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By: Linda Sellars

Blog post contributed by Taylor de Klerk and Jessica Serrao, Library Associates

The Frances M. Richardson Papers are now fully processed and available for research in the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC). That means enhanced search and discovery for researchers, and improved preservation conditions for the materials now stored in archival folders and boxes. This is a must-see collection for anyone interested in the legacy of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) at North Carolina State University. The new guide to the collection is available here.

Frances Richardson with microscope

Frances Marian (Billie) Richardson came to NC State in 1951 as a research associate in the Department of Engineering Research, working closely with the Department of Chemical Engineering. She earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Roanoke College and an M.S. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati. She became a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemists in 1969. Richardson was the first woman faculty member of the School (now College) of Engineering. Later, she shifted into roles as associate director of the Engineering Operations Program and as a faculty member of the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering.

Dr. Kenneth O. Beatty and Frances Richardson measuring velocity with radioactive tracers

Much of Richardson’s research and publications focused on fluid mechanics and infrared imaging thermography, and she received the Sigma Xi Research Award in 1959 and the Roanoke College Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 1970 as results of her work. Richardson was first drawn to NC State because it was the first academic campus to build a nuclear reactor (which was also the first constructed outside Atomic Energy Commission facilities). For over a decade, she researched in rheology and used a radioactive tracer displacement technique to trace the flow of non-Newtonian fluids. In 1979, Richardson was elected the first president of the North Carolina Society of Women Engineers and the society named her Outstanding Woman Engineer in 1980.

Over the course of four months last fall, Special Collections’ Library Associates sorted through and processed 30 cartons of Richardson’s papers. The scope of the materials in the collection is diverse and highlight Richardson’s deep devotion to her research, her students, her departments, and the university. Richardson’s papers speak to her teaching, professional involvement in the fields of chemistry and biomedical engineering, and especially her passion for encouraging women and minority students to pursue STEM fields at NCSU and beyond.

Piles of folders separated by subject were created during processing to group related topics for easier access and discovery

Richardson was one of a relatively small number of women pursuing a STEM career in the mid-twentieth century. She overcame obstacles throughout her research and her professional advancement at NC State, some of which are documented in this collection. Her various roles over the years with student chapters of the Society of Women Engineers and Sigma Xi are also well represented. The more time SCRC staff spent with these materials, the better they understood Richardson’s personality. Her humor showed through with surprising finds like parodies about computers and a healthy collection of comic strips.

The Frances M. Richardson Papers is now available in the Special Collections Research Center for anyone interested in learning more about her. Additionally, there are related materials within other collections, including the Society of Women Engineers NCSU Student Section Records (UA 021.497), the Sigma Xi Records (MC 00246), records of multiple departments within the College of Engineering, and the soon-to-come Kenneth O. Beatty Papers (MC 00546).

For more information about the Frances M. Richardson Papers, please consult the collection guide online. To learn more about finding and using archival collections at NCSU, please visit our website.  You can also search directly within our collection guides or browse a list of our collections for more.  If you have any questions about how to find or use the collections, as always, contact us!  We are here to help you find what you need.

By: Gwynn Thayer

Blog post contributed by Lindsey Naylor

The Landscape Architecture Archive in the Special Collections Research Center provided historical insight on Monday for Master of Landscape Architecture students working to redesign the courtyard space behind Bragaw Residence Hall.

The full space between the Bragaw, Lee and Sullivan residence halls was designed in the early 1970s by Lewis Clarke, a well-known modernist landscape architect who taught in the NC State Department of Landscape Architecture during the 1950s and 1960s. The Lewis Clarke Collection, one of the largest in the archive, includes as-built drawings and project files for the space, which was one of several residence hall projects that Clarke’s firm completed for NC State at the time.

Clarke’s original design included an amphitheater, a rolling lawn with clusters of trees, a courtyard off of the Bragaw common area, an entry planting off of the Sullivan parking lot, and a series of sweeping brick paths with white brick accents that echoed the style of the paths designed by Richard Bell and installed a decade earlier to the west of the Brickyard.

Students are proposing new designs for the Bragaw space, which has morphed over time as Fountain Dining Hall was constructed and as new paths were installed that cut through the original design. The drawings and files from the Clarke collection helped paint a picture for students of how and why the Bragaw space evolved, which pieces of the current landscape are remnants of the Clarke design, and how a new design might respond to the site’s historical context.

