Special Collections and University Archives

-Suzanne Sawyer

Creative writing graduate students in Associate Professor Emilia Phillips’ ENG 682: The Structure of Verse course visited SCUA on the afternoon of April 20, 2022. Students, some fiction writers and some poets, met with SCUA staff members Carolyn Shankle and Suzanne Sawyer for an immersion experience in spontaneous composition, typesetting and letterpress printing, and an exploration of SCUA’s collections related to the history of individual and collective improvised composition.

Readers may be familiar with the Surrealist pastime “Exquisite Corpse” in which a group collectively composes a poem or story. Each participant writes a line or sentence on a piece of paper, folds the paper to hide what they wrote, and passes it to the next participant to repeat the task until everyone has contributed. Finally, the page is unfolded and the poem or story is read aloud. The technique has also been applied to drawing; one participant draws the head of a figure, the next draws a torso, and the last draws the legs or feet. As you might imagine, unexpected and sometimes nonsensical results are revealed, though nonetheless entertaining.

Surrealists often get credit for inventing this game, but they were not the first to employ the entertaining improvisational technique. Carolyn Shankle notes “Consequences began as a parlor game in the UK, gaining popularity during the Victorian era, which makes sense with the rise of the middle class, increased literacy, and leisure time.” In Hodges Reading Room, Shankle introduced half the class to a pop-up exhibition of works about variations of collective composition, examples of artists’ books incorporating Exquisite Corpse or inventive play with text on the page, and a collection of resources tracing the evolution of creative writers’ explorations of structuring verse literally and figuratively.

Concurrently, the other half of the class met with Suzanne Sawyer in the Researcher Room to learn a brief history of letterpress printing before collectively composing a poem on the spot. Students used the Exquisite Corpse technique as each student composed a line, with the guidance from Associate Professor Phillips that it must be composed in iambic pentameter. After composing, each student folded the paper and passed it along to the next writer. Once all had contributed, the paper was unfolded and the lines were read aloud. Students then set their lines in type in preparation for printing the poem later in class.

After the two groups of students switched places so that everyone had an opportunity to explore the exhibition and compose a line of the class’s poem, all the students met together at the library’s A.B. Taylor Company No. 2 Iron Hand Press to each make their own print of their spontaneous and collectively composed poem. Students completed the class session with a letterpress printed poem; hopefully a better understanding of printing history; a rich, hands-on review of some of SCUA’s holdings; and experience with collaborative, spontaneous composition that stretched their creativity muscles.

Though it is always a rewarding experience for SCUA staff to work with UNCG students, it was particularly special to have students back on the printing press after a long hiatus due to the pandemic. The printing press is housed in a hallway and it makes for close quarters on the best of days, but simply was not a safe place to be during the pandemic. We look forward to more class sessions with the press and our collections in the fall.

A Day in the Scriptorium

– Carolyn Shankle

Inspired by the success experienced with Dr. Amy Vines’ classes ENG 336 Introduction to Chaucer and ENG 343 Beyond Chaucer, SCUA hosted a student centered event, A Day in the Scriptorium. Students stopped by to color reproductions of medieval manuscripts or try their “hand” at different styles of medieval calligraphy. The event was advertised on social media. A selection of facsimiles of medieval manuscripts were on display as well. We plan to offer this experience again in the fall semester!

– Scott Hinshaw

For the year 2021, the UNCG Institutional Memory Collection interviewed two UNCG administrators and one staff member to document their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Julia Jackson-Newsom was the Associate Vice Chancellor for Strategy and Policy at UNCG until she left to work at her alma mater, Wake Forest University, in the fall of 2021. Dr. Jackson-Newsom was a vital part of UNCG’s response to the pandemic and helped to guide the pandemic emergency management task force created in the spring of 2020 by UNCG administration. In her interview, she discussed her role on that task force and her memories of the pandemic, as well as her career here at UNCG before the pandemic. For her efforts in guiding the university over the course of the pandemic, Dr. Jackson-Newsom was recognized with the Gladys Strawn Bullard Award for outstanding leadership and service in 2021. We are sad to see Dr. Jackson-Newsom leave UNCG but congratulate Wake Forest University on getting a wonderful administrator!

