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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.

By: James Stewart

In honor of Agricultural Awareness Week at NC State, the NCSU Libraries is presenting an exhibit in the Ask Us lobby area of the D. H. Hill Library to give a glimpse into the past of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service (previously named the Agricultural Extension Service).

Our Agricultural Heritage: A Look Back Into the Past of the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service” will showcase extraordinary figures and scenes from different departments from the last 100 years of the Extension Service. This exhibit will be up until Friday, March 25.

All patrons are welcome to rediscover the lives of Ruth Current, former state home demonstration agent; John W. Mitchell, N.C. A&T extension agent and eventual National Extension Leader; L. R. Harrill, “Mr. 4-H”; Dazelle Foster Lowe, one of the first African-American Home Demonstration leaders, Frank H. Jeter, director of agricultural publications; and R. W. Graeber an early pioneer of our state’s farm forestry program.

A look into the exhibit case will also show farmers, students, professors and extension agents at work in 4-H clubs, test farms, and many other Cooperative extension settings throughout NC.

Students and faculty browse materials from Special Collections before the screening of "The Last Barn Dance".

On Tuesday March 15, National Agricultural Day, the D. H. Hill Library held a screening of The Last Barn Dance, a 30 minute documentary which chronicles dairy farmer Randy Lewis’ fight to save his business within an economy that decimated most other family farms in Alamance County. Outside of the auditorium prior to the film screening a selection of materials from the Special Collections Research Center highlighting small farming and agricultural extension in North Carolina were on display. Many faculty, staff, students and guest enjoyed browsing these rare items on NC agriculture before the film.

The Special Collections Research Center has far more to offer on the history of NC agriculture and the NC Cooperative Extension Service. Please browse through our Rare and Unique Digital Collections and the Historical State search portal. Also visit the landing pages for our past digital collections on Cooperative Extension history: Green and Growing, Cultivating A Revolution, and Living Off The Land.

The current SCRC digital project is “Better Living In North Carolina” a joint venture between the NCSU Libraries and the F. D. Bluford Library at North Carolina A&T State University. In “Better Living” hundreds of Cooperative Extension materials will be made available online to show the impact of economic change and technology on NC agriculture. The project is still growing with 148 reports online to date.

SCRC news articles from previous Ag Awareness Week events.

Growth from the Grassroots : Agricultural Awareness Week

100 years of extension – Celebrating the Past, Looking To The Future.

Looking to the Future – Farm Machinery Research

Filming the Agriculture Experience

Mar 21 2016

Web Archiving Update

By: Todd Stoffer

It has been nearly five months since we started our web archiving initiative at the Special Collections Research Center and that time has gone by very quickly. We are happy to announce that we have made some really great progress in developing the collection and have already reached some very important milestones. Beginning in January we were able to identify, test, and actively begin monthly crawls of 25 major university websites that are the base of our primary web archive collection, the NC State University Websites Collection. These websites represent both administrative units as well as individual colleges within the university. The initial 25 sites only represent a small portion of what we hope this collection will one day contain. This collection will grow to include additional administrative and departmental sites over time.

We were able to work with the Internet Archive to merge all crawls that they had completed on 15 main university websites (prior to our partnership with them) into our collection. This has allowed us to add web content going back nearly two decades into our collection. While the earlier crawls completed by the Internet Archive are not as complete as those we are managing ourselves, it still provides a wealth of information on how the websites at NC State University have changed over time. For example, without merging this content the main NCSU website ( would have had only 3 captures in our collection, after merging old captures, it has grown to contain over 3,400 captures.

The NC State University Web Archive Collection now contains over 3,400 captures of the website.

A screenshot showing captures of the website going back 16 years.

In the next few months we will continue to focus on adding additional sites to our NC State University Websites collection, and are starting work on identifying websites to add to our other collections. We will also be launching a Web Archiving website that will serve as a centralized hub to provide access to our collections. This website will contain a full list of all of our web archive collections as well as general information about the project. It will provide a convenient place for people interested in the collections to learn more about their contents.

