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By: Laura Abraham

We here at the Special Collections Research Center would like to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving, and hope that everyone’s time with family or time of relaxing goes well. We thought the best way of celebrating Turkey Day would be showing you all the amazing turkey images from our digitized collections.

To see these images and other materials related to agriculture, 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: Rachel Jacobson

Report from the 1975 International Astronautical Congress in Lisbon. Found in: Folder 11 Box 1-21.

Following an in-depth survey, organization, and rehousing of documents, a new guide to the Raymond Leroy Murray Papers is available on Special Collections Research Center’s website.  Including material dating from 1919 to 2011 and occupying more than 200 linear feet of shelf space, the collection documents the distinguished career of Dr. Raymond L. Murray, who headed the Department of Nuclear Engineering at North Carolina State University from 1963 to 1974 and contributed greatly to the study of nuclear power plants and nuclear waste management.

After studying physics at the University of California at Berkeley (including two courses from Robert J. Oppenheimer), Murray worked at Oak Ridge during World War II as a supervisor in uranium isotope separation production and as a senior physicist in nuclear criticality prevention. He completed his Ph.D. degree at the University of Tennessee in 1950 and began teaching at North Carolina State that same year. Murray assisted in getting the nuclear reactor built on North Carolina State’s campus in the 1950s and enhanced the education of future nuclear engineer students at NCSU, and across the country through his research and publications.  His collection contains early articles (earliest dates to 1935) and declassified government reports (earliest dates to 1919) from the field of physics, nuclear physics, and engineering.  The collection also documents Dr. Murray’s teaching career and his contributions to education through the drafts of the editions of his textbooks, such as Nuclear Energy and Understanding Radioactive Waste.

An illustration from a 1976 NASA Report. Found in: Folder 6 Box 4-17

This diverse collection contains material documenting a wide variety of topics ranging from the Manhattan Project to the development of curricula for teaching nuclear engineering, solar energy, the disaster at Chernobyl, the space program, recovery after Three Mile Island, and many others.  For more details, please view the finding aid here, along with this article from the College of Engineering


To request materials please look here:

By: Gwynn Thayer

Head of Special Collections, Eli Brown, reviews items at the "Show and Tell" with Professor David Hill and another guest

Bill Ballenger, guest lecturer Nina Rappaport, and Dr. Burak Erdim discuss items relating to T. C. Howard and Synergetics

University Archivist Todd Kosmerick and Dr. Burak Erdim examine items from Special Collections at the "Show and Tell" along with design students

Professor Russell Flinchum with a design student

This week’s event at the College of Design featuring items from T. C. Howard’s Papers on Synergetics was a hit!  Bill Ballenger, along with T. C. Howard’s daughter Katrina Fairley, offered insights into the workings and history of Synergetics. Guest lecturer Nina Rappaport came to the mid-day event in the Rotunda and later that day gave a lecture on the Vertical Urban Factory as a part of the lecture series at the School of Architecture. For more information on how to view our collections, please contact us at or click here.

By: James Stewart

Rebuilding a Fairland: Report of Agricultural Extension in North Carolina for the Year 1936

Rebuilding a Fairland: Report of Agricultural Extension in North Carolina for the Year 1936

“Better Living In North Carolina: Bringing Science and Technology to the People” is the latest digital collection coming to NCSU Libraries. “Better Living” is a two-year partnership between the NCSU Libraries and the F. D. Bluford Library at the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University designed to increase access and discover-ability of primary source materials from the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service.

There will be up to 511,631 digital objects scanned and made available online which will include reports, correspondence, pamphlets, photographs, scrapbooks, and other media. This project will promote the historical resources of two universities with a proud history in agricultural innovation. To date project staff has uploaded 863 pages of the Cooperative Extension Service Annual Reports from 45 reports.

Annual Report of the Agricultural Extension Service of North Carolina State College for 1940

Annual Report of the Agricultural Extension Service of North Carolina State College for 1940

A glimpse into these annual reports, published between 1933 and 1970, gives a fascinating look into the lives of North Carolina rural farmers from this era.  Radio is seen as the latest educational tool to reach the masses. Young children are encouraged to grow food and work during the second world war. Segregation is evident in the earlier bulletins as the activities of Black farmers are discussed in separate sections within the reports (which may make it easier for today’s researchers to extract information about the history of Black agricultural life in NC). One can also see the need for technological innovation through the extension. Using the 1939 annual report, for example, it is hard to believe at one time only 25 percent of rural NC farms had electricity. The photographs and text reveal the personal life of the agricultural family and role of the state college in disseminating information.

