UNCG University Libraries Announcements

Kathelene McCarty Smith's New Role as Instruction and Outreach Archivist

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 18:02:00 +0000

Kathelene McCarty Smith,
Instruction and Outreach Archivist
Kathelene McCarty Smith has recently accepted the position of Instruction and Outreach Archivist at UNCG’s Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives. Previously, she worked in the department as the Photographs, Artifacts and Textiles Archivist. Smith’s new responsibilities will include teaching primary source literacy; coordinating departmental outreach; curating the historic photograph collections; and managing the department’s volunteer program.

Smith earned her bachelor’s degree in History and a master’s degree in Art History from Louisiana State University (LSU). She also holds a master’s degree in Library and Information Studies from UNCG. Smith’s research interests include the role of academic libraries in fostering life-long learning, volunteerism in Special Collections' departments, primary source outreach and the mobilization of North Carolina’s women’s colleges during World War I.  

UNCG Libraries Diversity and Inclusion Blog

Triad Pride Choral Concerts

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 18:17:00 +0000

Friends of the UNCG Libraries

The Friends of the UNCG Libraries are advocates and supporters of the Libraries. Our Friends make a real difference in our ability to serve the campus and the local community.

Greensboro Bound: A Literary Festival

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 14:42:00 +0000

The Friends of the UNCG Libraries wants to make you aware of a budding book fair/literary festival, to be held May 18-20, 2018Greensboro Bound:  A Literary Festival targets bringing 60+ authors to downtown Greensboro for presentations, workshops, panels and an array of family-centric activities.  

Spearheaded by Guilford County's two indie bookstores, Scuppernong Books of Greensboro and Sunrise Books of High Point, plus an emerging group of community partners, the all-volunteer organizing committee would love to get feedback from FOL to help craft programming and identify the authors you'd love to see in Greensboro.   Take a moment and help us launch Greensboro Bound:  A Literary Festival

New DVDs at UNCG

Check-in to see which new DVDs are hitting the shelves in Jackson Library!

New DVDs

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 16:54:00 +0000

X-Men. The last stand

Robin Hood

Handsome devil

Get out 

North Carolina Literary Map Blog

NC Hidden Treasures

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 14:23:00 +0000

Want to discover something new about North Carolina?  Whether you are a native or fairly new to this state, NC has many hidden treasures waiting to be discovered from the mountains in the west to the beaches in the east.  Since it is summertime, what better time to get out and start traveling?

The NC Literary Map has two great books to help you out!  Prolific writer and photographer Kevin Adams describes several short, scenic adventures to various attractions in his aptly titled "Backroads of North Carolina".  What if you get hungry while out on a country drive and do not know where to eat?  Regular newspaper columnist and UNC-TV's "North Carolina Bookwatch" host D.G. Martin has written the perfect solution in "North Carolina's Roadside Eateries".  This book highlights dozens of local restaurants for just about any type of food craving.

Interested in learning more?  Then please check out these books at your local library or bookstore!  Happy reading (and exploring new places)!


UNCG Special Collections & University Archives

SCUA collects, preserves, and makes accessible rare, unique, or otherwise significant materials outside the scope of the general UNCG library collection. We also deliver presentations, classes, tours, and exhibits. Our collections include official records, personal manuscripts, rare books, textiles, A/V materials and artifacts. Subject strengths include women's history, literature, theatre, music, and dance.

Celery Vases: Forgotten Stars of the Victorian Dinner Table

Thu, 08 Jun 2017 16:45:00 +0000

During Summer 2017, the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives will have an exhibit of the Jacocks Celery Vase Collection in the Reference Exhibit Cases. The collection is comprised of 24 matching pairs of celery vases. It is a small part of a 700-piece collection of pressed and cut glass celery vases that was willed to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill by W.P. Jacocks, who helped to develop the first public health nutrition program in North Carolina. Jacocks, a one-time quarterback at UNC Chapel Hill, went on to receive a Doctorate of Public Health from Johns Hopkins. In the early days of the Public Health Program, Dr. Jacocks was active in the “Hookworm” program, working to eradicate hookworm disease and other ailments in South Asia. In 1942, Jacocks retired to Chapel Hill and he passed away in 1965.

