Special Collections and University Archives


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

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