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Oct 24 2016

Web Archiving Update

By: Todd Stoffer

NC State University Websites Collection

We are pleased to announce that the first phase of our web archiving project is now in full swing. Earlier this month we completed the quality assurance checks for 140 new seed URLs in our NC State University Websites collection, which will now be crawled on a recurring basis. We are now crawling 190 university websites on a recurring basis. This includes the websites of campus-wide administrative units, each of the 12 colleges, and the vast majority departmental websites. We have captured 484 gigabytes worth of data in just the past 12 months. This collection is set to be crawled at regular intervals throughout the year, so we will continue to capture updated websites as changes are made to campus websites. You can explore the entire collection by visiting The chart below shows the growth we have experienced over the past year of collecting. We are projecting that by the end of this collecting cycle we will have preserved over 700GB of website, the majority of which is contained in our NC State University Websites Collection.

Documenting the Process

Web Archiving is still a relatively new area of practice for libraries and archives. There are not nearly enough resources that document the process of starting to build a new web archive. It is a complex task both from a technical standpoint as well as from an organizational policy standpoint. Developing internal standards and best practices ensures that the web archive can be maintained long-term. We have been working on these standards and practices for over a year now, and decided it was time to formally document them. For us the best option for documentation was to create a website that outlined different processes that we have in place, from seed selection and scoping to quality assurance and collecting guidelines. We have also made the decision to make that documentation openly available online. You can view it at We hope that this documentation is helpful for other organizations that might be starting new web archives, by adding transparency to the a process that is often only internally documented.

By: Laura Abraham

We are less than three weeks from Election Day, November 8th, and early voting will start this Thursday, October 20th. We hope you that those of you who can vote have made your plans, as we decide who will hold local offices, state offices, and this year, who will be our Commander in Chief.

A number of American presidents have visited NC State and near its campus, and the Special Collections Research Center’s Rare and Unique Digital Collections holds images from these events. Please enjoy these glimpses into the past!

President Harry S. Truman with Governor R. Gregg Cherry at NC State Fair, 1948.

President Theodore Roosevelt in Raleigh, 1910. He's wearing a top hat and is in the very center of the festoons.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Chancellor John William Harrelson at Farm and Home Week, 1947. Eisenhower was the Chief of Staff of the Army at the time.

Candidate John F. Kennedy addressing an estimated crowd of 8,000 at Reynolds Coliseum, 1960.

President Lyndon B. Johnson arriving for Democratic campaign rally held in Reynolds Coliseum, 1964

President Jimmy Carter at the 1991 Emerging Issues Forum.

President Ronald Reagan posing with Mr. and Mrs. Wuf, 1985.

President George Bush with Drs. Zhi-Yu Yang and Jan Schetzina in Physics Labs, 1990.

Bill Clinton, then governor of Arkansas, with North Carolina Governor James B. Hunt on a panel at the 1988 Emerging Issues Forum.

Candidate Barack Obama speaking at rally at Reynolds Coliseum

Candidate Barack Obama speaking at rally at Reynolds Coliseum, 2008.

Be sure to vote on Tuesday November 8, or take advantage of early voting October 20-November 5. You can find voting information at Wake County Board of Elections’ website, or for Durham County and Orange County.

You can find more archival materials related to American presidents here. 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.

Oct 17 2016

New GLBT Timeline

By: Todd Kosmerick

Special Collections has recently created a new timeline showing the history of NC State’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender community. The timeline shows important events and milestones since the 1970s.

The timeline reveals the various student groups that have existed throughout this time period to support and promote the GLBT community.  In the 1980s there was the NC State Gay Community, and in 1990s the Lesbian and Gay Student Union.  In the late 1990s Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian and Allies (BGLA) became active, and since 2007 there has been an NC State chapter of AEGIS (Accepting and Embracing Gender Identity and Sexuality). These groups have brought attention to and support for the GLBT community through such activities as Blue Jeans Days, Gay Awareness Days, and various rallies, as well as such programs as Project Safe.

The timeline shows the evolution of GLBT inclusion in the university’s non-discrimination policy.  In 1991 official university statements only went so far as to state that sexual orientation would not be relevant to educational and employment decisions.  By 1998, sexual orientation was considered a factor in making a diverse student body.  In 2003 the university included sexual orientation in its Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Policy Statement, and in 2012 it added gender identity and gender expression.

Such milestones as the GLBT Center’s creation in 2008 and the first Lavender Graduation in 2009 are included in the timeline, as is recent campus reaction to HB2.

The GLBT timeline has been created as NC State celebrates Diversity Education Week this week.  You may also be interested in looking at the timelines showing the history of African Americans and women on our campus.  Additional timelines and other resources on university history exist on our Historical State website.

