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Category: Exhibits

Mar 27 2017

Two Special Collections Exhibits in the D.H. Hill Library

If you have walked through the D.H. Hill Library’s Ask Us lobby any time over the past week, you may have noticed a glass display case and a large mobile monitor off in the southwest corner. These are the latest exhibits put together by the Special Collections Research Center, celebrating both Agricultural Awareness Week and Women’s History Month.

Special Collections Exhibits

Special Collections Exhibits

In the display case is a sampling of agricultural extension material from the 1910s to the 1960s, all recently digitized as part of the “Better Living in North Carolina” project. The items in this case range from a pamphlet instructing readers on how to grow and sell Christmas trees to a schematic detailing the construction of an automatic swine watering machine. There are even a few items explaining to North Carolina’s farmers that an increase in their produce and meat production could help win the Second World War. The “Better Living in North Carolina” project is collaboration between NCSU Libraries and the F.D. Bluford Library at North Carolina A&T State University. It seeks to make available online thousands of resources documenting the agricultural economy of North Carolina and its transformation throughout the twentieth century, spurred by the innovation and research of the Cooperative Extension Service.

North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service Annual Report 1948

North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service Annual Report 1948

Up on the monitor is a digital exhibit showcasing women in cooperative extension work. This material comes from the “Better Living in North Carolina” and “Green ‘N’ Growing” projects. We’ve put together a collection of photographs and pamphlet covers which depict the wide array of work that women have done as part of the cooperative extension initiatives, usually through home demonstrations. One of the photographs in the exhibit shows a woman leading a demonstration on the nutritional value of milk for children, and another depicts a home demonstration agent instructing people on financial management. There is also a pamphlet which gives instructions on how to properly streamline the dishwashing process to cure their “dishpanitis.”

Group of Women Attending a Home Demonstration Event

Group of Women Attending a Home Demonstration Event

All of these items and more can be seen in the Ask Us lobby of the D. H. Hill Library, so if you have not seen the exhibits yet, check them out today! The exhibits will be up through Sunday, 2 April. The content of these exhibits is available as part of the NCSU Libraries’ Rare and Unique Digital Collections, which provides access to thousands of imagesvideoaudio recordings, and textual materials documenting NC State history and other topics. While you’re at it, check out the Historical State timeline on the Cooperative Extension Service.

Jan 10 2017

Special Collections Display in Veterinary Medicine Library

Currently on display in the William Rand Kenan Jr. Library of Veterinary Medicine is a selection of items highlighting the history of the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine, a legacy preserved and shared by the Special Collections Research Center. The display features materials that tell the story of the evolution of the College of Veterinary Medicine, focusing especially on the administrators, faculty, and students at the heart of that story. Below is a preview of the items on display – visit the Veterinary Medicine Library to see more!

Veterinary Medicine campus site, circa 1977.

Veterinary Medicine campus site, circa 1977.

The two original barns were built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the 1930s. The site became the University Dairy Farm for NC State in 1940, before becoming part of the original campus of the School of Veterinary Medicine (later re-named the College of Veterinary Medicine in 1987).  Photographs located in the Terrence M. Curtin Papers (MC 00420).

Terrence Curtin, founding dean of the NCSU School of Veterinary Medicine, serving from 1979-1992.

Terrence Curtin, founding dean of the NCSU School of Veterinary Medicine, serving from 1979-1992.

A biography of founding dean Terrence Curtin, in the 1984 “Fact Book” for School of Veterinary Medicine, is located in the NCSU Office of Equal Opportunity and Equity Records (UA 005.009).

Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medicine Association, featured in 1984 Vet Med yearbook, "VetCetera."

NCSU Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medicine Association, featured in 1984 Vet Med yearbook, "VetCetera."

The NCSU Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medicine Association (SCAVMA) was founded in 1981, by the first class of students enrolled in the School of Veterinary Medicine. Image above is found in the Vet Med 1984 yearbook, “VetCetera,” located in the College of Veterinary Medicine Publications (UA 145.200).

Installing whale skeleton in College of Veterinary Medicine building, 1988.

Installing whale skeleton in College of Veterinary Medicine building, 1988.

