in our approach, but we don’t have written documentation yet. The following examples are representative of our approach as well as a couple newer things we have tried more recently.

Archive-It Collection level description

  • The first example is a finding aid for the University Archives’ Archive-it collection. The finding aid was created in 2013 and serves as a blanket entry point and general description of all URLs in the collection. I think this is a helpful finding aid to have, but the University Archives collection has grown a lot since 2013. One improvement might be adding series to this finding aid that describe groups of related URLs in the collection.  The additional description will help the finding aid show up in more searches. It would also provide users with more access points rather than just being transported directly to the entire (very long) list of URLs in our collection.

URL level description

  • The second example is adding description of individual URLs to finding aids. This style of description is pretty standard across manuscript collecting units and was implemented broadly by our technical services team in 2013-14. Typically, these URLs were selected for archiving because we already had a collection for the person or organization. When adding individual archived websites to finding aids, we link to the Archive-It “calendar page” that shows each of the dates we archived the URL. The description also provides the URL, the first crawl date by month and year, and a brief description of the live website.
  • This approach works well. One way I’d like to iterate on this approach is to figure out how best to represent the incomplete nature of archived websites in the finding aid. The description of the site describes the live website features and content, but the archived version may be different based on how often we archive it or it may have elements missing due to technical limitations of web crawlers.
  • Example:

Group of related URLs description

  • A third way we’ve represented archived websites is by creator groups and this is a slightly newer approach for us. Instead of listing individual websites on this finding aid, we added one link to the group of URLs created by the student organization. We could have done item level and that might allow for better description of the URLs given that each is quite different (e.g. a Facebook event page vs. Email newsletter vs. a website). But linking to a group of URLs does fit more closely to traditional archival description practices that focus on aggregate rather than items. We’ll have to continue to think about how to handle the donation or selection of several websites by one creator in our descriptions.
  • Example:

Intersection of legacy media and websites

  • The last example is really different from our other archived websites. Last year I worked on a project with a colleague to deal with website directories given to UA on optical media (I wrote about it on the blog here). These sites are no longer live on the web. We essentially re-hosted the website, gave it an artificial URL, and crawled it with Archive-It.
  • One of the questions we had was how to best describe these websites. In order to re-host and archive the sites with Archive-It we had to use an artificial URL and the crawl date is very different from the creation/use of the site. Additionally, the directory of files from the DVD had already been ingested to the repository a couple years ago. We needed to make some connections between these factors.
  • We decided to keep a link to the repository, note the DVD identification number, link to Archive-It, and explain a bit about the process to re-host the site.

Next Steps

Our staff last talked about this work in 2013-14 when we first started using Archive-It, so our best next step is to revisit this topic as a group and figure out how we can iterate on our current approaches to meet the unique description challenges posed by archived websites. I had the pleasure of participating in the OCLC Web Archives Description working group in 2016-17 and the guidelines produced by the group will be a helpful resource in this discussion. Documentation of our practices for describing websites will be an important addition to our existing documentation for description of born-digital materials in archival finding aids. I’d also like to use more metadata in the Archive-It access interface. The OCLC WAM guidelines can help with that as well.

You can use and explore our archived website collections online through our Archive-It access portal.

 

 

 

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Archival Photo Mystery: Buncombe County Military Recruits, 1916-1917

During a recent renovation project at Wilson Library, we came across a couple of photographic postcards that had been set aside.  Based on a note left with the photographs, it appeared that the items had probably been separated from the University Papers; however, when we tried to find corresponding folders or items in the collection, we were unsuccessful.  Thus began our most recent processing mystery.

The backs of the postcards are blank, which leads us to believe that they were enclosed with a letter, likely sent to President Edward Kidder Graham in 1917.  The photos are dated in 1916 and 1917 and show how two men have gained weight over the course of several months, before-and-after style.

We were of course curious about who these two men were and why their photos were sent to President Graham.  Based on UNC records, it doesn’t look like either White or Bryson were ever students here, but after some searching, we did learn a few things.

After looking through census and military records, we found a little information about the first man — Jobe White. He was from Weaverville, N.C., born in February 1897 to Malissa White, and he had two brothers — Bradshaw and Hardy.  We were less successful in discovering the identity of the second man.  The writing on the postcard appears to show just initials and surname — W.C. Bryson  — and we can guess that he was also from Buncombe County.  While we did find records that gave us pause and made us wonder whether this was the same man, none contained enough information for us to make a confident match.

