List of all blogs

UNCG University Libraries Announcements

University Libraries Announces Faculty and Staff Award Winners

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 21:49:00 +0000

Congrats to our University Libraries' Award Winners! We celebrated our faculty and staff last week on National Library Workers Day as part of National Library Week! A day where we say thank you to all that they do throughout the year for our students, faculty, staff and community. We couldn't do this without you!

Award Recipients: 

  • Acquisitions Specialist Technician Anne Owens received the Staff Excellence Award.
  • Interlibrary Loan Lender Chanda Jackson was honored with the Staff Equity-Diversity-Inclusion Award.
  • Processing Archivist Patrick Dollar was acknowledged with the Martha Ransley Staff Service Award.
  • Diversity Resident Librarian Deborah Yun Caldwell was presented with the Faculty Equity-Diversity-Inclusion Award. 
  • Information Literacy Coordinator and Associate Professor Jenny Dale won the Faculty Teaching Award.
  • Visual Art and Humanities Librarian and Assistant Professor Maggie Murphy was chosen for the Faculty Research Award. 

Speaking Volumes


Building a Post Binder for a 19th Century Sewing Book

Fri, 19 Mar 2021 11:30:00 +0000

Sewing Book
Models with Instructions
used by
State Normal and Industrial School

State Normal and Industrial School (now UNC Greensboro) once offered sewing classes for the young women attending the school. Along with preparing students to be teachers, the school's Domestic Science Department was also concerned with fostering the skills necessary for women to become good wives and mothers. No doubt sewing could be a useful skill to have during the early 20th century. The Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) is fortunate to have three of these sewing books created by students in the late 19th century. 

Three examples of sewing models sewn by hand in 1895-1896

The three sewing books were delivered to Preservation Services so that we might devise a way to keep the pages as intact as possible while also stabilizing them. The goal is for these books to be used with classes visiting SCUA. Unfortunately, the substrate pages of the albums are quite discolored and brittle due to the acidity of the paper. Nonetheless, the sewing samples are incredibly intricate and interesting, especially considering they were all sewn by hand. Though there was not much we could do in house about the condition of the substrate pages, we were able to create post binders to better protect them. We also elected to leave the metal fasteners and pins that were securing the sewing samples to the pages because the pages were too brittle to remove them.

Left: Spacers cut from museum board, Center: Drilling holes with
the drill press, and Right: A preview of the spacers between the pages
Often, paper manufactured in the late 19th and early 20th century was created from wood pulp. The lignin, an organic substance that makes the cell walls in plants rigid or woody, in wood pulp contains acid that degrades the paper over time. You may have heard of the “Brittle Book Era”, which refers to this time period when paper manufacturers were under pressure to create a large quantity of paper very cheaply in order to meet the demand of the publishing industry. The wood pulp was cheaper to process into paper but resulted in very brittle paper over time. When brittle paper is torn, or more accurately “broken”, it is difficult to mend as the mend ends up being stronger than the paper being repaired and it simply breaks again along the edge of the mend. There are processes for deacidifying paper, such as washing it to remove some of the impurities and adjust the pH to a more neutral level, or spraying it with an alkaline solution to slow down the process of aging. However, there are often conservation solutions that simply are not feasible for us due to the cost or labor involved. Thus, creating post binders was the right solution for us at this time.

The assembled post binder
The sewing books’ pages were already loose and simply resting inside the sewing album covers, so disbinding was not necessary. The first step of stabilizing the pages was to put each page in a protective Mylar sleeve. This type of sleeve is often referred to as an L-sleeve because the edges are sealed along two sides in an L shape. They serve as a protective barrier both for the item inside the sleeve as well as anything it might come into contact with, such as neighboring sewing samples in this case. Once all the pages were sleeved, the next step was to drill holes near the spine edge so that the posts could be inserted through the covers and the block of pages. However, due to the thickness of the sewing samples, spacers were needed at the spine edge between some of the pages or else the spine would be much narrower than the pages which would result in a wedge shaped book that bulges open at the fore edge. Spacers of museum board (similar to mat board)  were cut to the height of the text block and drilled with a drill press (see pictures). The Mylar pages were also drilled based on the same template so that the holes will align when the binder is assembled. Custom covers were made in three pieces - a spine piece and two covers. The covers also had to be drilled. Once all the parts were prepared, the post binding was actually quite simple to assemble. The screw posts come in a variety of lengths so they can be fit to any thickness of textblock.

