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Dec 16 2011

The State of History

Contributed by Samantha Rich and Kelly Murray

This fall graduate students in NC State’s History Department embarked on a semester long digital history project under the leadership of Dr. Susanna Lee. Students utilized resources available from the NCSU Libraries Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) to create exhibits detailing various aspects of NC State history. Students digitized approximately 350 primary sources from the SCRC, including photographs, newspaper articles, and letters. The final project, The State of History, debuted on December 9, 2011.

The site is divided into four projects: Crossing the Color Line: Desegregation at NC State, 1960-1981, The Good Wife Diploma, NC Eats, and Under Review: The Anderson-Sermon Controversy and Football’s Role on the College Campus. Each project houses three to four exhibits related to their overall topic. These include African-American student groups on campus, women’s social clubs, the Agricultural Extension Service, and a 1936 football controversy concerning UNC President Gordon Gray.

Some of the most surprising artifacts include a diploma issued to students’ wives entitled the “PhT Degree: Puttin’ Hubby Through,” as well as a 1943 nutrition pamphlet that recommended butter and margarine as a food group. The site demonstrates the variety of materials available at SCRC. Students can access additional materials by visiting SCRC’s collection guides or Historical State. With such a wide offering, it is likely that SCRC has the materials you need for your next digital history project.

The Good Wife Diploma

The Good Wife Diploma

United States Department of Agriculture, "Basic Seven Poster," ca. 1943, National Archives and Records Administration