Jacocks began collecting the vases in the 1940s, during his tenure with the State Board of Health in North Carolina. In Victorian times, celery was presented in beautiful and expensive cut glass vases, seen as symbols of wealth. Celery was considered a “high status” food due to its labor intensive growing process and difficulty to keep fresh and was an expensive vegetable. During its period as a status symbol, celery was displayed prominently near the center of the table as an important part of the setting. Pressed glass vases made from a mold were less expensive and therefore more accessible to middle class families. Both pressed and cut glass vases can be seen in this collection. In the final decades of the 1800s, the popularity of celery vases gave way to the celery dish, an attractive, subtle way to show sparkle and still add prestige to the table.

The concept of the celery vase demonstrates how taste and luxury change over the centuries. Scarcity and labor cost made celery a “fashionable commodity,” but as celery gradually became easier to grow, harvest, and keep fresh it was no longer a “rare” or expensive vegetable. In addition, glass décor, including celery vases, became more accessible and less prestigious and its once prominent place on the dinner table declined.

These pieces from the Jacocks Celery Vase Collection were given to the university in 1983. Gladys Strawn Bullard, Jacocks’ former colleague in the state nutrition program and Vice Chairman of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s Board of Trustees, requested a permanent gift of the celery vases for an exhibit in the School of Home Economics.

The vases, along with a commemorative certificate, were presented to UNCG Chancellor William Moran, by UNC Chapel Hill chancellor, Christopher C. Fordham III. An exhibit was created in recognition of the contributions of UNCG alumni in the state’s nutrition program, which was displayed in the entrance of the School of Home Economics, now the Stone Building on College Avenue. In 2011, the collection became part of the University Archives Artifact Collection.
This blog was written by Jenay Solomon and Sara Maeve Whisnant

UNCG Special Collections & University Archives

Photos and other fun stuff from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives in the University Libraries. You can also follow us on Twitter: @UNCGArchives!

#UNCGThenandNow: Students posing with the McIver statue in the late 1980s.

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 10:00:36 -0400

Spartan Stories

Tales from the University Archives at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro

WC Theatre's International Tour: Taking the Pajama Game Overseas

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 13:00:00 +0000

From October 21 through December 3, 1962, the Woman's College Theatre participated in a series of college student productions that toured overseas Army, Navy, and Air Force installations and provided free entertainment for servicemen and their families. WC was one of 29 American colleges and universities participating in the tour, which was sponsored by the USO (United Service Organizations) along with AETA (American Educational Theater Association).

The WC Theatre chose the musical "The Pajama Game" as its performance for touring. Based on the novel 7 1/2 Cents by Richard Bissell, "The Pajama Game" tells the tales of individuals working in a pajama factory. The WC company was assigned a six-week route throughout the Northeast Command area, which included Greenland, Labrador, Newfoundland, and Iceland. The route, which covered nearly 12,000 miles, included a performance at Thule, Greenland, approximately 500 miles away from the North Pole. 

Competition to join the touring group was fierce, and students were required to not only perform but also serve as production technicians. Selection was limited to juniors and seniors due to "the sophisticated nature of the clubs which the Company would frequent during the tour." Only drama majors, members of the student drama organization The Masqueraders, or former performers in WC productions were allowed to audition. Additionally "because of the arctic climate, students free of allergies and of proven physical stamina were chosen." Eleven WC students were selected to be part of the touring company. Five students from UNC Chapel Hill and one from Greensboro College also joined the company to take on the male roles.

The lead female role of Babe in "The Pajama Game" was played by WC senior Shirley Bosta of Hampton, Virginia. The performance notes describe her as "a fiery red head with an even temperament," and adds that "she is the only Woman's College student ever to have two leading roles in musical comedies."

Student selected to join the company were required to enroll in a special nine-hour drama course entitled "Woman's College Theatre North Atlantic Tour." In addition to this nine-hour course, various departments having student majors participating in the tour arranged for the students to take an additional three hours during the early part of the semester, before the touring began. For example, Drama and Speech Department majors took a course in playwrighting. English majors did special honors work. Additionally, a special seminar room in the College Library was reserved for students to read books on "the arts and crafts, people, history, and geography" of the areas they would be visiting.

Of the 31 performances in the tour, 11 were to full houses with most of those including standees. Attendance at the others was near capacity. In his final report on the tour, Herman Middleton, head of WC's Department of Drama and Speech and director of the touring production, noted that the bulk of the audiences consisted of young enlisted men between the ages of 18 and 25. The audience was enthusiastic with "many flash photographs and movies made during performances."