Additional views of the assembled post binder
Though it is common to have an extra allowance of space on the spine edge of the Mylar so that the pages can turn, these sleeves were left even larger so that the sewing book pages would not have to flex as much. The original stamped cover designs of the sewing books were removed and adhered to the front of the new post binders. Because the sleeves are not sealed along the top edge at the head of each book, custom-fitted clamshells were later built to house the binders to prevent them from collecting dust.

An open view of the post binder
The post binders are a versatile option for protecting the pages of a book. In this case, they may not be the perfect solution, but they have succeeded in stabilizing the pages and making them a bit safer to handle with a class of students. Ultimately, that is usually our goal - to preserve items for use with researchers, classes of students, and perhaps in exhibitions. 

New DVDs at UNCG

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

New DVDs

Thu, 04 Mar 2021 21:40:00 +0000

Slay the dragon 


The crown. The complete third season 
What we do in the shadows. The complete second season
The twilight zone. Season two 
Lovecraft country. The complete first season
Pennyworth. The complete first season 
His dark materials. The complete first season
Cobra Kai. Seasons 1 & 2 

North Carolina Literary Map Blog

Your Tour Guides to Fictional Places: Watch the Quarantine Tour's Launch Reading

Fri, 05 Mar 2021 00:42:00 +0000

Last month, in partnership with the NC Writers’ Network and North Carolina Literary Review, we launched the NC Quarantine Literary Tour—a virtual tour of fictional places created by nine North Carolina authors.

During the February 18th launch event, attendees were treated to a whirlwind reading by accomplished writers across the state, excerpting their or others' work in imaginary landscapes. From Leah Hampton's peaceful dip into Wilma Dykeman's Thicketty Creek; to Carole Boston Weatherford's disquieting look into Charles W. Chesnutt's insurrectionary Wellington; to Clyde Edgerton's hilarious portrait of Listre residents—it was a night to remember!

If you missed the live event, we have good news: a recording of the reading is now available! Now you can explore the Quarantine Tour with our brilliant tour guides anytime. Access the video of the launch reading here.

And don't forget: you can always take the Quarantine Tour solo on the Map!

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!

This 1950 photograph shows the view of College Avenue from stairs of Curry Building across Spring...

Wed, 14 Apr 2021 10:00:54 -0400

This 1950 photograph shows the view of College Avenue from stairs of Curry Building across Spring Garden Street. College Avenue was designed in the early 1900s by landscape architect Warren Henry Manning to be the central artery of the campus. It was converted to a pedestrian mall in 2004. Spring Garden Street is a main east/west artery running through the heart of the campus. The section of Spring Garden Street between Aycock Street and Tate Street was extensively improved in 1998 to create a landscaped boulevard.

UNC Greensboro Digital Collections

Digital collections news from UNC Greensboro University Libraries

Gateway, our new digital collections platform

Fri, 26 Mar 2021 13:36:00 +0000


After a year of planning and another year of implementation (including some tech delays), we're happy to announce that Gateway, our new digital collections website is almost ready for prime time!

Gateway uses the Islandora software platform and provides a site that should be easier to use and search, more attractive (especially on mobile devices), and easier to maintain. The migration has also allowed us a rare opportunity to completely re-think our collection organization and to clean up some data (and other) mistakes we've made over the past fifteen years or so.

Gateway will also serve as more of a community-based site, highlighting not just our collections, but those of our community partners, hence the new name.

We're also adding a lot of new collections and items as we launch. More on that later.

We're still fine-tuning a few things, but we'd love it if you could take a few minutes to explore the site and let us know what you think!