Summary

This guide identifies collections that relate to education in Southeast North Carolina, from just after the Civil War through the present day. These contain material by those who attended schools in the area, were pivotal to or worked in local education, or who served in political or community positions of influence for the education system. A significant portion covers the New Hanover County school system and the origins of Wilmington College, now UNCW. Content includes correspondence and personal papers, school records, business and political records, education legislation, legal documentation, interviews, photographs, yearbooks and other school memorabilia, reunion information, publications, and athletic statistics.

Southeast North Carolina did not have a formal education system until the 1850s. Prior to this, education throughout the 1700s and early 1800s was largely home-based or sponsored by local religious and society organizations, with students who were predominently white males. Northern families who moved south to farm saw little need for educating their children beyond what was necessary to help run the farm, therefore education was private and more apprenticeship based. By the end of the 1850s, there was more acceptance and an increased push for public schools and state funding. The Union Free School opened in 1857 as a private/public partnership and paved the way for public education in the area. In 1866, Amy Bradley arrived from Maine to teach all poor, uneducated children regardless of race, but she was met with opposition and was only able to teach white children. However, she continued to do much work in service of public education in New Hanover County until her death in 1904.

In 1873, public free schools were officially established. That same year, Williston Grammar School opened under Mary Washington Howe, a Black educator. Though the American Missionary Association had Freedman schools as early as 1865, Williston was the first public school for Black children in Wilmington. Additional Williston schools would be created into the mid-20th century and play a pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement in Wilmington. In the early to mid-1900s, the school system expanded into more elementary schools, high schools, and industrial and technical institutes, including two Rosenwald Schools in the more rural part of the region. By the mid-20th century, there were a total of 65 Rosenwald Schools that had existed in the eight county region of Southeast North Carolina. In the 1960s, political and social upheaval around school integration resulted in the desegregation of schools in 1968 and subsequent Wilmington Ten incident in 1971.

Between 1958 and 1979, the area saw seven community colleges open, including Cape Fear Community College in 1958. Wilmington College, now UNC Wilmington, was first established in its initial form as College Center in 1946. It officially opened in 1947 and had its first class graduate in the 1948-1949 school year. In 1956, Wilmington College and the local Black college, Williston College--then part of Williston High School--joined together, though they remained separate until their integration in 1962. Wilmington College was adopted as part of the UNC sytem in July 1969, when it formerly became UNC Wilmington. UNCW has served as the primary university in Southeast North Carolina since, expanding in academic offerings, student population, and campus size.

For further information related to the educational impact of the Civil Rights Movement, the integration of the school system, and the events surrounding the Wilmington Ten, please refer to the Related Special Collections Subject Guides section below.

NOT PUBLISHED

Digital Collections

Civil Rights in Southeast North Carolina: The School, the Market, and the Ballot Box

Digital collection of primary source documents and other resources related to southeastern North Carolina school desegregation, equal employment, equal access to public accommodations, and voting rights.

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Seahawk Digital Newspaper Collection

"The student paper of UNCW, established 1948." The Seahawk is the student news organization and newspaper of the University of North Carolina Wilmington. It began as a four-page handout with stenciled headlines. In 1958, the Seahawk reemerged as a monthly publication after a five-year period without a student paper. For most of its run, the Seahawk informed students about campus, national and world news along with arts, entertainment, and sports once or twice a week. In 2001 the organization launched its online component: theseahawk.org.

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"The Epitome" Yearbook of the James Walker Memorial Hospital School of Nursing

Digital copies of yearbooks from the James Walker Memorial Hospital, 1940s-1960s, available as part of the Nursing in Wilmington, N.C. digital collection from University Archives.

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"The Fledgling" - UNCW's Student Yearbook, 1950-1989

Contains 38 digital copies of "The Fledgling," UNCW's student yearbook, from 1950-1989

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Nursing in Wilmington, N.C.

The James Walker Hospital School of Nursing was once one of the largest schools of nursing in the state. Founded in 1901, the James Walker Nursing School preceded the nursing degree program at UNCW. Faculty and students from James Walker came to Wilmington College (now UNCW) when the James Walker Hospital closed in 1966 and New Hanover Hospital opened. 

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UNCW Resources

University Archives

University Archives serves as the repository for official records of all divisions of the University of North Carolina Wilmington as well as other items related to the history of the University. We collect, preserve, arrange, describe, and make available these materials in accordance with the Records Retention and Dispositions Schedule for Institutions of the University of North Carolina System.

