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By: Cathy Dorin-Black

When the Rolling Stones perform Wednesday night in Raleigh, circumstances will differ from their first appearance at NC State 50 years ago on November 10, 1965. That concert was during their second American tour; Wednesday night’s will be during their 20th. In 1965 they performed before 14,000 fans at Reynolds Coliseum; on Wednesday it will be 50,000+ at Carter-Finley Stadium.

The reviews may be different as well. A reporter with the Technician (NC State’s student paper) in 1965 was not impressed with their appearance, as can be seen in the article below published in the November 16th edition.

1965 Technician review of Rolling Stones

According to the reporter, the Stones attracted mostly a high school crowd, followed other performers that included Patti Labelle and the Bluebells, and played for only 15 minutes.  He reported that although they performed such hits as “Get Off of My Cloud” and “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” they ultimately disappointed the fans. He predicted that “unlike the habits of the new-rich, the Stones are investing their money so that ‘they can retire and never work another day when their popularity begins to wane.’” As the Stones take over Carter-Finley Wednesday night, they prove that neither has happened yet.

For more Technician articles and images illustrating events from NC State’s past, browse our digitized collections.

In 2015 the Stones play Carter-Finley Stadium

In 1965 the Stones played Reynolds Coliseum

By: Gwynn Thayer

Because the College of Design played such a critical role in his early development as an architect, Phil Freelon has chosen the NCSU Libraries as the home for his architectural archive: “I am proud to be a member of the NC State family,” Freelon noted, “and it is an honor to be recognized in this way.” Freelon has donated  his architectural records from his earliest years as a practitioner and plans to add to his archive in the future.

In addition to being a student in the College of Design in the 70’s, Freelon has taught at the College, served on its Design Guild/Design Life Board, the Board of Visitors, and the Board of Trustees. He has designed several buildings on campus, including the Partners III Lab Building on Centennial Campus and the new Gregg Museum addition, currently under construction.

Freelon is the founder and President of The Freelon Group, Inc.  His work has been published in national professional journals including Architecture, Progressive Architecture, Architectural Record, and Contract Magazine, where he was named Designer of the Year for 2008.

Metropolis and Metropolitan Home magazines and the New York Times have also featured Freelon and his firm.  His furniture design has been recognized nationally,  including first prize in the PPG Furniture Design Competition and design contract work with Herman Miller.

A native of Philadelphia, PA, Freelon earned his Bachelor of Environmental Design degree in Architecture from North Carolina State University and his Master of Architecture degree from MIT.  He then received a Loeb Fellowship and spent a year of independent study at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Freelon went on to serve as an adjunct faculty member at North Carolina State University’s College of Design and has been a visiting critic/lecturer at Harvard, MIT, the University of Maryland, Syracuse University, Auburn University, the University of Utah, the California College of the Arts, Kent State University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, among others.  He is currently on the faculty at MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning.

Freelon is a Peer Professional for the GSA’s Design Excellence Program and has served on numerous design award juries, including the National AIA Institute Honor Awards jury and the National Endowment for the Arts Design Stewardship Panel. He is also a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, a LEED Accredited Professional, and the 2009 recipient of the AIA Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture.

Appointed in 2011 by President Barack Obama to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, Freelon is part of the team leading the design for the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture and is a preeminent architectural designer of museums featuring African-American history, including the Center for Civil & Human Rights in Atlanta and the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco.

By: Linda Sellars

Arcade Building for E. W. Grove by Charles N. Parker, Architect, Asheville, N.C., 15 July 1926

Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Design is a significant collecting area for the Special Collections Research Center, as well as an area of excellence at the university and a corresponding strength within the NCSU Libraries’ overall collection. Including papers, drawings, and records of prominent architects, landscape architects, and greenways planners in North Carolina and the southeastern United States, with an emphasis on major modernists, as well as collections documenting the historic architecture of North Carolina, industrial design and graphic design, these collections contain much material that is large or fragile or beautiful or all of the above. Thus, they require special arrangements for storage and transportation.

The beauty of architectural collections is often hidden when they first arrive. If the architect stopped practicing or the firm went out of business years before we receive the collection, then the material may have been stored in less than ideal conditions and may no longer be organized as it was when it was regularly used.

