Ten Letters From Special Collections
My name is Paige Hoeflich and I am a senior here at UNCW, double majoring in Anthropology and Communication Studies. I am originally from Maryland but moved to North Carolina in 2016 for school. Shortly after beginning my freshmen year, I uncovered my passion for culture and exploring cross-cultural interactions. During my time here, I have had the opportunity to study abroad, meet a ton of interesting people, complete a DIS research project on student adaptability and success, and grow both professionally and personally. My time here at UNCW has been packed full of many amazing experiences and opportunities, with my internship in the Museum of World Cultures being my current adventure!
While completing this internship I will research and uncover information about groups of artifacts from the Ancient Mesoamerica region, which will be used to expand and supplement existing records. The first set of artifacts I am working with are from ancient Veracruz, the home of the Totonac people.
Currently I am researching and composing short excerpts that will be integrated into an online exhibit at the end of internship. The three artifacts that I am currently working with are a hollow smiling figure, a warrior that also doubles as a ceremonial whistle, and a seated figure with smooth black detailing signifying it was most likely used for sacrificial purposes.
The above artifacts range from 400-700 C.E. and provide a glimpse into the cultural practices of an ancient people. Handling these artifacts is a privilege, and I aim to enhance their history and accessibility, so other people can have the same opportunity to explore the history of the Veracruz region.
This internship will help me to develop technical skills in museum registration and curation practices and provide exposure to a professional work environment before graduation. In the future I hope to work in a field that combines the skills I have learned from both my Anthropology and Communication classes. This internship provides me with the opportunity to combine both of my majors while learning new skills in a field I have never explored before. Above all else, my internship is a learning experience that will provide me with the tools and technical know-how necessary to operate as a professional in the business world.
Map images retrieved from:
Photos taken by Paige Hoeflich
The North Carolina Visual Arts and Artists Collection, begun by Wilmington artist and former head of the University Art Department Claude Howell, is a unique collection of newspaper clippings, posters, brochures, exhibit programs and other ephemera about North Carolina arts and artists. The emphasis of the collection is on the 1960's and 1970's but includes over 20,000 artist from 1900 through 1986. The collection also has information on a few artist from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Lauren Love is an intern working in Special Collections
Recently, we’ve acquired the personal papers of Dr. Walter Conser, a professor of Religious Studies and History here at UNCW. Spanning his career to date, this collection includes materials related to the research of Dr. Conser’s various interests including the religion and history of the Southeast, Native American studies, nonviolence and civilian-based defense.
Within the personal papers of Dr. Conser are a collection of nonviolence pamphlets written by Gene Sharp. These along with a small assortment of vinyl records from the 1960s are part of a series of nonviolence related materials included in this collection.
Many of the books Dr. Conser has worked on as a contributor, author, and/or editor can be found in the Randall Library General Collection.
Lauren Love is an intern working in Special Collections
July 28th marked the 100th year since the start of WWI. Selected items from the war years held at the UNCW Randall Library Special Collections will be highlighted in this blog post. For information about additional collections and books relating to WWI please browse the Special Collections and UNCW Archives website.
A banker in peace times, Harmon C. Rorison grew up in Wilmington and was a veteran of WWI, the Russian-Polish war, and WWII. This collection (MS 17) includes riveting correspondence sent home by Rorison while he was in the Kosciuszko Squadron fighting against the Bolshiviks. Below is a scanned image of a newspaper from the day WWI officially ended.
The Wilmington Dispatch Front Page - November 11, 1918
Compiled by Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. and Grantland Rice this work includes a small amount of illustrations by Captain John Thomason. Taps is part of our rare book collection and is in excellent condition. The poems within are written by mothers, lovers, soldiers and fathers; they shed light on the emotional state of the various peoples touched by WWI.
Soldiers are citizens of death's gray land,
Drawing no dividend from time's to-morrows.
In the great hour of destiny they stand,
Each with his feuds, and jealousies, and sorrows.
Soldiers are sworn to action; they must win
Some flaming, fatal climax with their lives.
Soldiers are dreamers; when the guns begin
They think of firelit homes, clean beds, and wives.