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Government Resources

Government Resources

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Manuscript Collections - Primary Education

MS 046 Dr. Hubert A Eaton, Sr. Papers

This extensive collection includes the original materials and photocopies of the legal actions instituted by Dr. Eaton and his fellow plaintiffs to compel the integration of the fundamental institutions of New Hanover County--the public schools and the hospital--in the 1960s and 1970s. Moreover, the collection also reflects the broad spectrum of Dr. Eaton's interests and activities which included medical and public health issues, education, civil rights and athletics.

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MS 135 Documents Relating to Public Education in New Hanover County

This collection consists of original documents, letters, financial records and printed material dealing with the establishment of free public schools in Wilmington, North Carolina after the Civil War. The correspondence details the financial support for school construction, teacher recruitment, and administration provided by the Massachusetts Soldiers Memorial Society, Mary Hemenway, Amy Bradley and the American Unitarian Association for what came to be known as Wilmington School District #2.

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MS 167 Dr. Heyward C. Bellamy Collection

The Dr. Heyward C. Bellamy Collection contains court documents and supporting exhibit materials outlining the school integration law suit, Carolyn Eaton, et al v New Hanover County Board of Education. In addition to the original Eaton case, this collection contains documents related to the restraining order the New Hanover County School Board filed against individuals who would later be implicated in the 1971 riots as part of the Wilmington Ten. This case is titled, Carolyn Eaton, et al v New Hanover County Board of Education v Ben Chavis, et al.

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MS 224 Onslow County Land Records

This collection primarily contains Onslow County land deeds dating from 1785 to 1918. Also included are documents pertaining to the will and estate of Elisha Walton and information regarding school attendence in the 5th district of Onslow County in 1853.

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MS 271 Dr. William H. Wagoner Collection

Dr. William H. Wagoner served as the Superintendent of the New Hanover county school system from 1961-1968, as the fourth President of Wilmington College from 1968-1969 and as the first Chancellor of the University of North Carolina Wilmington from 1969-1990. This collection contains correspondence, publications, newspaper clippings, agendas, photographs, maps and ephemera related to the careers of Dr. Wagoner in Wilmington as well as his personal life.

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MS 335 John Thomas Daniel, Sr. and Leona Brown Daniel Rosenwald School Collection

This collection contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, programs, photographs, and memorabilia form the careers of John Thomas Daniel, Sr. and Leona Brown Daniel. John T. Daniel was Principal of Pender County Training School in Rocky Point, NC for 30 years. Leona B Daniel taught at Pender County Training School before serving as a supervisor of Pender County and Wake County Schools.

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Manuscript Collections - Secondary Education

MS 046 Dr. Hubert A Eaton, Sr. Papers

This extensive collection includes the original materials and photocopies of the legal actions instituted by Dr. Eaton and his fellow plaintiffs to compel the integration of the fundamental institutions of New Hanover County--the public schools and the hospital--in the 1960s and 1970s. Moreover, the collection also reflects the broad spectrum of Dr. Eaton's interests and activities which included medical and public health issues, education, civil rights and athletics.

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MS 090 T.T. Hamilton Papers

This collection contains primarily personal papers related to the professional career of Thomas T. Hamilton. Included in the collection is Hamilton's curriculum vitae, newspaper articles, photographs, a letter, and a typed document titled,  "Our Challenging Vision," justifying the need to establish Wilmington College. Inclusive dates range from 1948-1989. The photographs in the collection are of John C. Hamilton standing next to a portrait of his father in the Trustee room of Alderman Hall, 1989.

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MS 108 Wilmington Movement 1971

Twenty original articles from the Wilmington Star News chronicling the events leading to and during the racial unrest centering around the three local high schools and the recent integration. Beginning about mid December 1970, and continuing throughout most of 1971, Wilmington became a national focal point of violence, burnings, looting, and magnet for outside organizers of boycotts, marches and demonstrations. Ten men and women were ultimately arrested and wrongly convincted of arson and conspiracy during the events that occurred at the time.

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MS 167 Dr. Heyward C. Bellamy Collection

The Dr. Heyward C. Bellamy Collection contains court documents and supporting exhibit materials outlining the school integration law suit, Carolyn Eaton, et al v New Hanover County Board of Education. In addition to the original Eaton case, this collection contains documents related to the restraining order the New Hanover County School Board filed against individuals who would later be implicated in the 1971 riots as part of the Wilmington Ten. This case is titled, Carolyn Eaton, et al v New Hanover County Board of Education v Ben Chavis, et al.

