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May 27 2016

Happy Memorial Day!

By: Todd Kosmerick

Summer begins — the season for parades and picnics. Enjoy these and other historic images!

Picnic gathering in Wilkes Co., N. C., 1912.

Picnic gathering in Wilkes Co., N. C., 1912.

NC State ROTC cadets, ca. 1975

Home Demonstration picnic supper, Cabarras Co., N. C., ca. 1936

NC State ROTC band in a parade in Raleigh, N.C., 1930

By: Brian Dietz

1899 A&M Baseball Team

This weekend, the NC State baseball team, with its 10-1 win over Carolina, secured spots in the ACC and NCAA tournaments. Baseball has been an organized sport at the university for 120 years now, with the first team being fielded in 1894. Above, the team portrait from 1899, is the earliest photograph of a baseball team in the archives.

Incidentally, on May 24, 1935 (76 years ago today), the Cincinnati Reds beat the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 in Major League Baseball’s first nighttime game. The very first baseball game played under under artificial lighting was in 1880. Even though NC State’s earliest teams could have played night ball, the first evening sporting event on campus was held in Riddick Stadium in 1930, five years before the MLB played their first evening game. (The baseball team played at Riddick until Doak Field opened in 1966.)

Resources related to baseball and campus athletics 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 and other topics. Additionally, our Historical State Athletics Timeline is a rich resource for information about the university’s prowess on the field, court, track, and pitch.

By: Rachel Jacobson

NCSU Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center is pleased to announce that there is now a fully processed (and recently renamed) finding aid for the Greenways Incorporated Records and Charles A. Flink Papers.

This collection now contains more professional documents from, and about, Charles A. Flink, President of Greenways Incorporated. The Professional Papers and Publications series in the Greenways Incorporated Records and Charles A. Flink Papers allows researchers insight into the details of the professional life of a leading landscape architect.  Within the Professional Papers and Publications (1972-2014) series there are documents about awards that Charles A. Flink received over the years, articles and information about various greenways, and papers pertaining to the book he co-authored, Greenways: A Guide to Planning, published in 1993.

Final decision on art to use for the book Greenways: A Guide to Planning

Charles A. Flink started Greenways Incorporated, a landscape architecture firm that specializes in the development of greenways, in 1986. Greenways are paths that usually run along naturally occurring or already created man-made corridors and are designated for pedestrian use. There are multiple greenway collections at the NCSU Special Collections Research Center.

In addition to greenways in the United States, Charles A. Flink has worked on some international projects. His international projects are admired and he has been nationally recognized as well. In 1995 Charles A. Flink and Greenways Incorporated received an Environmental Excellence Award from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration for the innovative Swift Creek Recycled Greenway in Cary, N.C.

Plan for the Grand Canyon Greenway

The path, created out of recycled material, is an example of some of the local innovative work done by Charles A. Flink and Greenways Incorporated. Another famous trail he worked on is located away from North Carolina, the Grand Canyon Greenway in Arizona has become known nationally as it is part of a national park.

As is evident in this brief description, this collection possesses information on many different greenway projects. Please refer to the recently renamed, Greenways Incorporated Records and Charles A. Flink Papers for further information.

By: Todd Stoffer

In order to begin exploring our web archive and how it can provide insight into historical events on campus, we chose to take a look at President Barack Obama’s three separate visits to NC State. Paying particularly close attention to how they were represented on the homepage of the main NC State website as well as other NC State websites. By looking at these three distinct events that coincidentally occurred three years apart from one another we were not only able to find new materials that did not previously exist in our archives, but also to get a better understanding of how rapidly web technologies have changed.

The first visit was on May 12, 2008 when then Senator Barak Obama gave a speech at Reynolds Coliseum following his victory in the 2008 Democratic Primaries in North Carolina. The captures of the main NC State homepage surrounding this date seem not to have captured the details of this visit. This is likely a result of this being a campaign visit, limiting the need for it to be highlighted on the front page of the main NC State website. However, exploring the archive of we were able to find the story outlining the victory speech. This news page included a rather small image gallery alongside a brief story documenting the speech. Looking at this page we can see that the website was, by todays standards, rather basic. The static HTML and small photo gallery made this version of the website relatively easy to preserve. The images in the gallery were hosted at the same place as the other web content, making them easy to capture as well. While many of the NC State News items have been migrated as the website has changed over the years, it appears that this story only existed on past versions of the website, making it impossible to find today without it having been archived.