By: Virginia Ferris

In honor of Women’s History Month, two NCSU Libraries Fellows, Heidi Tebbe and Virginia Ferris, organized an event at the James B. Hunt Jr. Library, co-sponsored by Kathy Titus-Becker and the WISE Village, using the iPearl Immersion Theater to demonstrate how resources at the NCSU Libraries can assist researchers and others wanting to learn more about the legacy of women in STEM at NC State, from its earliest pioneers to today.

SCRC materials highlighted in a visualization in the iPearl Immersion Theatre at the James B. Hunt Jr. Library.

SCRC materials highlighted in a visualization in the iPearl Immersion Theater at the James B. Hunt Jr. Library.

Dr. Christine Grant, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Associate Dean of Faculty Development and Special Initiatives in the College of Engineering at NC State, gave introductory remarks on the importance of advocacy and mentoring to increase diversity in the STEM fields. Dr. Grant became the first African American woman to join the faculty of the College of Engineering at NC State when she arrived in the Department of Chemical Engineering in 1989. In addition to being a leader in her field she is widely recognized for broadening the participation, promotion, and retention of underrepresented minorities in STEM. Dr. Grant is co-editor of the book Success Strategies From Women in STEM.

Dr. Christine Grant gives opening remarks.

Dr. Christine Grant gives opening remarks.

Following remarks in the Duke Energy Hall, Tebbe and Ferris debuted a visualization in the iPearl Immersion Theater, highlighting a selection of materials from key collections on women in STEM in the Special Collections Research Center, as well as more recent institutional data. The visualization featured materials from collections of pioneering women in the STEM fields at NC State, including Mary Yarbrough, Katharine Stinson, Gertrude Cox, Frances M. Richardson, and the NCSU Chapter of the Society of Women Engineers.

Included in these selections were photographs, documents, and oral history clips that offer insight into the experiences and perspectives of these early women leaders in STEM at NC State. A letter from Gertrude Cox offered words of encouragement to a young woman interested in entering the field of statistics in 1959:

The field of statistics is certainly wide open to women. If you are willing to take the mathematics and science courses and then work very hard to get beyond the junior level, there are all sorts of opportunities to go as far as you wish.

- Gertrude Cox, 1959

Katharine Stinson’s collection contains several oral history recordings that allow us to actually see and hear her tell her story, in her own voice.  She tells the story of meeting Amelia Earhart when she was a teenager working at an airport in Raleigh. When Stinson told Earhart that she wanted to become a pilot, Earhart told her to become an engineer instead, so she could be in charge of the planes that pilots flew. With this, Stinson made the decision that she would go to NC State to become an engineer.

Oral history with Katharine Stinson, conducted by Gene Nora Jessen, 1990.

Oral history with Katharine Stinson, conducted by Gene Nora Jessen, 1990.

The interview includes this story and the story of what happened when Stinson arrived at NC State to enroll in the College of Engineering:

After I graduated from high school, I found out that at North Carolina State University they taught Mechanical Engineering with an Aeronautical Option. So I went up to enroll in Mechanical Engineering, Aeronautical Option. When I got there – I guess I was sort of stupid – I didn’t notice that there weren’t any other girls around, but anyway.

When I got up to the place to enroll, this man looked up at me and said, ‘What are you doing here, little girl?’ And I said, ‘I’ve come here to enroll in engineering.’ He said, ‘Girls don’t go to school here. Girls don’t study engineering.’ I said, ‘Oh, I want to be an aeronautical engineer.’ And he said, ‘We don’t take girls here.’

- Katharine Stinson, oral history with Gene Nora Jessen, 1990

The man that Stinson refers to in this excerpt was the dean of the College of Engineering at the time, Wallace C. Riddick. Stinson went to Meredith College and in just one year she earned two years’ worth of academic credit. She returned to apply to NC State and was admitted in 1937 as the first woman student in Engineering. She graduated in 1941 and went on to become a founder of the Society of Women Engineers, the first woman woman engineer hired by the Civil Aeronautics Administration (now the FAA), and a lifelong advocate for women entering STEM fields.

The complete video oral history with Katharine Stinson, conducted by her colleague Gene Nora Jessen in 1990, is available online in our digitized collections.