To preserve architectural drawings, we store them either rolled or flat in acid-free enclosures. Rolled drawings are rolled on acid-free cores and wrapped in acid-free paper. Flat drawings are stored in acid-free folders in metal flat files with baked epoxy finishes.

Storage for rolled drawings.

Flat storage for architectural drawings.

Because of their size, we need special equipment to transport architectural drawings. To move either rolled or flat drawings within one building, we use this cart with a top constructed for us by our Building Services Department:

Cart for moving architectural drawings.

To move drawings from our off-site storage facility to our Reading Room in the main library in order for users to see them, we use a variety of cases, including these:

Case to transport rolled drawings.

Cases to transport flat drawings.

For information about our collections in the areas of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Design, please consult our website.

By: Laura Abraham

We here at North Carolina State University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center would like to send our regards to students on summer break and those enrolled in summer semester at N. C. State.

Here are some images from SCRC’s archives of past summers at N. C. State.

Student laying on grass outside of the D. H. Hill library

Summer school commencement, 1949

North Carolina State University Summer Session catalog, 1978

Dancer at International Night, Summer 1979

Summer league baseball team group photo

Students in class during summer session

If you want to see more images of N. C. State students or examine Special Collections’ other digitized images, please visit NCSU Libraries’ Rare and Unique Digital Collections, which provides access to thousands of images, video, audio recordings, and textual materials documenting NC State history and other topics.

By: Jennifer Baker

Contributed by Molly Foley.

Carolina Co-operator, March 1937

A newly acquired collection at the Special Collections Research Center, the Jane Simpson McKimmon Papers, documents McKimmon’s accomplishments and work in the home demonstration field from the 1910s to the 1960s. McKimmon was a prominent figure in home demonstration and economics in North Carolina. She held a position in the Farmer’s Institute and later worked as a State Demonstration Agent. From cooking and fashion to party planning and pumpkin farming, she helped women acquire the skills necessary to provide for their families and maintain a welcoming home. The collection contains many scripts from radio show broadcasts in which she shares success stories of women who made profits by selling things from their gardens and farms. She also describes her experiences with gardening and provides tips on various topics, such as finding good walking shoes, preventing moths from eating garments, and canning fruit.

Her demonstrated leadership in family and consumer science led her to speak at land grant meetings and write informational articles about the training of home agents, developing leadership among rural women, and home demonstration marketing. Her teaching endeavors helped women develop greater independence, especially during the World Wars when men were often drafted and women took on greater responsibilities in the home and in the workplace.

This small collection consists of personal writings, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and publications about Jane Simpson McKimmon’s personal life, work, and retirement. To access the Jane Simpson McKimmon Papers, please consult the collection guide and contact the Special Collections Research Center.

By: Brian Dietz

This post was contributed by Cecilia Rose, ARL CEP Fellow.

There is a common misconception these days that the library world is in decay and doomed to extinction thanks to the big, shiny computer industry. As a graduate student of library, archival and information studies, I am often faced with an inquisitive yet slightly patronizing look when telling people what I’m studying. “But, aren’t libraries closing?” “Can’t people just google everything now?” These are not unusual responses. The good news is: they’re wrong!

Not only is the library industry alive and well, it has embraced this new technological landscape to a level that guarantees our survival well into the future. Libraries have become tech hubs in their own right, offering modern spaces to public and academic audiences for not just research and circulation purposes, but for hands-on interaction with the very tools that are supposed to be bringing our demise. Want to produce a video? Check out our digital media lab! Want to build a robot? Hit the makerspace! This is not the dusty and stuffy library environment of yore.

So what am I getting at? Well, the reason I find myself here, writing to you all, is that I was looking for a career where I could combine my love for technology with a passion for learning about the past. You see, I’m a history buff: I love reading historical novels, looking at historical photos, watching historical films, touring historical neighborhoods… you get the picture. The first tourist thing I did upon my arrival in Raleigh was spend 4 hours perusing the halls of the North Carolina Museum of History. I know all about the Tar Heel State now, thank you very much. From the Cherokee to the Antebellum era, Civil War to Civil Rights, and Blackbeard to the Wright Flyer–y’all sure have an interesting story to tell!

