Category Archives: University History

New Collection: Danny Bell Photographs

We have just opened a new collection for research: photographs from Danny Bell. Bell has been at the heart of American Indian life at UNC since the late 1980s. He was one of the founders of the American Indian Studies … Continue reading

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UNC Students Study Nike, 1998

In the mid 1990s, Nike and other apparel companies drew criticism for labor practices in overseas factories they owned or used. UNC students and faculty were at the heart of the debate in the spring of 1998 when an entire … Continue reading

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Otelia Connor: UNC’s Guardian of Good Manners

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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 — … Continue reading

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Order of the Golden Fleece: Frank Porter Graham Lecture on Excellence Speakers

Founded on April 11, 1904, the Order of the Golden Fleece is the oldest and highest honorary society at UNC. The presiding officer of the organization is called the Jason, and members of the order are called “argonauts.” Membership in … Continue reading

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Slave Labor and Old East

Building Old East, 1793-1795 On October 12, 1793, construction began on Old East, UNC’s first building and the first public university building in the United States. Slave labor was likely used for the construction of Old East, and used extensively … Continue reading

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Exploring the History and Legacy of Slavery at the University of North Carolina

In 2005, the University Archives put on an exhibit on the history of slavery at UNC. The exhibit materials provided evidence of the use of enslaved laborers in the construction of early campus buildings and as servants for students and faculty, and showed how proceeds … Continue reading

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“Ran Off from the University,” 1829

On November 20, 1829, a slave by the name of James abandoned his station as a “college servant” at the University of North Carolina. A few days later, one “S.M. Stewart” placed an advertisement in the Hillsborough Recorder, the Petersburg … Continue reading

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