What we can say is this: both men were part of the First North Carolina Infantry in 1916 and 1917. They were both from Buncombe County.  And they both gained a significant amount of weight over the course of five months of military training. (White gained 30 lbs. and Bryson gained 50.)

Based on the years and regiment, they were probably sent to Texas as part of the Mexican Border Campaign, also known as Pershing’s Punitive Expedition or the Pancho Villa Expedition. The First Regiment mustered at Camp Glenn, in Morehead City, during the first week of August 1916, arrived in El Paso in September 1916, and returned to North Carolina in early February 1917.

While we were able to find out all this just using the captions on both photographs, where they came from is still a mystery.  Were they sent to President Graham enclosed with a letter? Why were they sent to him? Who sent them?  If these men were never UNC students, how were they connected to the University? If you have any ideas, please let us know in the comments on this post or get in touch at archives@unc.edu.

 

For further reading:

State Archives of North Carolina, First North Carolina Infantry Regiment Panoramic Photograph. http://ead.archives.ncdcr.gov/AV_7005_First_North_Carolina_In_.html

National Archives, The United States Armed Forces and the Mexican Punitive Expedition: Part 1. https://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/1997/fall/mexican-punitive-expedition-1.html

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Slave Labor and South Building

South Building, often called “Main Building” in early university records, was one of the first buildings constructed on campus. Work began around 1798.[1] It is currently the central administration building on campus, housing the Office of the Chancellor, the Executive Vice Chancellor, and Provost. South Building is located in the heart of the original campus where the first structures built by white and black workers are located, including Old East, Old West, Gerrard Hall, the Steward’s Hall, Person Hall, and Smith Hall. At least 35 known enslaved laborers, who were skilled brick-masons, carpenters, and artisans, and who likewise provided labor such as transportation of materials, contributed extensively to the construction of South Building and its subsequent repairs.

Gaps remain in the archival sources and historical records regarding enslaved peoples’ involvement in the original construction of structures such as South Building. University financial records list payments made to Samuel Hopkins in 1798 for his supervision of work on “Main Building,” and to Major Pleasant Henderson for procuring roofing shells and taking over the duties as superintendent in 1799. These records emphasize the involvement of white men, however, and provide little detail on the construction process. It was not until the 1820s and 1837 when extensive repairs and additions were made to South that enslaved workers were mentioned by name and with some degree of specificity regarding the nature of their labor.[2] There is a mention of “7 days labor of a hand moving” the steel and iron; no names are provided, however, for the enslaved men who contributed to the initial construction on South Building.[3]

Various issues, including the temporary loss of funds from escheated property (including enslaved people) hindered the building’s completion until 1814.[4] South Building stood as one and a half roofless stories from 1801 and 1811.[5] Trustees began raising funds for the university through donations, called subscriptions, in 1803. President Joseph Caldwell himself traveled throughout North Carolina in 1809 and 1811 collecting funds from elite North Carolinians. Construction on South Building resumed in 1811 once enough subscriptions were collected. Contractor John Close oversaw the completion of South Building in 1814, but the records do not indicate whether he used enslaved labor during construction.[6]

The Board of Trustees and the Building Committee hired architect William Nichols in 1822 to divide the Prayer Hall in South Building into two stories. Over the course of several years, enslaved laborers added a ceiling, and converted existing rooms into a chemical laboratory, and a library and lecture room.[7] From 1824 to 1826, Nichols and his laborers, which included several dozen enslaved men hired out from trustees and other local slave owners, worked to remove the leaky cupola, make the roof on South Building “continuous,” and to build a belfry.[8] Clayton, Daniel, Peter, Sam, Toney, and Will quarried rock, made repairs, and performed carpenter and sawyer work on multiple buildings in addition to South Building, including Old East, Old West, and Steward’s Hall under Nichols’ supervision.[9]

Thomas Waitt and his workers completed covering the roof of South Building in tin in 1837. A bill to the trustees listed the full names and wages of white workers, and listed the names of enslaved plasterers and masons Stewart, Chester, Peter, Calvin, Evans, laborers Lewis, Tom, Redin, Abraham, Jordan, and unspecified labor performed by unnamed hands.[10] Isaac, Jorge, Lewis, Luke, Ransom, and Sam were listed on a bill detailing that they had labored on South Building’s cupola and belfry, along with putting a new roof and portico on Gerrard Hall.[11]

No further repairs were commissioned for South Building until 1860. Architect and builder Thomas Coates and his laborers began construction on a new cupola after the first burned down in 1856.[12] However, no records have been found which detail who the laborers involved in this project were.