By: Gwynn Thayer

Blog post written by Lindsey Naylor

The Special Collections Research Center offered an archival show-and-tell for students enrolled in LAR 444: History of Landscape Architecture, taught by associate professor Fernando Magallanes. The session featured works from the Landscape Architecture Archive in addition to rare books and images that reflect broader trends in design, botany, agriculture, and more. Magallanes requested diverse materials to support the aim of the course, which is to provide a broad overview of landscape architecture history grounded in a larger social, scientific, and artistic context.

The event was also meant to give students a sense of the Archive’s scope, and its potential as a source of inspiration and insight for design and research projects.

Highlights from the Landscape Architecture Archive included architectural drawings, renderings, and presentation materials from the collections of Lewis Clarke, Richard C. Bell, Edwin Gilbert Thurlow, and Reynolds & Jewell. Featured design and planning projects included the Brickyard, the 1965 Raleigh downtown capital plan, and the N.C. Zoo, giving students a peek into the historic context of familiar places. Students also could flip through correspondence between NCSU landscape architecture faculty members and their prominent international design colleagues, like Roberto Burle Marx and Garrett Eckbo.

Professor Magallanes discusses Lewis Clarke’s master plans for the N.C. Zoo and downtown Raleigh open space.

Sketches, photographs, and architectural drawings were on display for Fayetteville’s iconic Tallywood Shopping Center sign. The modernist 1960s design was by Bill Baron, an industrial designer and NCSU graduate who also worked on projects with Clarke and Bell. Baron recently donated his Tallywood drawings, correspondence, and photographs to the SCRC. The finding aid for this collection will be available in a few weeks.

SCRC Associate Head and Curator Gwynn Thayer talks with students about Bill Baron's Tallywood design.

Students got a sneak peek at the work of R. D. Tillson, a landscape architect who practiced in the High Point area from the 1930s to the 1970s. The Tillson drawings, which fill more than 250 tubes and flat folders, are another recent acquisition and are currently being processed and organized. The collection promises to provide unique insight into the way the practice of landscape architecture evolved in the Southeast during the 20th century. At the show-and-tell, students examined grading and general development plans for Rock Creek Park, an Albemarle, N.C., project funded in the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration.

SCRC staff shared a couple of the hand-colored lantern slides of B.W. Wells, a celebrated NCSU ecologist who built a deep knowledge of the state’s native plants and ecosystems. The slides included in the exhibit showed the trumpet plant and the venus fly trap, Wells’ personal favorite.

Eli Brown, Head of the SCRC, shows students the hand-colored lantern slides of B. W. Wells.

Magallanes’ students were particularly drawn to the exhibit’s selection of rare books, including an original 1856 edition of The Grammar of Ornament, the work of architect Owen Jones that is often referred to as “the Bible of design.” Also on hand was an original 1803 edition of Observation on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, by English landscape designer Humphry Repton. Repton is known for his series of Red Books and for the innovative layering of before-and-after drawings of his planned landscapes.

Students peruse “The Grammar of Ornament” and “Observation on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening.”

By: Laura Abraham

Comics books as a medium have reached new heights and crossed new boundaries in the last decade. While they’ve always been a mainstay in film, TV, and merchandise, lately their adaptations are becoming nearly ubiquitous. Not only have they made such a large impact on pop culture, but they are also reaching more diverse demographics.

Some “graphic novels” (a comic published as one work rather than being first serialized) are being regarded as important literature. Children’s publishers are investing in graphic novels for young readers, many highly praised. There are college courses on comic books, and individual works are included as required reading in other classes.

The Douglas Ward American Comic Books Collection is currently being processed by NC State’s Special Collections and Research Center, and has provided a variety of interesting material. The collection contains almost 2,000 comic issues, collections, and graphic novels, chiefly from the “Big Two” publishers, Marvel and DC Comics. Most of the books feature superheroes, but there’s also horror, humor, science fiction, and dramatic works. The finding aid for the Ward Collection is still being worked on, but will be available online soon.

This collection has given us a new medium, and a new method of preserving and processing this medium. For the Ward Collection, we are dividing comics into series determined by their publisher, then arranged by their title.

Cartons of comics, aka a nerd's dream

A copy of Hellboy: The Wolves of Saint August

Then the comic is “bagged and boarded,” putting it into a plastic bag along with a board to keep it from bending. The comic is then ready to be foldered, boxed, and placed into our archive.