This successful overseas tour of "The Pajama Game" was actually the second time WC was asked to perform as part of the USO-AETA tour. In the summer of 1959, WC Theatre was the first college theater in the south to be selected for tour. They traveled to Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, and Hawaii to perform Clare Boothe's comedy "The Women." In 1966, after WC transitioned to UNCG, a group once again participated with a touring production of "L'il Abner."

UNCG's Dataland

UNCG's land of data releases, new data sources, fun stats information, and much more!

DataRescue @RTP

Tue, 30 May 2017 19:19:00 +0000

Please help us save federal housing and education data at risk of disappearing under the current administration! Join us for
DataRescue RTP
June 10 & 11, 2017 10:00am-2:00pm | National Humanities Center

Organized by DataRescue Chapel Hill and the National Humanities Center, DataRescue RTP aims to preserve online government data related to housing and education programs. We are focusing on datasets identified as being at high risk for removal from online public access. While the Internet Archive has preserved copies of many government websites, it is unable to archive websites, it is unable to preserve the datasets. The datasets in particular provide researchers, journalists and every day citizens with information and data paid for by tax dollars. DataRescue events are a key piece in ensuring that these datasets are copied. The Internet Archive, DataRefuge and a consortium of research libraries hold these copies and keep them available for public access.
This event is open to volunteers from all backgrounds and technical abilities. Following a workflow developed by EDGI and the DataRefuge project, together we will archive trustworthy copies of government data. 

Who should volunteer?
We’re looking for people who are knowledgable about housing and educational research areas, data scientists, hackers, archivists, librarians, writers, web designers, people with good communication skills, and anyone else who is eager to help.

How do I sign up?
If you are interested in helping to organize, coordinate and/or volunteer for the RTP DataRescue, please sign up here. Indicate on the form what role/team you would like to volunteer for at the event. Descriptions of teams and roles can be found on the registration form and on the event website

If you have any further questions, email Sangeeta Desai at 
 What should I bring?A laptop and a charger. Lunch will be provided by the National Humanities Center.
Where do I go?
The National Humanities Center is located at 7 T.W. Alexander Drive in Research Triangle Park. A map and directions are available here.

Please feel free to circulate this announcement widely.

UNCG Digital Collections

Digital collections news from UNCG University Libraries

History Students Contribute to the UNCG Runaway Slave Ad Database

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 17:05:00 +0000

During the Spring semester 2017, students in the history research methods classes, HIS 391 and 430, helped to expand the UNCG NC Runaway Slave Advertisements Database. The current database contains advertisements through 1840 and is one of the most widely used digital collections maintained by the UNCG Library. Colson Whitehead acknowledged the database as an important resource for his award winning novel, The Underground Railroad. Students researched newspapers published across North Carolina in the 1850s and 1860s to add new material to the database.

The project offered valuable firsthand experience in how primary sources are digitized and how digitization changes the research process. Library staff trained students in the use of microfilm readers and archival practices for digitizing primary sources, including scanning the original documents and identifying the metadata that will assist researchers in searching the collected advertisements. Students learned how digitization changes the process of historical interpretation—what kind of information is lost and what is gained. For example, they considered what they learned from seeing a runaway slave ad in the context of the original newspaper page and how that context is lost when ads are collected and organized in a database. On the other hand they learned it is possible to study many more digitized ads searching the database compared to the amount of time it took to read the microfilmed newspaper and identify each advertisement.

After collecting and scanning the advertisements, students designed a wide variety of individual research projects on topics inspired by the primary sources.

This advertisement for the remarkable runway, James Lord, who worked as a Pressman for the Fayetteville Observer, inspired a student research project on the ways that runaway slave ads document literacy among slaves.
Topics ranged from the experience of women runaways to constructions of African American masculinity; from medical practices documented in the ads that described marks from cupping and lancets to an exploration of the objects that runaways took with them when they escaped; from the distinctive experience of runaways in the North Carolina mountains to the maroon communities of the coast.  Newspapers from the Civil War era were included in the sample so that we could see how the last years of slavery affected runaway experience. Students made fascinating discoveries about the continued use of runaway advertisements long after the 13th Amendment ended slavery.

This advertisement for runaway George Washington was published in the Greensboro Patriot in November 1867. It inspired a student to research the role of the Freedman’s Bureau and the continued practice of indenturing workers after the Civil War ended.
The Library has been awarded a strategic seed grant to expand the database and the advertisements collected by history students will be added to the database in the coming months.

(Contributed by Dr. Lisa Tolbert, UNCG Department of History)