In addition to the Clarke drawings and files, students were able to review slide images from the Office of the University Architect Records that showed Clarke’s models and concept diagrams for the project, the construction process, and the final constructed space.

Students examine slide images of Clarke's models and of the 1970s iteration of the Bragaw landscape.

Images in the Rare and Unique Digital Collections showed students how the space was used before Bragaw’s construction in 1958: During the 1940s the site was home to Vetville, a community of pre-fabricated apartments for veteran students with families, and one of several campus projects built quickly to accommodate the post-war boom of students attending NC State with support from the G.I. Bill.

The site once was home to Vetville, a pre-fabricated apartment community for veteran students with families.

Combined, the collections offered a rich history of the site for students who are considering how to transform it yet again. Students will translate their designs into construction documents, with the possibility that one scheme will be constructed by a summer Design+Build class. The studio, LAR 503 Design Development, led by Carla Delcambre and Jesse Turner, is working with University Housing and the NC State Facilities Division to get feedback on designs throughout the semester.

By: Gwynn Thayer

Blog post contributed by Lindsey Naylor

In LAR 582: Landscape Architecture Theory and Criticism, students take part in formal class debates and deploy arguments that draw from their growing knowledge of theory. For the first debate, Professor Kofi Boone assigned two teams that argue opposing sides of the question: Is the new landscape for the Talley Student Union a step forward or a step backward?

But only two students had actually seen the previous student union landscape — a visit to the Special Collections Research Center was definitely called for! With access to detailed drawings and archival images pulled from three separate collections, the whole class could grasp the forms, spaces and uses that defined what was then called the Student Center Plaza.

The former plaza was designed by Richard Bell, a renowned local landscape architect who just a few years earlier had designed the Brickyard. Bell’s design for the Student Center Plaza featured a multi-level fountain that stepped down into the site; walls and plantings that created a buffer against the railroad and the traffic of Dunn Avenue; an amoeba-like open lawn; and seating that wrapped around the site and the student union.

A 1980s view of the former Student Center Plaza. Dunn Avenue is beyond the wall in the background. UA 003.026

Students in Boone’s class came to D.H. Hill Library on Thursday to see in person the drawings and images from the Richard C. Bell Drawings and Other Materials, the Office of the University Architect Records, and the G. Milton Small Papers.

The Richard C. Bell collection, in the Landscape Architecture Archive, holds about a dozen drawings for his Student Center Plaza design, including grading and planting plans, site sections, construction details and illustrative renderings.

The University Architect collection has dozens of slide images, taken in the 1970s and 1980s, that give a rich picture of the plaza’s use and its human scale. About 25 of the slides were scanned for Boone’s class and soon will be available online in the Rare and Unique Digital Collections.

The Small collection includes floor plans, elevations and perspective renderings of the Student Center and the Student Supply Store, the two buildings that formed the southern and western edges of the plaza. The Student Supply Store was demolished during the new Talley construction, and the Student Center was gutted to form the core of the new building.

Students examine Bell's 1975 grading plan for the Student Center Plaza.

SCRC holds a wealth of materials that give insight into the history of community spaces on NC State’s campus. Boone, who works in the Experience Design Lab at the College of Design, is exploring ways to use digitized archival images and oral histories in conjunction with site-based virtual and augmented reality, to enrich individual experiences of campus and other landscapes.

Boone brought to class an Oculus Gear VR to share a 360-degree image of the current Talley landscape and refresh students’ memories of the existing site design. SCRC Associate Head and Curator Gwynn Thayer brought an early “model” as a fun, historical comparison– a stereoviewer, which was the 19th century’s attempt at creating a three-dimensional alternate reality.

Kofi Boone uses the Oculus Gear VR to view a 360-degree image of the current Talley Student Union landscape.

Student Jackson Kiel uses the stereoviewer to view a 19th-century sublime landscape.

By: Todd Kosmerick

“A & M” Becomes “State”

NC State's Block-S logo in the 1918 Agromeck

NC State's Block S logo in the 1918 Agromeck

In 2017 our university celebrates the hundredth anniversary of being “State.”  When founded in 1887, our name was the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, and most students fondly referred to it as “A & M.”  That changed in early 1917 when the North Carolina state legislature changed the name to North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering.

