Special Collections and University Archives

The Collector

Michael Hughey’s connection to the Rare Book Collection began under Special Collections Librarian Emilie Mills. Their mutual friendship and her appreciation of his talents as a calligrapher led to the collaboration of his supplying the hand lettering of the covers for the Friends of the Library Annual Report during her tenure. In addition to his contribution on such a small publication, Hughey also ran Twin Dolphin Design, a graphic design and publishing studio, located in Asheville, NC. Among his more widely known contributions were those with Walter Hamady of Perishable Press Limited. Rare Books is fortunate to house those works in the Perishable Press Limited Collection and works from Hughey’s own Twin Dolphin Design in Special Collections.

Hughey’s love of beautiful letters, book design, illustration, and the tactile materials that are part of book construction led him to collect specific books. One such collection is the works of William Addison Dwiggins – a fellow calligrapher. Hughey describes Dwiggins and his contribution to book arts:

He studied under F.W. Goudy in Chicago at the Frank Holme School of Illustration about 1900 and followed Goudy to Hingham, Mass. when the Village Press was established. With a studio in Boston and work for D. B. Updike at the Merrymount Press, Dwiggins emerged in the mid-1920s as a book designer. He began his association with Alfred A. Knopf in 1926 and over the next thirty years was the most prolific of all book designers for A. A. Knopf, Inc. He developed an unconventional individual style of ornament. WAD, as he frequently signed his illustrations and designs, was calligrapher, illustrator, decorator, book-designer, book jacket-designer, and type-designer, a man of unique talents.”

The Collection

Hughey’s collection of Dwiggins’ output consists of over a hundred titles as well as promotional samples of his work. Dwiggins’ Layout in Advertising (1928) and the revised edition, both pivotal works in the development of graphic design, are included. Other works, such as Millennium I (1945) and The Power of Print – and Men, with Thomas Dreier (1936) add to our book arts holdings. Dwiggins’ influence in the development of typefaces in the early to mid-20th century, illustration, and support of calligraphy in the face of a highly mechanized book production methods did not go unrecognized. During his lifetime, the American Institute of Graphic Arts recognized him with an exhibition and book, The Work of W.A. Dwiggins (1937). Because of his long affiliation with Knopf as well as other publishers, this collection expands our holdings of the works by Willa Cather, Robert Nathan, and H.G. Wells.

Dwiggins’ edition of H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine: An Invention (1931) includes a new preface by Wells, specifically for this edition. This work, originally published in 1895 and is an early example of science fiction, has the following premise: The protagonist discovers that Time is a fourth dimension and builds a model in which he can explore it – what will he find?  Dwiggins’ illustrations provide a refreshed perspective on the futuristic visions of the author. Through his use of line, color, spacing, and typeface, Dwiggins’ hand influences many of the design choices book artists continue to make today. Bookbuilders of Boston, founded in 1937, renamed its highest award the Dwiggins Award:

The Dwiggins Award honors the exceptional contribution of one person out of a community of highly skilled and active people. It is awarded to someone who exemplifies the ideals of Bookbuilders; has the highest personal standards of craftsmanship and devotion to his/her work; has demonstrated an interest in and service to the bookbuilding community; has given “something extra” to his/her job or to Bookbuilders in terms of talent, brilliance, integrity, devotion, or helpfulness to others; and compares favorably with previous Dwiggins Award recipients.

Were Dwiggins to have use of Wells’ Time Machine, one wonders what he would think of how book arts have progressed. Hughey’s collection of Dwiggins’ works provides greater access to those innovative and influential examples.

by Audrey Sage

The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project, established at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1998, documents the contributions of women in the military and related service organizations since World War I. This project recently acquired three photo albums chronicling events and opportunities of individuals who served during World War II, belonging to Elna A. Jones, Arlene Mae Webb, and an album from California and Texas belonging to an unknown WAC. After consultation with the collection curator, Beth Ann Koelsch, it was decided the preservation specialist would preserve, as much as possible, the original format of the albums, while carefully extracting and removing the photos to ensure the protection and integrity of the items. The photo pages were housed in three ring binders. One of these contained a great collection of photos, all of which had been carefully and strategically taped onto acidic papers and inserted into polymer protective sleeves.

