Trekkies unite! 41 years ago today, William Shatner, a.k.a. Captain Kirk, spoke at Memorial Hall, where he gave a performance about the history of science-fiction.
However, the Enterprise captain experienced less-than-smooth sailing in Memorial Hall on November 4, 1976. The Daily Tar Heel reported on November 8, 1976, that Shatner “couldn’t command the film projector of the PA system to work” and was therefore unable to show planned video footage.
Despite the lost battle against machines, Shatner continued his performance with gusto. Although many guests left because of the technology problems, those who stayed enjoyed a passionate performance.
His appearance at UNC was part of a 40-day tour of 40 colleges and universities, and his performance at Hofstra University was recorded for distribution.
When you think of archives you might think of dusty old books and papers tucked away to be used by historians and other academics. Here at the University Archives we preserve plenty of old University records (that are kept dust-free, by the way), but our day-to-day work is actually very focused on the current moment. Without collecting materials that document the present day researchers can’t study the University in the future.
One way we archive the current moment is through collecting student life materials and UNC related web content. With only three full time staff members it can be tough to keep up with all the conversations, events, and activism happening on campus. We can’t do this alone. This is where you come in!
You can actively contribute to the documentation of what’s happening atUNC by using the hashtag #archiveunc on your public tweets or Instagram posts. That’s all you have to do! By using the hashtag, you opt in to having the posts archived for long-term preservation and research access.
How is the content archived? We will periodically use a tool called Archive-It to “crawl” the tweets or posts tagged with the #archiveunc hashtag. Once the posts have been crawled by the Archive-it tool, the data is preserved by the Internet Archive and we provide access through our Archive-It website.
What kind of tweets are we looking for? We’re open to any tweets or Instagram posts related to UNC academics, campus life, and events. For example:
Promoting a student organization event? #archiveunc
Promoting a cause? #archiveunc
Sharing activities or chalk messages seen on campus? #archiveunc
If you don’t use #archiveunc, we may be in touch to ask permission to add your social media content or website to the Archives. Collecting social media content as it unfolds is new for us. We’re experimenting, so how we ask for permission and the technology used may evolve over time. As things change, we’ll keep you in the loop.
We hope you’ll join us in this exciting new effort!
Not interested in social media? Other ways to get involved and help document Carolina history:
Connect with us regarding donation of student organization records, digital or print photos, videos, or campus posters/flyers. If it documents something happening at UNC, we’re happy to talk about adding it to the archives. Please email (email@example.com) us to get the process started.
Nominate a UNC website for archiving. First check to see if we’ve already archived the website: https://archive-it.org/collections/3491. If the website can’t be found in our web archives, send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get the process started.
Today in Chapel Hill, Margaret Spellings will be formally installed as the eighth president of the University of North Carolina System. As a proud UNC student and for my first blog post as a graduate assistant in the University Archives, I decided to look back at the inauguration ceremony of the first UNC System president, Frank Porter Graham.
Graham’s appointment as President of the UNC System followed just a year after he was inaugurated as President of UNC-Chapel Hill. There does not appear to have been a separate ceremony when he became system president, but his inauguration as UNC-Chapel Hill President was an elaborate event.
President Graham was officially sworn into office November 11, 1931. It was no casual affair, either; according to the Daily Tar Heel, five thousand people came out to witness the ceremony. The ceremony itself was planned to coincide with Armistice Day and the annual meeting of the Association of American Universities.
Footage of Frank Porter Graham’s inauguration procession. From the North Carolina Collection.
The ceremony began with a procession from Bingham Hall to Kenan Stadium. As bells chimed from South Building, ten different divisions of marchers assembled at Bingham Hall, including student body representatives, the class of 1909 (Graham’s own graduating class), North Carolina state officials, and representatives from other universities across the United States. A trumpet signaled the beginning of the procession. As everyone took their place in Kenan Stadium, two minutes of silence were observed to honor the World War I armistice and the thirteen years of peace since then. North Carolina Governor O. Max Gardner opened the ceremony, and due to the absence of North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice W. P. Stacy, the Honorable W. J. Adams administered the oath of office. The whole ceremony was specially amplified so everyone in the large stadium would be able to hear the proceedings.
After the official swearing-in ceremony, the day continued with more events – a luncheon, official meet-and-greets with various university representatives, and musical performances by the music department and the glee club. Since the 33rd annual meeting of the American University Association began the day following Graham’s inauguration, a large number of university officials were present for the ceremony and following events. These officials included deans and presidents from Harvard, Columbia, Northwestern, and more.
The Daily Tar Heel‘s dedicated inauguration issue didn’t skimp on descriptions of the event and praise for Graham and the future of the University, and so I end this post with a couple of my favorites quotes — ones that seemed to sum up the student body’s and the larger academic world’s opinion of the event and President Graham himself.
“Frank Porter Graham, who more than any other by his peculiar qualities of absolute impartialness, sincere support of the Ideal, unusual humanity, and indefatigable energy on behalf of the University and the state personifies that which education in its usefulness and inspirational service to the community and the commonwealth strives to accomplish.”