Dr. Traci McMillian is the UNCG Student Health Services Medical Director and began her career at UNCG in 2009 as Associate Physician. As Chief Medical Officer for the university, Dr. McMillian was the clinical expert and also served on the pandemic emergency management task force. In her interview, Dr. McMillian discussed her role on the taskforce, her remembrances of the pandemic, and her career at UNCG.

Wanda Williams worked as a housekeeper at Jackson Library for 29 years until her retirement in spring of 2021. In her interview, Ms. Williams discussed her career at UNCG, as well as her second job with Guilford County Schools, her experience during the pandemic, and changes she’s seen over her time working at Jackson Library. We wish her all the best in her retirement!

The UNCG Institutional Memory Collection was also especially fortunate to capture interviews with eight students in the spring and summer of 2021. We spent a good deal of each interview discussing what life was like for them attending college during the pandemic.

This diverse body of student interviews also include many students who are the first generation in their families to attend college. We were so pleased to be able to talk with them as they shared their experiences at UNCG!

Edmond Gayton, Class of 2022, Residential Senator and Diversity, Inclusion & Equity Chairman for SGA

Selene Santiago-Lopez, Class of 2024, Community Organizer, Latinx/Indigenous student

Jacqueline Sandoval, Class of 2021, McNair Scholar, Lloyd Disciplinary Honors, and Latinx student

Hector Hernandez-Arroyo, Class of 2022, Latinx student, Founder and President of UNCG Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) chapter

Manuel Valdez Perez, Class of 2021, Latinx student, Senior Senator for SGA

Tangela Johnson, Class of 2021, Chemistry major and Elliott University Center Information Student Desk Manager

Joshua Burns, Class of 2022, McNair and UNCG Guarantee Scholar and Lloyd International Honors College student

Irving Montgomery, Class of 2021, Secretary of Media Affairs and Secretary of Student Affairs for SGA

These interviews, as well as previous interviews recorded for the UNCG Institutional Memory Collection, can be found online at:

*Masked Minerva Statue photo courtesy of University Communications Digital Library

Welcome to two new members in Special Collections and University Archives !

Lisa R. Withers earned a BA in African & Afro-American Studies with a History Minor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a MA in History with a Museum Studies Concentration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is currently a doctoral candidate at North Carolina State University working on a dissertation entitled “The Negro Motorist Green Book and African American Community History.” Lisa has worked in the cultural heritage sector since 2012. Her professional experiences include university archives, historic house museums, historic sites, and local history museums.

Matthew McCarthy is a recent graduate from the UNCG in May 2021, receiving a MA in History with a Museum Studies Concentration. The first few weeks of his position have involved working on the Women’s Veterans Collection here in the department and assisting in other projects as needed. When not at work, he spends much of his free time reading horror or mystery novels and tending to his growing container garden. He is thankful to everyone in the department who has been helpful in settling him into his new position!

UNCG English Department features our own Patrick Dollar! Congratulations Patrick!

Jessica Dame was recently elected to the SNCA Board! Congratulations Jessica !

Society for North Carolina Archivists:

At-large RAAC member: Jessica Dame

Jessica is currently a temporary Archives and Records Technician at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and have been in the position since March 2020. Prior to moving to Greensboro she was the Digital Curation and Preservation Librarian at the SC State Library they held the position of Secretary for PALMCOP and was a member of the Metadata Working Group for the SC Digital Library. Jessica received her MLIS from the University of South Carolina and held previous positions at the Smithsonian’s Archive of American Gardens and Georgetown University.

Jessica presented a May 19, 2022 – webinar discussion “Web Archiving During COVID-19” on May 19, 2022 for the Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies Reading Group

Jessica also recently presented The Triad COVID-19 Web Archive (see below) at the International Internet Preservation Consortium Web Archiving Conference, May 25, 2022

Congratulations Stacey Krim and Suzanne Sawyer!