But enough about your story, let’s get back to mine! In January 2014 I began graduate studies at the iSchool (otherwise known as SLAIS) at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, Canada, where I have been living for almost 20 years. In late 2014, mid-way through my studies, I was awarded a scholarship by the Association of Research Libraries. They have several programs that help library school students who identify as minorities and demonstrate an interest in academic librarianship gain valuable experience in the field. I was honored to be chosen to participate in the ARL’s Career Enhancement Program, which offers a weekend Leadership Symposium and 6-12 week paid internship opportunity. I was doubly honored to be chosen by NCSU Libraries to come down and spend 8 weeks here at NC State!

ARL CEP Current Fellows
My profile on the ARL CEP Current Fellows page.

I am now 4 weeks into the internship and wow! What a fantastic community of innovative thinkers and dedicated collaborators you have here. And everyone has been so kind and friendly to boot. I am located in the Special Collections Research Center, and considering my fascination with the crossroads of history and technology, I couldn’t imagine a better place to be. I get to work under the supervision of the ever-resourceful Brian Dietz, Digital Program Librarian for Special Collections, who has managed to cull together several meaningful and interesting projects for me to work on within a short timeframe.

The main two that I am currently elbow-deep in are: looking into a Google Analytics strategy for the SCRC Collection Guides; and with the help of the User Experience department, 3D scanning of SCRC artifacts. Getting to know Google Analytics has been a very rewarding challenge so far, for there is a lot to learn, especially how to best use this very feature-filled and business-centric program in an academic library context. In the end I hope to contribute significantly to the design of an analytics strategy that will provide the SCRC with relevant data reports that they can use to better understand how users interact with the guides and further improve usability. With the 3D scanning project, I’m excited to test out various scanning methods on several special collections items to help enhance documentation of the scanning process for reference purposes. We have selected a number of small artifacts to start with, and soon I will meet with the User Experience team to review and start trying out some of their amazing 3D scanning technologies.

In addition to working on these wonderful projects, I also get a mentor, the incredibly accomplished Kris Alpi, Director of the William Rand Kenan, Jr. Library of Veterinary Medicine. I can’t speak enough about the advantage of having access to Kris’s tutelage, advice, and experience in all things academic, library, and research-related! Not to mention, she’s an amazing role model and someone to aspire to live up to as I launch my career.

In addition to thanking Kris and Brian for their patience and guidance, I would also like to thank Lisa Ruth, Associate Head for Recruiting and Visitor Relations, who was instrumental in granting me this fantastic opportunity, and everyone in the Special Collections Research Center and User Experience departments who I’ve had the pleasure to meet and collaborate with so far. Special thanks to the ARL and Institute of Museum and Library Services, of course, for making this opportunity possible in the first place! I look forward to the next few weeks, especially getting to know more about the library community here at NC State, and contributing in any way that I can.

By: Todd Kosmerick

Mary Yarbrough, one of the first women to graduate from NC State

The Special Collections Research Center recently acquired the papers of Mary Elizabeth Yarbrough (1904-1984), one of the first women awarded a degree by  NC State University. The collection contains 24.5 linear feet of correspondence, photographs, publications, music books, newsclippings, photocopies, and artifacts. Most of these materials document Yarbrough’s life and career, as well as her family, the Ellis and Yarbrough families of Raleigh. Items in the collection date from approximately 1850 until 2005.

Not only was Mary Yarbrough one of the first women to receive a degree from NC State, she was also one of the first women to receive a graduate degree when, in 1927, she earned an M.S. in chemistry from the university. In 1941 she received her Ph.D. from Duke University. She was a well-known instructor at Meredith College in Raleigh, serving on the faculty from 1929 until 1972, heading the chemistry and physics department, and finally becoming the assistant director of the cooperative education program.

Louis Yarbrough, father of Mary Yarbrough and member of Class of 1893

The Yarbrough family had an important relationship with NC State during its earliest years.  Mary’s father, Louis, was a member of the Class of 1893, which was the first graduating class of the college.  His family lived in a house on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh, and some of the first students who came to the new college in 1889 stayed and ate there.

More information about the Mary Yarbrough Papers can be found in the online collection guide. The collection is open for research in the D. H. Hill Library on the NC State campus.  Access requires at least 48 hours advance notice. Persons interested in looking at the collection should contact Special Collections.