While these materials and collections provide an important foundation for documenting this important history, it is an area where the SCRC continues to grow and build. Using the high technology spaces at the Hunt Library for this event allowed us to engage the NC State community to create greater awareness of what we have in our collections, and of our efforts to continue to build collections on women in STEM at NC State. We look forward to continuing to build partnerships with students, faculty, alumni, and other members of the community in our efforts to capture an increasingly inclusive and diverse record of the university.

Kathy Titus-Becker and students from the WISE Village discuss the visualization in the iPearl Immersion Theatre.

Kathy Titus-Becker and students from the WISE Village discuss the visualization in the iPearl Immersion Theatre.

Visit for information and resources related to research on women in STEM at NC State University, and contact us if you have questions or ideas about using or building upon these collections.

By: Cathy Dorin-Black

Team photo after winning the 1974 NCAA title

The 1983 “Cardiac Pack,” led in dramatic fashion by Jim Valvano to the NCAA Basketball Championship, receives much of the attention of the Wolfpack athletic faithful.  And who can blame them, with the memory of Coach Valvano running for someone to hug after Lorenzo Charles sank the winning basket?  This was, however, the Pack’s second national title – the first came in 1974, under Coach Norm Sloan featuring players like David Thompson, Tommy Burleson, Monte Towe, Moe Rivers, and Tim Stoddard.  The 1972-1973 team went 27-0, winning the ACC Tournament and beating every other team in its path, including tenacious Carolina, Duke, and Maryland teams.  By all accounts they may have won the National title in ‘73 as well.  This was not to be, as they were ineligible for post-season play due to violations regarding the recruitment of David Thompson.  Thompson had stayed for free in the dorm with some friends and played a pickup game at a basketball camp.  The NCAA considered it an unauthorized “tryout” and punished the Wolfpack accordingly.

With many of the same players returning, the pressure on the Wolfpack to redeem itself and replace this lost season was intense.  David Thompson, out of Shelby, NC, was known as “Skywalker” due to his vertical jump.  He was a two-time National Player of the Year who helped invent the alley-oop with teammate Monte Towe.  He is currently considered one of the finest ACC players of all time.  At 5′7, Towe was a diminutive, but creative and effective, point guard.  At the other end of the height spectrum was Tommy Burleson, a 7′4 center from Newland, NC, outside of Boone.  Rounding out the team were Moe Rivers and Phil Spence, two junior college transfers, and Tim Stoddard, who would later become a successful Major League Baseball pitcher. With this impressive lineup, the Pack was able to fulfill the dream of the 1972-1973 season.  They beat Providence, Pittsburgh, and the mighty UCLA (who had won seven consecutive national titles) on their way to the championship versus Marquette.  On March 25, 1974, they beat Marquette 76-64 to claim their first national title.

New images of the 1974 season have recently been made available in the Ed Caram Negatives.  Ed Caram was a photographer for Student Media, with many photos appearing in the Technician student newspaper and perhaps the Agromeck yearbook as well. He was a student at NC State from about 1969 to 1975.  Here is a sampling of some images from the 1974 season.

David Thompson defends against Clemson

Tommy Burleson and Monte Towe on the bench

Tommy Burleson defends against UNC

David Thompson goes up for the score

Tommy Burleson celebrates after the championship win

Moe Rivers cuts down the net

For more images of March Madness over the years, including video of some of the games mentioned, consult Special Collections’ Rare and Unique Materials. To schedule a visit to view more of the Ed Caram Negatives, use the Special Collections webform.

By: Laura Abraham

It is Image Discovery Week, so NCSU Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center and the College of Design’s Library are collaborating to highlight our visual resources. Special Collections’ Rare and Unique Digital Collections are our online resource for viewing photographs, documents, audio-visual media, and other archival material related to NC State and North Carolina’s history and contemporary events. The Digital Collections are a fantastic research resource, as well a great way to learn about our University and its students, faculty, and staff over the years.

In honor of the Design Library, here are some images from our collections of the College of Design’s student and faculty projects and art exhibits:

Please visit the SCRC blog for more information on Image Discovery Week and our collections. 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.