Congratulations to Curator of Manuscripts and Assistant Professor Stacey Krim, who has received the 2022 University Libraries’ Faculty Teaching Award! This award recognizes excellent contributions to teaching and instruction. Krim has taught students, library colleagues and the broader community through classroom instruction, presentations, displays, trainings and library research guides. She has also taught sessions on using primary sources, archival materials and oral histories from the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives. Congrats Stacey!

Congratulations to Library Specialist Suzanne Sawyer. She is the recipient of the 2022 University Libraries’ Staff Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award. We are proud of her and so happy she is part of our team. Sawyer has gone above and beyond to enhance the University’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. Earlier this year, she conducted a leadership survey on this topic for library faculty and staff and used the responses to create a four-part leadership seminar. She currently serves as a member of the Diversity Committee and co-chair of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Initiative Team at the University Libraries. Congrats Suzanne!  

Kathelene McCarty Smith gives presentation, “Detective Series from Your Childhood: The Enduring Mystique of Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys!” at 2-day Life@Elon Symposium

It has been almost one hundred years since the first mystery was solved by the incomparable Nancy Drew and Frank and Joe Hardy! The stories of these young detectives were churned out by a series of ghostwriters and this creative output resulted in a business model that would last for decades! But at the heart of it were engaging mysteries solved by stylish, sassy teens that still sell millions of copies annually. Kathelene Smith’s presentation at Life@Elon revisited the history of these beloved books and addressed how the amateur sleuths have remained popular, including how the characters were marketed to generations of children in the United States and throughout the world.

by Kathelene McCarty Smith

Students perusing rare books in the Hodges Reading Room

“What is truth” is a question for the ages, and it was also a question for the students of the spring 2022 ART 344: Digital Darkroom class. One of the most collaborative classes that SCUA teaches, Digital Darkroom combines the efforts of ROI Librarian Maggie Murphy and archivists Carolyn Shankle and Kathelene Smith. Together they created an interesting class session this spring, resulting in projects that helped students construct a library exhibit and zines, inspired by materials founds in Special Collections and University Archives. Dividing the students into three smaller groups helped everyone to maintain a safe distance and gave the archivists more one-on-one time to review the material with the students. While Maggie worked with her group in the library, the remaining students were divided into two groups in the Hodges Reading Room and the Research Room. Hodges was divided into multiple stations which featured rare books related to photography and photographers.

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Kathelene and a Digital Darkroom student discuss the finer points of Phrenology

Each station highlighted a specific time period so that the students could experience the aesthetic, perspective, and technical changes in photography from the Victorian era to the 2020 Women’s March. The Research Room displays focused on the question “What is truth?” or how multiple perspectives give a more comprehensive understanding of the truth. Each table exhibited artifacts that encouraged students to find a “truth” – and since they were art students, they were asked to either describe or draw what they found. In some cases, this might be illustrated by the difference between a photograph of a student and a painting of her, or perhaps the student perspectives seen in campus scrapbooks as opposed to the administrative perspectives seen in a university publication. The students left the session with a greater understanding of what can be discovered in Special Collections and University Archives and were hopefully inspired to create a dazzling exhibit for the Jackson Library Lobby, as well as amazing zines for their class project!

by Emmy Mills

Emmy Mills, 1975

The Special Collections and University Archives Division (as it became known in 1972) began as a closed stack area on the third floor of Jackson Library. The Circulation Department (where I was a staff member from 1967 to 1971) was responsible for materials held there. While I was happy with my responsibilities, there was no room for advancement without a library degree. I was encouraged to apply to the University of Illinois, which I did. With my earlier background in art (MFA, UNCG, 1965) I had found the area of librarianship of which I wanted to be a part. It seems like magical thinking that this position would happen, but it did. The timing was right, the need urgent, (and it was before the days of search committees and national searches). I wrote an argument for the new position while still in Illinois and was rewarded with an offer before I finished my degree work.