On September 14, 2011 President Obama returned to Reynolds Coliseum for the second time seeking support for the American Jobs Act. As you can see in the archived version of the homepage from that day, the president’s visit was front page news, with the main story linking to the news article discussing the visit. The news page discussing this visit is structurally very similar to the webpage outlining his 2008 visit. The photos in this gallery were uploaded to Flickr, making them more difficult to archive as they were hosted on a separate service outside of the NC State website. The full size images in this web page were not captured in this crawl when it was completed in 2011. If you click on one of the gallery images at the bottom, you will be taken to a ‘capture not found page’ that gives us the option to search to full wayback machine for that photo. In this case we are able to find the full-sized versions captured elsewhere in the Internet Archive, which will then allow us to attempt to move those into the NCSU Libraries Web Archive.

On January 15, 2015 President Obama returned to campus for the third time. This time to announce that NC State would be leading the Next Generation Power Electronics Innovation Institute that was partially funded by a $70 million grant from the Department of Energy. You will notice that the web pages from this capture seem less complete than the earlier ones, missing a lot of the layout elements on the NC State home page. Looking at the source code, it appears that the main banner image of the NC State homepage was replaced with a live video stream of the speech provided by the White House.

This added complexity caused errors in the archival capture of the site. That video was then uploaded to YouTube after the speech where the Internet Archive was able to crawl and capture it for future playback. You can playback the video from this link. While the archived YouTube page that is hosting the video does not render properly, you will notice that the video does indeed work. In addition to documenting the technical complexity of providing a live-stream from the homepage of, captures we have of the NC State home page surrounding this date document the rapid changes made to the NCSU homepage for breaking news stories. We can look at captures on the 15th and see links to the site where tickets for the event could be reserved, then on the next day we see the home page content changed completely to cover the president’s visit.

The examples above show not only historical information about campus events but also provide documentation of  the rapidly changing landscape of web technologies. In just seven years the primary media content of a story went from small, low resolution digital images to a live video stream of the event. While the captures of these events vary greatly in quality, they all provide enough context that we can gain insight into historical campus events. Additionally, they were able to provide us with additional archival materials, such as videos and photos, that were not yet part of our collection. As we move forward with our web archiving project we will be able to ensure more complete captures of the sites by managing the crawls in near real time as historic events unfold on campus.

By: Cathy Dorin-Black

Commencement, 1996

Just in time for commencement weekend, a timeline of all commencements held at NC State is now available on the Historical State website. It begins with the first “closing ceremony” (not yet called “commencement,” as there was no graduating class until 1893) on June 18th, 1890 and concludes with Saturday’s event.  Commencement speakers, honorary degree recipients, interesting facts, and images are all highlighted.  Some notable speakers include Franklin D. Roosevelt (who was Assistant Secretary of Navy at the time), Governor O. Max Gardner, first UNC System president Frank Porter Graham, Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, UNC System president William Friday, Governor Jim Hunt, poet Maya Angelou, Fred Rogers (of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood), General Hugh Shelton, football coach Bill Cowher, and journalist Charlie Rose.

Other historical timelines include Athletics, Campus Buildings and Grounds, Cooperative Extension Service, and NC State Mascots and Colors, among many others.  For more images of commencement, consult our Rare and Unique Digitized Collections siteCommencement brochures also provide a glimpse of past graduations.  Congratulations to the Class of 2016!

Commencement, 1929

Commencement, 1951

By: James Stewart

District map from the 1961 4-H Plan of Work

To date the “Better Living In North Carolina” project has posted over 300 Cooperative Extension Annual Reports and Plans of Work online. Researchers can explore historic qualitative and quantitative data about home demonstration, animal husbandry, plant pathology and other divisions of the extension service. For this post we will highlight the 4-H Youth Development Plans of Work, ranging in date from 1929 to 1981.

