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.
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 At its height, the collection consisted of roughly 20,000 pamphlets and 2,000 books (regularly weeded for outdated materials).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.
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!
The second was a case for a KryoFlux board. You can learn more about KryoFlux on their website. The design is available on Thingiverse.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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).
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 InAbraham’s Bosom.
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, 1916-1981says 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.
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.
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.
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).
-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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
We are pleased to announce that the University Archives will be leading walking tours on the history of student activism at UNC Chapel Hill. These are offered in conjunction with the exhibit, Service, Not Servitude: The 1969 Food Workers’ Strikes at UNC Chapel Hill.
These tours will cover student activism at Carolina over several decades, highlighting examples of the different ways UNC students have joined together to make their voices heard and to advocate for change on campus, across the nation, and around the world. These tours will not cover every single instance of student activism – far from it – but will touch on a selection of the most prominent or most influential efforts by student activists and their allies.
Because the stories of activism at UNC are far larger and more complex than can be covered in a single afternoon, we encourage everyone, whether they join us on the tour or not, to explore the resources listed below and learn more about student activism at Carolina. Locations in parentheses refer to where the topic is discussed on the tour.
From 1963 to 1971, the end of UNC-Chapel Hill’s spring semester was marked by Jubilee, a festival that lasted for three days. Though it began as a small and fairly restrained affair on the lawn of Graham Memorial, it expanded to bigger and more raucous events that took place in larger venues such as Polk Place and Kenan Stadium. Each year would feature an abundance of performers, and a list of those performers can be found below.
1963: The Four Preps; The Chad Mitchell Trio; The Jades; The Migrants; The Duke Ambassadors; The Harlequins; Iain Hamilton
1964: The Four Freshmen; Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs; The Serendipity Singers; Charlie Byrd; The Sinfonians;
1965: Johnny Cash; June Carter; Statler Brothers Quartet; The Tennessee Three; The Four Preps; The Platters with the Sinfonians; The Modern Folk Quartet
1966: Jay and the Americans; The Bitter End Singers; Warm Brows and Cool Tones; David della Rossa and Brooks; Charlie Byrd; Al Hirt
1967: The Temptations; Jim Kweskin Jug Band; Petula Clark; The Association; The Fabulous Five Combo; The Dynamics Combo
1968: Carla Thomas; Rufus Thomas; The New Bar Kays; Neil Diamond; Junior Walker and the All-Stars; Spanky and Our Gang; Nancy Wilson; Soul, Limited
1969: Chambers Brothers; Babe Stovall; Red Parham; Elizabeth Cotton; Alice and Hazel; Bill McElreath; Rev. Pearly Brown; Paul Butterfield Blues Band
1970: Sweetwater; James Taylor; Pacific Gas and Electric; Joe Cocker and the Grease Band; B.B. King; Grand Funk Railroad; Baby Boy Glover Resurrected; New Deal String Band
1971: Chuck Berry; Spirit; Cowboy; Muddy Waters; J. Geils; Brushy Mountain Boys; Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band; Allman Brothers; Alex Taylor; Tom Rush
“If you build it, they will come,” intones a mysterious voice at the beginning of Field ofDreams, the classic 1989 baseball movie. If you like baseball, you like Field of Dreams—that is an unavoidable fact of life. If you don’t like baseball, you also like Field of Dreams. There is no group that dislikes Field of Dreams; there are only those who have seen it and those who haven’t. The film’s high concept is flawless, after all: “what if baseball ghosts loved the Midwest more than the afterlife?”
As deserved as it may be, this post isn’t meant simply to sing the praises of Kevin Costner: one particular aspect of the movie relates to UNC specifically and especially.
Field of Dreams features an elderly doctor and ex-baseball player for the New York Giants, “Moonlight” Graham (played by Burt Lancaster). This character wasn’t entirely fictional and was based on one Archibald Graham, older brother of Frank Porter Graham: UNC system president, UNC student union namesake, and U.S. senator. President Graham admired his elder sibling and wanted to pursue a career in baseball himself, but luckily for the UNC system it didn’t take off.
“Moonlight” was born in Fayetteville in 1879, and was a skilled baseball player since childhood. He pursued that passion for the game during his time at UNC-Chapel Hill (Frank Porter Graham did too, but as the Carolina Alumni Review points out, “it was Archie who could hit”). He put off advancing as a doctor to enter the minor leagues, and some suspect that’s where his famous nickname came from: moonlighting as a ball player to pay his way to a doctorate.
In 1902 he finally earned a certificate of medicine from UNC and completed his degree in 1905, at the University of Maryland. In 1909 he left North Carolina for the small town of Chisholm in Minnesota, where he established himself as the local doctor. As he lived there he became a beloved father figure to the community, only rarely returning to NC.
Archie passed away in 1965, and the Chisholm Free Press honored him with a story:
He was the champion of the oppressed; the grand marshal of every football, basketball, and baseball game. He encouraged youth to train and play; he always carried that extra candy bar for the energy some lanky, hungry lad needed; he was the first one at the side of the boy who got hurt in any sport. Doc was just that kind of man.