McIver Building Cornerstone Time Capsule

The McIver Building's cornerstone time capsule can be traced all the way back to 1908, when a great ceremony with a parade was held on campus to celebrate the laying of the cornerstone for the original McIver Memorial Building. A small box containing books, a copy of the Bible, the Constitution of North Carolina, college programs and publications from 1908, North Carolina newspapers, and McIver's family tree, as well as material related to the Masonic Order and the Presbyterian Church, was placed in the building's cornerstone.

The McIver Memorial Building was demolished in 1956 and replaced by a new modern building, also named for Charles Duncan McIver. The little copper box that held the original time capsule was opened during the 1957 Founder's Day festivities, only to find that it had not been sealed properly and much of the original material was ruined.

There was a general feeling that another time capsule should be incorporated into the new McIver Building. The material for the time capsule was assembled by school librarian Charles Adams and a small committee. They were able to keep the bottom of the original copper box and arranged for a new top to be made by a local roofer. The committee made sure that the seams of the box were soldered so it would remain air-tight. Along with the original 1908 material that could be salvaged, contemporary items such as newspapers and a yearbook were also sealed within the box and placed into the cornerstone. On October 5, 1959, during the Founder's Day ceremony, the cornerstone from the original structure was incorporated into the new McIver Building.

With the demolition of the McIver Building in Spring 2018, it was decided that the cornerstone time capsule should be opened. Unfortunately, just as in 1957, the time capsule contents did not fare well against the ravages of the environment and time. Water damage and mold covered all of the materials, making them unsalvageable.

Fortunately, the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives in the UNCG University Libraries has a strong program focused on preserving the University's history, from its founding through the present day. Because the materials in the time capsule were not unique (most being published materials), the overwhelming majority of these items can be found in University Archives. Many are available for viewing online. Additional items not in University Archives can be accessed through various newspaper databases available to those with a UNCG login.

More Information:

Items Placed in the McIver Building Cornerstone Time Capsule

This is a list of all of the items that were placed in the McIver Building cornerstone time capsule in Fall 1959. Direct links to the digitized copies of the items are included when available. Some documents have not yet been digitized but are available for viewing in the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives. For information on how to view these items, please see the SCUA website.

Replaced from the cornerstone laid on May 25, 1908:

Additions to the contents of the cornerstone relaid on October 5, 1959: