NC State University  | campus directory  |  libraries  |  mypack portal  |  campus map  |  search

By: Linda Sellars

The Special Collections Research Center has completed a two-year project to make available unique and valuable collections documenting the animal rights and animal welfare movements. The Animal Rights Network (ARN) records, the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) records, and the Ron Scott Animal Rights Videotape collection offer new documentation that will facilitate the study of the animal rights and animal welfare movements in the second half of the 20th century. A grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources supported arrangement, rehousing, and description of these collections.

Poster opposing hunting and killing of gorillas and chimpanzees (in French).

The Animal Rights Network Records contain correspondence, office files, reports, publications and audiovisual resources documenting the activities of the Animal Rights Network (ARN) in advocating for the ethical and humane treatment of animals. Issues addressed by the organization include live animal experimentation, exploitation of animals for sport and entertainment, intensive breeding and slaughter of domestic animals for food, and irresponsible pet ownership. The Animal Rights Network published a bimonthly magazine, The Animals’ Agenda, which contained original content and also served to assist smaller animal rights organizations network with members of the animal rights community. The ARN also maintained a library and archives component. The organization encouraged its members to collect and maintain their own collections documenting the animal rights and animal welfare movements, and many members donated their collections to the ARN. The bulk of the material dates from the 1950s to 1990s.

Report advocating better housing for laboratory animals.

The records of the Animal Welfare Institute include administrative files of both the AWI and the Society for Animal Protective Legislation (SAPL), subject files on animals the organization works to protect, files on legislation that SAPL has been involved with, files on the work of other animal rights groups, subject files on regional activities, photographs, publications, books, and audiovisual materials. Materials of the organization range in date from its founding in the early 1950s to the early 2000s; other materials in the collection date back to the 1930s.

Live Animal Trade and Transport Magazine cover, March 1996

The Ron Scott Animal Rights Videotape Collection contains Scott’s videotape footage of animal rights events and cruelty to animals. Scott shot a portion of the footage at several Culture and Animal Foundation festivals in Raleigh, N.C. Interview footage from animal rights cable television shows is also included.

For more detailed descriptions of these and related collections, please consult the collection guides here and search for “animal rights” or “animal welfare.”

By: Brian Dietz

To wrap up Image Discovery Week, I’m sharing one of my favorite photos from the collection. It’s an undated photograph of men building a silo. This image is compelling in its own right, but I especially like it juxtaposed to a photograph taken of the construction of the silo-like elevator and stairwell column at the new Talley Student Center. Every time I pass by Talley, I think of the image of the stave silo on M. W. Jackson’s farm near Edenton. While these silos are separated by decades of building design and technologies, Talley’s decorative version references the other as a representation of the state’s agricultural heritage.

Farm Silo Construction
Farm Silo Construction
Talley Student Center Project
Talley Student Center Project

These resources, and lots more related to campus and town, are available as part of the NCSU Libraries’ Rare and Unique Digital Collections, which provides access to thousands of images, video, audio recordings, and textual materials documenting NC State history.

By: Cathy Dorin-Black

As part of Image Discovery Week, we would like to highlight our images of University History, culled from the University Archives Photograph Collection. From snapshots of student life to athletics, UAPC has a little bit of everything dating from the founding of the University to present-day. Check out some of these images from throughout the years:

Football Team, in 1895

A crowd waits on Hillsborough Street for Harry Truman, circa 1948

Students eating at outdoor event, circa 1977

Homecoming Parade, 2008

These resources are available as part of the NCSU Libraries’ Rare and Unique Digital Collections, which provides access to thousands of images, video, audio recordings, and textual materials documenting NC State history.

By: Laura Abraham

Ewes and early lambs at Upper Mountain Experiment Station

One of my main responsibilities in working at North Carolina State University’s Special Collections Research Center is to “enhance” images, which means I update their descriptions and add subjects to their online resource. A collection I’ve worked a lot with is our Agricultural Extension and Research Services Photographs, which features just about every possible aspect of agriculture from N. C. State and in North Carolina.

While these photographs were taken for academic and scientific purposes, I’m always surprised by the unexpected beauty that pops up in them from time to time. The above image was made to show the status of the sheep flock at this agricultural experiment station, but with the sky framed by the trees and the ewes and lambs lined up on the horizon, it’s a photo I want framed.

These resources, and lots more related to agriculture, are available as part of the NCSU Libraries’ Rare and Unique Digital Collections, which provides access to thousands of images, video, audio recordings, and textual materials documenting NC State history.

By: Brian Dietz

It’s Image Discovery Week, and from freeze-dried fruit pellets to desserts made with flaked sweet potatoes, our Rare and Unique Digital Collections have some interesting and entertaining images related to food science just waiting to be discovered!