North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service Annual Report 1943 - You Have Met The Challenge

North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service Annual Report 1943 - You Have Met The Challenge

Please return to this collection often as we will upload many, many more historical images from NCSU Libraries and the F. D. Bluford Library. To see these and other extension-related resources, 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: Gwynn Thayer

Please join us on Monday, November 9, in the Belk Rotunda at the College of Design. We will feature items from T. C. Howard’s Papers on Synergetics, as well as other materials from the Special Collections Research Center.

By: Virginia Ferris

Eli Brown and Todd Kosmerick getting in the Wolfpack spirit at NCSU Alumni Homecoming Tailgate 2015.

The Special Collections Research Center joined several events hosted by the NCSU Alumni Association this past weekend, where we brought our materials out to help celebrate Homecoming 2015.

On Friday October 30, the Wake County Alumni Network hosted “A Last Look at Harrelson,” inviting alumni to return to Harrelson Hall for a final farewell before its demolition over the coming year.  Floor plans, architectural drawings, promotional brochures, and photographs from various collections in the University Archives and records of the Holloway-Reeves architecture firm brought alumni back to the years when the building was first opened.  Libraries staff in the D.H. Hill Makerspace created laser-cut key chains and bookmarks using sketches and floor plans from the archives to give away to alumni, while the Wolf Tales oral history station recorded former students’ memories of the building in short video interviews.

Sketches and models of Harrelson hall laser-cut into key chains and bookmarks in the D.H. Hill Makerspace using SCRC materials.

For the Alumni Homecoming Tailgate on Saturday October 31, Special Collections staff brought copies of football programs and Agromeck yearbooks dating back to 1960, displayed facsimiles of archival photographs showing homecoming celebrations over the years, and gave away buttons printed with images from the archives.  Alumni of all ages enjoyed finding pictures of themselves – and often of their parents and grandparents – in the Agromecks, sparking lots of memories and stories, and left decked out in buttons to cheer on the Wolfpack.

SCRC tent and display at NCSU Alumni Homecoming Tailgate.

1980s alumni reunite for Homecoming 2015.

Alumni recalling their student days over Agromeck yearbooks.

Recent graduate Christopher Lawing ('15) greets Eli Brown and Todd Kosmerick.

NCSU Chancellor Randy Woodson, Susan Woodson, Kathy Wilson-Sischo, and Vice Chancellor for Development Brian Sischo pick up Homecoming buttons from Special Collections.

Alumni browse and snap photos of 1980s Agromecks.

Three generations of NC State students: current student, with her mother, an alum, finds her grandfather's photo in a 1960 Agromeck.

College of Engineering graduate Eugene Strupe shows his yearbook photo in a 1967 Agromeck.

By: Cathy Dorin-Black

Coach Norm Sloan cutting down the net after the 1974 NCAA championship win

The photographs of Ed Caram (BS, Horticultural Science, 1973) have recently been made accessible and discoverable.

Caram, a photographer for the Agromeck and Technician while a student at NC State, covered Wolfpack football, soccer, swimming, track & field, and basketball—most notably the 1974 NCAA Championship team that included David Thompson, Monte Towe, Tommy Burleson, and was coached by Norm Sloan.

Caram was also an important documenter of NC State’s campus, including the building of the original Talley Student Center in 1970, aerial photos of the soon-to-be demolished Harrelson Hall, and the Free Expression Tunnel when spray painting was first allowed.

For more information, read the full media release.  Please contact the Special Collections Research Center to view the collection.  Some images taken by Caram can be seen in NCSU Libraries’ Rare and Digital Collections.  Others are shown below.

Talley Student Center soon after opening, 1972

Coach Dean Smith confronted by Mr. Wuf

Protesters marching to the Capitol, 1972

Chancellor Caldwell at a parade

March to the Capitol, 1972

By: Todd Stoffer

It is important that we capture websites, as they exist in the moment, as they are likely to contain different information and images in the very near (or far) future. That is basically the goal of web archiving:  it is creating a system that allows future researchers to access past versions of websites, much in the same way that researchers use microfilm to access old newspapers. An example of an archived website is shown below. This is how the NCSU homepage looked like on April 30, 1999. If you click on that image, it will take you to the archived version of the website. As you can see, it has changed dramatically when compared to a more recent version of the site.