By: Gwynn Thayer

An exhibit case featuring materials from the Special Collections Research Center welcomes visitors this summer at the William Rand Kenan, Jr. Library of Veterinary Medicine.  The exhibit showcases the diversity of pathology work in the twentieth century, from research to practice to service. Items from three different collections are featured. This item, shown below, is from the Milton M. Leonard Papers; it lists a veterinarian’s fee schedule (relating to dog hospitalization) from approximately 1950. Several other items in the exhibit, not pictured here, show the fee schedules of veterinary services (including pathology procedures) in the 1950s.

Dr. Milton Leonard opened a veterinary practice in Asheville, North Carolina, in 1914, and was awarded the Distinguished Veterinarian Award by the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association (NCVMA) in 1978. The collection also includes Dr. Leonard’s research files, research papers, and various other items he collected during his career, such as medical brochures and catalogs.

The Edward J. Noga Papers are also featured in the exhibit. Dr. Noga was Professor of Aquatic Medicine in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Professor of Zoology. Dr. Noga’s main research interests were infectious diseases in fish and shellfish, with a focus on immune mechanisms and how these are affected by environmental stressors and toxins. Pathological explorations, especially necropsies of fish, were integral to Dr. Noga’s work. Included in the exhibit is an example of a clinical pathology datasheet from the red-sore project Dr. Noga conducted in the 1980s.

Finally, one item from the Animal Rights and Animal Welfare Pamphlets is featured; this collection was written about in a press release also published in our blog.

For more information about items in Special Collections relating to Veterinary Medicine and Zoological Health, please go to: and

By: Rose Buchanan

By Rose Buchanan and Rachel Jacobson

We used a color-coordinated Excel spreadsheet to organize and share information about large collections.

There is a commonly held assumption that processing archivists work in dark, dusty rooms, all alone except for their precious manuscripts and their gray Hollinger boxes. Here at NCSU, however, processing archivists frequently collaborate on collections and divide the work between two or more team members. This is especially the case when a collection is very large and would take one archivist months to rehouse, arrange, and describe by him- or herself. With large collections, it is not unusual for a team of archivists to complete an initial survey of collection materials, decide together how to divide materials into series, and each process one or more series independently. The team periodically comes together to discuss their progress, interesting findings, and obstacles they encounter.

Since January, the Library Associates at the Special Collections Research Center have been collaborating on a particularly large collection: the Raymond LeRoy Murray Papers, a collection that is nearly 300 linear feet. Murray was a physics professor in the Nuclear Engineering Department at NC State University and was instrumental in establishing and operating the University’s nuclear reactor. His papers include research and teaching materials, publications, correspondence with professional organizations and other scientists, and software and programming materials. As the Library Associates have found, processing these papers together is challenging in some ways, but advantageous in others. The lists below outline some of the pros and cons of processing large collections in teams.


  • Collections are processed more quickly.
  • Archivists can bounce ideas about arrangement and description off of each other.
  • Archivists do not feel as anxious as they would if they were expected to process nearly 200 cartons of material alone.


  • Archivists working on individual series may have difficulty visualizing the collection as a whole and where the series they are working on fits into it.
  • Archivists may use inconsistent naming conventions or styles when labeling folders and creating finding aids.
  • Team members must be conscientious of each other’s work style and speed.

Overall, working together to process a large collection is the best option to ensure that things get done in a timely manner. That being said, how can archivists overcome some of the challenges that team processing can present?

Here are some of the guidelines we have for ourselves as we work in a team:

  1. Make sure to communicate with team members. Information found in one series may illuminate materials placed in another series. Sharing this information with each other will promote a richer, more integrated finding aid.
  2. Be flexible. Ordinarily, there is a method behind people’s madness!
  3. Be willing to share work. Remember, you are processing this collection together. Although you may work more closely with a specific series than other team members, that series does not become “yours.”
  4. Help your colleague if he or she needs it. Processing is not a race. You do not score points for finishing a series before your team members or for letting team members struggle.

Using these strategies, processing archivists can successfully collaborate with each other on large collections and make those collections more accessible for researchers as a result.

For a guide to the collection as it was initially received by Special Collections, go to the Raymond LeRoy Murray Papers, 1948-1993. For information about the current status of this collection, please contact Special Collections.

