Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives

Current Exhibits

Celebrating 125 Years of Opportunity and Excellence: An Exhibit of UNCG History

Mon, 09 Oct 2017 19:39:00 +0000

As part of the University's celebration of 125 years of opportunity and excellence, the Hodges Reading Room in Jackson Library will feature an exhibit of UNCG history through the end of the academic year. Exhibit materials will rotate throughout the year, with new content added on a bimonthly basis. It will conclude on May 31, 2018.

Currently, the exhibit features materials from the founding years of the State Normal and Industrial School, including an original copy of the 1891 Act of Establishment in which the North Carolina legislature founded the institution, the letter sent to Charles Duncan McIver in June 1891 informing him that he had been named the school's first president, and photographs and other document reflecting the faculty and staff who were instrumental in the Normal's early years. Of particular note, the exhibit also includes the always-popular death mask of founding president Charles Duncan McIver, who passed away in 1906.

A second UNCG-themed exhibit currently in Hodges Reading Room explores the early history of the Alumnae (now Alumni) House, which opened in 1937. It was designed by Penrose V. Stout of Bronxville, New York, and modeled after Homewood in Baltimore, Maryland. Photographs, serving dishes, a guest register, and other items important to the Alumnae House are on display.

In future months as the exhibit contents are rotated, themes including social and political protests on campus, student organizations, and faculty contributions will be explored.

For more information on the University Archives and the University's 125th anniversary celebration, you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Instagram.

University Archives Showcased in 125th Anniversary Celebrations

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 21:00:00 +0000

On October 5, 2017, UNCG will celebrate the 125th anniversary of the first ever first day of school. On that day, nearly 200 women from across North Carolina traveled to Greensboro to attend classes at the State Normal and Industrial School. Over the last few weeks, the University Archives has been busy with pop up exhibits across campus to help promote the university's history and the anniversary celebration.

Following Chancellor Gilliam's State of the Campus address on August 8th, the staff of the University Archives presented a "pop up museum" exhibit in celebration of the 125th anniversary of UNCG's opening. Campus Weekly wrote a great summary of the exhibit.


We debuted our new "portable" university history exhibit (a series of five banners) on August 8th.
One exhibit case featured materials related to founding president Charles Duncan McIver and his wife Lula Martin McIver.
A second case highlighted African American staff on campus at State Normal as well as student life.
Textiles and artifacts on display included gym suits, a class jacket, a nursing university, a Neo-Black Society Gospel Choir robe, a typewriter used by JoAnne Smart Drane, and a drum signed by members of the Darlinettes.

On August 15th, the University Archives set up a pop up exhibit on College Avenue as part of Fall Kickoff, an annual event featuring student organizations and student services. And on the afternoon of August 17th, they presented an exhibit in Jackson Library as part of Rawkin' Welcome Week.

University history under the trees at Fall Kickoff

Stay tuned for information on more exhibits and other opportunities to learn about and celebrate our 125 years! You can also find updates on our social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram).


New Exhibit in Hodges Reading Room: "Athletics and Active College Work"

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 13:52:00 +0000

A new exhibit titled "Athletics and Active College Work: Women's Fitness and Sport at State Normal, 1892-1920" is now on display in the Hodges Reading Room in Jackson Library. This exhibit explores women's athletics at the turn of the 20th century through the lens of the State Normal and Industrial School (now UNCG).



From its opening in 1892, the State Normal and Industrial School emphasized physical activity and personal health. Curriculum in the first year of the school’s existence (1892-1893) included the Department of Physiology and Heath, which had two objectives: instruction in hygiene and an individualized program of exercise. A course in Physical Culture was required of all students, and all faculty members were expected to be able to give instruction in the subject. The work included gymnastics, calisthenics, and other exercises that were meant to promote the student’s general health and strength. These courses took place in the campus gymnasium, a small room located on the top floor of the northeast section of the Main Building (now Foust).

Students, however, wanted more. In 1898, they petitioned State Normal President Charles Duncan McIver for a designated space for them to participate in team or outdoor sports, including basketball and tennis. The Class of 1900 finally convinced McIver that the school needed both athletic grounds and a campus Athletic Association. He and the school’s Executive Committee ordered that an outdoor playing field be prepared, "surrounded by an evergreen hedge or some other construction to avoid observation from without." Members of the Class of 1900 did most of the work involved in cleaning and preparing the new athletic field, including clearing the area of brush and debris, marking the fields, and installing nets and basketball goals.

Although it received little to no financial support from the school, the State Normal’s Athletic Association grew, electing officers, forming committees, and planning for the long-term upkeep of the fields. Additionally, the organization developed intramural tennis and basketball tournaments, with each class establishing its own team. In 1902, the Association adopted their official motto: "Athletics and Active College Work Go Hand in Hand."



In the "Athletics and Active College Work" exhibit, you will see photographs of the many basketball, field hockey, tennis, and baseball teams that competed in the Athletic Association tournaments and Field Day competitions. Also on exhibit is a gym suit worn by students during this time.

The exhibit will be on display in Hodges Reading Room through August 1st. It is available for viewing during SCUA's normal operating hours (typically Monday through Friday between 9am and 5pm).


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