Preserving Local History Update

On March 20, I participated in the eighth annual Carolyn & Norwood Thomas Undergraduate Research and Creativity Expo on behalf of our team.  It was certainly an exciting and informative expo - there were at least a hundred other student presenters!  The expo was particularly well set up, and I greatly enjoyed viewing the presentations and posters of others.

The expo was set up in an interesting way that really provided students the opportunity to present in ways that best suited individual needs and presentation styles.  There were three options for presenting:  poster, verbal presentation, and creative presentations.  I chose to make a poster to hang for public viewing, as did most of the other participants.   Several judges came by to view each poster and ask questions.  The judges seemed interested in what we are doing, and several commented that this project seemed innovative and well done.  That feedback was certainly the type that we like to hear, and it was encouraging - we want to see how outsiders view our purpose and our mission as much as possible.

Next up on the agenda is wrapping up calls to potential participants, making possible on-site visits, creating charts and a modified presentation for a few upcoming events, and working on that all-important best practices manual!

Textiles, Teachers, and Troops project launch


Textiles, teachers, and troops project launch from jdgwynn

The Digital Projects team are proud to announce the launch of Textiles, Teachers, and Troops: Greensboro, 1880-1945. The website was publicly presented last night for the first time during an event at the Greensboro Historical Museum. Speakers included Dr. Kevin Cherry, Deputy Secretary of Archives and History in the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources; Stephen Catlett; Digital Project Manager for the UNCG University Libraries; and David Gwynn, Digital Projects Coordinator at UNCG.

Textiles, Teachers, and Troops makes available more than 175,000 digital images including photographs, manuscripts, rare books, scrapbooks, printed materials, and oral histories documenting the social and cultural development of Greensboro. The project is a collaboration between UNCG, Bennett College, Greensboro College, Greensboro Historical Museum, Greensboro Public Library, Guilford College, and N.C. A&T State University, documenting the history of Greensboro from 1880-1945 through the influence of the textile industry, education, and the military.

The project was funded in part through a Library Services and Technology Act Grant administered by the State Library of North Carolina.

The project website may be seen at

March Update: Preserving Local History


After a long and crazy winter (weather-wise), the Preserving Local History team is hard at work completing our research and getting ready for a series of presentations and meetings.  The Undergraduate Research Expo, which is coming up in the next few weeks, is one presentation that I in particular am excited to participate in – more details on those preparations and results will come over the course of the next few weeks.

In the meantime, I have been making calls and sending emails to organizations that we have identified as potential survey contributors.  This process is challenging, because most of the calls being made are cold calls – we have not spoken with these organizations before.  There has, however, been a lot of progress made and a lot of people seem interested in participating in the project.  Many people seem to be surprised at the prospect of a community website/database – many are also surprised that this research group is providing the services and advice free of charge.

Stephen and Megan are hoping to  visit a few of the local organizations that completed the survey during the fall to further assess their needs and to digitize a few items as well as collect information on their overall  archives. I have not had as much of a role as far as field visits or meetings because of my schedule (I am tied up with student teaching at Northwest High School – GO VIKINGS! – this semester).  However, I know that progress is being made, and if my data and work are any indication of what is going on with the other members of the team, I feel certain that we will have a successful and informative semester.

If you know of a local organization or group that would be interested in participating in our study, please email for more information.

-Rachel Sanders-

Scrapbooks Collection Online


We're excited to announce that the University Archives Scrapbooks Collection is now available online as part of the University Archives digital collection. This two-year project is one of the largest in-house projects Digital Projects has completed to date, with over 23,000 individual scans representing 236 scrapbooks. The scrapbooks were originally created by groups and departments affiliated with UNCG and its predecessors, including dormitories, student groups, and academic units. An additional project, scheduled for completion next year, will digitize another group of scrapbooks created by individuals and by groups that were not necessarily affiliated with UNCG.

The scrapbooks presented some unique challenges with respect to display and description. Since many pages had multipage items (e,g. programs, letter, etc.) attached to them, we devised a hierarchical display convention that shows the full-page scan and also allows the user to explore the individual items that were attached to that page. The items were described and made accessible through a metadata plan that involved a collaboration between staff members from Digital Projects, Cataloging, and the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives.  We have completed several presentations and one publication about the process.

We have featured some individual items on the Digital Projects Facebook page (including our discovery of the so-called "archival peanut") and will continue to post there and on the University Archives and Digital Projects Twitter feeds.

