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By: Gwynn Thayer

Slater Newman helped to establish the first-ever human rights week on NCSU's campus in 1994.

The Slater Newman Papers in the Special Collections Research Center document Newman’s research and teaching at North Carolina State University as well as his human rights and community action work in the local area and in national and international arenas. In both his academic work and his community action work Newman was an active participant and leader in numerous organizations. Further, he founded organizations to pursue his academic and societal goals. In some cases, his commitment to organizations lasted for 30 or more years.
Files related to Newman’s human rights and community action work contain brochures, flyers, bulletins, annual reports, meeting minutes, budgets, articles, notes, correspondence and some photographs relating to Newman’s work with organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Amnesty International, Citizens Against Nuclear Power, Committee to Reverse the Arms Race, Human Rights Coalition of North Carolina, North Carolinians for the Ratification of CEDAW [United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women] among others.
This collection also documents the varied work of a prominent NCSU faculty member. There are course materials, notes and evaluations from courses Newman taught and there are files containing research notes and ideas, drafts of papers and other information about research Newman conducted between 1951 and 2004. Other files contain correspondence, newsletters, meeting minutes, reports and programs related to various professional and scientific organizations in which Newman participated. Among these are the American Psychological Association, Psi Chi, North Carolina Cognition Group, the Psychonomic Society, Southeastern Psychological Association, and Southeastern Workers in Memory. Also included are materials that document Newman’s administrative work in the NCSU Psychology Department, the College of Education and Psychology and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, or at the University-wide level.
For more information about the Slater Newman Papers, please consult the collection guide at

By: Laura Abraham

Enrolling in Summer Sessions at North Carolina State University is a great way of completing college courses outside of the traditional school year, and has been for many years. Here are some Summer Session course catalogs from years past, from NCSU Libraries’ Special Collections and Research Center. They were digitized with the help of Registration and Records, and they are part of our larger collection of Course Catalogs available to view online.

Summer Session students, here are some fun questions to ask yourself: How do the summer school classes provided by N. C. State today differ from those 40 to 90 years ago? Which do you wish could be offered again? Which ones do you find the most dated and strange?

If you want to see more images from the Special Collections Research Center, 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: Laura Abraham

North Carolina State University’s Special Collections Research Center would like to wish everyone a happy Independence Day! Here are some images from our archives that will hopefully get you in the spirit of the Fourth.

If you want to see more images from the Special Collections Research Center, 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: 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.