Unfortunately, over time, tape begins to degrade and the adhesive stains and damages that to which it was adhered.

In order to preserve these wonderful photos, the tape was carefully removed, the photos cleaned of any remaining adhesive agent, and the photos were mounted onto archival paper using archival corner mounts.  The original layouts of the photos were replicated, and the new pages were returned to the poly sleeves and original binder. Two of the photo albums received, contained photos mounted onto adhesion board with an overlay of mylar. This format of “magnetic-page photo album”, which became popular in the 1970’s and 1980s, is, unfortunately, still available and promoted for use. We know the way we store our photographs matters. The cheap cardboard pages, the adhesive, and the plastic covering all give off acids that over time, deteriorate the photos’ color, leave stains on the backs, and make it hard to remove photos without damaging them. This style of photo album has proven over time to be problematic in that the photos become fused with the adhesion and can be difficult to be removed.

Fortunately, with these two albums, the photos were able to be carefully removed from the backing and mounted onto archival paper with photo corners.

The original layout of the photo narrative was maintained. The newly constructed pages were then placed into poly sleeves and returned to the original binder.

To further protect these historic volumes, custom-built clamshell boxes were constructed to house each photo album.

The photographic history documented in these albums is now better preserved and available for research and appreciation of the contributions these individuals made who served in the military and other service organizations.

by Suzanne Sawyer

Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections & University Archives (SCUA) began collecting artists’ books in earnest during the 1970s. Within the collection, which falls under SCUA’s larger Book Arts Collection, are a rich variety of items by various book artists. The collection includes many different book structures and the content spans many different topics. While the Artists’ Books Collection is a category in and of itself, the larger Book Arts Collection includes a variety of materials, such as fine bindings, books about the history or making of books, exhibition catalogs, and livres d’artistes.

Charles M. Adams

Charles M. Adams, the Library Director from 1940s-1960s, was known as a “book man.” Along with many other books, he bought private press and artists’ books for the Rare Books collection. When SCUA formed in the 1970s, Emmy Mills, Special Collections Librarian at the time, conducted a survey of the holdings and realized that there was a collecting focus of Book Arts, so she led the way for continuing to build and develop the collection. Rare Books Specialist, Carolyn Shankle, took the collecting baton after Mills retired and she has continued to expand SCUA’s holdings of artists’ books and book arts related materials.

Using a broad definition of artists’ books, SCUA’s holdings date from a 19th century book by Kelmscott Press, to current publications. The collection includes works published by Eragny at the turn of the 20th century, Vollard from the 1930s, Ward in the 1930s-1950s, Black Mountain College and Jargon Society in the 1950s, and artists from the 21st century.

Women book artists are featured in the collection, as are artists’ books based on women’s writings and the domestic sphere as those relate to holdings in our Woman’s Collection of rare books. Likewise, since SCUA has a collection of juvenile works, there are artists’ books focused on fairy tales, Alice in Wonderland, and alphabet books among other topics. SCUA continues to expand the Book Arts and Artists’ Books collections and holds artists’ books of the late 20th century along with the work of contemporary book artists, such as Julie Chen and Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr.

Carolyn Shankle, Rare Books Specialist, sharing early printing history books with a studio art class

In 2020, inspired by the many treasures in SCUA’s collections and my background as a book artist, I embarked on a journey to more fully discover the Artists’ Books Collection (ABC) at UNCG. Due to the wide range of subject areas covered by the ABC and by artists’s books in general, the books are not always housed together in one location nor is there a handy guide to which books or book artists are represented in the collection. Some are stored with books about folktales, some with poetry books, others are in the oversized books, and yet others may be among history titles or juvenile fiction. Aside from the diverse collection of artists’ books stored in various locations within SCUA, a number of artists’ books were (and some still are) located in Jackson Library’s general circulating collections rather than among the rare books in SCUA.

