We have written before about collecting tweets related to the recent protests of the Confederate monument on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. We would like to announce the availability of the UNC-Chapel Hill Confederate Monument Protest web archive collection as an additional resource on the recent protests.
The web archive collection contains a variety of content related to the protests. It contains many statements about the monument in the form of editorials, webpages, tweets, and Google documents. The collection also includes news articles from The News & Observer, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and more. The collection also includes other online materials such as activist websites, editorial cartoons, and Facebook event pages. You can learn more about the web archive in the finding aid on our website.
Additionally, the UNC-Chapel Hill Confederate Monument Protest tweet collection has expanded to include tweets from 2018 and 2019. Visit the finding aid for additional details.
Access to the tweets and web archives can involve a slight learning curve due to technical methods used for collecting the material. So, with this in mind, we are also happy to announce the release of a guide to accessing digital materials. The guide includes information on where to find archived websites, tools for using Twitter data sets, and tips on accessing the myriad file formats in our collections.
If you have any questions about these collections or are interested in donating material related to protests of the monument, please feel free to contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
The Confederate Monument on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus has been the subject of controversy and protest for decades. A detailed timeline and corresponding archival materials related to the monument between 1908 and 2015 can be explored online via our Guide to Resources about UNC’s Confederate Monument. While some aspects of the current protests mirror past efforts, social media has facilitated new approaches for sharing information and sparking action on campus. In an effort to document the current protests, we knew it would be important to explore methods for collecting a sampling of tweets related to the Silence Sam protests.
We decided to use a tool called twarc to harvest tweet data for specific hashtags searches. Twarc is a Python package that makes use of the Twitter API to collect tweets. Between August 22 and December 15, 2017, we performed a weekly search and harvest of #silencesam and #silentsam. In addition, we infrequently captured select complementary hashtags: #boycottunc #boycottunctownhall #iaarchat and the @Move_Silent_Sam user account. 15,063 tweets were collected across all searches. The hashtags #silentsam and #silencesam make the up the majority with 12,993 tweets collected.
The tweets are in a raw form, so to speak. Twarc returns the tweets and associated metadata in a JSON document. So, in this collection you won’t automatically find a timeline that looks like the Twitter website. Instead, what we have is a structured text document with many lines and each line represents a tweet and associated metadata about that tweet. The data can be manipulated in a variety of ways for analysis or viewing. A wide variety of visualization tools could be useful for working with the data.
To get started working with this collection, though, you’ll first need a Twitter account and Hydrator or twarc installed.
The first step is to “hydrate” the dataset. There are some specific access stipulations for this collection due to the Twitter API terms of service. We cannot make the full data we collected available for use. In particular, we are unable to make deleted tweets available for use. Instead, we provide a list of the tweet identifiers (tweet ids) for all the tweets we’ve collected in our repository. This list of identifiers can be hydrated by querying the Twitter API for the tweets that are still publicly available. There are two options for hydrating the tweet ids.
This method will require you to have Twitter API credentials. It’s not as intense as it sounds. Social Feed Manager, a project at George Washington University Libraries, provides a helpful guide in their documentation under the Adding Twitter Credentials section. Don’t worry about the parts that are specific to using Social Feed Manager. Your API keys will be entered via command line when setting up twarc. Instructions for setting up twarc are available on GitHub.
Once you have hydrated the dataset using one of the options above, you’ll have the full text of tweets and metadata in a JSON document or a CSV spreadsheet (from Hydrator).
The next step is to begin working with the data. You could use a variety of tools to visualize the data. Twarc comes with a few useful “utilities” that can also be used. A few are highlighted below:
The wall.py program is the best way to generate a timeline of tweets that can be read one by one.
noretweets.py and deduplicate.py
These programs may be useful if you want to pare down the dataset. We don’t anticipate much duplication of tweets in the dataset, but no deduplication has been performed by us prior to making the collection available.
A note on images and video: There are limitations to collecting video and image files embedded in tweets due to the nature of the collecting by API. You may try using the method shared in this blog post from Tim Sherratt under Get Images. He uses image URLs and wget to gather pictures.
Access the Collection: You can find the collection description here and access to the tweet identifiers documents can be found here.
Other on-going collecting efforts related to the Confederate Monument protests that began on August 22, 2017 can be found:
If you have materials related to the protests – like photos, signs, or video – and you are interested in donating these materials to the University Archives, please contact us by email email@example.com.
Recently we were pleased to receive a series of newsletters from the UNC School of Pharmacy. These newsletters provide a window into the activities of the School and its students from 1962-1965 and frequently feature creative cartoon covers. Check out a preview below, and stop by Wilson Library to browse the collection!
