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Category: Uncategorized

Nov 21 2016

New Items and Cross-Referencing Materials Within “Better Living”

Southern Farm Management Extension Publications, no. 5 - Inheritance Your Farm And Family

One goal of “Better Living in North Carolina” is to digitize the Cooperative Extension Service Annual Reports, print copies of which are held by NCSU Libraries Special Collections Research Center. A year into the project, nearly all of these reports have been digitized and are now available online. Project staff has shifted its focus to the publications of the Cooperative Extension, like 4-H newsletters, Home Economics bulletins, and even TV schedules for Extension programs.

Another purpose of “Better Living” is the digitization of hundreds of Cooperative Extension Annual Reports that exist only on microfilm. Right now, 467 reports from 1909 to 1917 digitized from four reels of microfilm are online. While icrofilm is still widely available at many libraries, it is an obsolete technology. Even when it is used, microfilm presents many limitations to copying and searching. Digitized microfilm images are by far easier to access and search.

Cover from a 1917 county agent report by John W. Mitchell. Digitized from microfilm.

These reports and publications are more than year by year documentation and products of the agricultural extension. They are also artifacts of the hard work of the men and women who developed the agricultural extension in its early history. The very first annual report (above) submitted by A&T agent John W. Mitchell, can now be seen. Some of the first club reports by Jane McKimmon are also online. It is now possible to research the first county agents of Mecklenburg, Chatham and Guilford Counties and then check for related information in other materials within our “Rare and Unique Special Collections“.

Photo of Campers Getting Ready to Start Camp Improvement Project. All 80 Photographs in "Better Living in NC" are from the S. B. Simmons Collection, Archives & Special Collections, North Carolina A&T State University.

The boon to today’s researchers is being able to quickly cross reference materials of multiple formats from the agricultural history of North Carolina. One can start with any item like an annual report, then narrow that search for a particular agent, county, region, or extension program, and also search for a conference brochure for names, related reports, and images within our “Rare and Unique Special Collections” and “Historical State“.  Agent John Mitchell is one of a few cases were biographical essays are also available. By focusing on these resources, “Better Living” complements the previous NCSU Libraries LSTA-funded digitization projects, “Cultivating A Revolution” and “Green and Growing.” The three work together to expose scores of resources documenting the impact of agricultural innovation in NC across the last century.

If you would like to learn more about the Special Collections Research Center and our digitized materials, please visit NCSU Libraries’ Rare and Unique Digital Collections, which provides access to thousands of images, video, audio recordings, and text materials documenting extension history and other topics.

Oct 24 2016

Web Archiving Update

NC State University Websites Collection

We are pleased to announce that the first phase of our web archiving project is now in full swing. Earlier this month we completed the quality assurance checks for 140 new seed URLs in our NC State University Websites collection, which will now be crawled on a recurring basis. We are now crawling 190 university websites on a recurring basis. This includes the websites of campus-wide administrative units, each of the 12 colleges, and the vast majority of departmental websites. We have captured 484 gigabytes worth of data in just the past 12 months. This collection is set to be crawled at regular intervals throughout the year, so we will continue to capture updated websites as changes are made to campus websites. You can explore the entire collection by visiting https://archive-it.org/collections/5838. The chart below shows the growth we have experienced over the past year of collecting. We are projecting that by the end of this collecting cycle we will have preserved over 700GB of website data, the majority of which is contained in our NC State University Websites Collection.

Documenting the Process

Web Archiving is still a relatively new area of practice for libraries and archives. There are not nearly enough resources that document the process of starting to build a new web archive. It is a complex task both from a technical standpoint as well as from an organizational policy standpoint. Developing internal standards and best practices ensures that the web archive can be maintained long-term. We have been working on these standards and practices for over a year now, and decided it was time to formally document them. For us, the best option for documentation was to create a website that outlined different processes that we have in place, from seed selection and scoping to quality assurance and collecting guidelines. We have also made the decision to make that documentation openly available online. You can view it at https://ncsu-libraries.github.io/web-archiving-docs. We hope that this documentation is helpful for other organizations that might be starting new web archives, by adding transparency to a process that is often only internally documented.