What the NCSU homepage looked like on April 30, 1999

Here is a screenshot of the NCSU homepage that was captured on October 22, 2015

Both versions of the website were automatically captured by The Internet Archive, a group that is working to preserve information that is published on the web. We will be working with The Internet Archive as we build up our own web archiving project that will provide us with the opportunity to better capture websites that are important to the campus community and integrate those into our current collections.

We know that websites change dramatically over time, but why would we be interested in preserving this? After all, how much value can there really be in saving outdated websites? Currently, the Internet is used as the primary communication channel for most organizations including NCSU. As events unfold they are written about, photographed, and displayed on websites across campus. In years past much of this information would have been documented in physical objects such as magazines, newspapers, and posters. While printed materials are still used, there is a lot of content that only exists on websites. Take this blog for example, it will never be printed, or stored in any other medium. If we do not work to actively preserve copies of websites, future researchers will not have access to materials that can be use to study the cultural heritage of this era.

By: Laura Abraham

With our football season in full-gear, NCSU Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center would like to show a sample of images from football games from our Rare and Unique Digital Collections. Please enjoy, and Go Pack!

To see these and other sports related 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: Virginia Ferris

Women students and faculty have been making their mark on the STEM fields at NC State since the early 20th century.  We’ve highlighted a few of these women below.  Learn more about the legacy of women in STEM at NC State by exploring our Historical State timeline and our collections!

Mary Elizabeth Yarbrough, 1927.

Mary Elizabeth Yarbrough was the first woman to receive a master’s degree from NC State. Dr. Yarbrough was the daughter of Louis T. Yarbrough, a member of the first class to graduate from NC State (then NC A&M). A graduate of Meredith College, she earned an M.S. in chemistry from NC State in 1927 – the first year the college awarded degrees to women.  You can learn more about Yarbrough’s life and legacy in the Mary Yarbrough Papers.

Instructor Peele Johnson, Virginia Powell of Smithfield, NC, and Caddie Walker of Burlington, NC, studying engineering drawing in defense training, 1942.

The students in the photo above were part of a group of eighteen women who were awarded fellowships by Pratt and Whitney Aircraft to receive engineering training at NC State College during World War II. Pratt and Whitney committed to employ the women as engineering aides after they successfully completed the 48-week course. NC State was the only school in the South selected for the fellowships.

Frances Richardson, 1950s.

Frances M. Richardson was the first woman to join the School of Engineering faculty at NC State in 1951. She was a research associate in North Carolina State University’s Department of Engineering Research from 1951-1980, served as associate director of NCSU’s Engineering Operations Program from 1980 to 1983, and joined the faculty of the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering in 1990. Her research focused on the areas of fluid mechanics and infrared imaging thermography. In 1979, she was elected the first president of the Society of Women Engineers, North Carolina Section, and she is a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemists.

Civil engineering student Emily Brown with surveying equipment, 1951.

Emily Brown Blount of Fayetteville, NC, became the first female student to receive a B.S. in civil engineering from NC State in 1953, and received a profession degree in civil engineering in 1954. She entered a discipline dominated by male students at faculty and entered NC State at a time when relatively few women students were enrolled and the idea of welcoming female students was not universally accepted, as seen in this 1952 article in the Technician. Blount went on to become the first female licensed Professional Engineer in North Carolina in 1960, and in 2007 she was inducted into the North Carolina Transportation Hall of Fame.

Katharine Stinson with students, 1970s.

Katharine Stinson was the first woman to graduate from NC State’s School of Engineering, earning a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree, Aeronautical Option. Stinson was taking flying lessons at the old Raleigh Airport on US-401 when Amelia Earhart flew in for a visit in the early 1930s. When Stinson told Earhart that she wanted to become a pilot, Earhart advised her to become an engineer, a career Stinson pursued in spite of obstacles that prevented most young women from striving for such a degree.  Stinson went on to become the first woman engineer hired by the Civil Aeronautics Administration, now the Federal Aviation Administration, and was a lifelong advocate of women in Engineering and the STEM fields.  Learn more about Stinson’s legacy in her the Katharine Stinson Papers.

Student Angela Skelton at scanning electron microscope, 1974.

Carolyn Hunt, wife of Governor Jim Hunt, working in a testing lab in the College of Textiles, circa 1965.

Research Assistant Elizabeth M. Whitener placing slide in Norelco Diffraction Analysis Apparatus in Engineering Research x-ray laboratory, 1956.

Undergraduate student in Agriculture at microscope, working on a research project with Dr. Nusbaum and Dr. Bostian, 1966.