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Category: Faculty

Feb 20 2017

Newly-processed Frances M. Richardson papers now available

Blog post contributed by Taylor de Klerk and Jessica Serrao, Library Associates

The Frances M. Richardson Papers are now fully processed and available for research in the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC). That means enhanced search and discovery for researchers, and improved preservation conditions for the materials now stored in archival folders and boxes. This is a must-see collection for anyone interested in the legacy of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) at North Carolina State University. The new guide to the collection is available here.

Frances Richardson with microscope

Frances Marian (Billie) Richardson came to NC State in 1951 as a research associate in the Department of Engineering Research, working closely with the Department of Chemical Engineering. She earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Roanoke College and an M.S. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati. She became a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemists in 1969. Richardson was the first woman faculty member of the School (now College) of Engineering. Later, she shifted into roles as associate director of the Engineering Operations Program and as a faculty member of the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering.

Dr. Kenneth O. Beatty and Frances Richardson measuring velocity with radioactive tracers

Much of Richardson’s research and publications focused on fluid mechanics and infrared imaging thermography, and she received the Sigma Xi Research Award in 1959 and the Roanoke College Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 1970 as results of her work. Richardson was first drawn to NC State because it was the first academic campus to build a nuclear reactor (which was also the first constructed outside Atomic Energy Commission facilities). For over a decade, she researched in rheology and used a radioactive tracer displacement technique to trace the flow of non-Newtonian fluids. In 1979, Richardson was elected the first president of the North Carolina Society of Women Engineers and the society named her Outstanding Woman Engineer in 1980.

Over the course of four months last fall, Special Collections’ Library Associates sorted through and processed 30 cartons of Richardson’s papers. The scope of the materials in the collection is diverse and highlight Richardson’s deep devotion to her research, her students, her departments, and the university. Richardson’s papers speak to her teaching, professional involvement in the fields of chemistry and biomedical engineering, and especially her passion for encouraging women and minority students to pursue STEM fields at NCSU and beyond.

Piles of folders separated by subject were created during processing to group related topics for easier access and discovery

Richardson was one of a relatively small number of women pursuing a STEM career in the mid-twentieth century. She overcame obstacles throughout her research and her professional advancement at NC State, some of which are documented in this collection. Her various roles over the years with student chapters of the Society of Women Engineers and Sigma Xi are also well represented. The more time SCRC staff spent with these materials, the better they understood Richardson’s personality. Her humor showed through with surprising finds like parodies about computers and a healthy collection of comic strips.

The Frances M. Richardson Papers is now available in the Special Collections Research Center for anyone interested in learning more about her. Additionally, there are related materials within other collections, including the Society of Women Engineers NCSU Student Section Records (UA 021.497), the Sigma Xi Records (MC 00246), records of multiple departments within the College of Engineering, and the soon-to-come Kenneth O. Beatty Papers (MC 00546).

For more information about the Frances M. Richardson Papers, please consult the collection guide online. To learn more about finding and using archival collections at NCSU, please visit our website.  You can also search directly within our collection guides or browse a list of our collections for more.  If you have any questions about how to find or use the collections, as always, contact us!  We are here to help you find what you need.

Feb 10 2017

Special Collections partners with COD faculty member Kofi Boone to evaluate “lost landscapes” on campus

Blog post contributed by Lindsey Naylor

In LAR 582: Landscape Architecture Theory and Criticism, students take part in formal class debates and deploy arguments that draw from their growing knowledge of theory. For the first debate, Professor Kofi Boone assigned two teams that argue opposing sides of the question: Is the new landscape for the Talley Student Union a step forward or a step backward?

But only two students had actually seen the previous student union landscape — a visit to the Special Collections Research Center was definitely called for! With access to detailed drawings and archival images pulled from three separate collections, the whole class could grasp the forms, spaces and uses that defined what was then called the Student Center Plaza.

The former plaza was designed by Richard Bell, a renowned local landscape architect who just a few years earlier had designed the Brickyard. Bell’s design for the Student Center Plaza featured a multi-level fountain that stepped down into the site; walls and plantings that created a buffer against the railroad and the traffic of Dunn Avenue; an amoeba-like open lawn; and seating that wrapped around the site and the student union.