With my new library spurs, I returned in the Fall of 1972 eager and full of ideas. I inherited that closed stacks cage and given the key to the realm with no telephone, no copy machine, no card catalog or shelf-list and a view of the flat, tarred roof.

A small, rather unfocused collection of rare books called the “Gold Star Collection”, was there along with the College Collection of school-related printed materials and photographs, student scrapbooks, the “Pine Needles” college yearbook and other college publications. These were housed there along with items deemed too fragile or too controversial to be kept in the open stacks of the library, (e.g., Playboy magazine and foreign “art” periodicals). This was also a storage area for materials no one had dealt with such as the transferred papers of the first three Presidents of the college, Charles D. McIver, Julius I. Foust and Walter C. Jackson. Two retired librarians worked a few hours a week on the College Collection, organizing vertical file items and photographs documenting the history of the school. Student help came later, and it wasn’t until 1974 that Betty Carter arrived to help take on the University Archives.

The fun began day after Labor Day in 1972, my first official day on the job. I felt a bit overwhelmed: Why is this (or that) here? Are there funds for conservation of damaged and deteriorating materials? Will I have a budget? After meeting and talking with other rare book librarians and archivists in North Carolina institutions, it was obvious to me that UNCG has an opportunity to complement programs of study at UNCG and establish collection efforts unique to our institution. Cooperative collection development, reorganization and conservation of materials were major priorities in the 1970s. We needed collection development policies for book collection and an updated archives records schedule to guide the transfer of university generated documents and publications.

Over the years specialist booksellers were helpful with their depth of knowledge. I worked closely with those who had expertise in subject areas that would strengthen our existing collections. Those who dealt in out-of-print materials were most generous with their knowledge. They also had amusing and amazing stories to tell and had locks on book-world gossip with they shared over leisurely drinks and dinners. Many of them from London to California were over-night guests in our home. I took lessons from these seasoned professionals even when I didn’t take their advice!

Clearly, UNCG has obvious strengths including an uncatalogued collection of books by, about and of interested to women (The Anthony M. Ludovici collection purchased in the 1960s), the early children’s books (part of the large Lois Lenski collection), and books illustrated by famous 20th century artists. To build on some of these strengths seemed obvious. A nascent women’s studies program supported expansion of our already impressive collections of historical works relating to women.

Other areas were less well defined. Many out-of-scope and non-rare items were transferred to the general collection. An early inventory revealed some items missing or mutilated. We discovered in the ‘70s that some enterprising, knowledgeable individuals had left the library with more than they had when they entered. Some titles were recovered over time but at great expense of replacement or restoration. Luckily, we had private funds that enabled replacement of some losses and to repair damaged materials. Security improved rapidly!

Throughout the 1970s, we refined and expanded collection development guidelines. This early period saw expansion of our cello music and women’s history materials. Rounding out themes of the art of the book included selected English and American private presses of the 19th and 20th centuries. Collections were heavily used by art, music and dance.

The decade also benefited from healthy private funding sources when interest rates saw historic highs and Friends of the Library donations brought good annual returns. To celebrate the U.S. Bicentennial, the Washington handpress was restored with help from the Smithsonian and the former Library Director, Charles M. Adams. Samples of small keepsakes were printed for the occasion. Speaking engagements to book clubs and literary groups resulted in greater public interest in Special Collections in the decade of the 1970s. It was a busy time of growth and wider exposure for researchers on campus and from other institutions.

-Emilie (Emmy) Mills ’62, WCUNC; ’65, MFA, UNCG; ’72, MSLS (U. of Illinois)

Audrey Sage receives UNCG Staff Star

SCUA is pleased to recognize our Conservation Specialist and Preservation Manager, Audrey Sage, who received a UNCG Staff Star! She was awarded this accolade by the UNCG Staff Senate and the Chancellors office when she was nominated by a colleague who wanted to acknowledge her volunteering and service for the university. A Staff Star is selected when they have been observed being kind, thoughtful, helpful and considerate. It is an honor for Audrey to receive this recognition, but she considers it to be a greater gift to serve the University and so many wonderful organizations in the community through opportunities made available by involvement with the UNCG Staff Senate.