Somewhat selfishly, and of course to benefit our library’s researchers and patrons, I wanted to create an inventory of the collection of artists’ books. Though my primary role in SCUA is as a Preservation Specialist, I am also a student in UNCG’s Master of Library and Information Science program. Due to my interest in the artists’ books collection I am conducting an independent study during the Spring 2021 semester to create the collection inventory as well as to draft a collection development policy specific to the ABC.

If you are interested in following along on my journey of Discovering the Artists’ Books Collection at UNCG, please subscribe to my related blog here:

Suzanne Sawyer, Preservation Specialist


With gratitude to Carolyn Shankle for sharing her knowledge of the history of the artists’ books collection at UNC Greensboro.


Bury, S., & Art Libraries Society. (1989). Descriptive cataloguing of artists’ books. ARLIS/UK and Eire.

by Beth Ann Koelsch

Cindy Damm McPeters

Cindy Damm McPeters (PhD Candidate) who received the 2020-2021 Hephzibah Roskelly Award for Pedagogical Innovation at UNCG, has been working with me to integrate materials from the Women Veterans Historical Project into her undergraduate classes since 2018. The award “recognizes outstanding and inventive pedagogical practice in an undergraduate academic writing course.

The Department of English announced that:

“The award recognizes Cindy’s inventive efforts to teach research to first-year students through her partnership with the libraries and especially with the Women Veterans Historical Project. As explained in her rationale, Cindy’s assignment sequence involved students in research that sparks their curiosity, as they work collaboratively to construct genres such as chronological narratives, metadata, biographical sketches, and public presentations to share original research about the women veterans whose scrapbooks are held by the Women Veterans Historical Project at UNCG Libraries. Tasked with researching non-famous individuals who can’t be readily Googled, Cindy’s students comment that they ‘feel a bit like a detective’ as they dig through archival documents to construct credible and useful introductions to veterans’ scrapbooks. In addition to motivating students’ lively engagement, Cindy’s assignment sequence also helps novice writers (in English 101 and FMS Freshmen Seminar Program 115) develop their capacities for critical reading, information literacies, and metacognition, supporting their ongoing development as writers.”

When I asked McPeters for her thoughts about our collaboration she responded:

“The WVHP is a wonderful resource, and curator Beth Ann Koelsch guided my students and me patiently through the collection. Uniforms, scrapbooks, photograph albums, diaries, formal documents, personal letters, oral histories— the project is a supply of seemingly endless research opportunities. Focusing on women veterans of World War II, my students got to know women who grappled with a challenging period in history. Through WVHP artifacts, students met women veterans as individuals, piecing together timelines by examining scrapbook entries, identifying with those who had attended UNCG (as The Woman’s College), and getting so caught up in personal letters that they sought to learn more through secondary sources. My students saw parallels between themselves and their veterans, making research in the WVHP all the more relevant and engaging.”

I have worked with McPeters since she first contacted me in April 2018 as a first-year PhD student in the Department of English about using WVHP scrapbooks in her own research for a History of Rhetoric class assignment. During our initial meeting during which I gave her a tour of the WVHP collections, I was thrilled to discover someone else who was as enthusiastic about the collections as I was. Our collaboration deepened when Cindy decided to incorporate WVHP materials into her Spring 2019 freshman seminar course “The Rhetoric of Remembering: Nostalgia and Amnesia in Public Memory.” She wanted her students to work in small groups on a project that would provide concrete benefits to the WVHP. We decided to have the students analyze a set of unprocessed scrapbooks. I pulled five scrapbooks, most of which had been purchased, and asked the students to look through them and use the materials in the scrapbook and secondary sources such as Wikipedia and genealogy websites, to create a biography of the veteran and a timeline of her military service, as well as describe the materials found in the scrapbooks. It was a very interactive project that took place over four visits to our researcher room, and the students learned about the challenges (and pleasures) of analyzing primary sources as well as developing overall course objective skills of reading and rhetorical awareness. The students did presentations about describing what they learned about scrapbooks as material rhetoric and what kinds of research these scrapbooks might support.  I was able to use their research to create descriptive metadata for the collections.