A 1980s view of the former Student Center Plaza. Dunn Avenue is beyond the wall in the background. UA 003.026

Students in Boone’s class came to D.H. Hill Library on Thursday to see in person the drawings and images from the Richard C. Bell Drawings and Other Materials, the Office of the University Architect Records, and the G. Milton Small Papers.

The Richard C. Bell collection, in the Landscape Architecture Archive, holds about a dozen drawings for his Student Center Plaza design, including grading and planting plans, site sections, construction details and illustrative renderings.

The University Architect collection has dozens of slide images, taken in the 1970s and 1980s, that give a rich picture of the plaza’s use and its human scale. About 25 of the slides were scanned for Boone’s class and soon will be available online in the Rare and Unique Digital Collections.

The Small collection includes floor plans, elevations and perspective renderings of the Student Center and the Student Supply Store, the two buildings that formed the southern and western edges of the plaza. The Student Supply Store was demolished during the new Talley construction, and the Student Center was gutted to form the core of the new building.

Students examine Bell's 1975 grading plan for the Student Center Plaza.

SCRC holds a wealth of materials that give insight into the history of community spaces on NC State’s campus. Boone, who works in the Experience Design Lab at the College of Design, is exploring ways to use digitized archival images and oral histories in conjunction with site-based virtual and augmented reality, to enrich individual experiences of campus and other landscapes.

Boone brought to class an Oculus Gear VR to share a 360-degree image of the current Talley landscape and refresh students’ memories of the existing site design. SCRC Associate Head and Curator Gwynn Thayer brought an early “model” as a fun, historical comparison– a stereoviewer, which was the 19th century’s attempt at creating a three-dimensional alternate reality.

Kofi Boone uses the Oculus Gear VR to view a 360-degree image of the current Talley Student Union landscape.

Student Jackson Kiel uses the stereoviewer to view a 19th-century sublime landscape.

Oct 14 2016

Special Collections Holds Landscape Architecture Class Session for Dr. Magallanes’ students

Blog post written by Lindsey Naylor

The Special Collections Research Center offered an archival show-and-tell for students enrolled in LAR 444: History of Landscape Architecture, taught by associate professor Fernando Magallanes. The session featured works from the Landscape Architecture Archive in addition to rare books and images that reflect broader trends in design, botany, agriculture, and more. Magallanes requested diverse materials to support the aim of the course, which is to provide a broad overview of landscape architecture history grounded in a larger social, scientific, and artistic context.

The event was also meant to give students a sense of the Archive’s scope, and its potential as a source of inspiration and insight for design and research projects.

Highlights from the Landscape Architecture Archive included architectural drawings, renderings, and presentation materials from the collections of Lewis Clarke, Richard C. Bell, Edwin Gilbert Thurlow, and Reynolds & Jewell. Featured design and planning projects included the Brickyard, the 1965 Raleigh downtown capital plan, and the N.C. Zoo, giving students a peek into the historic context of familiar places. Students also could flip through correspondence between NCSU landscape architecture faculty members and their prominent international design colleagues, like Roberto Burle Marx and Garrett Eckbo.

Professor Magallanes discusses Lewis Clarke’s master plans for the N.C. Zoo and downtown Raleigh open space.

Sketches, photographs, and architectural drawings were on display for Fayetteville’s iconic Tallywood Shopping Center sign. The modernist 1960s design was by Bill Baron, an industrial designer and former NCSU faculty member who also worked on projects with Clarke and Bell. Baron recently donated his Tallywood drawings, correspondence, and photographs to the SCRC. The finding aid for this collection will be available in a few weeks.

SCRC Associate Head and Curator Gwynn Thayer talks with students about Bill Baron's Tallywood design.

Students got a sneak peek at the work of R. D. Tillson, a landscape architect who practiced in the High Point area from the 1930s to the 1970s. The Tillson drawings, which fill more than 250 tubes and flat folders, are another recent acquisition and are currently being processed and organized. The collection promises to provide unique insight into the way the practice of landscape architecture evolved in the Southeast during the 20th century. At the show-and-tell, students examined grading and general development plans for Rock Creek Park, an Albemarle, N.C., project funded in the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration.