Freeze-dried fruits Processing cucumbers
Freeze-dried fruits Processing cucumbers
Flaked sweet potatoes Assembling equipment
Flaked sweet potatoes Assembling equipment
Food experiment Seafood Lab
Food experiment Seafood Lab

These resources, and lots more related to food science, are available as part of the NCSU Libraries’ Rare and Unique Digital Collections, which provides access to thousands of images, video, audio recordings, and textual materials documenting NC State history.

By: Gwynn Thayer

This week, in conjunction with the Design Library, the Special Collections Research Center is promoting Image Discovery Week. We will be showcasing various image-related resources available to library users.

There are many digitized resources available to Special Collections users which we will feature throughout the week, including digitized materials relating to architecture, landscape architecture, and design.

However, not all of our resources are digitized. To begin exploring our many collections relating to architecture, landscape architecture, and design, start by browsing here. To learn more about what is in a particular collection, look at the finding aid to determine its contents. For example, there are several different series listed in the finding aid for the Frank Harmon Papers, which include, in part, project files, drawings, and photographs. The finding aid will also include a description of the “scope and content” of the collection as well as other information of interest, such as a biographical note.

Our collections can be viewed in person at the Special Collections Research Center, located in the East Wing of D. H. Hill Library.  If you would like to see an item in the Frank Harmon Papers, or another collection, please contact Special Collections via or click here in order to set up an appointment.

By: Cathy Dorin-Black

A series of lively posters has recently been added to the Friends of the College Records within the University Archives. This series contains posters organized by season, ranging from 1962 to 1994, almost the entire duration of the organization. The posters promoted on-campus appearances by various performers including orchestras, ensembles, dance troupes, singers, and more.

A poster for the Royal Marines Tattoo, also promoting the 007 Aston Martin in a mock battle

The Friends of the College Concert Series began in 1959 as a means to increase the university’s visibility in the community and succeeded in bringing cultural events to campus for many years. Amidst financial problems, the FOC became defunct around 1994.

The posters advertised prestigious orchestras and philharmonics from all over the world including: the Leningrad Philharmonic, the Philharmonia Hungaria, and the Czech Philharmonic, as well as ones closer to home such as the New York Philharmonic and the Cleveland Orchestra. Some of the singers include Leontyne Price, Norman Luboff, Marilyn Horne, and Bobby McFerrin. Violinist Itzhak Perlman and Pianist Van Cliburn are also represented. Some more unusual performances include the Peking Acrobats and National Band of New Zealand with Maori Dancers.

Stylistically, many of the posters depict simple head shots or group photographs of the performers. Others are more abstract, with design flourishes as the central element or creative lettering. Many reflect graphic design trends of the day, from the 60s to the 90s.

A poster for the Norman Luboff Choir from 1979

Graphic design, typography, and university history are some of the topics that could be explored in this series. Please consult the online guide for more information. Other sources include a remembrance about the Friends of the College cultural events by former College Union President Clyda Weeks Lutz and a blog post on Red & White for Life, the NC State Alumni Association blog. To request to view any posters, please use our webform.

By: Gwynn Thayer

Dr. Deb Littlejohn’s GD 203 class will again be studying selected rare books in the Special Collections Research Center, in addition to some unique books in the Design Library. The Special Collections Research Center is looking forward to welcoming the students as they work on their assignment during the coming weeks.

Students will be posting their work to the new public WordPress blog by Oct 2nd:

The assignment is as follows:

The title of your Post will be the title of the book. Half of your report should be about your personal experience with this publication (and is therefore subjective); the other half should be the result of research to answer questions about the history and importance of the publication (objective facts from history).

In the first (subjective) half of your essay, think and write about experiences such as:

  • What is my first visual impression of the artifact?
  • What is the physical nature of the artifact? Size, weight, binding, paper, etc.
  • How do I sense the artifact? Look, touch, smell, hear (don’t taste!)
  • What about the physical nature of the book interests me?
  • What is interesting about its design? Typography, images, cover, layout, printing techniques, binding, etc.

In the second (objective) half of your essay, research and answer some of these questions (all questions will not be pertinent to each publication, so choose which questions to address wisely):

  1. ALL of you must answer this question: Why is this artifact in the collection? Why is it important or special enough, to collect?
  2. What is this book valued for? (may be more than one thing) subject matter, author, design, age, writing, illustrations, printing, previous owners, where produced
  3. Is this artifact mentioned in books about the history of books and printing?
  4. How does this artifact fit in with history? Printing history, art/design history, history of a discipline, etc.
  5. Is this artifact an example of something special? A beginning, an end, an important innovation, etc.?
  6. Is this book part of the development of something?
  7. If there are important individuals involved in the making of this book – who are they?
  8. Is this artifact connected with any other artifact in the collection? In a series, by the same author? by the same designer? about the same subject? etc. Does this add to its importance?

By: Sarah Breen

Post contributed by Sarah Breen, Library Associate.

