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Posts tagged: 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

Apr 23 2015

Show and Tell event highlights North Carolina foodways

Cooperative Extension Service publications, North Carolina Farm Bureau Women's Committee handbooks, and other materials on display.

Head of Special Collections Eleanor Brown shows materials to Scarlett Howard, mother of Chef Vivian Howard, and an NC State student.

Special Collections staff arranged a special Show and Tell event in honor of Chef Vivian Howard at the Friends of the Library Spring Meeting on April 7, 2015, bringing together a selection of rare and unique items highlighting the story of North Carolina food, agriculture, and rural empowerment.  Chef Howard, of Kinston NC, is an NC State alum (’00) and the James Beard-nominated star of A Chef’s Life on PBS. Chef Howard and her staff from Chef and the Farmer served a meal of small plates during a conversation about Howard’s career, North Carolina agriculture, and Southern foodways, moderated by Dr. Nancy G. Creamer, NC State Professor and Director of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems.

Over 60 visitors stopped by the Show and Tell event to learn more about the canning labels, recipes, photographs, and farming publications on display. The event showcased the richness of collections like the Cooperative Extension Service Publications, 4-H Youth Development Records, and the North Carolina Farm Bureau Records, that documentthe ways that cooperative extension and home demonstration impacted the way North Carolinians live and eat.

Food was key to home and farm demonstration programs, which largely focused on improving southern crop yields by promoting the latest scientific farming methods. Around 1912, agriculturalist Seaman Knapp developed this hands-on instructional methodology that focused on involving the entire family – not just the farmer – and encouraged the development of rural clubs for homemakers and their children.  Male extension agents from NC State worked with boys’ clubs and farmers, promoting scientific agriculture and business practices that emphasized crop diversification and increased yield.  Female agents, led by founding head of NC home demonstration Jane McKimmon, led girls in Tomato Clubs that instructed them in gardening, canning, and selling food that they produced themselves. Canning allowed women to preserve vegetables, fruits, meat, and juice, providing variety and greater nutritional value in their family’s diet year round, and cooking demonstrations helped women learn to prepare meals from canned goods. Curb markets through home demonstration programs and 4-H clubs also equipped rural women and youth with marketing skills and additional income for their families.

African American home demonstration exhibit with displays of food and marketing.

The “Live-at-Home” campaign, launched by NC State Director of Agricultural Extension I.O. Schaub and actively promoted by Governor O. Max Gardner in 1929, encouraged farm families to grow and conserve their own food, rather than planting nonfood cash crops like cotton or tobacco, and encouraged North Carolina “city folk” to buy their supplies from local farmers as much as possible. A menu from a dinner hosted by Governor Gardner in 1929, featured in the Show and Tell event, recognizes the North Carolina farmers that provided food for this feast. In her 1945 book When We’re Green We Grow, Jane McKimmon wrote of the meal, “Pecans, sorghum and peanut candy with other sweets came from the east, apples and kraut juice from the foothills of the mountains; and sweet milk from the Guernsey breeders’ association, together with the buttermilk from the creameries, almost put coffee, good as it was, out of the running.”

Picnic dinner at a contest for the Little Mill Home Demonstration Club on June 2nd, 1920

This “Live-at-Home” dinner parallels the work of today’s leaders like Vivian Howard and her husband Ben Knight to promote sustainable local farming and to reconnect North Carolinians to their roots through food.  Gardner’s dinner mirrors the meal of locally sourced dishes – including oysters, chicken and rice, cornbread with local cheeses and homemade jams, and a Pepsi float with peanuts – that Howard served the audience.  The communities and stories behind these foods are closely tied to NC State’s extension and home demonstration legacy that is documented and preserved in the Special Collections Research Center.  Projects such as Green N’ Growing and Cultivating a Revolution further highlight this history, and our digital collections hold a wealth of resources about agriculture and food in North Carolina that are available online.

Thank you to everyone who attended the event, and the Special Collections staff look forward to putting together more events like this in the future. To view these collections in person, check out our online collection guides and schedule an appointment at the SCRC by sending an email to:

Mar 23 2015

Growth from the Grassroots: Agricultural Awareness Week

In honor of Alpha Zeta’s annual Agricultural Awareness Week, beginning March 23, 2015, the Special Collections Research Center presents an exhibit in the Ask Us Lobby of D.H. Hill Library to highlight the farming men and women who have shaped the evolution of agriculture and technology in North Carolina.

From its roots as an agricultural experiment station, North Carolina State University has been interwoven into this evolution through teaching, research, and extension work that has supported local farming communities and organizations. Partnerships between NC State and the small farmers of North Carolina have pioneered innovative approaches to sustainability through times of major change, from the early industrial revolution through today.