Beth Ann Koelsch Receives Honor From the National World War II Museum

Women Veterans Historical Project Curator Beth Ann Koelsch has been invited by the National World War II museum in New Orleans to be on the advisory board for an exhibition focused on the service of American women, Our War Too: Women In Service.

SCUA in the News!

Stacey Krim and the UNCG Cello Music Collection are honored! To read the articles on the online publication from The Cello Museum, please click on the title:

UNCG Cello Music Collection: The Largest Collection of Cello-Related Materials in the World

Cold Cases in Music Research

Stacey Krim
A page of handwritten exercises by Maurice Eisenberg. Public domain.

SCUA’s 50th Anniversary

February 4, 2022 First Friday Chats: Conversation with UNCG Manuscripts Curator Stacey Krim and UNCG Digital Project Coordinator David Gywnn about the Triad Black Lives Matter Project.(watch video)

February 22, 2022 The Women Veterans Collection Celebrates Black History Month, given by Beth Ann Koelsch, Curator, Women Veterans Historical Project (WVHP) and Associate Professor, UNCG   (watch video)   

ALL upcoming events posted under SCUA Anniversary Event Calendar

SCUA on the Road! 

Erin Lawrimore spoke at Joymongers Brewing Co. about brewing with UNCG University Libraries colleagues Richard Cox and David Gwynn.

Well Crafted NC launch event: Celebrating Beer and Brewing in Downtown  Greensboro | 88.5 WFDD

Kathelene McCarty Smith and Carolyn Shankle visited Well.Spring Retirement Community in December presenting Charles Dickens and the British Tradition of Ghost Stories at Christmas and bringing rare material from SCUA’s vast collections!

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Visit our Spartan Stories Blog! It is updated every month with a fascinating story about the history of UNC Greensboro – or visit one of the many stories that we have written over the years!

by Patrick Dollar

Founded in 1999, Triad Stage is a regional theatre located in downtown Greensboro. In September 1999, Triad Stage purchased downtown Greensboro’s Montgomery Ward building, built in 1936 and vacant for almost 40 years. Triad Stage began renovations on the building in 2001. After the renovations, Triad Stage’s building included a 300-seat theatre, rehearsal hall, offices, and lobbies.

The theatre’s grand opening occurred in January 2002, with a production of Tennessee Williams’s “Suddenly Last Summer.” In 2008, Triad Stage completed additional renovations to the Pyrle Theater. Renovations included adding a scene shop annex, the creation of a 90-seat Upstage Cabaret performance space, and the creation of a rehearsal hall and studio for WUNC Radio’s Greensboro Bureau.

In 2011, Triad Stage purchased a 30,000 square foot building near the Greensboro Coliseum Complex to serve as the theater’s new production facility, relocating its scene, costume and properties shops as well as its warehouse.

In June 2019, Patrick Dollar, archivist, began discussions with the head of the Triad Stage Board of Directors of Triad Stage. In March 2021, Patrick and Stacey Krim, Manuscripts Curator, took a van and picked up 45 boxes that were being stored at the Triad Stage offices.  Patrick spent 6 months processing, arranging and describing the materials in the collection.

The collection includes publicity and marketing materials, newspaper clippings, playbills, photographs, and scale models set designs from Triad Stage’s history. Processing the collection was a chance to stroll through Greensboro’s theatre history, with many regionally and national recognized names appearing.

Not only does the collection encapsulate the artistic history of the organization, but it also, also captures the Greensboro reception of plays, which could vary widely. The press clippings for each play are an invaluable insight into the theatre culture of Greensboro and the region. Triad Stage rightly earns its reputation for prompting conversation and debate among theatregoers about the artistic merits of productions, staging many lesser-known plays alongside well-recognized favorites, and serving as a showcase for plays written by local artists documenting Appalachian culture.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the collection is the set design models, created to visualize how the set (and potentially some costumed actors) would look in the Pyrle Theater. The models date from 2002-2019 and give researchers a first-hand look into how painstakingly each play is brought to life at Triad Stage. Audrey Sage, head of Preservation Services, cleaned the models and crafted custom enclosures to insure their long-term preservation. 