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MS 235 Dr. Walter C. Biggs Papers

These papers include histories of UNCW, the UNCW Biology Department, Wilmington College and biographical material, alumni newsletters, and newspaper and magazine articles pertaining to Dr. Walter C. Biggs. Also included are early school records dating from 1948-1953, and a copy of the constitution of the Order of Isaac Bear.

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MS 271 Dr. William H. Wagoner Collection

Dr. William H. Wagoner served as the Superintendent of the New Hanover county school system from 1961-1968, as the fourth President of Wilmington College from 1968-1969 and as the first Chancellor of the University of North Carolina Wilmington from 1969-1990. This collection contains correspondence, publications, newspaper clippings, agendas, photographs, maps and ephemera related to the careers of Dr. Wagoner in Wilmington as well as his personal life.

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MS 353 Ronald G. Phelps Papers

This collection contains Ronald G. Phelps's personal documents, yearbooks, CDs, VHS tapes, photos, copies of published items, magazines, and newspaper clippings, largely related to Wilmington and the surrounding area's history from 1929 to 2018. Ron Phelps was active in the Wilmington community and considered a local amateur historian. A large portion of the collection focuses on New Hanover High School during Phelps's attendence and the various reunion events following his graduation in 1952.

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MS 380 New Hanover High School Class of 1951 Collection

This collections contains photo albums and scrapbooks compiled by Perry Whitman related to reunion events for the New Hanover High School Class of 1951. Materials begin in 1976 with the Class' 25th reunion and end in 2011 with their 60th reunion. The scrapbooks contain cards, correspondence, ephemera, newspaper clippings, obituaries, photographs, reunion planning documents, and an original 1951 commencement program.

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Manuscript Collections - Post-Secondary Education

MS 008 Mary Barnett Gilson Private Papers

Mary Barnett Gilson was an American Economist. The first three letters in this collection were written by Ronald C. Davidson, a British economist. Both Gilson and Davidson wrote books and articles for technical publications about unemployment relief. These letters reveal the economic theories under consideration at the time of severe unemployment problems in both countries. There is also an envelope with a threppance ha'pney [three and a half pennies] stamp which was hand-stamped in Suffolk, England. Davidson’s letters were sent from England, one in 1929 and two in 1933.

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MS 033 John J. Burney, Jr. Legislative Papers

This collections contains the legislative papers of North Carolina State Senator John J. Burney, Jr. Senator Burney represented New Hanover County from 1966-1972. The legislative papers consist primarily of correspondence, bills, publications, printed materials and newspaper clippings, covering a broad spectrum of social, economic and political issues during his time in office. Topics include taxation, environmentalism, transportation and infrastructure, Wilmington College (now UNCW), and water resources.

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MS 037 Dr. John T. Hoggard Papers

This collection contains correspondence, newspaper clippings and assorted personal papers of Dr. John T. Hoggard.

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MS 090 T.T. Hamilton Papers

This collection contains primarily personal papers related to the professional career of Thomas T. Hamilton. Included in the collection is Hamilton's curriculum vitae, newspaper articles, photographs, a letter, and a typed document titled,  "Our Challenging Vision," justifying the need to establish Wilmington College. Inclusive dates range from 1948-1989. The photographs in the collection are of John C. Hamilton standing next to a portrait of his father in the Trustee room of Alderman Hall, 1989.

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MS 100 Dr. William Madison Randall Papers

This manuscript collection contains information related to Dr. William Madison Randall's family and career from 1899 to 1972. Included are documents, correspondence, publications, newspaper articles and clippings, photographs and ephemera related to Randall's childhood, military career, career at UNCW, interest in languages and other scholarly pursuits. The collection also includes a tool belt and his graduation robes.

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MS 101 Fred B. Graham Papers

This collection contains years of written records, including minutes of Trustee meetings, personal and Executive Committee correspondence, news clippings, concerning Wilmington College, and the transition to University status. Mr. Graham held the important position of Chairman, Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of Wilmington College.

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MS 142 James Walker Memorial Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association Papers

These papers contain the association's records, photographs, brochures, and related memorabilia, as well as documents belonging to alumni from their time of attendance.