The College of Veterinary Medicine installed a whale skeleton in its main building in 1988, after collecting the skeleton from the Outer Banks in 1986 through the work of faculty members J.W. Doyle, Ed Smallwood, and Paul Nader, as well as Vet Med student and faculty volunteers and the National Guard. The above photographs are located in the Terrence M. Curtin Papers (MC 00420). More information on the skeleton discovery and installation can be found in the Technician article below.

Technician article, Oct. 1, 1986: “Skeleton gave Vet School ‘whale’ of a job”

Technician article, Oct. 1, 1986: “Skeleton gave Vet School ‘whale’ of a job”

These items and more will be on display in the Vet Med Library through the spring 2017 semester.

You can learn more about the history of the College of Veterinary Medicine through its Historical State timeline, and in other collection materials in the SCRC, including digitized photographs, documents, folders, and a written history by founding dean Terrence M. Curtin. If you have questions about the display or about these or other items in the SCRC, please contact us!

Mar 23 2016

Special Collections Celebrates Agricultural Awareness Week 2016

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

Nov 04 2015

Special Collections celebrates Homecoming 2015 with NCSU alumni

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.

May 15 2015

Special Collections exhibit at Vet Med features items documenting the diversity of pathology work in the twentieth century

An exhibit case featuring materials from the Special Collections Research Center welcomes visitors this summer at the William Rand Kenan, Jr. Library of Veterinary Medicine.  The exhibit showcases the diversity of pathology work in the twentieth century, from research to practice to service. Items from three different collections are featured. This item, shown below, is from the Milton M. Leonard Papers; it lists a veterinarian’s fee schedule (relating to dog hospitalization) from approximately 1950. Several other items in the exhibit, not pictured here, show the fee schedules of veterinary services (including pathology procedures) in the 1950s.

Dr. Milton Leonard opened a veterinary practice in Asheville, North Carolina, in 1914, and was awarded the Distinguished Veterinarian Award by the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association (NCVMA) in 1978. The collection also includes Dr. Leonard’s research files, research papers, and various other items he collected during his career, such as medical brochures and catalogs.

The Edward J. Noga Papers are also featured in the exhibit. Dr. Noga was Professor of Aquatic Medicine in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Professor of Zoology. Dr. Noga’s main research interests were infectious diseases in fish and shellfish, with a focus on immune mechanisms and how these are affected by environmental stressors and toxins. Pathological explorations, especially necropsies of fish, were integral to Dr. Noga’s work. Included in the exhibit is an example of a clinical pathology datasheet from the red-sore project Dr. Noga conducted in the 1980s.

Finally, one item from the Animal Rights and Animal Welfare Pamphlets is featured; this collection was written about in a press release also published in our blog.

For more information about items in Special Collections relating to Veterinary Medicine and Zoological Health, please go to: and

Apr 28 2015

Show and Tell at the College of Textiles

Students view materials with Todd Kosmerick and Eli Brown.

The Special Collections team put together our first Show and Tell event at the College of Textiles on April 20.  Over 100 visitors from the college’s faculty, students, and staff viewed the pop-up exhibit, set up in the Textiles Building Atrium.  Special Collections staff brought rare materials including an engraving of an 18th century textile loom from Diderot’s Encyclopedia, books of color dye samples, and catalogs of textile samples from the Textiles Marketing Publications Collection, plus a wealth of material from University Archives collections highlighting the history of the college.

Materials on display showing the history of the College of Textiles.

Faculty shared some of their memories and stories about the College of Textiles that they saw reflected in the photographs, graduate catalogs, newspaper clippings, commemorative woven bookmarks, and samples of textiles developed in the college (including a lint-free washcloth developed for NASA astronauts by John T. Bogdan that was used on the Gemini and Apollo space flights in 1965). Students remarked on the changes in the types of research and facilities used by the college, and many were surprised to learn that the Textiles program was originally based in Tompkins Hall, which suffered a fire and was rebuilt in 1914. One undergraduate student recognized several of the commemorative woven bookmarks that were collected and saved by her mother, who was also a student in Textiles in the 1980s. Many of these bookmarks are available in the NC State University Memorabilia Collection.