By: Jason Evans Groth

Since we began our born digital strategic initiative at NCSU Libraries we have been confronted with puzzlement about the project (why would anyone want anything on a floppy disk?) to fetishism (if it’s on a floppy disk it HAS to be worth looking at!) but, mostly, “I haven’t used a disk like that in xx years,” which implies “how could anyone even do anything with that disk?” When personal computing became affordable in the 1980s, a multitude of differently sized storage formats were available. Floppy disks of 5.25″, and especially 3.5″ (the drives for which were not uncommon to see in computers until the early 2000s) were especially ubiquitous. One could buy them at local computer stores or KMart. They were not only a handy portable data format but they were, for many, the only way to store data on a personal computer until hard drives became standard.

Unfortunately for the academy, libraries, and other repositories of knowledge, the demands of research and the responsibilities of keeping technology up to date has done to disk drives and other storage media that contains the work of our past what thousands of consumers did with their turntables at the dawn of the digital music era – the machines have been surplussed, donated, or simply left to rot, while the needs of current production are met. The disks themselves are put in a box on a shelf in an office, and the idea that they were once our only means of storage becomes a faint memory. IT departments, focusing on the demands of their clients, move on to what’s new, and what was in the past becomes unsupported. No more 3.5″ floppy drives are in computer labs. If you see a 5.25″ disk drive in the hallway of a library you might assume it’s being donated to a museum.

Ad from the Technician, Freshman Orientation Special Summer 1989

But outside of the halls of the academy is a flourishing trade of people who never let those particular bits die or who actively want them to be seen again. The Software Preservation Society, for example, is responsible for the Kryoflux, a common and robust tool that allows modern computers to control older disk drives and capture the information as a disk image that can then more easily be read in a modern environment. According to their website, the group “ dedicates itself to the preservation of software for the future, namely classic games.” The Kryoflux is well-known in digital forensics, despite it having been apparently developed to play old Amiga games. It’s ability to read low-level data helps in deciphering even the most difficult disks. Other devices, like Device Side Data’s FC5025, were created for the same reason. One of the earliest announcements on their website from January 27th, 2007, says “attendees to this electronics and ham radio swap meet were invited to bring disks and have image copies made.”

The device the NCSU Special Collections Research Center has employed for its processing of born digital items that come as 5.25″ and 3.5″ disks is called the Supercard Pro. Like the Kryoflux, the Supercard Pro was designed by a video game enthusiast – Jim Drew – to move the bits from his Commodore systems into the future.  Unlike those who assume this kind of technology is lost and gone forever, the Supercard Pro and Jim Drew are positive examples for those working on born digital programs that there are alternatives to online retailers and typical university vendors.

Dorothy Waugh of Emory University’s Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL) has spoken of reaching out to the retrocomputing community in Atlanta for answers to her questions about legacy equipment. This model, in concert with the knowledge that these devices and this expertise is out there, should be a ray of hope that, so long as we’re paying attention, the work can be done to find sustainable and efficient methods to deal with what many consider to be forgotten technology. While it may be more difficult to use Craigslist or eBay as a vendor in a university environment, a quick scan of both will net a multitude of hits for equipment – and potentially even human expertise behind the email addresses of sellers – that can bring this so-called dead material back to life. So the question is, then, how do we start tapping into these non-traditional marketplaces for the equipment we need.

Like the recent resurgence of vinyl records (which, contrary to popular belief, never stopped being created even when compact discs took over the market), legacy storage formats and devices have never truly left the market, either. Manufacturers still produce inexpensive 3.5″ USB floppy drives (which aren’t perfect), but based on the massive amount of drives and other computer equipment used heavily for thirty years, it’s not difficult to find better versions of what you need, it may just mean looking in alternative places. Floppy disk drives are not rare, they are just not on a Best Buy shelf anymore. As evidenced by the gamers that have propagated the use of legacy drives for the betterment of the digital forensics computing, there are plenty of people who want that equipment to tap into the data of years past. We aren’t going to, any time soon, revert to floppy drives as a practical storage solution, but knowing there are ubiquitous ways to take this legacy data – all 1s and 0s, just like today’s today’s data – and bring it forward into a hard drive environment means that sustainable born digital programs, with some practice, persistence, and a lot of flexibility, can be attained.