Aug 26 2016

SCRC Processing Team Gears Up for 2016-2017

As students and faculty return to campus and think of interesting research projects using Special Collections, our processing team is reassembling and gearing up to make more of our collections findable and usable for them.  From receiving a collection to making it available for research, many people are involved.  Today we’ll tell you a little bit about who they are and what they’ll be working on this fall.

We receive new collections and additions to existing collections nearly every week, and we make these collections available as soon as possible by preparing container lists and preliminary collection guides immediately when they arrive. Then they go into a queue for extra arrangement and description depending on how we expect they might be used, and on the availability of processors and space.

One of our Library Associates processing a collection

Special Collections staff, of course, work on arranging and describing collections year round. Our University Archives Specialist spends much of her time inventorying materials as they arrive from University offices. Right now she is also working on a project with the records of the Cooperative Extension Director’s office to describe them in a way that will make them easier to find and use, in preparation for digitizing them. Our Digital Program Technician is currently arranging and describing a collection of comic books. A staff member in the Libraries’ Acquisitions and Discovery Department also helps with processing collections. Her expertise in metadata and cataloging are particularly helpful, especially with some of the large collections she has worked on.

We have two Library Associates– part-time, entry-level professional archivists who are graduate students in public history or library science–who arrange and describe collections. They also help with other aspects of archival work, including helping pick up collections from donors, writing blog posts (stay tuned – you’ll be hearing from them!), and other special projects that come up during their time with us. Because they are new this year, they will start out with some smaller collections, and as the year goes on they will work on larger and more complex collections.

This semester we will have two other graduate students processing collections in the SCRC, one from NCSU’s Public History Ph.D. program and one from UNC-CH’s Library Science program. These particular students have both worked at our Public Service desk and have helped inventory collections while there. We are fortunate to have graduate student processors who have worked with researchers so they will have researchers’ needs in mind as they arrange and describe collections.

We will also have three work-study students working with us this semester. The majority of their work will be re-foldering and inventorying collections. They will remove collection material from the folders in which it arrives and will place it in acid-free folders, then label the folders clearly and consistently, place them in acid-free boxes, and list them in a spreadsheet or directly in ArchivesSpace, our collection management software. Students who work at our Reading Room desk also do this kind of work when they are not actively engaged in helping researchers.

Visit our website for more information about finding and using archival collections at NCSU.   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.

Aug 08 2016

Olympians in the Wolfpack

With the opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics last week, we’re taking a look back at the legacy of members of the NC State Wolfpack who have been part of past Olympic games.  This year we’re cheering on four NC State swimmers participating in the 2016 Olympic games in Rio: Anton Ipsen, Simonas Bilis Soren Dahl, and Ryan Held – and celebrating Held’s gold medal in yesterday’s 4 x 100 relay!

Olympic Gold Medalist Steve Rerych.

Olympic Gold Medalist Steve Rerych.

Swimmer Steve Rerych won medals at the Mexico City Olympics for the 4 x 100 freestyle and 4 x 200 freestyle. At NC State Rerych had been a three-time All-American and nine-time ACC champion. He is the only person in ACC swimming and diving history to be three-time champion in three different events. Rerych was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 1993 and the NC State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014.

Tommy Burleson was from Newland, North Carolina. He wa a member of the U.S. Olympic basketball team that won a silver medal in Munich, 1972.

Tommy Burleson was from Newland, North Carolina. He wa a member of the U.S. Olympic basketball team that won a silver medal in Munich, 1972.

Kenny Carr won a gold medal with the U.S. Olympic basketball team in Montreal, 1976.

Kenny Carr won a gold medal with the U.S. Olympic basketball team in Montreal, 1976.