This name was cumbersome in casual conversation, and people soon proposed shortened forms.  One was “A & E,” obviously modeled on the previous “A & M.”  Students and many alumni immediately opposed this and countered with “State College” or just “State.”  At a 27 March 1917 meeting, the student body formally adopted “State,” and many alumni agreed it was the best “popular” form of the name.  The 15 April 1917 issue of the Red & White student publication (see below)  reported on the student and alumni reaction.

The same Red & White issue may also have been the first publication on campus to use the new college name in its masthead.  The 1917 Agromeck must have been finalized or gone to press prior to the name change because it still displayed a modified version of the old “A & M.”  The changes did make their way into the 1918 Agromeck, in which the “Block S” also appeared.

The Red & White

Red & White September 1910

Red & White was an early student publication on the NC State campus.

With this posting in the “Special Collections News” we introduce the Red & White as a new resource available through our Rare and Unique Digital Collections portal.  The Red & White was published by students, and it was the closest thing to a campus newspaper prior to the Technician, which did not begin publishing until 1920.  While the Red & White focused on athletics, it also reported on events and activities on campus, and it frequently included essays, short stories, poetry, and humor.  It published several times throughout the academic year, if sometimes irregularly.  Having begun in 1899, the Red & White ceased publication with the 15 April 1917 issue mentioned above.  The United States had entered World War I just days prior to this, and the college administration decided to stop all student publications for the duration of the war, except for the Agromeck yearbook.  The Red & White never returned, however, after hostilities ceased.

By: Virginia Ferris

We’re happy to announce that the SCRC’s mobile oral history program, Wolf Tales, has received a 2016-2017 Diversity Mini-Grant from the NCSU Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity (OIED). As described in this announcement from NCSU Libraries, the grant will support focused outreach to campus groups to document the voices of historically underrepresented students at NC State.

Shima Idries and Shamms DiarBakerli, Wolf Tales recording, 5 May 2016

Shima Idries and Shamms DiarBakerli, Wolf Tales recording, 5 May 2016

In its first year Wolf Tales has captured 41 recordings with a diverse range of voices, from current students to alumni of the class of 1943. The Wolf Tales video recordings and transcripts are archived and shared online through the Libraries’ Rare & Unique Digital Collections site. The Libraries has brought Wolf Tales recording stations to events ranging from annual reunions of the NCSU Alumni Association to “open days” in the Libraries where participants are invited to sit down individually or in groups of 2-3 people to make a 10-20 minute recording.

Student and alumni participants in the first year of Wolf Tales recordings.

Student and alumni participants in the first year of Wolf Tales recordings.

Having partnered with the African American Cultural Center to record student and alumni voices at Harambee! 2016, Wolf Tales will work with other campus organizations that support current and former students whose experiences have not been fully represented in written documentation, including in African American, LGBT, military veteran, Muslim, Latinx, and Native American communities.

Elwood and Diane Hill Becton, at the African American Cultural Center's Harambee 2016, 8 September 2016

Elwood and Diane Hill Becton, at the African American Cultural Center's Harambee 2016, 8 September 2016

Cynthia M. Sharpe, Destinie Statum, and Jakini Kauba at Harambee! 2016, 8 September 2016

Cynthia M. Sharpe, Destinie Statum, and Jakini Kauba at Harambee! 2016, 8 September 2016

Plans are currently underway to bring Wolf Tales to the GLBT Center’s Lavender Graduation in April 2017 to gather stories of the experiences of GLBT students and their allies. Wolf Tales plans to extend this framework to other underrepresented voices through partnerships with other OIED units and student groups to create a more diverse, inclusive record and to prevent future silences in the archives.

If you’re interested in making a recording or discussing a possible partnership with Wolf Tales, please contact library_wolftales@ncsu.edu, and visit the Wolf Tales website for more information. We are actively seeking partners and would love to hear from you!

By: Virginia Ferris

Currently on display in the William Rand Kenan Jr. Library of Veterinary Medicine is a selection of items highlighting the history of the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine, a legacy preserved and shared by the Special Collections Research Center. The display features materials that tell the story of the evolution of the College of Veterinary Medicine, focusing especially on the administrators, faculty, and students at the heart of that story. Below is a preview of the items on display – visit the Veterinary Medicine Library to see more!

Veterinary Medicine campus site, circa 1977.