Selections from the papers of the college’s first dean Thomas Nelson drew in visitors interested in seeing his class notes, color combination experiments, and a first edition copy of his book Weaving: Plain and Fancy.  Others were interested in learning about Dean Malcolm Campbell, who received a synthetic aorta implant after a stroke, adding eight years to his life. The synthetic aorta was first developed by Campbell’s colleague William Edward Shinn, head of the Department of Knitting Technology at NC State, in 1955.  Actual samples of Shinn’s knitted artificial arteries are available in his papers, in addition to other items reflecting his career as an NC State student, professor, and department head.  Visitors were also impressed with the array of fashions on display in photographs of the early Textile Exposition and Style Shows, organized by NC State students and held from 1925 through 1943. Students from local women’s colleges participated in the popular annual events by creating fashions from fabrics made by NC State students and by modeling for the shows in Pullen Hall.

Student models in the Textiles Exposition and Style Show, 1929.

Our Historical State Timeline for the College of Textiles features many more highlights in the college’s history.

We had a great time getting to know the faculty and students in the College of Textiles, and look forward to helping them use these collections and others in their teaching and research.  To view any of these collections in person, check out our online collection guides and schedule an appointment at the SCRC by sending an email to:

Mar 16 2015

Dick Bell Exhibit at the College of Design Features Materials from Special Collections

The Special Collections Research Center recently provided scanned images of Dick Bell’s work for the Landscape Architecture Department at the College of Design as they put together an exhibit  featuring Richard “Dick” Bell’s work. The Richard C. Bell Drawings and Other Materials was acquired by Special Collections in 2007. Dick Bell received his degree in landscape architecture from NCSU’s College of Design (then, the School of Design) in 1950. He became a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects  (ASLA) in 1954 and was elected as a Fellow of the organization in 1980. In 1955, Bell founded his first firm in Raleigh, N.C., and for many years operated the business from its award-winning office space, the Water Garden Office Park. Bell retired in 2007.

The Special Collections Research Center also conducted an oral history of Dick Bell. Also of related interest is the Lewis Clarke Oral Histories Collection, 2008-2012, which includes 30 interviews with a cross section of students who attended the NCSU School (now College) of Design between 1950 and 1980 in architecture and landscape architecture.

This exhibit at Design, “Passion of the Practice” honors Bell for earning the 2014 ASLA Medal. Bell will be at the College of Design at 6 p.m. on March 18 to receive his award.

Mar 27 2014

100 Years of Extension: Celebrating the Past, Looking to the Future

This week is Agriculture Awareness Week, and to help celebrate it, the Libraries is curating a small exhibit that marks the 100th anniversary of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. The federal Smith-Lever Act in 1914 funded life-changing educational programs at NC State and other land-grant universities across the country. Even earlier, the seeds for Extension were sown by a “see-for-yourself” demonstration movement for farmers and rural families in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Early pioneers included Seaman Knapp, A.B. Graham, Booker T. Washington, and North Carolina’s own Jane S. McKimmon.

These educators’ ideals transformed the way land-grant universities saw their roles. Cooperative Extension placed professional educators in local communities with the mission of improving lives. Today, North Carolina Cooperative Extension has programs in all 100 counties and on the Qualla Boundary of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. These programs draw on research-based knowledge from NC State and NC A&T — the state’s two land-grant universities — to help North Carolinians to move forward and prosper.


To help farmers better produce food, feed, and fiber, Extension has taught improved agricultural techniques, introduced better varieties, improved soil conditions, and promoted mechanization. Shown here is John Johnson and 68.5 bushels of corn produced on one acre of his Scotland Neck farm in 1939.

Boll weevil

Extension has also promoted pest management and the cure and prevention of plant diseases. For example, in the 1920s a focus was boll weevil eradication. The insect threatened major damage to the cotton crop in North Carolina and throughout the South.

Farm Forestry

In 1917 Extension began promoting forestry and timber management as potential revenue sources for North Carolina farms with extensive tree stands. Shown here are workers preparing pulpwood, circa 1930.

Rural electrification

Before the 1930s, most North Carolina farms lacked access to electricity. During the New Deal, Extension became a partner in rural electrification, and it promoted the labor saving benefits of electric power. New appliances allowed some farmers to expand into other commodities.

Combating erosion

Extension has also focused on soil conservation. Methods for combating erosion have been growing vetch (shown here at a Pineville farm in 1937) and terracing fields.