In addition to David Gwynn, Digital Projects Coordinator, the project team included:

  • Rob Bixby, Digitization Technician
  • Kyle Butler, Student Assistant
  • Olivia Carlisle, Student Assistant
  • Ronunda Claiborne, Student Assistant
  • Callie Coward, Monographic Special Collections Cataloging Assistant
  • Anna Craft, Metadata Cataloger
  • Amanda Fonorow, Student Assistant
  • Scott Hinshaw, Archives Technician
  • Jacey Kepich, Student Assistant
  • Erin Lawrimore, University Archivist
  • Kathelene McCarty Smith, Artifacts, Textiles, Digital Projects Archivist
  • Erica Rau, Digitization and Metadata Technician
  • Michael Reeder, Support/ERIT Projects Technician
  • Rachel Stas, Student Assistant
  • Hermann Trojanowski, Special Projects Archivist

Adelaide Fortune Holderness, 1913-2013

UNCG is saddened to note the passing of Adelaide Fortune Holderness, a member of the Woman's College class of 1934 and former Alumni Association preseident and member of the Board of Governors of the Consolidated University of North Carolina System. Ms. Holderness was a tireless advocate for her alma mater and for higher education in North Carolina.

In 1990, Mrs. Holderness was interviewed as part of the UNCG Centennial Oral History Project. In the interview, she discusses her life as a student, working in the offices of Dr. Walter Clinton Jackson and Dean Harriet Elliott and her presidency of the Alumni Association. She remembers friendships made with faculty, the administrations of Chancellors Walter Clinton Jackson, Otis Singletary, Edward Kidder Graham Jr., James Ferguson, Gordon Blackwell and William Moran and Dean Katherine Taylor. She talks about her love of the Alumni House, its d├ęcor and purpose, and her time on the Board of Governors when the Consolidated University of North Carolina System was instituted. She recalls coeducation, integration, the changes they brought to the college and the controversy between the Alumni Association and Chancellor Moran regarding funding and the Alumni Association’s relationship with the Development Office.

You can read the text of this interview with Ms. Holderness here. Her obituary in the Greensboro News & Record can be read here.

Adelaide Fortune Holderness will be greatly missed. A memorial service will take place at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec.18, at First Baptist Church in Greensboro. The family will receive friends following the service. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial gifts be made to: First Presbyterian Church, 617 N. Elm St., Greensboro, N.C. 27401; University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 1000 Spring Garden St., Greensboro, N.C. 27403; Hospice of the Piedmont, 1801 Westchester Dr., High Point, N.C. 27262; or the charity of your choice.

Preserving Local History Update


We have had some exciting developments with the Preserving Local History project since our last post. We finished our photography and scanning of the items at CPUMC and have proceeded with the next steps in our process. We sent out an online survey several weeks ago asking about the needs and wants of local organizations in terms of preservation and potential cooperation with other groups. We received quite a few responses and part of the process was a planned meeting with interested groups.


On Tuesday, November 19 we held a community meeting at College Place United Methodist Church. We invited those who had participated in our survey to come to CPUMC and learn more about our process, expectations, and progress so far on this project. We had a great response – close to twenty people from eight organizations attended the meeting! There were representatives from churches, schools, and neighborhood organizations, which is what we were hoping for. All of the members of our team came away from the meeting with a very good feeling about the direction that the project is going in. The representatives from the different groups had a lot of energy and questions, and we had a time of sharing where they could make recommendations to us as well as to one another. After the meeting – as part of our idea for an incentive to get better participation in our project – we held drawings for local charities. One of the five $50 donations went to the UNCG Spartan Food Pantry, which operates out of CPUMC.

We are still hoping to get more responses to our survey and to see which groups and organizations are interested in the possibility of sharing their materials and preserving them in a digital format. I will be making a lot of follow up calls in the months to come and doing some work with data to see what types of needs exist in the community and what can be done to help meet those needs. Next semester Megan, along with other team members, will be visiting organizations who expressed an interest in the team seeing their situation, which will include continued camera testing by digitizing two or three of their items. There are a lot of exciting opportunities coming our way.   

Carnegie Library Scrapbook, 1936-1944

Reading Room, Carnegie Library, Woman's College of the University of North Carolina, late 1930s
We're really excited to get this scrapbook online because it speaks so directly to our own history here in the University Libraries. The Carnegie Library opened in 1905 in what is now the Forney Building. The building was partially destroyed by fire on September 15, 1932, and was enlarged during its reconstruction. The Library reopened in 1933 and vacated this building in 1950, when a new facility, now part of Jackson Library, opened across College Avenue. In 1955, Forney Building was extensively renovated for classroom use and in 1957 was named for Edward Jacob Forney, the school treasurer and chair of the Commercial Department from 1892 to 1940.

Greensboro was unusual in that it had within its current city limits  four different Carnegie Libraries associated with four different institutions: one each at Woman's College (now UNCG), Bennett College, and Guilford College, and one serving as the Greensboro Public Library. All but the Greensboro Public Library building are still standing and Guilford's building is still serving as part of the Hege Library.

The scrapbook contains clippings, photographs, and other material and is a great time capsule of a college library in the late 1930s and early 1940s. It was digitized as part of a three-year project that will make over 300 scrapbooks available online.