While William Nichols compiled extensive records which documented enslaved workers’ various duties and skills, other builders either kept far fewer records of their efforts, or such records were lost or destroyed.[13] What records do exist, however, prove the necessity of enslaved people to the university’s existence, their centrality in maintaining the university’s functions, and that the funds provided for construction, repairs, and additions to South Building and others came from slaveholders whose profits were made through the efforts of enslaved people.

[1] Board of Trustees for the University of North Carolina Records, 1789-1932, #40001, Series 1, Minutes 1789-1932, Oversize Volume SV-40001/3, 7/11/1799, 20-22.

[2] University of North Carolina Papers, 1757-1935, #40005, Series 1, Folder 79, 2/1/1823; Folder 82, 7/3/1823; Folder 86, 3/1/1824; Folder 101, 5/15/1826; Folder 103, 8/9/1826; Folder 104, 9/1/1826;

[3] Ibid., 70.

[4] “South Building,” UNC University Library, 2005, http://docsouth.unc.edu/global/getBio.html?type=place&id=name0001062&name=South%20Building; Kemp Plummer Battle, An Address on the History of the Buildings of the University of North Carolina (Greensboro: Thomas, Reece & Co., Printers, 1883), 11, 134.

[5] Battle, History of the University of North Carolina, Volume I: From its Beginning to the Death of President Swain, 1789-1868, (Raleigh: Edwards & Broughton Printing Company, 1907), 126-127.

[6] Battle, An Address, 11, 134.

[7] Battle, History of the University, 281-282; Archibald Henderson, “Chapter 9: Old West and The New Chapel; President Polk’s Visit,” The Campus of the First State University, (Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 1949), 85.

[8] Battle, History, 282.

[9] Folder 79, 2/1/1823; Folder 82, 6/4/1823; Folder 86, 3/1/1824; Folder 101, 5/15/1826; Folder 104, 9/1/1826.

[10] “Thomas A. Waitt’s bill for labour,” UNC Libraries, last modified 2005, https://exhibits.lib.unc.edu/items/show/3360.

[11] UNC Papers, Series 1, Folder 101, 5/15/1826.

[12] Battle, History of the University, 653.

[13] Battle, An Address, 134.

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The Names of the Enslaved People who Built the University of North Carolina

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was founded in the midst of a slave society by slaveholders. Enslaved people were present on campus from the laying of the cornerstone of Old East in 1793 until the end of the Civil War in 1865. Enslaved people built the earliest structures on the campus, many of which still exist. Old East, Old West, Gerrard Hall, South Building, Steward’s Hall, Person Hall, Smith Hall, and the original President’s House all took shape under the skilled hands of enslaved people owned or hired by the University’s trustees, employees, students, architects, and the townspeople of Chapel Hill. Enslaved people made repairs, provided supplies, and attended upon students and faculty as servants. This post is part of a series looking more closely at records documenting slavery at UNC. Explore all of the posts here.

The joint efforts of researchers, archivists, historians, students, and administrators has resulted in the identification of more than 100 enslaved people who built and labored at the University from 1795 to 1865. Students in History 398, an undergraduate seminar on slavery taught by Professor Jim Leloudis in Fall 2017 contributed significantly to this research.  The list of 119 names enumerated below is neither exhaustive nor complete, and it is certain that countless enslaved people who built, worked at, and contributed to the University will never be identified. Enslaved women and children are likewise largely absent from this list, but it is hoped that future work will uncover more information about their presence at and contributions to the University. While we only have brief glimpses into the personal lives of the enslaved people who built and sustained the University, their places within the broader contexts of the University and the Chapel Hill community allows for some understanding of their experiences, and most importantly, their humanity.