A page of upcoming goals in the 1940 4-H Plan of Work

The plan of work was a statement of intended goals and objectives for the coming year. The plans display the fascinating work that went into organizing annual camps, club weeks, radio broadcast, and new camp locations, and demonstrate the research of extension leaders and staff working at NC State University and North Carolina A&T State University. The remainder of this post introduces several of these documents and some of the men and women who put them together up until the early 1960s.

It was a little over 90 years ago when, on January 1st, 1926, L. R. (Lera Rhinehart) Harrill (1897-1978) became the first State 4-H Club Leader, a position he would hold until 1963. Harrill was an outstanding 4-H leader and a pioneer in agricultural education and youth development far beyond North Carolina. His devotion to the 4-H rural and urban youth of North Carolina and abroad earned him the title “Mr. 4-H.”

A fun image of (left to right) L. R. Harrill (biting the watermelon), Frances MacGregor and Ruth Current, State Leader of Home Demonstration at a 4-H Club Week event in 1939.

Some of the statewide 4-H reports are co-authored by Frances MacGregor Wall (1909-1949), a home demonstration agent who served as Assistant State Leader of 4-H from 1937 to 1946. Following MacGregor, contributors to the Plans of Work included assistant club leaders and district agents Jesse James, Eleanor Barber, Mary Sue Moser, Ruby Pearsons, and O. H. Philips.

Sample of Plans of Work from the N. C. State Extension Office by L. R. Harrill and various Assistant State Club Leaders.

While Harrill and MacGregor were the state leaders, the services for African-Americans in 4-H were directed out of the N.C A&T Extension Office beginning in the mid 1930s and until the program was integrated in the mid 1960s. During this time, information about African-Americans in 4-H was included in the statewide reports from NC State as well as the Plan of Work or Annual Reports for Negroes in 4-H.

Robert Earle (R. E.) Jones (1908-1991) became State 4-H specialist for African-Americans 80 years ago in 1936, overseeing 28 counties and 10,000 children. In this role he completed the State Plan of Work for Negroes beginning in 1937.

Map from the 1950 Negro 4-H Plan of Work, W. C. Cooper and Idell Jones.

William C. Cooper was the state 4-H leader of the A&T extension office, beginning in 1947. Cooper was previously an extension agent in Anson County, NC. Assisting Cooper for several years as Assistant State Agent was Mrs. Idell Jones Randall.

Idell Jones Randell, State Assistant of 4-H for African Americans, July 6, 1950.

Sample Annual Reports and Plans of Work from North Carolina A&T Extension Office by Jones and Cooper.

For more about the history of 4-H in North Carolina search Historical State and our previous Extension-related digital project “Green ‘N’ Growing: The History of Home Demonstration and 4-H Youth Development in North Carolina”. The 4-H Youth Development Annual Reports were digitized under this project.

North Carolina delegates attending the National 4-H Club conference in Washington, D.C. Assistant State Club Leader Jesse James on the right.

By: Virginia Ferris

As part of several recent outreach events, the Special Collections Research Center has produced giveaway buttons featuring images from our digitized collections. The button images generate awareness of and interest in our collections, and often spark questions about the stories behind the people featured in them.

Button designs featuring women scientists and engineers at NC State.

Button designs featuring women scientists and engineers at NC State.

In particular, a set of buttons we created for the Science Scircus, a recent event on the Brickyard organized by the College of Sciences Director of Public Science Holly Menninger, featured historic images of women scientists and engineers at NC State.  Students and faculty picking up the buttons were excited to learn about the women highlighted on the buttons, and while we know the names and stories of many of these women, such as Emily Brown Blount, the first female student to graduate with a degree in Civil Engineering, and Frances “Billie” Richardson, the first female faculty member in the College of Engineering, others remain a mystery.

We can gather that this woman was working in the College of Textiles in the 1950s.