The collection will be an extremely valuable resource, as performing arts is one of SCUA’s strongest collecting areas. This collection complements many of our other theatre collections, including the Robert C. Hansen Performing Arts Collection. SCUA plans to immediately incorporate the Triad Stage Records into theatre and English courses visiting Special Collections. To view what materials are in the collection, please visit the finding aid here:

by Stacey Krim

Coming soon! As part of UNC Greensboro’s celebration of the centennial of Women’s Suffrage, UNCG Special Collections and University Archives will be featuring an oral history project focused on women politicians in the Triad area. Women in modern politics represent progressive successes in the fight for gender equality since the brave rebels and pioneers of the suffrage movement. In the 21st Century, mucth attention is given to women politicians at the national level, leaving women politicians at the local and regional level overlooked and under-documented. Women Politicians in Their Own Words is the first attempt to document women politicians on a local and regional level in the Triad region of North Carolina. The oral history collection is anticipated to be prepared by late Spring – early Summer of 2022. The project is funded through a grant from UNC Greensboro’s She Can, We Can: Beyond the Women’s Suffrage Centennial celebration. 

by Carolyn Shankle

Rare Books documents the complex history of race and race relations through published accounts. Our holdings contextualize and expand the primary source materials collected in Manuscripts. The reader will discover how the writers persevered and actively advocated for their freedom as well as their hopes for a more equitable future.


Wheatley, Phillis. Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral.. London: Printed for A. Bell, bookseller, Aldgate and sold by Messrs. Cox and Berry, King-Street, Boston, 1773. A first edition of the first work of poetry written by an African American woman: While scholarship has not confirmed this, the engraving of Phillis Wheatley is considered to be a based on an original portrait created by Scipio Moorhead, an enslaved man from Boston.

Wilson, Harriet E. Our Nig, or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black : In a Two-Story White House, North, Showing That Slavery’s Shadows Fall Even There. Boston: Printed by Geo. C. Rand & Avery, 1859. A first edition of the first novel written and published by a free African American woman. Wilson’s work fell into obscurity for a multitude of reasons – this work depicts the life and hardships of a free person of color in the abolitionist North where she was treated poorly and lived as an indentured servant as there was no path to economic self-support. Henry Louis Gates, Jr discovered this work in 1982, brining it and the author to the forefront of research.


All three autobiographies by Frederick Douglass:

Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. Boston: Published by Anti-Slavery Office, No. 25 Cornhill, 1845. [Shown above]

Douglass, Frederick. My Bondage and My Freedom : Part I – Life As a Slave. Part II – Life As a Freeman. New York: Miller, Orton & Mulligan, New York: 25 Park Row — Auburn: 107 Genesee St, 1855.

Douglass, Frederick. Life and Times of Frederick Douglass : His Early Life As a Slave, His Escape from Bondage, and His Complete History to the Present Time, Including His Connection with the Anti-Slavery Movement. Hartford, Conn.: Park Publishing, 1882.

Jacobs, Harriet A. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Edited by Lydia Maria Child. Boston: Published for the author, 1861. The first narrative written and published by an African American woman who escaped from slavery.