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MS 153 B. D. Schwartz Scrapbooks

The collection consists of twenty scrapbook albums containing letters, documents, news articles, awards, photos, advertisements, and brochures spanning sixty-seven years. Mr. Schwartz held many local and state offices, including State Representative, State Senator, and Mayor of Wilmington. He was involved in all facets of life in New Hanover County, donating his time to numerous philanthropic and educational organizations, including as Trustee of University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Schwartz Hall, a dormitory on UNCW's campus, was a gift of B.D. and Sylvia Wolk Schwartz.

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MS 211 John Jay Burney, Jr. Personal Papers

This collection primarily contains papers, records, photos, speeches, and correspondence of John J. Burney, Jr. from his enlistment into the Army in 1943, directly from high school graduation, through the end of the 20th century.

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MS 271 Dr. William H. Wagoner Collection

Dr. William H. Wagoner served as the Superintendent of the New Hanover county school system from 1961-1968, as the fourth President of Wilmington College from 1968-1969 and as the first Chancellor of the University of North Carolina Wilmington from 1969-1990. This collection contains correspondence, publications, newspaper clippings, agendas, photographs, maps and ephemera related to the careers of Dr. Wagoner in Wilmington as well as his personal life.

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MS 353 Ronald G. Phelps Papers

This collection contains Ronald G. Phelps's personal documents, yearbooks, CDs, VHS tapes, photos, copies of published items, magazines, and newspaper clippings, largely related to Wilmington and the surrounding area's history from 1929 to 2018. Ron Phelps was active in the Wilmington community and considered a local amateur historian. A large portion of the collection focuses on New Hanover High School during Phelps's attendence and the various reunion events following his graduation in 1952.

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MS 356 Dr. Will S. DeLoach Papers

This collection contains 5 framed certificates and degrees, loose certificates, photos, books, and artifacts belonging to Dr. Will S. DeLoach, a former chemistry professor at UNCW who helped found the Chemistry department, and whom DeLoach Hall is named after.

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MS 364 Diane Satterfield Collection

This collection contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, photos, pamphlets, and printed documents related to nurse Diane Satterfield and her education at the James Walker Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Wilmington, NC.

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MS 381 Annie Mavis Brady Nursing Collection

This collection contains digital photographs, diplomas, a nursing cape, and a log of surgeries observed by Annie Mavis Brady during her time at James Walker Memorial Nursing School in the 1940s.

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Manuscript Collections - General

MS 031 Alton A. Lennon Congressional Papers

This collection contains the papers of Congressman Alton Lennon during his tenure as U.S. Representative for North Carolina's 7th congressional district from 1957-1972. Included in the collection is correspondence, reports, and other documents related to legislation, district affairs, and politics during the time. Also included are three large scrapbooks documenting news coverage from Congressman Lennon's career and campaigns.

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MS 034 McDonald-Howe Family Papers

The McDonald-Howe Family Papers encompass a rare piece of history in southeastern North Carolina, beginning in 1861 when the freedom of Frederick Howe is granted. This collection contains character references, baptismal certificates, court documents, correspondence, photographs, an autobiography, educational resumes, and an eyewitness account of the 1898 Wilmington Coup, along with other family documents.

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MS 183 Dorothy Buckeridge Nesbitt Papers

Materials in this collection focus on Dorothy Nesbitt's service as a student, teacher, and advocate for dance and the arts, both in the Wilmington, North Carolina area and internationally, from the 1960s to the 1990s. Papers and photographs showcasing her passion for ballet and modern dance include workshop information, brochures, performance highlights, correspondence, reports, newspaper clippings, articles, and scrapbook pages. Her educational material feature content on racial integration in the classroom, lectures, lesson plans, and essays.

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MS 316 John Gunn Sports Collection

The John Gunn Sports Collection primarily consists of media guides and game day programs collected by John Gunn for professional and college sports teams and military sports teams. Gunn's research and correspondence, as well as his personal collection of sports programs, statistics, information on teams and individual players, and photographs are also included.

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MS 335 John Thomas Daniel, Sr. and Leona Brown Daniel Rosenwald School Collection

This collection contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, programs, photographs, and memorabilia form the careers of John Thomas Daniel, Sr. and Leona Brown Daniel. John T. Daniel was Principal of Pender County Training School in Rocky Point, NC for 30 years. Leona B Daniel taught at Pender County Training School before serving as a supervisor of Pender County and Wake County Schools.

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MS 338 Mike McIntyre Congressional Collection

Congressman Mike McIntyre served as the Representative for North Carolina's 7th Congressional district from 1997 to 2015. McIntyre's Congressional collection consists of papers and memorabilia accrued during his time in office. Materials in this collection cover a wide range of subject areas pertinent to North Carolina’s 7th district and McIntyre’s interactions as a Congressman including but not limited to agriculture, coastal issues, economic development, health care, military and veterans’ affairs, senior citizens affairs and U.S. Presidents.