In the Spring 2020 semester, she had her students use Weebly to create a Digital Scrapbook: “WWII Service of Students of the Woman’s College of North Carolina” to showcase their research. Due to the restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic, the students’ visits to the archives were abruptly curtailed, and they did their research using digitized materials from the WVHP website.

For the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters, McPeters taught English 101 “College Writing” sections and she pivoted to have the students focus working with the oral histories in the collection by “rewriting” them in a research narrative format. This spring, the final project will be a Ken Burns style video documentary. 

I love working with Cindy because her enthusiasm for both her teaching and the materials in the WVHP collections motivate her students to delve deeply into the experiences of the women whose stories are part of the WVHP.

by Audrey Dubois

Author, historian, fixture of the North Carolina writers’ community: Emily Herring Wilson has carved a broad niche as a notable Woman’s College alumna. Her collected papers, held at SCUA, provide a snapshot of the North Carolina literary community, women’s history, and Woman’s College history.

Emily Herring Wilson at the McDowell Colony writers’ retreat (not dated)

A graduate of the Woman’s College class of 1961, Wilson was an active member of the campus community who served as president of the Student Government Association. Her papers highlight this period in Woman’s College history with a scrapbook and personal mementos from her time at Hinshaw Hall; flyers for events like SGA dances, and student publications like the Coraddi; and student documents of Wilson’s including university identification, grade reports, and writing assignments. An English major, Wilson studied during poet Randall Jarrell’s tenure as an instructor at the College; her papers include writings by Wilson graded by Jarrell. The papers also include extensive correspondence with Wilson’s classmate and fellow prominent NC poet Heather Ross Miller. The two writers share goings-on in North Carolina literary circles, memories of Jarrell and Woman’s College, and early drafts of their own poetry with written feedback for each other. 

Wilson’s Woman’s College student card (1961)

Active in academic and literary life from her home in Winston-Salem, Wilson founded Triad-based publishing house Jackpine Press with Betty Leighton. Jackpine published primarily poetry and short fiction. Materials from Jackpine include correspondence with authors like Josephine Jacobsen and J.D. Marion, and drafts of works the press published such as Jacobsen’s A Walk With Raschid and Adios, Mr. Moxley. 

Of Wilson’s own major works held in the collection, most focus on women’s history- including North Carolina Women, a comprehensive history of women in the state, and The Three Graces of Val-Kill, a biography of Eleanor Roosevelt told through the lens of her friendship with Marion Dickerman and Nancy Cook. Perhaps of greatest interest are the papers associated with Hope and Dignity: Older Black Women of the South, a book of oral history, biography and portraits Wilson compiled in collaboration with photographer Susan Mullaly. The subseries for Hope and Dignity is rich with primary sources on prominent Black women including HBCU luminaries Helen G. Edmonds and Susie Williams Jones; artist Minnie Evans and musician Elizabeth “Babe” Reid; and centenarian Betty Hill Lyons. Maya Angelou wrote the foreword for the project. Angelou and Wilson shared academic and literary circles in Wake Forest, and the collection contains letters from Angelou to Wilson. 

Letter from Maya Angelou inquiring after the project that would become Wilson’s Hope and Dignity (1979)

Erin Lawrimore Runs for SAA President

Erin Lawrimore, University Archivist and Associate Professor, was selected by the Society of American Archivists’ Nominating Committee to stand as a candidate for SAA Vice President/President Elect in their 2021 election. The election begins on March 31, and results will be announced in late April. Founded in 1936, the Society of American Archivists is North America’s oldest and largest national professional association dedicated to the needs and interests of archives and archivists. SAA represents more than 6,200 professional archivists employed by governments, universities, businesses, libraries, and historical organizations nationally.