Steve Gregg, Harrigan, and Goodhew swam for NCSU in the early 1970s. Steve Gregg won a silver medal for the 200 butterfly, Dan Harrigan won a bronze medal for the 200 back stroke and Duncan Goodhew, who swam for Great Britain, won a gold medal for the 100 breast stroke.

Steve Gregg, Harrigan, and Goodhew swam for NCSU in the early 1970s. Steve Gregg won a silver medal for the 200 butterfly, Dan Harrigan won a bronze medal for the 200 back stroke and Duncan Goodhew, who swam for Great Britain, won a gold medal for the 100 breast stroke.

In the 1975 Pan American Games held in Mexico City, Steve Gregg won the silver medal in the 200 meter butterfly, and Dan Harrigan won the gold medal in the 200 meter backstroke. In the 1976 Olympics, Gregg won silver in the 200 meter Butterfly, while Harrigan won bronze in the 200 meter backstroke. Both swam for NC State in the early 1970s, including on the 1973 team that won all eighteen events at the ACC tournament.

Steve Gregg and Dan Harrigan, 1975 Pan American Games medalists.

Steve Gregg and Dan Harrigan, 1975 Pan American Games medalists.

Tab Ramos played for North Carolina State University during the 1980s. He played for the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team in 1988 at the Summer Olympics and continued to play for the National Team until 2000. He has been named U.S. Soccer Player of the Year (1990) and is in the United States Soccer Hall of Fame.

Tab Ramos played for North Carolina State University during the 1980s. He played for the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team in 1988 at the Summer Olympics and continued to play for the National Team until 2000. He has been named U.S. Soccer Player of the Year (1990) and is in the United States Soccer Hall of Fame.

Nora Lynn Finch (left) and Kay Yow carrying United States Olympic Festival Torch through North Carolina State University campus, fall 1987.

Nora Lynn Finch (left) and Kay Yow carrying United States Olympic Festival Torch through North Carolina State University campus, fall 1987.

Coach Kay Yow, NC State Women’s Basketball coach from 1975-2009, carried the Olympic torch in the opening ceremony of the 1987 U.S. Olympic Festival in Raleigh.  She went on to coach the winning U.S. Women’s Basketball team in the 1988 Olympics. As a member of the Naismith Hall of Fame, Yow had more than 700 career wins.

Coach Kay Yow and the United States Olympic team show pride during the playing of the National Anthem before an exhibition game in Raleigh, 1988.

Coach Kay Yow and the United States Olympic team show pride during the playing of the National Anthem before an exhibition game in Raleigh, 1988.

Many more highlights of NC State athletics and Olympians over the years are available in our Rare and Unique Digital Collections and in our collection guides. Check out our Historical State timelines for more NC State athletics history, and contact us if you are interested in using these or any other materials in the SCRC!

Aug 02 2016

Hidden Documents Within The Cooperative Extension Service Annual Reports

Annual reports and plans of work created by the Cooperative (Agricultural) Extension service document their completed tasks and goals to improve the agriculture and economy of North Carolina and its citizens. While primarily composed of text, they often contained a combination of media and information visuals designed to supplement the written information. Those supplements included pamphlets, extension circulars, newspaper clippings, radio scripts, and even blueprints.

Below are several examples of unique items digitized within these reports by the “Better Living” project.

Extension Circular No. 272 - Disease Control in the Home Garden, February 1944. From Report of Extension Work in Plant Pathology in North Carolina for 1944

Extension circulars were publications on various agricultural technical topics printed on a few pages for easy use. Many more of these were digitized in the Green and Growing project.

Magazine “Business of Farming” Autumn 1956. From North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service Narrative Report for 1956

There are numerous articles and press releases within these reports from North Carolina newspapers and regional agricultural magazines. These articles were usually contributed by an extension service department agent.  The article from the “Business of Farming” magazine  (above) includes an interview with W. C. Warrick, an extension agricultural engineer and a farm couple from Alexander County, North Carolina, on the development of the best type of home for a modern (1950s) farm family.