Here are some comics from the Ward Collection:

As seen on TV: Flash, Preacher, Daredevil

Coming to a Theater Near You: Wonder Woman, Star Wars: X-Wing--The Rogue Squadron, Black Panther, Doctor Strange

Well regarded literature: Strangers in Paradise, From Hell, The Tale of One Bad Rat, Bone

Batman: Arkham Asylum, Godzilla, Avengers

A wide variety of art styles and subjects: Martha Washington Goes to War, Astro City, Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, Harlan Ellison's Dream Corridor, Sin City, The Maxx, Groo

Also find out about the many upcoming events all about comics hosted by NCSU Libraries in November, including the screening of the documentary She Makes Comics, where Special Collection will provide a show-and-tell of our materials.

If you would like to learn more about the Special Collections Research Center and are interested in learning more about our materials or viewing them, please see information on using Special Collections materials and use our Special Collections Request Form.

By: Cathy Dorin-Black

October 8 marks the 50th anniversary of the dedication of Carter-Finley Stadium (then Carter Stadium and A.E. Finley Fieldhouse).  Let’s celebrate with some images from past decades.

Athletic Director Roy Clogston, Consolidated University president William Friday, and chairman of the Stadium Committee Walker Martin celebrate the groundbreaking, 13 Dec. 1964

Dedication of Carter Stadium program

A page from Chancellor Caldwell’s message in the Dedication program reads, “This facility is another expression of the loyalty and dedication of hundreds of North Carolinians to North Carolina State University.”

Pages from Dedication program

Opening Day at Carter-Finley, 8 Oct. 1966

Fans in the 1970s

Carter-Finley in 2006

Carter-Finley in 2004, from the Murphy Football Center

Billboard at Carter-Finley

For more on Carter-Finley’s construction and its past 50 years, see “Carter-Finley, Still a Modernist Marvel” and “Home Moments to Remember,” both by Tim Peeler of University Communications.  For more images of Carter-Finley, NC State football, and more, search our Rare and Unique Digital Collections.

By: Gwynn Thayer

The Special Collections Research Center is pleased to announce that additional Matsumoto architectural drawings are now available online. The George Matsumoto Papers were acquired in the late 1990s and contain important materials documenting Matsumoto’s work, including correspondence, photographs, architectural drawings and sketches, and other materials. George Matsumoto’s work was documented in a publication from 1997 called “Simplicity, Order, and Discipline: The work of  George Matsumoto from the NCSU Libraries’ Special Collections.” In this book, a number of scholars weighed in on the importance of his work. Former College (then School) of Design architecture faculty member Robert Burns wrote, “George Matsumoto’s North Carolina legacy is distinctive, and, in many ways, heroic. He created a body of exceptional buildings….he also offered an example of integrity and dedication to principle that will long endure.”

Matsumoto was born in 1922 in San Francisco, California, and earned his B. A. in Architecture from Washington University. He studied at the Cranbrook Academy of Art and later worked with various architectural firms. Soon thereafter he joined NC State’s new School of Design in 1948 until he left for Berkeley in 1961. Matsumoto was brought to NC State by Henry L. Kamphoefner, the first Dean of the School of Design. Matsumoto is considered to be one of the key early faculty members at Design, and especially important as a practitioner and teacher who promoted modernist architecture. Matsumoto was influenced by leading architects such as Mies van der Rohe and Marcel Breuer; Burns wrote that “The ideas that mattered most to George Matsumoto as a designer and as a teacher were those that served as the focal themes of the modern movement: strict adherence to functional demands, clarity of plan, structural logic and expression, economy of means, perfection of detail, and the rationalization of construction processes tending toward industrialization.”

To learn more about Special Collections, or to access Special Collections materials, please contact us here.

By: James Stewart

Bio and Portrait of S. B. Simmons

Better Living In North Carolina is a collaborative digital project between the NCSU Libraries and the Bluford Library at North Carolina A&T State University that is designed to reveal how agricultural practices transformed the state of North Carolina over the course of the last century. This can not be done without also uncovering new revelations about the men and women who worked as part of the NC Cooperative Extension Service and our state’s vocational education programs. We are proud to announce the availability of resources from the collection of two very significant men from the Archives and Special Collections of NC A&T State University and the state’s vocational education history.

S. B. (Sidney Britton) Simmons (1894-1957) was the state supervisor of vocational agriculture for African-American schools in North Carolina for over 30 years beginning in 1924. He was a nationally recognized champion of vocational agriculture and a graduate and post graduate of multiple colleges, including A&T College and the University of Illinois.

Photo (New Farmers of America North Carolina young male group)

He was one of the founders of the National Association of New Farmers of America (NFA), a vocational agriculture organization for African American youth. Simmons brought this organization to the Tarheel State as the North Carolina Association of NFA. The NFA and the Future Farmers of America (FFA) would merge together in the mid-1960s. As state director and through the North Carolina NFA, Simmons impacted the education of thousands of African American youth via school programs, camps, conferences, broadcasts, and competitions. Highlights from the Simmons collection include several photographs of young African American men and women at various camps, demonstrations, and conferences learning different agricultural practices, from curing tobacco to herding livestock.