Ballot Set for SAA Election:

Erin Lawrimore Participates in Roundtable Discussion

On Saturday, March 13, as part of the 2021 Southwestern Women’s Studies Association conference, University Archivist Erin Lawrimore participated in a roundtable discussion session with University Libraries colleagues Maggie Murphy and Melody Rood, Associate Faculty Chair for Grogan College Sarah Colonna, and Weatherspoon Art Museum Curator of Exhibitions Emily Stamey. Their discussion focused on their collaborative work in Colonna’s course, The Art of the Rebellion. Southeastern Women’s Studies Association Conference:

Kathelene McCarty Smith Speaks at Life@Elon

Kathelene McCarty Smith, Interim Head of the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collection and Assistant Professor, was the featured speaker at Life@Elon on January 19, 2021. This program, led by Elon faculty and area educators, is designed to offer non-credit learning opportunities to community members fifty and over. Life@Elon is a day-long event during which the featured speaker gives a talk on a topic chosen by the program committee. The two-hour presentation, “Mobilization, Sacrifice, and the Vote: Women Fight Back,” was given in the morning and the afternoon, with a time for questions and lunch. Life@Elon:

Stacey Krim and Mac Nelson Present at the Music Library Association Conference

Curator of Manuscripts, Stacey Krim, and Cello Music Cataloger, William “Mac” Nelson presented Engaging the Donor: A Collaborative Approach at the Music Library Association annual conference on March 1, 2021. The Music Library Association is the main professional organization for music libraries and librarians. MLA:


Willem de Kooning Books

SCUA recently acquired two books featuring the art of Willem de Kooning, both signed by the artist. De Kooning was a 20th Century abstract expressionist artist, and the artist of the Weatherspoon Art Museum’s “crown jewel” painting, “Woman,” which was purchased in 1954.

Signed de Kooning Books

Simple Simon and the Dragon (1929)

This book, with illustrations by Morris Cox, is a story about a lazy boy who is cast out of his house by his mother, then, with the help of a goose, a mouse, a bull, and a blacksmith, he subdues a dragon by tickling him, thereby freeing the blacksmith’s daughter and taking possession of the dragon’s treasure.

A Page from Simple Simon and the Dragon

Lives of the Necromancers (1835)

Lives of the Necromancers was the final book written by English journalist, political philosopher, and novelist William Godwin. The book concerns paranormal legends from Western and Middle Eastern history. Godwin was married to the feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft, and their daughter was Mary Shelley, the author of Frankentein. In 1835 it was reviewed by Edgar Allen Poe of the Southern Literary Messenger.

First American Edition of Lives of the Necromancers

The American Botonist and Family Physician (1824)

This work by John Monroe provides an alphabetical listing of American plants and animals with a short description of each one’s properties and medicinal uses, including cures and treatments for illnesses. In his preface, Monroe describes how he learned Indian methods of treating disorders from a native Indian who had been “bred a physician in the medical department of the Pennsylvania University.” It also includes a fascinating list of early American recipes and cures including the use of bear oil among pregnant Native Americans; dog oil for burns; earth worms dissolved in sugar for stiff joints; and ginseng for the stomach. 

The American Botonist and Family Physician

The Major Arcana of Leonora Carrington

The Major Arcana of Leonora Carrington. Leonora Carrington (1917-2011) was a 20th century Surrealist artist. Fulgur Press has published her newly discovered tarot deck (major arcana only), modeled on the Tarot of Marseille and Waite-Smith tarot deck. This first edition is a limited printing of 1000 decks and was recently donated to Special Collections.

First Edition Tarot Cards


ArtsGreensboro Collection

What’s new in the collection this week — the collection of ArtsGreensboro! ArtsGreensboro is a community-supported nonprofit organization and the largest public and private alliance dedicated to sustaining our local arts economy in Greensboro, NC. The collection contains scrapbooks featuring news clippings of the contributions to the community, photographs, and posters documenting a great history of the arts in our city.

Items from the Arts Greensboro Collection

Paul Robeson and Josephine Baker Items

SCUA acquired two photographs of Paul Robeson and a promotional magazine for ZOUZOU (1934), featuring Josephine Baker. The two Paul Robeson photos date to his performance in Showboat in 1936, the one on the right depicting the famous “Ol’ Man River” sequence. ZOUZOU is one of a handful of European films which starred the luminous African American Josephine Baker, this one was directed by Marc Allegret and costared Jean Gabin.