Boys and girls clubs

Cooperative Extension has a long history of youth programs. Boys corn clubs and girls tomato and canning clubs began in 1909 and 1911, respectively. These programs were the beginnings of 4-H in the state. Shown here are youth clubs, circa 1920.

Home Demonstration

Extension has offered programs for women since the mothers of girls’ canning club members asked for their own clubs in the early 1910s. These programs were originally called “Home Demonstration.” The women’s clubs also raised gardens and canned produce, and they held curb markets as a way for women to earn their own money, as seen in this photo.

U.S.S. Tyrrell

During World War II, 4-H youth contributed to the war effort. By raising food in the Feed a Fighter drive, North Carolina 4-Hers were honored by naming two warships, including the U.S.S. Tyrrell, launched from Wilmington in 1944.

Family and Consumer Sciences

Home Demonstration also formed groups for sewing (as seen in this photo from the 1940s), making mattresses, and even upholstering furniture. Today the program is called Family and Consumer Sciences, and it has expanded well beyond its original activities.

The exhibit will be on display in the circulation lobby of D. H. Hill Library until April 4, 2014. The Special Collections Research Center holds many items documenting the history of extension in North Carolina. To discover images similar to those on display in the exhibit, visit the Libraries’ Rare and Unique Digital Collections.

Nov 05 2012

Introducing…the NC State Memorabilia Collection!

A guide to the University Archives, Memorabilia Collection has recently been made available online in commemoration of the 125th Anniversary of the founding of NC State.  This collection contains primarily three-dimensional objects from the University’s history, including: furniture pieces, paintings, scientific instruments, trophies, personal artifacts from alumni, professors, and chancellors, pennants and flags, student military uniforms, plaques, memorabilia and souvenirs from the Athletics Program (particularly the 1983 NCAA Mens Basketball Championship), and objects from the 1987 Campus Centennial Celebration. It also includes artifacts salvaged from the King Religious Center (YMCA) Building, built in 1913 and demolished in 1975.  Many pieces from this collection are displayed in the 125th Anniversary Exhibit: 125 Years of Shaping the Future, currently on view in the Special Collections galleries in D.H. Hill Library, so stop in and have a look!  Stay tuned for further posts on the Memorabilia Collection.

Mrs. Alexander Holladay's Ball Gown, the wife of the first president of N.C. State

Jun 26 2012

The story of NC State

Contributed by Kelly Murray

President Holladay and the first graduating class.

President Holladay and the first graduating class.

This year is the 125th anniversary of the founding of North Carolina State University, which means parties, parties, and more parties! But this very special event also provides students, faculty, staff, and alumni with a chance to reflect on how the university became what it is today, and what the future could hold for NC State. An upcoming exhibit hosted by D.H. Hill Library provides one such chance for reflection. Opening in August, the exhibition will tell the story of NC State over the last 125 years.

Planning an exhibit that covers such a long and exciting period takes several months of work. Everything from which items to display to what colors to use must be decided upon. These last few weeks have been devoted to one of the most important parts of exhibit production: research.

This week, research centered on the early years of the university’s founding period from 1889-1945. One interesting story is that of Japanese student Teisaku Sugishita. The first International student to graduate from NC State, as well as one of the university’s earliest football quarterbacks, Sugishita graduated in 1898 with a degree in Civil Engineering. When he returned to Tokyo, he worked for the Imperial Railway of Japan and, later, was the president of the Silk Yarn Company of Gifu Prefecture. Sugishita’s American education came at a time when Japan was sending students and envoys overseas in the hopes of bringing Western technology back to the nation. As a prominent engineering school, NC State was considered the perfect place for a student like Sugishita.

Another personality from these early years is Elizabeth Lawrence. Lawrence was the first woman to receive a degree in Landscape Architecture from NC State in 1932. Passionate about horticulture, she went on to author several books about gardening, as well as write the Charlotte Observer’s Sunday gardening column from 1957 until 1971. Her garden in Charlotte is now open to the public as part of the Wing Haven Foundation, a garden and bird sanctuary.

Would you like to find out more about Teisaku, Elizabeth, and other former NC State students and faculty members? Be sure to stop by the exhibit in the fall, and keep following Historically Stated for updates.