“Long now has education been satisfied to rest in conservatism restrained by tradition, when it should be the intellectual beacon guiding men onward into unknown but knowable. Too long have universities been sepulchers for the imprisoned culture of past ages. The time is at hand to loose Wisdom and Culture from their dungeons that they may serve mankind. The presidency of Frank Porter Graham by its enlightenment can be the single greatest factor in lifting North Carolina from the intellectual rear guard of the forty-eight states to that position of preeminence which its long and illustrious history deserves.”
Montgomery Ward Catalog Challenge, Part II
Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015
5 p.m. Reception and viewing of materials | Lobby
5:30 p.m. Program | Pleasants Family Assembly Room, Wilson Library
Free and open to the public
In 1915, former UNC president Kemp Plummer Battle presented the North Carolina Historical Society with a metal box containing a current Montgomery Ward catalog and a letter outlining a challenge – the box was to be opened in 1965 and in 2015, and the catalog compared to one from the present day. Back in April, we held the first installment of this challenge, which featured talks from UNC professors John Kasson and Dana McMahan. Tuesday evening, the discussion continues with talks from professors Peter Coclanis and Lee Craig.
Fitz Brundage, chair of the Department of History at UNC, will introduce the program. Special guest John Baumann, President and CEO of Colony Brands, which owns and operates Montgomery Ward catalog and online retailer, will also make brief remarks on the topic “Montgomery Ward Today.”
This Wednesday, Wilson Library and the UNC Department of History are putting on the first of two events that are 100 years in the making.
It all started in 1915, when former UNC president Kemp Plummer Battle presented the North Carolina Historical Society with a sealed tin box. The box contained a Montgomery Ward catalog and was accompanied by a letter that outlined an unusual request. He asked that in 1965 and 2015, a member of the University community be appointed to write an essay on the changes in American life the catalogs showed.
In 1965, Chancellor Robert B. House was appointed to take on Battle’s challenge, writing an essay called “Great and Important Changes.” After comparing the 1915 and 1965 catalogs, House returned the 1915 catalog to Wilson Library and added the 1965 catalog for use in 2015.
This year, the University is taking on the challenge with two lecture events. On April 8th, John Kasson, UNC professor of history and American studies, and Dana McMahan, UNC professor of journalism and mass communication, will address the topic “Mail Order Catalogs and Consumers.” In September, Peter Coclanis, UNC professor of history, and Dr. Lee Craig, professor in the Poole College of Management at NC State University, will speak on “Mail Order Catalogs and the American Economy.” Both events will be moderated by Fitz Brundage, chair and professor of history.
At both events, there will be a display of items related to the challenge, including Battle’s original instructions, the 1915 and 1965 catalogs, and Robert B. House’s 1965 essay. Light refreshments will be served.
Please join us at 5:30 this Wednesday in the Pleasants Room of Wilson Library for this exciting event!
On Wednesday, April 30 at 3:00 pm on the front porch of the Love House and Hutchins Forum, four undergraduate interns with the Southern Oral History Program will share a live performance based on their collected oral histories from this spring semester. Their project focused on gay and lesbian student activism and life at UNC-Chapel Hill from the 1970s onward, and their interviewees shared many remarkable stories.
The interns conducted research in the University Archives while preparing for their oral histories. We’re excited to see them share the stories of Carolina students and staff!
There have been two recent conferences in our area recently, and another is coming soon. The annual Librarians’ Association of UNC (LAUNC-CH) conference took place Monday, March 10th at the Friday Center. If you missed out on the conference, you can take a look at the live tweets here. Ann Cooper, one of UARMS’s graduate assistants, presented on a project to preserve legacy born-digital media such as floppy and optical disks at the LAUNC-CH conference.
LAUNC-CH will also be holding a Research Forum on May 8th from 1-4 in Wilson Library. The research forum will have a poster session along with sessions on instruction and outreach and on collections and access. Morgan Jones, a Carolina Academic Libraries Associate working in UARMS, will be presenting a poster on her research on collaborations within archives and special collections at the Forum.
The Society of North Carolina Archivists also just had its 2014 Annual Conference on April 8th in Raleigh. This year’s theme was “Connect, Create, and Celebrate: Archives in the 21st Century.” You can follow SNCA on Twitter at @NCArchivists.
Have we left out any conferences? Let us know in the comments!
Are you interested in the history of student activism at UNC Chapel Hill? What about the history of sexual education, sexuality counseling services, or LGBTQ life on UNC’s campus?
The Fall 2013 interns of the Southern Oral History Program will present selections from their current oral history project on two early student-run LGBT-rights organizations at UNC: the Carolina Gay Association (now the Sexuality and Gender Alliance) and the Human Sexuality Information and Counseling Service.
The performance will take place at the Love House tomorrow (Dec 5) at 3pm with a discussion afterward. Refreshments provided.
The Love House is located at 410 East Franklin Street. Hope to see you there!
During exams study spaces in Wilson Library will remain open until 9 PM.
We’ll be open late Thursday and Friday, December 5th and 6th; and again Sunday, December 8th through Wednesday, December 11th. If you are looking for a peaceful and inspiring place to study this exam season, please stop by to see us!