Photos of Paul Robeson and Promotional Magazine Featuring Josephine Baker

Vintage Barnum & Bailey Poster

Dr. Bob C. Hansen donated a vintage German Barnum & Bailey poster to the Robert C. Hansen Performing Arts Collection. Founded in 1847 in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Strobridge Lithographing Company was a maker of advertisement posters and lithographs.

German Barnum & Bailey Poster

Vintages Purses

Dr. James V. Carmichael, UNCG Library and Information Science professor, donated a collection of vintage women’s purses that will be added to Dr. Carmichael’s manuscript collection, which includes many vintage dresses, costume jewelry, and hats.

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Vintage Purses Donated by Dr. James Carmichael

LGBTQ+ T-Shirts

These LGBTQ+ t-shirts, donated by David Gwynn, represent a slice of LGBTQ+ history locally and nationally, dating from 1988 onward. Photos of the shirts can be found in our digital collection, PRIDE! Of the Community: Documenting LGBTQ History in the Triad:

LGBTQ+ T-Shirts Donated by David Gwynn


Portrait of William Whatley Pierson

SCUA acquired a portrait of William Whatley Pierson from relative Charlotte Versfeld. From June 1, 1956 to July 1, 1957, and again from September 15, 1960 to July 1, 1961, Pierson served as Acting Chancellor of the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina (now UNC Greensboro).

William Whatley Pierson

Nursing Uniforms and Artifacts from the School of Nursing

In preparation for the move to their new building, the School of Nursing transferred historical uniforms and artifacts.

UNCG Nursing Uniforms

by Patrick Dollar

Since the state has been quarantining in place for the last eleven months, the North Carolina Literary Map decided to take everyone on a virtual tour around N.C.

The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame (NCLHOF), the NC Literary Map, and the NC Literary Review are launching the online NC Quarantine Literary Tour: a Coast to Mountains journey to fictional locales imagined by some of our state’s most celebrated authors.

A Stop on the Quarantine Tour

The tour encompasses nine places created by NCLHOF inductees:

To celebrate the launch of the NC Quarantine Literary Tour, we worked with the NC Literary Review and North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame to highlight excerpts celebrating each fictional location. Readers, including many of the original authors, read excerpts from the works describing each “stop” of the tour.

In addition to McCorkle and Edgerton reading their own work, the event also featured 2020 NCLHOF inductees Bland Simpson and Carole Boston Weatherford reading excerpts by Betts and Chesnutt; Appalachian authors Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle and Leah Hampton reading Wolfe and Dykeman; Eastern NC authors Cindy Brookshire and Jason Mott reading Maron and Kenan; and NCWN executive director Ed Southern reading Gurganus.

To take the NC Literary Quarantine Tour, visit

Opened in 1996 at the Weymouth Center in Southern Pines, the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame celebrates and promotes the state’s rich literary heritage by commemorating its leading authors and encouraging the continued flourishing of great literature. It is more than a museum housing photographs and archives. Overseen by the North Carolina Writers’ Network, the NCLHOF honors North Carolina writers through programs, services, and opportunities for children and adults.

Home Page of the North Carolina Literary Map

Created by the University Libraries at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, the mission of the North Carolina Literary Map is to highlight the literary heritage of the state by connecting the lives and creative work of authors to real (and imaginary) geographic locations. Through the development of a searchable and browseable data-driven online map, users are able to access a database, learning tools, and cultural resources, to deepen their understanding of specific authors as well as the cultural space that shaped these literary works.

The North Carolina Literary Review (NCLR) is produced at East Carolina University and published and distributed by the University of North Carolina Press. NCLR publishes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction by and interviews with North Carolina writers and articles and essays about North Carolina writers and the rich literary history and culture of the Old North State. The print issue is published annually in the summer. It is available via subscription and in independent bookstores across the state. Since 2012, a separate, open access online issue is released in the winter.