Small farmers who relied solely on cash-crop cultivation suffered after World War II as cotton and tobacco prices plummeted, demand decreased, and overproduction glutted the market.  By growing more of their own food, farm families could provide their own sustenance without exhausting their meager cash supply. Publications like the Progressive Farmer newspaper and the D&P Monthly (Dairyman and Poultryman) circulated information to rural communities, and grassroots organizations like the North Carolina Farmers Bureau formed to give farmers a unified voice on agricultural issues. 4-H clubs and the Future Farmers of America supported agricultural education and leadership among rural youth. Annual conferences brought farmers together to learn from each other and from experts in agricultural research, frequently featuring presentations from NC State faculty and cooperative extension agents.  North Carolina agriculture evolved through these networks of support, empowering farming men and women to grow and negotiate economic and legislative policies in a changing agrarian economy.

The exhibit will highlight the evolution of farming practices and home-grown agricultural organizations in North Carolina that tell the story of the people who cultivated and developed our state.  Materials will be on display starting March 23, 2015, in the Ask Us Lobby of D.H. Hill Library.

The Special Collections Research Center has a wealth of materials that show the rich history of small farming and agricultural sustainability in North Carolina. The North Carolina Farm Bureau Records and North Carolina Agricultural Organizations Records reflect the leadership of farmers in their local communities and grassroots organizations. The Green N’ Growing project highlights materials from the Cooperative Extension Service, and Cultivating a Revolution and Living off the Land show the evolution of agricultural research, education, and farming practices in North Carolina. Our digital collections portal, Historical State, also contains a wide array of resources on agriculture in  North Carolina and at NC State in particular.

Aug 30 2014

Architecture and Design Collection – Dean Marvin J. Malecha’s Papers

Post contributed by Sarah Breen, Library Associate.

Cal Poly Amphitheater Concept Sketch

Marvin J. Malecha, dean of North Carolina State University’s College of Design and professor of architecture, has contributed to the profession through wide-ranging endeavors as a practicing architect, educator, administrator, researcher, and member and leader of professional organizations. In 2011, Dean Malecha shared a sample of sketches with the public through an exhibition held by NCSU Libraries. Prior to joining the University as dean of the College of Design, Malecha was dean of the College of Environmental Design at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, where he was active in teaching and research.

North Carolina State University Mace

The Special Collections Research Center in NCSU Libraries holds a collection of Malecha’s papers containing drawings, concept sketches, prototypes, correspondence, speeches, articles and papers, publications, personal notes, meeting minutes and conference notes, presentation materials and photographic materials related to his work over the last five decades. Malecha has contributed more than just leadership to the university–he has also designed images for various departments, the University Mace, and has led the design effort for the Chancellor’s Residence on NCSU’s Centennial Campus.

Angels in the Architecture

To read more about the Marvin J. Malecha Papers, take a look at the guide to the collection found here.

Jan 21 2012

The Former “First Lady” of NC State: Mrs. Carol Caldwell

Contributed by Samantha Rich

Currently on display in the circulation lobby of D.H. Hill Library is an exhibit honoring the life of former NC State Chancellor John Tyler Caldwell (1959-1975). The exhibit explores Caldwell’s life through photographs and documents and includes a video montage of former student’s reflection of the former chancellor.

Carol Erskine Caldwell

Carol Erskine Caldwell

While designing the exhibit, researchers relied upon documents from the John Tyler Caldwell Papers, 1893-1995. The documents revealed that Mrs. Carol Erskine Caldwell, his second wife and the “first lady” of NC State, was an invaluable source of support for Caldwell during his tenure as chancellor. Mrs. Caldwell graduated from Northwestern University with a Masters degree in English and taught in the public school system for approximately 15 years.

As the chancellor’s wife, Mrs. Caldwell was often responsible for hosting social events and fundraisers and frequently appeared by Chancellor Caldwell’s side at campus events. In 1973, Mrs. Caldwell described her responsibilities as the chancellor’s wife in an interview with the attractor, Technician’s magazine of the arts. “It’s almost a full-time job being married to the chancellor of a large University,” Mrs. Caldwell explained, “but it’s one I enjoy immensely.” When Dr. and Mrs. John Caldwell married in 1963, both were widows with six children between them from previous marriages. Mrs. Caldwell explained, “At the time I was teaching English, raising my two children and had even built a house. I was happy and my life was settled and then to my surprise I met John . . . now my life is different but it’s better.” Mrs. Caldwell found her responsibility as an entertainer and host very rewarding. “We do a considerable amount of it [entertaining] in the course of the year-mostly the informal kind. There’s nothing Dr. Caldwell likes better, for instance, than picking up students on campus and bringing them home for supper,” Mrs. Caldwell stated.