SCRC staff shared a couple of the hand-colored lantern slides of B.W. Wells, a celebrated NCSU ecologist who built a deep knowledge of the state’s native plants and ecosystems. The slides included in the exhibit showed the trumpet plant and the venus fly trap, Wells’ personal favorite.

Eli Brown, Head of the SCRC, shows students the hand-colored lantern slides of B. W. Wells.

Magallanes’ students were particularly drawn to the exhibit’s selection of rare books, including an original 1856 edition of The Grammar of Ornament, the work of architect Owen Jones that is often referred to as “the Bible of design.” Also on hand was an original 1803 edition of Observation on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, by English landscape designer Humphry Repton. Repton is known for his series of Red Books and for the innovative layering of before-and-after drawings of his planned landscapes.

Students peruse “The Grammar of Ornament” and “Observation on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening.”

Sep 29 2016

George Matsumoto Architectural Drawings Digitized

The Special Collections Research Center is pleased to announce that additional Matsumoto architectural drawings are now available online. The George Matsumoto Papers were acquired in the late 1990s and contain important materials documenting Matsumoto’s work, including correspondence, photographs, architectural drawings and sketches, and other materials. George Matsumoto’s work was documented in a publication from 1997 called “Simplicity, Order, and Discipline: The work of  George Matsumoto from the NCSU Libraries’ Special Collections.” In this book, a number of scholars weighed in on the importance of his work. Former College (then School) of Design architecture faculty member Robert Burns wrote, “George Matsumoto’s North Carolina legacy is distinctive, and, in many ways, heroic. He created a body of exceptional buildings….he also offered an example of integrity and dedication to principle that will long endure.”

Matsumoto was born in 1922 in San Francisco, California, and earned his B. A. in Architecture from Washington University. He studied at the Cranbrook Academy of Art and later worked with various architectural firms. Soon thereafter he joined NC State’s new School of Design in 1948 until he left for Berkeley in 1961. Matsumoto was brought to NC State by Henry L. Kamphoefner, the first Dean of the School of Design. Matsumoto is considered to be one of the key early faculty members at Design, and especially important as a practitioner and teacher who promoted modernist architecture. Matsumoto was influenced by leading architects such as Mies van der Rohe and Marcel Breuer; Burns wrote that “The ideas that mattered most to George Matsumoto as a designer and as a teacher were those that served as the focal themes of the modern movement: strict adherence to functional demands, clarity of plan, structural logic and expression, economy of means, perfection of detail, and the rationalization of construction processes tending toward industrialization.”

To learn more about Special Collections, or to access Special Collections materials, please contact us here.

Aug 22 2016

Terry Waugh and Harrelson Hall

Terry Waugh, 1958

Edward Walter “Terry” Waugh is usually credited with the circular design concept for NC State’s Harrelson Hall, which was recently demolished.  To follow up from last week’s post, here are a few more facts about him.

He was born on 24 January 1913 in Johannesburg, South Africa.  During the 1930s he attended the School of Architecture at Edinburgh College of Art and Heriot Watt College of Engineering in Scotland, and he received the equivalent of a BA in 1935 and MA in 1938.

During World War II he came to the United States.  In 1944-1945 he had a fellowship at Cranbrook Academy, and he briefly worked under Eliel Saarinen.  In 1945-1946 he was a senior designer of movie sets for Columbia Picture, Inc.  He was a practicing architect for a few years in Kansas City, and in 1949 he and George Matsumoto designed the Kansas City Art Institute.  He also briefly taught architecture at the University of Kansas and the University of Oklahoma.

In September 1948 he became an associate professor of architecture in NC State’s School (now College) of Design.  He was among the original cohort of faculty and students that had come with Dean Henry Kamphoefner from the University of Oklahoma.  He taught at NC State during 1948-1951 and again 1958-1962.  During his second employment at the university, he performed additional duties as campus planner.

