Collecting the Student Experience

What are your fondest memories of college? Were they formed outside the classroom, hanging out with your friends? Did you warmly remember hours spent singing with the chorus, helping your friend run in student elections, or building sets for an upcoming play?

For participants, these activities rounded out their student experiences. Sadly, the events and memories are too fleeting; little pieces are lost with each graduating class until they are all but forgotten. Last fall, The Daily Tar Heel highlighted this lack of student organizational history in an article focusing on Company Carolina. The article incurred the wrath of many Company Carolina alumni, who believed they had left the group with plenty of unforgettable history!

University Archives would like to help students and alumni better preserve their collective memories. Towards that goal, we are actively seeking to assemble records produced by student organizations. These records might include items such as meeting minutes, rules of governance, production records, ephemera, photographs, and website content. This summer, as we test the best methods for collecting these records, we are focusing on two student theatre groups: the already-inspired Company Carolina and the long-running Lab! Theatre. Eventually, we hope to make contact with many other student groups.

Here’s where you can help! We encourage all current student groups to contact us so we can discuss transferring their records to the University Archives. We are also happy to offer groups advice on how they can preserve their own records. If you are a UNC alumnus with records from your own time working with a student group, we would also like to hear from you! Help us make the student experience part of Carolina’s permanent archival record.

Scene from Lab! Theatre's 2000 production of "Crimes of the Heart"