I see them in foul dug-outs, gnawed by rats
And in the ruined trenches, lashed with rain,
Dreaming of things they did with balls and bats,
And mocked by hopeless longing to regain
Bank-holidays, and picture shows, and spats,
And going to the office in the train.
No Man's Land
No Man's Land is an eerie sight
At early dawn in the pale gray light.
Never a house and never a hedge
In No Man's Land from edge to edge,
And never a living soul walks there
To taste the fresh of the morning air;-
Only some lumps of rotting clay,
That were friends or foemen yesterday.
What are the bounds of No Man's Land?
You can see them clearly on either hand,
A mount of rag-b ags gray in the sun,
Or a furrow of brown where the earthworks run
From the eastern hills to the western sea
Through field or forest o'er river and lea;
No man may pass them, but aim you well
And Death rides across on the bullet or shell
But No Man's Land is a goblin sight
When Patrols crawl over at dead o'night;
Boche or British, Belgian or French,
You dice with Death when you cross the trench.
When the "rapid," like fireflies in the dark,
Flits down the parapet spark by spark,
And you drop for cover to keep your head
With your face on the breast of the four months' dead.
The man who ranges in No Man's Land
Is dogged by the shadows on either hand
When the star-shell's flare, as it bursts o'erhead,
Scares the gray rats that feed on the dead,
And the bursting bomb or the bayonet-snatch
May answer the click of your safety-catch,
For the lone patrol, with the life in his hand,
Is hunting for blood in No Man's Land.
James H. Knight-Adkin
For any student or researcher interested in WWI, the correspondence of Sidney G. MacMillan are a worthy investigation. His letters detail the daily life of an American soldier during the last years of the war and are very detailed and beautifully written. Included in the collection are five postcards from France, two of which are shown below.
A story of fiction filled with the rhetoric of war and patriotism, this book was written by Henry Irving Dodge and published in 1918.
A collection of first hand accounts from African American soldiers during the war written in the vernacular of those telling the stories. Some of the accounts are humorous while others shed light on what the war years were like for some of America's non-white population.
Lauren Love is an intern working in Special Collections.
While reformatting the finding aid for the collection of St. Andrews Covenant Presbyterian Church (also known as MS 180) an excellent piece of Wilmington art history was spotted. The small booklet from 1943 was created for “An Artistic Banquet” held at the Church of the Covenant just before it was merged with St. Andrews in 1944.
The Church of the Covenant
Before I continue, allow me to introduce myself: my name is Lauren Love and this summer I am interning in the Special Collections department of UNCW Randall Library. So far I have been buried, nose first, in MS 180 only briefly coming up for air to help move furniture and prepare for spring cleaning project which has taken over our domain (more on that in the future!).
Initially I was struck by the hand painted illustration on the cover of the booklet whose colors contrasted so sharply with the stale yellow of ageing paper. To satisfy my curiosity, I brought the find to my supervisor, Rebecca Baugnon. “Claude Howell!” she said excitedly after flipping through to the last page; “Claude Howell?!” came the voice of Jerry Parnell, the Special Collections Coordinator from across the hall. One can imagine how my interest peeked at such reactions. Upon further inspection we found that the pamphlet was an itinerary of sorts for an educational art program where lessons in painting, watercolor, drawing and much more were offered to attendees. The investigation became an eye opening revelation about the history of Art culture in Wilmington and how, unbeknownst to me, I held in my hands a small booklet which contained the names of some local art heroes.
Irene Price 1930s, photograph from Two Centuries of Art in New Hanover County
by Crockette W. Hewlett
Unassumingly printed are the names of Peggy Hall, Claude Howell, Rosalie Oliver and Winona Gration. The details of how these artists contributed to the booklet is unknown but further research proved that they were students together under Irene Price and Delbert Palmer. Price was a friend of Elisabeth Augusta Chant who is partially responsible for encouraging and cultivating the art scene in Wilmington. Chant and Price both taught art classes in downtown Wilmington during the 1930s and went on to found and direct various programs and institutions while maintaining connections with some of the artists listed above. Simple though it may appear, the booklet shows the efforts of these budding artists to work with the community to foster a love of arts which we still see in our port city today.