Note: Some names are repeated several times or have slightly different spellings, and may indicate multiple mentions of the same person; however, in a number of instances, men with the same name had different owners, and so the names are kept separate for the sake of accuracy and clarity. Additionally, there are several sources that mention unnamed enslaved peoples’ work, which have been omitted here for clarity. We are in the process of preparing, and will soon share, a spreadsheet with full citations to the records that mention the people listed below.

Name Occupations and Labor on Campus
“John Hoggs man” or John Hoggsman Labor on belfry and cupola in South Building; putting roof and portico in Gerrard Hall in 1826
[Mason’s] Tony Sawyer; repairs to Old East about 1823
Abel College servant hire in 1830
Abraham Repairs to South Building in 1837
Adams Labor on Old West in 1823
Albert Plasterer on additions to Old West in 1846; Brother of plasterer Osborne
Aldeman Building Gerrard Hall in 1826
Allaman Labor on Old West in 1823
Allan Labor on Old West in 1823
Allan Labor on Old East in 1824
Allman Repairs to Old East foundation, taking down old gable, cleaning bricks about 1823
Anderson or Andson Sawing work on Old East and Old West in 1823
Austin Labor on unspecified buildings 1825-1826
Ben Servant hire at President’s House, 1850
Ben Laborer on repairs to South Building in 1837
Benny Labor on observatory, digging pits in 1832
Bill Carpenter labor on Old West in 1823
Bob Labor on observatory, digging pits in 1832
Bob Labor on Old West in 1823
Bob Bricklayer on Old West in 1823
Bob Repairs on Old East about 1823
Cad Labor on Old West and Old East in 1824; May have run away from the university in 1825
Calvin Plasterer and mason, repairs on South Building in 1837
Caplen Labor on Old East about 1823
Ceaser Labor on Old West in 1823
Charles Construction of Old West in 1823
Charles Labor on Old West in 1823
Chester Plasterer and mason, repairs on South Building in 1837
Cicero Plasterer and mason, repairs on South Building in 1837
Clayton Quarrying rock, making brick, repairs for the President’s House, Steward’s Hall, Gerrard Hall, South Building, and Belfry in 1826
Clayton Building Gerrard Hall, known as the New Chapel, in 1826
Clinton Labor on Old West in 1824
Clinton Labor on Old West and Old East in 1824
Clinton Plasterer and mason, repairs on South Building in 1837
Daniel Hired by William Nichols for unspecified labor in 1822
Daniel Quarrying rock, making brick, carpenter on repairs for the President’s House, Steward’s Hall, Gerrard Hall, South Building, and Belfry in 1823-1824, 1826
Dave Labor on belfry and cupola in South Building; putting roof and portico in Gerrard Hall in 1826
David Barham College servant hired from William Barham by Professor James Phillips in 1830
Davy Construction of Old West in 1823
Dick Brick work on Old West 1823-1824
Dick Building Gerrard Hall, known as the New Chapel, in 1826
Edmund College servant; Improvement of grounds in 1848
Emmeline Washerwoman, seamstress for students in 1846
Ephraim Laborer on repairs to South Building in 1837
Evans Plasterer and mason, repairs on South Building in 1837
Frank Apprentice to Harry on unspecified labor in 1826
Gee Plasterer and mason, repairs on South Building in 1837
George Unspecified labor in 1826, included on list of hires for work on the President’s House, Steward’s Hall, Gerrard Hall, South Building, and Belfry
Glasgow Brickmaker on repairs to President’s House, Stewards Hall, Gerrard Hall, and South Building Belfry
Harry Unspecified labor in 1826, had an apprentice named Frank
Harry Building Gerrard Hall in 1826
Harry Building Gerrard Hall in 1826
Henderson Laborer on repairs to South Building in 1837
Henry Labor on Old West in 1823
Henry Repairs to Old East about 1823
Henry Labor on Old West in 1823
Henry Labor on Old West in 1823
Henry Smith College servant
Isaac Labor on Old West and Old East in 1824
Isaac Construction of Old West, labor on Old East in 1823
Isaac Labor on belfry and cupola in South Building; putting roof and portico in Gerrard Hall in 1826
Isom Laborer on repairs to South Building in 1837
Jack Labor on Old West in 1823
Jacob Carpenter work on Old East and Old West, 1823-1824, 1826
Jim Construction of Old West 1823-1824, 1826