From 1951 to 1958 he was in private practice in Raleigh.  In 1960, he and his wife Elizabeth authored (with Henry Kamphoefner, advisor) the book The South Builds:  New Architecture in the Old South. During his career he also wrote a number of articles.  In 1965 he showed his paintings and drawings at an exhibit titled “Two Years of Architecture and Art” in NC State’s student union.

In addition to Harrelson Hall (designed with Holloway-Reeves), Waugh contributed to the design of various renovation projects on the NC State campus; to the Winston-Salem War Memorial Coliseum (with G. Milton Small); and the Forest Hills Shopping Center (with Raymond Sawyer) in Garner, North Carolina.  He also designed several houses in North Carolina (many featured on the NC Modernist Houses website), including his own at 3211 Churchill Road in Raleigh.  Through an arrangement between NC State and the government of Peru, Waugh design the campus for La Molina University (Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina) in that country.

Postcard of Harrelson Hall, 1962.

Postcard of Harrelson Hall, 1962.

Terry Waugh died in Raleigh on 24 February 1966. Architectural drawings for some of his buildings still exist.  Drawings and other documents about the design of NC State’s recently-demolished Harrelson Hall are included in the NCSU Office of the University Architect Records (UA 003.026) and the Holloway-Reeves Records (MC 00172).  Drawings for other Waugh-designed buildings also exist in the Edward Walter Waugh Drawings (MC 00148).

Dec 03 2015

Special Collections works with Dr. James Mulholland’s ENG 260 Students

The Special Collections Research Center is finishing up a very busy semester working with faculty and their classes; this week, Dr. James Mulholland brought his English 260 class to Special Collection to work with a selection of rare books. The students examined works such as one leaf from the Rosarium Theologie; Pliny the Elder’s Natural History; Thomas Moore’s Lallah Rookh; and Thomas Malory’s Morte D’Arthur with illustrations by Aubrey Beardsley, to give just a few examples.

The Special Collections Research Center collaborates with faculty in diverse academic areas at NC State and is committed to working with the entire NCSU community and beyond to provide access to its unique collections. For more information, please contact us at

Nov 16 2015

Introducing New Finding Aid for Raymond Leroy Murray Papers

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:

Sep 28 2015

Dr. Matthew Booker’s suburban history class meets with Special Collections

Dr. Matthew Booker’s HI 491-002 class (Suburban Nation: Suburbs in American History) recently met with Special Collections and took a “deep dive” into some of the Landscape Architecture/Greenways collections. The course is the capstone research seminar for History majors at NCSU, and one of their primary goals is to produce a well-designed, well-researched, and original research paper. The students are learning how to use Special Collections archival materials as they develop their paper topic. Collections that are proving to be of special interest include the Lewis Clarke Collection as well as the William L. Flournoy, Jr., Papers. We’ll keep you posted as students continue to explore the collections during the research process!

Sep 22 2015

Graphic Design classes visit Special Collections

Last week was a busy week in Special Collections – two Graphic Design classes, GD 231 and GD 203 (taught by Russell Flinchum and Deb Littlejohn, respectively) reviewed a large selection of books with interesting design components.

GD 231, History of Design for Engineers and Scientists:

Russell Flinchum shared some background on this course:

During July 2015 I had a very special opportunity to spent a month at Drexel University in Philadelphia at a NEH Summer Institute on “The Canon and Beyond: Teaching the History of Modern Design.” With my 26 classmates, I had the chance to visit a number of special collections, including the Hagley Museum and Library, where Dr. Regina Lee Blaszczyk, Leadership Chair in the History of Business and Society at the University of Leeds, took us on an impressive journey on the role of color in 19th century design (her 2012 book, The Color Revolution, is highly recommended). Reggie’s workshop had clued me in to the extensive network of publications focused on color research and standardization and I was able to show my students the Hoechst Company’s impressive volume on Cotton Dyeing as an example of the primary materials that Professor Blaszczyk had worked from.

For the GD 231 class, Special Collections selected volumes on the early applications of electricity, mechanical engineering, supply catalogs, and other books that showed Flinchum’s students what “the state of the art” was over a century ago and how information-rich that environment was.