North Carolina Literary Map Compass Rose

by Stacey Krim

The Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections & University Archives is pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Signe Waller Foxworth’s archive devoted to the Greensboro Massacre. This collection represents a significant event in the history of Greensboro, North Carolina relating to race and labor relations. The UNCG Special Collections & University Archives is excited to preserve this collection and make it available to the public for research and as a memory to those individuals impacted by the event. The incorporation of materials from this collection into the teaching curriculum will significantly enhance student learning outcomes and enrich their understanding of regional civil rights history. 

Dr. Foxworth was delighted to learn of the excellent policies, practices and programs of UNCG University Libraries that addressed her main concerns about preservation and access. She felt strongly that her collection should reside in Greensboro at UNC Greensboro. The event occurred locally and the roots of the lessons to be learned are traceable here; she knew she had found the ideal home for her collection. The Greensboro Massacre Collection contains material that spans roughly 48 years, from 1973 to 2021. This comprehensive collection documents events, actions, and persons involved in the lead-up to the Greensboro Massacre of Nov. 3, 1979, the day itself in which the assault on a permitted parade occurred, and the short-term and long-term consequential aftermath for Greensboro, North Carolina, and beyond, especially as it bears on racism, white supremacy and labor history. The records contained in the collection are in a variety of media forms.

The Greensboro Massacre occurred on November 3, 1979, in Greensboro, NC, setting the climate for worker rights and race relations in Greensboro of that era. Five protestors at a “Death to the Klan” march organized by the demonstrators were killed, and ten people were wounded by the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party attackers. The people killed included:

  • Sandra Smith, former student body president of Bennett College and a textile worker at Cone Mills Revolution Plant in Greensboro where she was elected Chairperson to lead a union drive.
  • César Cause, a Duke University magna cum laude graduate, and son of Cuban immigrants, who wrote for the Workers Viewpoint newspaper, helped lead unionization efforts at Duke Hospital, and organized support for striking workers in NC.
  • Bill Sampson, a summa cum laude college graduate with a Masters from Harvard Divinity School, who became a shop steward at Greensboro’s Cone Mills White Oak textile plant. His fellow workers, black and white, chose him to run for union local president. 
  • Dr. Michael Nathan who was an anti-war and civil rights activist while a student at Duke University. On receiving his medical degree, he became Chief Pediatrician at Durham’s Lincoln Community Health Center that served poor African American children.
  • Dr. Jim Waller, a pediatrician on a post-doctoral fellowship at Duke University, who became a textile worker and union leader at Cone Mills Granite Finishing Plant, Haw River, NC. Breaking down barriers of racism, he led a workers’ strike that added greatly to the ranks of dues-paying union members.

In the aftermath, police arrested sixteen of the forty Klansmen and Nazis involved, as well as several CWP members, and the event was investigated by the FBI. Six criminal cases were brought against the members of the Klan and Nazi members, and all were acquitted in November of 1980. A federal case was opened after the acquittal, indicting nine individuals on civil rights charges in 1983. All nine individuals were acquitted of the federal charges in 1984. Survivors of the Massacre filed a civil lawsuit, and at a Federal jury in Winston-Salem, NC, the unprecedented verdict found two Greensboro police officers, a Klan police informant, three other Klansmen, and two Nazis jointly liable for a wrongful death of Dr. Michael Nathan, and injuries to Paul Bermanzohn and Tom Clark in 1985. It awarded two survivors with a monetary judgment against the city of Greensboro, the Ku Klux Klan, and the American Nazi Party for violating the civil rights of the demonstrators. On October 6, 2020, forty-one years after the massacre, the City Council of Greensboro, NC approved a resolution apologizing for the event.

Geoffrey Chaucer

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The Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections has a variety of collections that can be incorporated into research and instruction. To assist with navigating the collections, SCUA staff has created related research guides.

The featured guide provides access to materials relating to Geoffrey Chaucer (

For more information on SCUA instruction, or to schedule a class, please contact us at