Brochure for 1966 N. C. Farm Materials Handling Exposition - North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service Annual Report - Agricultural Production, Management, and Natural Resources Use 1966.

Several brochures and flyers are important records of the educational outreach of extension agents and professors.

Oversized Bar Graph - North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service Narrative Report For 1943

Oversized Bar Graph - North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service Narrative Report For 1943

Many reports from the Biological and Agricultural Engineering extension office contain oversized blueprints of modern farming facilities and data charts which had to be carefully unfolded so a resource could be digitized using our overhead scanner.

Architectural Drawing - North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service Annual Report - Agricultural Production, Management, and Natural Resources Use 1965

Technical drawings from within the annual reports reveal the intricate planning of agricultural research stations and facilities in North Carolina.

Photos - Report of Extension Work in Plant Pathology in North Carolina For 1944

Many photographs of extension activities were printed within the text of some annual reports. In some cases original photographs were affixed to report pages as documentation of extension activities.

Resources related to all agricultural sciences taught by the Cooperative Extension 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. Additionally, Historic State is rich resource for discovering information about the university’s role in creating educational materials about agriculture in North Carolina.

Jun 27 2016

Making Archival Collections User-Friendly

In the Special Collections Research Center, we acquire and build unique collections that document historical and contemporary aspects of fields of study that are strengths for NC State University so that researchers will be able to find and use them now and in the future. To preserve these valuable collections, we store them carefully, using acid-free materials and in climate-controlled buildings. In order for people to find and use these collections, we organize them, describe them, and publish those descriptions on the worldwide web.

Descriptions are the first step in making collections usable for researchers. They are the maps that lead researchers to the materials of interest to them. Organizing and rehousing also help to make collections usable. Some collections come to us well-organized and clearly labeled. These were often taken right out of filing cabinets, packed in boxes, and shipped to us. Other collections have traveled convoluted paths to reach us, paths that may have involved being packed up quickly for a move, being packed by relatives or friends of the collection creators, being shifted from one kind of box to another so that similar records don’t stay together, or being stored for some time in attics or basements.

Box as received, before organizing and rehousing

One of the satisfactions of archival processing work, the work of organizing, rehousing and describing collections for research use, is seeing the visible difference that is made when collections are organized and rehoused. A collection stored in acid-free boxes and folders, neatly labeled, and described on the web is much more user-friendly than a disorganized box or collection. We haven’t yet processed all of our boxes, but our goal is to make all of our collections very user-friendly!

Box after organizing and rehousing

To learn more about our collections, please consult our collection guides.

May 27 2016

Happy Memorial Day!

Summer begins — the season for parades and picnics. Enjoy these and other historic images!

Picnic gathering in Wilkes Co., N. C., 1912.

Picnic gathering in Wilkes Co., N. C., 1912.

NC State ROTC cadets, ca. 1975

Home Demonstration picnic supper, Cabarras Co., N. C., ca. 1936

NC State ROTC band in a parade in Raleigh, N.C., 1930

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 08 2014

Celebrating the Smith-Lever Act Anniversary

NC Agricultural Extension Organization Chart, ca. 1935

NC Agricultural Extension Organization Chart, ca. 1935

Today is the 100th anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act, the federal legislation that created extension services at the land-grant universities throughout the United States. Its purpose was to provide agricultural information in order to improve the lives and conditions of farm families and boost the agricultural sector of the economy. The North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service was created later in 1914. In 1991 it changed its name to the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. For the last 100 years it has disseminated scientific information through a variety of resources that include periodicals, pamphlets, photographs, films, audio recordings, and video. NC State’s University Archives has been acquiring historical examples of these, some of which are accessible online. Numerous examples are shown below.