Cal Poly Amphitheater Concept Sketch

Marvin J. Malecha, dean of North Carolina State University’s College of Design and professor of architecture, has contributed to the profession through wide-ranging endeavors as a practicing architect, educator, administrator, researcher, and member and leader of professional organizations. In 2011, Dean Malecha shared a sample of sketches with the public through an exhibition held by NCSU Libraries. Prior to joining the University as dean of the College of Design, Malecha was dean of the College of Environmental Design at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, where he was active in teaching and research.

North Carolina State University Mace

The Special Collections Research Center in NCSU Libraries holds a collection of Malecha’s papers containing drawings, concept sketches, prototypes, correspondence, speeches, articles and papers, publications, personal notes, meeting minutes and conference notes, presentation materials and photographic materials related to his work over the last five decades. Malecha has contributed more than just leadership to the university–he has also designed images for various departments, the University Mace, and has led the design effort for the Chancellor’s Residence on NCSU’s Centennial Campus.

Angels in the Architecture

To read more about the Marvin J. Malecha Papers, take a look at the guide to the collection found here.

By: Jason Evans Groth

The Society of American Archivists’ 2014 Annual Meeting just wrapped up in Washington, DC, and the NCSU Libraries Born Digital Strategic Initiative was represented through a panel, proposed by NCSU’s born digital team Brian Dietz and Jason Evans Groth, called “Getting Things Done with Born-Digital.” Brian and Jason were joined by colleagues Gloria Gonzalez (Digital Archivist, UCLA Special Collections), Ashley Howdeshell (Associate Archivist, University Archives and Special Collections, Loyola University, Chicago), Daniel Noonan (e-Records/Digital Resources Archivist, University Archives, The Ohio State University), and Lauren Sorensen (Digital Conversion Specialist, American Archive of Public Broadcasting, Library of Congress). Despite the wide diversity of institutions and background of the six participants, one thing was clear from each of their presentations: Now is the time to begin a comprehensive digital archives program that works in the context of one’s institution, and it can be done using widely available tools and an even more valuable asset – other librarians and archivists who have, themselves, started programs, encountered and overcome obstacles, and are ready to share their knowledge and experience with everyone else.

The premise of the panel, overall, was that reports like the OCLC’s Demystifying Born Digital and others are excellent foundations on which to begin a born digital program. The problem, however, is that every institution is, by nature, unique, with its own unique context and needs. The panel explored the details and case studies of the various institutions, hoping to connect more easily through these contextual clues rather than making a big problem seem bigger by speaking vaguely about tools and equipment that already pose barriers – both in terms of vocabulary and perceived difficulty – to those who are in the beginning stages of planning a born digital program.

Prior to the session, the online scheduling tool for SAA 2014 said that over 360 people would attend. While all of the panelists understand that this is important work, the number was still a surprise. At 9:59am, a minute before the session began, the panelists were told to ignore the sounds of the hotel facilities staff opening the airwall at the back of the room – it was Standing Room Only, and, at the session’s peak, an estimated 500 attendees listened to six very different practitioners discuss their successes, failures, and excitement regarding digital archives. The session itself generated much in-person discussion as well as hundreds of tweets.

The panelists touched on such topics as utilizing a committee that includes stakeholders and IT to maintain transparency with others in one’s institution while such a program is getting put into place; being unafraid to tackle technical needs by relying on the transparency of others and one’s own ability to search for help with processes with which librarians and archivists are already familiar but maybe have never used themselves (like the command line); accepting that flexibility in both tools and workflow is not only OK but also desirable, understanding that there is not one, single, “silver bullet” tool or service that can answer all of your questions or needs; that problems and challenges, which will arise without a doubt, are actually quite educational and necessary; and even the “Top 10 Things I Don’t Let Stop Me From Getting Things Done (With Digital Archives),” which included lack of practical experience and assuming equipment is, by nature, inadequate, in addition to the Litany Against Fear from Dune.

The audience asked questions like “what can we not do in order to process digital objects more quickly,” “how do we establish good relationships with IT,” and “what about metadata.” In all cases, the panelists assured them that these answers existed – perhaps not in one, single location, and definitely in the minds of those who had moved through them already – and could be discovered through both understanding the context of the institution and the real, required needs established by the institution. In other words, the answers amount to careful planning for the future based on the understanding of an institution’s priorities and requirements for both collecting and access. Librarians and archivists are familiar with such planning already: Collection policies, donor agreements, and gathering data to predict access usage are things we are taught from the beginning of our careers, and they are exactly the kinds of skills needed to figure out requirements for born digital collections. What do we collect? What can we make accessible? How will this be used? A call for shared documentation and more open questions and answers was made, and the audience was reminded that the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA) has recently implemented Digital Preservation Q&A a site which allows members of the digital preservation community to share their challenges and successes in order to facilitate both progress and community building.

In addition to the incredible attendance at this session, many – if not all – of the other digital focused sessions were at capacity or very close to it – a heartening sign that professionals are taking very seriously this seemingly overwhelming challenge. SAA 2014 made it clear that those of us who fight the good digital preservation fight are not only not alone but are in very good company.