Photo of a Girl Curing Turkish Tobacco

View the S. B. Simmons Collection, Archives and Special Collections, F. D. Bluford Library, North Carolina A&T State University

John D. Wray (1877 – 1937) was the state’s first African-American club (later 4-H) agent, or “Negro Club Leader,” beginning in 1915. He organized the first agricultural clubs in counties that up to that time did not have African American extension agents. The first clubs for homemakers, crop rotation, peanuts, and cotton were started during his 10 years as an extension agent. His office was located on the campus of NC A&T.

"Negro boys and girls attend short course at A and T College", article by John D. Wray. Wray contributed numerous farming articles to regional and national newspapers.

Like Simmons, Wray also previously worked for the Tuskegee Institute before coming to North Carolina. His writings of proper farming techniques were circulated to state and national newspapers. Like Neil Alexander Bailey, the state’s first African American extension agent, Wray specialized in the research of corn production, and his thesis on this topic is now available online. He later became an instructor of vocational agriculture at the Laurinburg Institute, and a professor at Florida A&M University.

View the John. D. Wray Collection, Archives and Special Collections, F. D. Bluford Library, North Carolina A&T State University

More on the life and work of John D. Wray can be found at John D. Wray and the Fight for Black Farmers – NC EATS.

The resources currently available in the Better Living collection continue to grow, and there will be many more to come on the life of John D. Wray, S. B. Simmons. and others who helped to advance the agricultural practices of North Carolina.

If you would like to learn more about the Special Collections Research Center and our digitized materials, please visit NCSU Libraries’ Rare and Unique Digital Collections, which provides access to thousands of imagesvideoaudio recordings, and text materials documenting extension history and other topics.

By: Laura Abraham

This week, you might come across some colorful, make-shift houses set up on the Brickyard. This is part of the annual Shack-A-Thon, where student groups are camping out to raise funds and awareness for Habitat for Humanity. As a charitable organization, Habitat for Humanity contributes to building homes for low income families, both in collecting money for the new houses and organizing events for volunteers to help build them.

This year, from September 19 to 23, students will stay on the Brickyard in plywood shacks they’ve constructed themselves, night and day, rain or shine, all towards fundraising for the NC State University Chapter of Habitat for Humanity. A visit there will show you eccentric and creative houses, some with raffles, bake sales, games, and events. Even if you cannot make the trip, please donate towards this great cause here.

We wish everyone the best of luck, so please enjoy these images of past Shack-A-Thons from the Special Collections Research Center’s Edward T. Funkhouser Photographs Collection, and you can see for yourselves why it has become such a memorable tradition.

Again, please donate to this year’s Shack-A-Thon. If you would like to learn more about the Special Collections Research Center and our digitized materials, please visit NCSU Libraries’ Rare and Unique Digital Collections, which provides access to thousands of images, video, audio recordings, and text materials documenting NC State history and other topics.

Sep 14 2016

BugFest 2016

By: Virginia Ferris

This Saturday September 17 from 9am-5pm, Special Collections and NCSU Libraries staff will be at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences for BugFest 2016!  Stop by the NCSU Libraries “Ask Us” station on the 3rd floor (near the T-Rex fossil) for origami, stamps, coloring sheets from our digitized collection of Seguy prints, and more activities for the kids.

Our participation in BugFest has evolved from the Special Collections Research Center’s development of collections in entomology, including the Zeno P. Metcalf Research Collection, and the event, “Bug-O-Rama,” in the early 2000s that developed into the BugFest we know and love today. This poster for an early Bug-O-Rama included a creative depiction of the now demolished Harrelson Hall.

Praying mantis climbs over Harrelson Hall, Bug-O-Rama poster circa 2000.

Praying mantis climbs over Harrelson Hall, Bug-O-Rama poster circa 2000.

Enjoy more images related to bugs and entomology at NC State below.  Check out more of our bug-related collections in our digitized collections, find more on our website, and contact us for more information about our rare book and archival collections in entomology.

Woman being chased by people dressed as bugs on the Brickyard, circa 1970.

Woman being chased by people dressed as bugs on the Brickyard, circa 1970.

Beekeeping meeting in Boone, NC, 1953.

Beekeeping meeting in Boone, NC, 1953.

4-H club boy mounting insects in display boxes, circa 1955.

4-H club boy mounting insects in display boxes, circa 1955.

Entomology collection by 4-H students, 1956.

Entomology collection by 4-H students, 1956.