Jim Labor on Old West in 1823
Joe Construction of Old West 1823-1824, 1826
John Labor on Old West in 1823
John Sawyer on Old East, unspecified labor on Old West in 1823
Jonathan Waiting on masons “while at window sills” on Old East; assisting in hauling sand and rock about 1823
Jorge Laborer on repairs to South Building in 1837
Jourdan Master workman and carpenter, construction of Old West 1823-1824, 1826
Jourdan Laborer on repairs to South Building in 1837
Lewis Labor on Old West in 1823
Lewis Labor on belfry and cupola in South Building; putting roof and portico in Gerrard Hall in 1826
Lewis Laborer on repairs to South Building in 1837
Luke Labor on Old West and Old East 1823-1824
Luke Repairs on Old East about 1823
Luke Labor on belfry and cupola in South Building; putting roof and portico in Gerrard Hall in 1826
Luke Building Gerrard Hall in 1826
Luke Hired for unspecified labor in 1825
Moses Labor on Old West in 1823
Ned Labor on Old West in 1823
Ned Labor on Old East in 1824
Ned Building Gerrard Hall in 1826
Ned Peek Brickwork on Old West in 1823
Nelson College servant hired from Elizabeth King by Professor James Phillips in 1830
Nelson Repairs on Old East about 1823
Nelson Building Gerrard Hall in 1826
November Caldwell College servant in South Building and Old East for 30 years; wood collection
Osborne Mortar work and plasterer on additions to Old West in 1845; brother of plasterer Albert
Peter Repairs to Old East, President’s House, Stewards Hall, Gerrard Hall, and South Building Belfry in 1824
Peter Building Gerrard Hall in 1826
Peter Plasterer and mason, repairs on South Building in 1837
Peter Labor on Old West in 1823
Peter Labor on Old West in 1823
Philip Hired by William Nichols for unspecified labor in 1822
Phillips Carpenter work on Old East and Old West, 1823-1824, 1826
Ransom Labor on belfry and cupola in South Building; putting roof and portico in Gerrard Hall in 1826
Redin[?] Laborer on repairs to South Building in 1837
Sam Hired for unspecified labor in 1826
Sam Labor on Old West in 1823
Sam Carpenter on repairs to Old East, President’s House, Stewards Hall, Gerrard Hall, and South Building Belfry in 1824, 1826
Sam Labor on belfry and cupola in South Building; putting roof and portico in Gerrard Hall in 1826
Sam Morphis Hired himself out as a hack driver, dates unknown
Sim Fred College servant; Improvement of grounds in 1848
Stephen Construction of Old West 1823-1824, 1826
Sterling Sawyer laboring on Old West, repairs to Old East in 1823
Stewart Plasterer and mason, repairs on South Building in 1837
Thomas Laborer on repairs to South Building in 1837
Tom Hired out at university for cutting wood in 1820
Toney Bricklayer laboring on Old East, Old West, Gerrard Hall, Steward’s Hall, and South Building belfry 1823-1824, 1826
Will Sawyer laboring on Old East, Old West, Gerrard Hall, Steward’s Hall, and South Building
Willis Rock work for improvements to college grounds in 1848
Willis Labor on South Building and Gerrard Hall in 1826
Wilson Caldwell College servant
York Construction of Old West 1823
Young Rock work for improvements to college grounds in 1848
Zack Hired for unspecified labor in 1826

 

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A New Addition of Athletics Photographs from the 1960s and 1970s

We are excited to announce that a new accession of photographs to the Department of Athletics Collection is available for research. This accession is particularly special since it contains images of less-documented sports — including women’s sports and intramural sports — from the 1960s and 1970s.

Included in this addition are images of the Titleholder’s Championship (also called the Women’s Pro Tournament), held at Southern Pines and sponsored by UNC in 1972.  The Titleholder’s Championship was only a handful of championship-level events for professional women’s golf in the 1970s, and the winner of the event — Sandra Palmer — was one of the most accomplished female golfers of the time. The addition also includes photographs of the 1963 renovations to Kenan Stadium.

The selection of photos below include images of men’s intramural handball; women’s intramural basketball, volleyball, tennis, and bowling.

 

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