Video on blueberry mechanization, late 1960s

Pamphlet on factors affecting the quality of flue-cured tobacco, 1936

The Extension Service has encouraged production of a number of crops during the last 100 years. North Carolina is the leading producer of sweet potatoes and a major producer of peanuts. Other important food commodities include apples, blueberries, corn, peaches, and strawberries. Tobacco was already a major commodity in North Carolina in 1914, but throughout the twentieth century Cooperative Extension fostered growth of this crop. Historically, North Carolina has been a leader in flue-cured tobacco production.

Transporting chickens by railroad, ca. 1925

Transporting chickens by railroad in North Carolina, ca. 1925

Turkeys on a North Carolina farm, ca. 1950

Turkeys on a North Carolina farm, ca. 1950

Poultry production became an important part of North Carolina’s agricultural economy during the twentieth century, in no small part through promotion by the Cooperative Extension Service. The state has been one of the leading producers of turkeys and broiler chickens.  Eggs have been another area that saw growth.   4-H participation in the Sears Poultry program just after World War II was important in the industry’s development.  The North Carolina Layer Performance and Management Test has been gauging production since 1958.

Flyer on Plant Disease Clinic, ca. 1954

Weed Management in Soybeans, Dial-a-Weed, 1981

Through such services at the Plant Disease Clinic (later called the Plant Disease and Insect Clinic) and the Dial-a-Weed program, farmers, gardeners, and homeowners have been able to tap into expert advice on a wide range of plant issues.

Digitized images, documents, videos, and other resources on the history of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service are available at the NCSU Libraries Rare and Unique Digital Collections site. Descriptive guides to archival collections that have not yet been digitized are also available online.

Feb 03 2014

New Year, New Processing Space

This post is contributed by Ashley Williams, Project Archivist, Animal Rights and Animal Welfare Collections.

Our processing area at Satellite has had a makeover!  If you’re like most people at NCSU, you’re probably asking yourself –“what’s a Satellite?” and “what kind of processing?”

Satellite, or the NCSU Libraries’ Satellite Shelving Facility, is the building where some of the Special Collections Research Center’s materials are stored, and is also where many of these materials are arranged and described, or processed. Processing archival collections involves sorting and organizing them, moving papers into acid-free folders and boxes for long-term preservation, and creating written guides that will be published on the web to enable researchers to find and use the materials.

When our project to process collections relating to animal rights and animal welfare began in August 2012, a processing work space was created in the back of the building, where supplies and some large drawings were being stored. As is often the case with grant-funded projects, we were adapting a space that was not designed for us. Setting up an office partition to differentiate our processing area from the storage space and bookshelves to store the collection as we worked on it gave us space in which to work, but we were in a different part of the building from other staff and around the corner from our computers.

previous processing space

processing in previous space

In 2013, we were able to move our processing space to the front of Satellite and move the map cases located there to the back. The move happened on December 18, and the first week in January, I got to see it for myself. As a processing archivist, I was thrilled.

So what does this new processing space mean? Processors working in the space appreciate its spaciousness and the natural lighting, but most importantly, the improved space means more processing can take place. Four people are now able to work comfortably at the tables, each with plenty of space to spread out their work.  For example, there are three project archivists who are working on related collections.  Because we are now physically close to one another it becomes easier to ask a question or take a quick look at a document or file folder without having to go to a separate area in the building or take a project archivist away from her work. The space now has an organic feel where people are not sectioned off in individual bubbles, but rather work in a collaborative environment. Everyone has space, but that space is not rigid. Some days, your materials may take up more space, and other days less.

new processing space

The new space also means we are located only a rolling-chair-push away from the computer.  Now we can work on finding aids more easily, or, as has been the case with animal rights, look up a definition to a word associated with the collection that is being processed. Archival supplies and collection materials are easily accessible, but more importantly, the new processing space allows us easy access to other staff members who we can bounce ideas off of or consult with on an issue as it arises. Natural lighting, more space, and a collaborative work environment make the new processing area at Satellite a welcoming space for staff and visitors alike.