Peggy Hall with students 1941 (left), and Claude Howell (right)
Photographs from Two Centuries of Art in New Hanover County by Crockette W. Hewlett
Peggy Hall studied under Price and Chant and went on to become the director of the Wilmington Museum of Art, a museum which opened in 1940 and before World War II came to a close. She exhibited her work around the country and possessed a passion for art throughout her life.
Claude Howell would become a very influential artist who taught at UNCW and played a large role in the establishment of the Art Department. Some of his paintings are located on the first floor of the library near Port City Java and a beautiful collection of illustrated holiday cards are housed in the Special Collections Library upstairs.
Rosalie Oliver taught and spoke at the Wilmington Museum of Art.
Unfortunately I could not find any information on Winona Gration.
For more information come ask us about the following collections:
MS 063 – A Balkan Sketchbook by Claude Howell
MS 076 – Claude Howell – Classification of Art Prints
MS 326 – Claude Howell Christmas Cards
For a truly enlightening exploration of art in Wilmington read Two Centuries of Art in New Hanover County by Crockette W. Hewlett, both the pictures used in this blog post as well as the biographical information are from this thorough and entertaining book.
Sources can be accessed by visiting Randall Library and the Special Collections Library therein:
On display in Special Collections from January 15 to May 15 is an exhibit titled, Observing Africa: The Life and Career of Stuart Marks.
Stuart Marks is a biologist and anthropologist whose work has focused on wildlife management, conservation and human development in Africa. Marks was born in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1939 and spent most of his youth living in the Belgian Congo at the American Presbyterian Congo Mission station, Lubondai. After completing his undergraduate degree in Zoology from North Carolina State University, Marks earned a Masters in Wildlife and Quantitative Methods and a Ph.D. in Ecology and Anthropology from Michigan State University. Marks' dissertational work in Zambia with the Valley Bisa culture has been the basis for much of his personal and professional research. His distinguished career includes work as a professor, scholar, independent researcher and consultant in the United States and Africa. He has received numerous honors and has been the recipient of research grants from institutions such as the H.F. Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Geographic Society and the Ford Foundation Foreign Area Fellowship program. Marks has authored eight books, written chapters for nineteen publications, published eighty-two articles in professional journals and acted as consultant to fourteen major studies.
Drawing from items held in the Stuart Alexander and Sandy Cole Marks manuscript collection archived in Randall Library Special Collections, this exhibit highlights Marks' life from childhood to present day, spanning numerous countries and careers. Items on display include artifacts, books, correspondence, elephant tusks, field notes, mammalian crania, maps, newspaper articles, photographs, postcards and stamps.
Also take a peak at the newly created Stuart Marks digital collection, documenting numerous photographs digitized from the manuscript collection.
Special Collections in located on the second floor of Randall Library. We are open Monday through Thursday 9-5 and Friday 9-12.
"USO service books index the military experience" reads the title of a recent article in the Jacksonville Daily Newspaper. The service books, less the current representations, mentioned in the article along with numerous photographs, publications, newspapers and various other forms material related to the the United Service Organization (USO) Jacksonville, are among the manuscript holdings in Randall Library's Special Collections.
The service books include representation from every U.S. state and date back to the 1960s. Filled with thousands of intimate entries, these notebooks once served as main line of communication for troops to provide status updates during their service. The cardboard covers of older notebooks are often illustrated with doodles, city names, sports team insignia and state pride. The news article quotes Marisa Reeder, Jacksonville Center Assistant Director:
"Having been to the University of North Carolina Wilmington to see the archives it just took my breath away. The decades-old service books transport readers to the past. The entries also help veterans track their fellow service members and allow them to leave a personal mark on the USO itself."
Special Collections received the archives of the USO Jacksonville center in 2011. The collection is being processed with the aid of UNCW Public History graduate assistants. For researchers interested in viewing the collection, please contact Special Collections staff.
Althouse, John. "USO service books index the military experience." Jacksonville Daily News 08 09 2013, n. pag. Web. 18 Sep. 2013. <http://www.jdnews.com/news/military/uso-service-books-index-the-military experience-1.199642?page=2>.