Veterinary Medicine campus site, circa 1977.

The two original barns were built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the 1930s. The site became the University Dairy Farm for NC State in 1940, before becoming part of the original campus of the School of Veterinary Medicine (later re-named the College of Veterinary Medicine in 1987).  Photographs located in the Terrence M. Curtin Papers (MC 00420).

Terrence Curtin, founding dean of the NCSU School of Veterinary Medicine, serving from 1979-1992.

Terrence Curtin, founding dean of the NCSU School of Veterinary Medicine, serving from 1979-1992.

A biography of founding dean Terrence Curtin, in the 1984 “Fact Book” for School of Veterinary Medicine, is located in the NCSU Office of Equal Opportunity and Equity Records (UA 005.009).

Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medicine Association, featured in 1984 Vet Med yearbook, "VetCetera."

NCSU Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medicine Association, featured in 1984 Vet Med yearbook, "VetCetera."

The NCSU Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medicine Association (SCAVMA) was founded in 1981, by the first class of students enrolled in the School of Veterinary Medicine. Image above is found in the Vet Med 1984 yearbook, “VetCetera,” located in the College of Veterinary Medicine Publications (UA 145.200).

Installing whale skeleton in College of Veterinary Medicine building, 1988.

Installing whale skeleton in College of Veterinary Medicine building, 1988.

The College of Veterinary Medicine installed a whale skeleton in its main building in 1988, after collecting the skeleton from the Outer Banks in 1986 through the work of faculty members J.W. Doyle, Ed Smallwood, and Paul Nader, as well as Vet Med student and faculty volunteers and the National Guard. The above photographs are located in the Terrence M. Curtin Papers (MC 00420). More information on the skeleton discovery and installation can be found in the Technician article below.

Technician article, Oct. 1, 1986: “Skeleton gave Vet School ‘whale’ of a job”

Technician article, Oct. 1, 1986: “Skeleton gave Vet School ‘whale’ of a job”

These items and more will be on display in the Vet Med Library through the spring 2017 semester.

You can learn more about the history of the College of Veterinary Medicine through its Historical State timeline, and in other collection materials in the SCRC, including digitized photographs, documents, folders, and a written history by founding dean Terrence M. Curtin. If you have questions about the display or about these or other items in the SCRC, please contact us!

https://d.lib.ncsu.edu/collections/catalog?f%5Bformat%5D%5B%5D=Text&q=veterinary+medicine

By: Virginia Ferris

To help ring in the new year, we’re highlighting several issues of the Technician newspaper, featuring New Year’s wishes for NC State students from the student newspaper’s earliest years.

The Technician, Jan. 4, 1924

The Technician, Jan. 4, 1924

The above issue from Jan. 4, 1924, included New Year greetings to students from Eugene Clyde Brooks, president of NC State from 1923-1934, encouraging the “young men” of State College (two years before the first women graduated with degrees from NC State) “who seek a new freedom on a higher moral and intellectual plane during the year 1924″ – and to avoid the “many opportunities” to indulge “low and base conduct.”

Below, a Jan. 1, 1922 issue celebrated a basketball victory over the holiday break and gave similar words of encouragement – especially urging the students to work “with and not against Student Government,” and help State College, as NC State was known at the time, continue to grow in positive ways.

he Technician, Jan. 1, 1922

The Technician, Jan. 1, 1922

You can browse these and many more issues online through our digitized Technician archive. Looking at first January issues of the year of the Technician over the years, the newspaper has reported on some common occurrences that are still relevant today as we prepare to start back into a new semester – basketball victories, the inaugurations of new governors, and students returning to campus and registering for classes, through rain, snow, and ice at times.

If you are interested in learning more about the digitized Technician online, or any other resources in our Rare and Unique Digital Collections and collection guides, please feel free to contact us.  We hope that this new year brings the very best to all of our students, faculty and researchers!

By: Laura Abraham

The holidays are nearly upon us, and NC State students have finished their exams and preparing for winter break. We here at the Special Collections and Research Center at NCSU Libraries want to wish you Happy Holidays and show off the Rare and Unique Digital Collections, so here are videos, images, and documents featuring Christmas trees, an important plant industry in North Carolina. Let’s start off with two videos we have digitally preserved and uploaded to our site. Enjoy!