GD 203, History of Graphic Design:

The students in Littlejohn’s class had a large list of books to select from, such as this perennial favorite by  E. A. Seguy. While studying their books, the students will consider some of these questions, all provided by Dr. Littlejohn:

In the first (subjective) part, think about and write about your experience with the book, such as:

What is my first visual impression of the book?
What is the physical nature of the book? Size, weight, binding, paper
How do I sense the book? Look, touch, smell, hear (don’t taste!)
What about the physical nature of the book interests me?
What is interesting about the design? Typography? images? cover? layout? etc.

In the second (objective) part, research and answer some of these questions (all questions are unlikely to be pertinent to each book, choose wisely):

(everyone must answer this) Why is this book in the collection? Why is it important enough to collect?
What is this book valued for? (may be more than one thing) subject matter, author, design, age, writing, illustrations, printing, previous owners, where produced
Is this book mentioned in books about the history of books and printing? (Z 250 section of the library)
How does this book fit in with history? Printing history, art/design history, history of a discipline, etc.
Is this book an example of something special? a beginning, an end, a particular style, etc.
Is this book part of the development of something?
If there are important individuals involved in the book’s making, who are they?
Is this book connected with any other books in the collection? In a series, by the same author, by the same designer, about the same subject, etc. Does this add to its importance?

We look forward to working with these classes again next year!

Sep 14 2015

National Medal of Technology and Innovation Recipient Donates Papers to NCSU Libraries

Dr. Jayant Baliga, an internationally recognized leader in electrical and computer engineering, has donated his papers to the North Carolina State University Libraries. Lauded by Scientific American as one of the heroes of the semiconductor revolution, Baliga received this year’s Global Energy Prize.

In addition to being a distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering, Dr. Baliga is the director of NC State’s Power Semiconductor Research Center. Among his many accomplishments, he is perhaps best known for his invention of a power semiconductor device, the insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT), often used as an electronic switch in modern appliances, from electric cars to air conditioners to portable defibrillators. The IGBT, as he describes it, has had “a major impact on creating a sustainable world-wide society with improved living standards while mitigating the environmental impact.”

According to Dr. Louis A. Martin-Vega, Dean of Engineering at NC State, Dr. Baliga’s “groundbreaking scholarship and leadership have been instrumental in addressing major global societal challenges and helping the College of Engineering and NC State become a research powerhouse. Throughout his career, Jay has generously shared his expertise with our students and faculty so I am not surprised and very pleased that he has chosen to share his life’s work with future students and faculty through the NCSU Libraries.”

Baliga has received numerous awards during his distinguished career, some of which include the 2014 IEEE Medal of Honor, the 2011 National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama, the 2012 North Carolina Award for Science, the 1999 IEEE Lamme Medal, the 1998 IEEE Ebers Award, the 1998 O. Max Gardner Award, the 1993 IEEE Liebman Award, the 1992 Pride of India Award (First Recipient), and the 2011 Alexander Quarles Holladay Medal for Excellence.

He is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering, the Electronic Design Engineering Hall of Fame, the Rensselaer Alumni Hall of Fame, the European Academy of Sciences, and he is an IEEE Life Fellow. Baliga has authored or edited 19 books and over 500 scientific articles and has been granted 120 U.S. Patents.

Baliga received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering (1974) and his M.S. in Electrical Engineering (1971) from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. He spent fifteen years at the General Electric Research and Development Center, leading their power device studies. There, he received the highest scientific rank of Coolidge Fellow. Baliga joined NCSU in 1988 as a Full Professor and was promoted in 1997 as Distinguished University Professor.

His papers will be housed in the Special Collections Research Center at NCSU Libraries and include records from the Power Semiconductor Research Center—meeting documents, vendor information, software agreements, technical working group meeting reports, and related administrative files. Also included in his Papers are Electric Power Research Institute patent applications and other like materials.

The SCRC holds research and primary resources in areas that reflect and support the teaching and research needs of the students, faculty, and researchers at the university. By emphasizing established and emerging areas of excellence at NC State University and corresponding strengths within the Libraries’ overall collection, the SCRC develops collections strategically in order to support NC State’s growth as a world-class academic institution.