  • Northup, Solomon. Twelve Years a Slave : Narrative of Solomon Northup, a Citizen of New-York, Kidnapped in Washington City in 1841, and Rescued in 1853, from a Cotton Plantation near the Red River, in Louisiana. Edited by D Wilson. Auburn: Derby and Miller, 1853. [Shown above on left]
  • Jones, Thomas H. The Experience of Thomas H. Jones : Who Was a Slave for Forty-Three Years. Worcester Mass.: Printed by Henry J. Howland, 1857.
  • Keckley, Elizabeth. Behind the Scenes : Or, Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House. New York: G.W. Carleton & Co, 1868.
  • Truth, Sojourner. Narrative of Sojourner Truth : A Bondswoman of Olden Time, Emancipated by the New York Legislature in the Early Part of the Present Century : With a History of Her Labors and Correspondence, Drawn from Her “Book of Life..” Edited by Olive Gilbert and Frances W Titus. Boston: Published for the author, 1875.
  • Randolph, Peter. From Slave Cabin to the Pulpit : The Autobiography of Rev. Peter Randolph: The Southern Question Illustrated and Sketches of Slave Life. Boston: James H. Earle, publisher, 178 Washington Street, 1893. [Shown above on right]
  • Johnson, Isaac. Slavery Days in Old Kentucky : A True Story of a Father Who Sold His Wife and Four Children by One of the Children. Ogdensburg, N.Y.: Republican & Journal Print, 1901.

In addition to the works mentioned above, Rare Books collects works by African American authors such as Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Pauline Hopkins, Alice Walker, Edward A. Johnson, and Paul Dunbar. Recognizing that the route to publishing their work was often blocked, Rare Books also focuses on collecting African American authors who published only five or fewer works during their lifetime. 

Affiliated archival collections include Loren Schweninger Papers, MSS 0195; and the Digital Library on American Slavery which includes:  North Carolina Runaway Slave Notices, 1750 – 1855; People Not Property, and Race & Slavery Petitions

by Audrey Sage

The Special Collections and University Archives continues to build their collections, strategically investing and acquiring significant, unique and interesting items.  These collections further the interest of the University as scholars, researchers and patrons seek discoverable information that furthers their knowledge and understanding of both the past and the future.  Occasionally, items acquired are in sizes that are less common.  We have recently acquired several very small items that presented us with an opportunity to construct thoughtful and intentional enclosures.  Many times, smaller items require a larger enclosure so it may claim it’s space on the shelf, and not be overshadowed or overwhelmed by its neighbors.

 I selected an interesting artist book titled “Trains” by Kathy and Gary Miller of Iron Bear Press to create a unique enclosure. The book measures 2.875” x 1.75” x .25”, that includes its own paper slipcover that is imprinted with images of railway lines.  It has beautiful polaroid photo transfers and is constructed in an accordion style format. The story speaks of memories of watching trains, counting cars and pressing pennies on the tracks, which resonated with me, as this is a very fond memory of my own, when visiting my grandmother’s house when I was young.  I designed a special clamshell enclosure for this small volume.  I created a drawer, into which the book can rest and remain secure, until it is retrieved for viewing. The overall dimensions of the enclosure are 6” x 9” x 1”.

Our manuscripts archivist, Stacey Krim, discovered an oversized match book while recently processing the Marjorie “Marge” Burns Papers. The question was raised regarding the safety of storing a potentially combustible item within a collection.  While researching options and opinions, she discovered one solution that was implemented at Smithsonian Institute Archives whereby a sink mat was created to surround the matchbook and enclosed with mylar.  I decided to create a similar enclosure.  By utilizing the mylar, any potential friction would be minimized, thus limiting combustion of the match heads, although there is the theory that in many cases, match books of this age are most likely inert.  This item will be stored in a file, so I created a two-sided mat, wherein both sides of the match book are visible. On one side of the construction, the Mylar is tucked under the corrugated board, allowing it to be lifted, if there is need to temporarily remove the match book.

Beth Ann Koelsch, curator for the Women Veterans Historical Project, was thrilled to acquire the 1943 diary of Charlotte E. Ward, of Delaware, Indiana. Ms. Ward served with the United States Army Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) and then the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) from 1943-1945. This small diary measures a little over 4” x 3” with a handy spot to store a small pencil.  I designed an oversized enclosure, through consultation with the curator, so it would measure 8” x 11”, a substantial size in order to happily rest between its collection mates on the shelf. The diary rests in a custom fit recess with a board overlay to hold it in place.  This recess can be lifted to allow easy access for retrieval of the diary.

It is always delightful to view and enjoy the various treasures from the SCUA collections.  Preserving and caring for these is gratifying knowing these endeavors will serve those far into the future.