Christmas Plants

Click image to watch: "Christmas Plants": Caring for Live Christmas Trees

Christmas Trees

Click image to watch: "Christmas Trees": Interview with Hal Reynolds and Fred Whitfield

Here is a selection of digitized images from our archives. The Christmas trees shown here not only come from collections highlighting University history and its winters past, but also our focus on forestry, home demonstration, and agricultural extension.

Decorating the Christmas tree at the College Union, 1955
Decorating the Christmas tree at the College Union, 1955
Students decorating a Christmas tree
Students decorating a Christmas tree in the Student Union, 1961
YMCA Christmas
Christmas at the YMCA, 1950s
4-H club boys give a demonstration on Christmas trees

4-H club boys give a demonstration on Christmas trees, 1954

Home Demonstration women setting up Christmas decorations at Broughton Hospital

Home Demonstration women setting up Christmas decorations at Broughton Hospital, 1960's

Home Demonstration exhibit "Stitch In Time For Christmas"

Home Demonstration exhibit "Stitch In Time For Christmas" at NC State Fair, 1960

Colored lantern slide of "Christmas tree land"

Colored lantern slide of "Christmas tree land," as viewed from Roan Mountain, circa 1920s

County Agent J. C. Powell examining cedar plantings

Forestry extension agent examping cedar plantings, future Christmas trees, 1942

Christmas Tree Plantation in Mountains

Christmas tree farm in the mountains, 1973

Finally, here are two text documents, “Forestry manual and record book for 4-H club members” and “Pathways To A New Century: Summary Report 1987-1990.” Both discuss the importance of Christmas trees as an economical resource, one as a guide written for young 4-H club members, the other a progress report for NC Cooperative Extension Service workers.

Forestry manual and record book for 4-H club membersPathways To A New Century - Summary Report 1987-1990

Again, have a wonderful break! If you would like to learn more about the Special Collections Research Center and our digitized materials, please visit the Rare and Unique Digital Collections for access to thousands of images, video, audio recordings, and textual materials documenting NC State history and other topics.

By: Gwynn Thayer

Oral history interview with Chuck Flink

Oral history interview with Chuck Flink

The Special Collections Research Center now has available an oral history interview with Charles “Chuck” Flink. The interview can be accessed here. Too, Special Collections has the Greenways Incorporated Records and Charles A. Flink Papers which are also open for research.

There are other oral history resources relating to Landscape Architecture in Special Collections, including the Lewis Clarke Oral Histories. Those oral histories can be accessed here.

Also available is an oral history with Richard C. Bell.

For more information about landscape architecture collections, please visit our collections page here.

By: Virginia Ferris

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941.  This event touched the lives of all Americans, including students here at NC State at the time.

In an oral history interview with William C. Friday, Friday describes his memories of first hearing about the attack on Pearl Harbor while he was a student at NC State (known at the time as State College), and its impact on his life. William Friday graduated from State College in 1941 with a degree in Textile Manufacturing, and went on to serve as President of the University of North Carolina system from 1956-1986.

Oral history with William C. Friday

Oral history with William C. Friday

Friday’s oral history can be heard as part of the Student Leadership Initiative, along with many other interviews with former student leaders over the years.

The Technician newspaper includes other evidence of the impact of Pearl Harbor on students at NC State.  According to the student newspaper on Feb. 7, 1942, NC State student Robert Westbrook was killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Westbrook, a Raleigh native, was a radio operator in a bomber.

Clipping from Feb. 1942 Technician, acknowledging the death of student Robert Westbrook in Pearl Harbor.

Clipping from Feb. 1942 Technician, acknowledging the death of student Robert Westbrook in Pearl Harbor.

Almost one year after the attack, on Dec. 4, 1942, the Technician describes a “quiet observance” planned to take place at the Memorial Bell Tower, honoring “those alumni killed at Pearl Harbor or in other war action.” As part of the ceremony, ROTC units marched to the Bell Tower and played taps, one moment of silence was observed, and no speeches were made.

Clipping from Dec. 4, 1942, Technician describing Pearl Harbor remembrance ceremony.

Clipping from Dec. 4, 1942, Technician describing Pearl Harbor remembrance ceremony.

More student reactions to Pearl Harbor and other military events over the years can be found in digitized issues of the Technician, available through our Rare & Unique Digital Collections.  If you are interested in exploring or learning more about these or other collections in the Special Collections Research Center, please contact us.