Edie Parker (then Edie Knight) attended UNC from 1947 to 1949. As a student, she was active in student government, Greek life, and the Model United Nations. The collection — mostly in the form of a scrapbook — includes materials from the Women’s Intercollegiate Government Forum that Parker planned, orientation booklets, rush invitations, clippings about the Model UN from the Daily Tar Heel, and letters from male suitors. While at UNC, Parker also participated in a conference about the U.S. role in European recovery from World War II that Mademoiselle magazine hosted in 1948. Her notes from the conference are included in the collection. Parker’s scrapbook and accompanying papers provide insight into the life of a woman student at UNC during the late 1940s.
Below, we’ve highlighted just a few items from the Edie Parker scrapbook, including photographs of UNC students and the 1949 UNC Commencement program.
Carolina students and alumni serving abroad during World War I didn’t just write letters home to their parents; they also wrote to University President Edward Kidder Graham. A recent ‘Spotlight’ post on the University’s home page explores the close relationship between student soldiers and Graham through their correspondence. In honor of Veteran’s Day, we pulled a letter written by a group of soldiers in France from the University Archives. Read about their wartime experiences and note their yearning for Chapel Hill.
University Archives is pleased to share a newly processed collection – the records of the UNC Cardboard Club. The Cardboard Club, started in 1948 by UNC cheerleader Norman Sper, coordinated and produced displays at UNC football games, using colored cardboard squares to form words and images in the stands.
Members of the club planned out their designs on gridded paper, and placed cardboard squares and cue cards listing the upcoming “stunts” on the seats of the “card section” of Kenan Stadium the night before football games.
The club was funded by the Carolina Athletic Association. It was discontinued in 1987, in part due to safety concerns–students often sent their cardboard panels flying towards the field at the end of games, hitting fellow spectators.
These records, covering the years 1984-2013, contain materials tracing the history of the Center, from the first discussions and proposal in 1984, through the student protests in support of the Center in the early 1990s, to the opening of the free-standing Center in 2004 and its emergence as a vital part of the academic and cultural life at UNC.
The Stone Center records are open and available for research in Wilson Library.
University Archives recently acquired records from the Department of Communication, located in Bingham Hall. The records highlighted one of the many departmental reorganizations that have shaped the university: the 1993 merger of the Department of Radio, Television, and Motion Pictures (RTVMP) and the Department of Speech Communication. The merger resulted in the Department of Communication Studies, which this month became the Department of Communication.
In November 1990, the Daily Tar Heel published a series of articles reporting student and alumni dissatisfaction with the job preparation provided by the department. This was further compounded by the department’s refusal of an equipment donation by an RTVMP alumnus on the grounds of insufficient space in Swain Hall, high maintenance costs, and onerous gift conditions. Some RTVMP students and alumni thought the refusal indicated that the department was not dedicated to providing students with technical skills needed for careers in media production.
A 1993 external review of the department included four major recommendations:
1. That the Department of Radio, Television, and Motion Pictures at UNC-Chapel Hill be disestablished;
2. That four of its faculty lines be transferred to a new Curriculum in Cultural Studies (or to some other academic unit, temporarily, until permission for a new Curriculum can be secured); at least two of these lines should be filled by persons with media interests;
3. That the remainder of its faculty lines be collected into a new sequence in Media Arts within the Department of Speech Communication;
4. That the Department of Speech Communication’s name be changed to the Department of Communication Studies.
(From the Records of the Department of Speech Communication #40455, unprocessed)
The review was poorly received by many RTVMP students and alumni as it also proposed the elimination of “radio production, broadcast management, corporate video, studio production, and broadcast journalism.” Perceived lack of support for production classes was one of the primary complaints students and alumni reported in 1990, and it had remained a sticking point among students who planned to seek media production jobs following graduation.
The university largely followed recommendations set out in the review and on August 1, 1993, merged the Department of RTVMP and Department of Speech Communication into the Department of Communication Studies. The Daily Tar Heel reported in September 1993 that despite fears that the media production program would suffer as a result of the merger, the new department allocated “$38,500 for production equipment and maintenance—$25,500 more than the RTVMP department had to work with during the last academic year.”
Now in its 22nd year, the Department of Communication still offers specialization in Media and Technology Studies and Media Production.
University Archives recently acquired a new collection from the LGBTQ Center. This is an exciting hybrid collection that includes material documenting the center’s history for its ten-year anniversary in 2014. Online content is in the CDR and the finding aid is here. We are very happy to make this material available and look forward to continuing to work with the LGBTQ Center.