Mrs. Caldwell was involved in many women’s organizations including the North Carolina Women’s Club and the League of Women Voters. Mrs. Caldwell explained, “The Chancellor’s job is so very large, covering every avenue of the University. I would not be content if I weren’t ready to help him. But that doesn’t mean I don’t believe in women’s rights!” As a member of the League of Women Voters, she lobbied the public school system, often “looking for other solutions than just a training school for the truant, delinquent or neglected child.” Dr. and Mrs. Caldwell enjoyed bike riding and gardening as a family. They also enjoyed the benefits of living at the Chancellor’s Residence, particularly the ability to interact with students because of its close proximity to campus.

For more information about the Caldwells and their contributions to NC State, please visit the NCSU Libraries Special Collections Research Center.

Source: “Mrs. Caldwell: an atypical housewife,” attractor, November 16, 1973.

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

May 27 2011

Bell Tower Exhibit!

contributed by Rachel Trent

What’s 2,100 tons, 115 feet high, and granite and concrete all over? Why, the NC State Memorial Belltower, of course. You can find a fantastic new exhibit in the atrium of Withers Hall titled “Remembering the Memorial Belltower: The Many Faces of a Campus Icon.” The exhibit was put together by graduate students in the Public History program’s Advanced Museology class and coordinated by Special Collection’s very own blogger-extraordinaire Samantha Rich.

The exhibit, which features objects on loan from Special Collections, highlights the tower’s evolution—both physical and symbolic—since its inception as a monument to the thirty-four NC State alumni who died in the First World War. The tower’s construction, begun in 1921, was haltingly completed over the next twenty-eight years and finally finished with a formal dedication on November 11, 1949.

Today, the tower is many things: a symbol of the entire campus community, a starting and ending point for the Krispy Kreme Challenge, a spot for graduating seniors to pose for photos, and the site at which ROTC cadets receive their commissions. Make a trip down to Withers to catch the exhibit and learn about all the other things the tower has been over its ninety years! The exhibit will be on display through August 25th!

Feb 22 2011

Celebrating African-American History at NC State

Ted Bush, Karen Wilkerson, Cynthia Hinnaut, Mike Hunter 1970

contributed by Josh Hager. For the entire month of February, an exhibit in the circulation lobby of DH Hill honors the history of African-Americans at NC State. Featured in the exhibit are photographs and letters, some of which deal specifically with the integration of campus in the 1950s. Photographic subjects displayed include: Justina Williams, the first African-American academic staff member at NCSU; Irwin Holmes, one of the first four undergraduates admitted and the first to integrate an athletic team; Mary Evelyn Porterfield, the university’s first African-American Homecoming Queen; the Rev. Jesse Jackson during a campus visit in 1980; and several other students and staff members.

The letters represent a small sample of some of the barriers faced by African-American students trying to study at NC State. The first letter comes from Dr. Gordon Lovejoy of Guilford College, N.C.; he was the Secretary for the National Conference of Christians and Jews, Inc. His organization’s mission was to “work towards developing mutual respect and understanding among all peoples.” To that end, Lovejoy was sending a survey on behalf of his organization’s Committee on Integration of Minority Groups in American Education to Chancellor Carey Hoyt Bostian regarding the recent admission of two African-American students to the Graduate School. The survey (not retained in the Chancellor’s records) was apparently quite lengthy. According to Lovejoy, the survey was not designed to promote or oppose integration. Rather, Lovejoy wanted the facts of how integration worked at NC State College. Bostian conversed with the President of the University of North Carolina (System) William Friday, who decided to respond to Lovejoy that they hadn’t had, “sufficient time to form the judgments necessary to answer his inquiry,” as African-American students had only served one term.

The two other letters in the exhibit come from Reverend S.F. Daly, of Shady Hill Baptist Church, and from Chancellor John Harrelson to an African-American applicant (Sergeant William J. Dixon). Reverend Daly wrote an impassioned letter to Chancellor Harrelson asking for the admission of his son with financial assistance to North Carolina State College. Daly stated that his son wanted to pursue a career in Mechanical Engineering and that the option for African-American students at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College did not offer adequate training in the field. His son had been admitted to Howard University but could not receive aid there due to the presence of the program at NC A&T. Daly thus felt that, if his son had to attend an in-state college, that the Mechanical Engineering Program at State College was the best choice. Although we do not have Harrelson’s response to Daly, no African-Americans were allowed into undergraduate programs in 1953. It is likely that the negative reply sent to Sergeant William J. Dixon is similar to the letter Rev. Daly received, which is why it is included in the exhibit as a point of comparison. Regardless of the rationale given, the segregation of NC State College at the undergraduate level was unflinching in the first part of the 1950s.

The photographs coupled with the letters illustrate some of the challenges and successes in African-American history here at NC State. If you haven’t had a chance yet, drop by this exhibit at any time before the end of February to examine the photographs and letters listed above and to help us commemorate Black History Month.

For more information on African-American History at NCSU, take a look at the Historical State’s African American timeline.