We can gather that this woman was working in the College of Textiles in the 1950s.

This photograph was likely used in recruiting materials in the 1970s. If there any ideas about the equipment or the possible discipline she would be working in, we'd love to know them!

This photograph was likely used in recruiting materials in the 1970s. If there any ideas about the equipment or the possible discipline she would be working in, we'd love to know them!

As a sampling of the broader collection, the buttons highlight a broader challenge: the images that we place online in our digitized collections often arrive in the archives without detailed identifying information for us to provide users in the form of metadata. However, as we continue to develop relationships with members of the NC State community through our growing outreach program, we create more opportunities to meet users who can provide this information and help us better describe the materials.

As we connect more users with material in our collections, we invite them to share any information they may have that can help us describe them in greater detail.  If you recognize any of the unidentified people, events, or places in our collections, please let us know!

By: Todd Kosmerick

The earliest known map of the NC State campus

Recently transferred to the University Archives is a “Bird’s Eye View of A & M College.”  Dated 1897, this is the earliest known map of the NC State campus.  The map, looking towards the west, shows the first buildings constructed on the campus.

Much as changed on NC State’s campus since the map was made.  By 1930 (when the university had existed for only 43 years), fewer than half of these buildings still existed. Today (nearly 120 years after the map’s creation), only three of the buildings remain:  Holladay Hall (labeled as Main Building on the map), Watauga Hall, and Primrose Hall. The 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Dormitories occupied the site where Brooks Hall is today.  The Barn was approximately where Leazar Hall is today.  The Boiler House was on the western edge of Mary Yarbrough Courtyard, and the Shops were approximately where Peele Hall is.  The Dairy appears to have been somewhere in the Court of North Carolina.

The map was created by David Clark (1877-1955), an early student who earned B.E., M.E., and C.E. degrees at the university (respectively in 1895, 1896, and 1897) before earning a degree at Cornell University.  He then served in the army during the Spanish-American War and later founded the Clark Publishing  Company, which produced the Textile Bulletin and The Knitter.  An active supporter of NC State athletics, he founded the Wolfpack Club.  The university bestowed on him an honorary doctorate in textile science in 1944, and it named David Clark Laboratories after him in 1963.

The color map was acquired with prints of drawings of campus buildings.  The NCSU Libraries thanks Scott Douglass, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, for transferring these materials to the University Archives.

By: Brian Dietz

We in Special Collections love holidays, and we love commemorating them in blog posts. Unfortunately, we missed yesterday, National Pet Day, especially considering we have a photograph of a great dane registering for classes. Fortunately, we didn’t miss today, International Day of Human Space Flight, the 55th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s flight into space, celebrated in Russia as Cosmonautics Day. Probably not coincidentally, Yuri Milner and Stephen Hawking announced their Breakthrough Starshot initiative today, which seeks to send extremely small spacecrafts to Alpha Centauri, Earth’s nearest star system.

Moonwalk Demo at Engineers Fair Listen to 4-H From Outer Space
Moonwalk Demo at Engineers Fair Listen to 4-H From Outer Space
Robeson County Aims for the Stars Flaked sweet potatoes
Robeson County Aims for the Stars…or 2009 Students on Spinner Rocket Project

And, of course, no International Day of Human Space Flight would be complete without viewing the Rocket Maker demo.

From 4-H to Alpha Centauri, all in the blink of the universe’s eye!

These and other 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 and other topics.

By: Gwynn Thayer

Please join us this Wednesday, April 6, for an exciting Landscape Architecture Archive event:

At 5:00 p.m., directly outside of the Duke Energy Hall of the James B. Hunt Jr. Library, guests may peruse special selections from the Landscape Architecture Archive in a “Show-and-Tell” event. At 6:00 p.m., in Duke Energy Hall, a panel of prominent alumni, practitioners, faculty, and a current graduate student will discuss the topic “Landscape Architecture – Embracing our Past, Engaging our Future:”

A reception, sponsored by the Friends of the Library, will follow.

For the press release with complete details, please click here.