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MS 346 Zita Reitblatt Papers

This collection contains the personal files of Zita Reitblatt including postcards, newspaper clippings, handwritten notes, printed articles, along with Rosenwald schools research files. The dates of the papers range from 1964 to 2017. The postcards in the collection document the locations of local places and other countries. The research conducted on the Rosenwald schools highlight the lasting impact of the Rosenwald School Fund in North Carolina. The photographs in the collection are of the Rosenwald Scotts' Hill Browntown School.

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Oral Histories

These are a sampling of oral histories related to those with experience in education in Southeast North Carolina. To explore more interviews, please search the Oral History Collection, specifically the Notables, Voices of UNCW (faculty and staff), and Williston High School alumni series.

Interview with Hathia Hayes (Oral History)

Hathia Hayes retired from UNCW's Watson School of Education in 2006, after over thirty years in the department. After joining the faculty of the Department of Education in 1976, Dr. Hayes served as Department Chair for 11 years and played an instrumental role in many aspects of the developing Education program, including the Education Lab and the master's program in Elementary Education. Dr.

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Interview with Eleanor Wright (Oral History)

Eleanor Wright discusses her career and background in this two-tape interview, which took place during her third year in the phased retirement program. Dr. Wright began teaching in the School of Education in 1975. Her specialty is special education. In tape, 1, Dr. Wright describes her experiences establishing the bachelor's degree program in special education at UNCW; her time as department chair (1991-1996); and her 2 years as Associate Dean of Watson School of Education. She also discusses completing her Ph.D. in 1983 while working full-time.

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Interview with Paz Bartolome (Oral History)

Dr. Paz Bartolome discusses her career as a professor of education at UNC-Wilmington. Dr. Bartolome came to UNCW in 1970 and is in her last year of phased retirement. She was born in the Philippines and arrived in the United States in 1973. She discusses teaching college students in her specialty areas of language arts education and early childhood education. For five years in the early 1970s, Dr. Bartolome directed the Child Study Center at UNCW, and for 19 years she owned the Little Red Schoolhouse, a daycare and preschool center in Wilmington.

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Interview with Betty Stike (Oral History)

Mrs. Betty Holden Stike reflects on her career in this visual oral history interview. She taught in the North Carolina public schools for 24 years and then at UNCW from 1964 until 1985. Mrs. Stike taught elementary education and supervised student teachers. She remembers working for a small department; in fact, she was the second faculty member in education. The other faculty member was the chair of education, Harold Hulon, who hired her.

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Interview with Elizabeth Miars (Oral History)

Interview with Elizabeth Miars, principal of Rachel Freeman Elementary School and recipient of UNCW's Razor Walker Award.

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Interview with Georgeann Haas (Oral History)

Interview with Georgeann Haas, who serves as the Supervisor for Arts Education for New Hanover County Schools. Here, she discusses the state of arts education in New Hanover County, her own experience teaching art at the secondary level, and the future of art instruction.

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Interview with Bertha Boykin Todd

Mrs. Bertha B. Todd was the first and last librarian at Williston High School. She discusses her career in education and librarianship in Wilmington, as well as her role in community service and race relations. Following integration and the closing of Williston, she transferred to Hoggard High. Mrs. Todd intervened to prevent riots during integration.

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Interview with Wayne Moore and Benjamin Wonce (Oral History)

Wayne Moore and Benjamin Wonce talk about the events that lead up to the boycott of New Hanover County Schools in February 1971. Both men participated in the boycott. Moore was arrested and was a member of the group known as the Wilmington 10. Wonce was not arrested but testified for the defense at the trial of the Wilmington 10.

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Interview with James Medlin (Oral History)

Jim Medlin graduated from New Hanover High School in 1950 and then attended the two-year institution Wilmington College. He studied pre-engineering. In this interview, he discusses the professors, extracurricular activities, and traditions in place at that time. Medlin is currently active in the alumni association, which has raised money for a Wilmington College commemmorative scholarship and a historical marker.

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Contact Librarian

Portrait of Rebecca Baugnon
Rebecca
Baugnon
Special Collections Librarian
Phone Number: 
Office: 
RL2042J

Contact Staff

Portrait of Nicole Yatsonsky
Nicole
Yatsonsky
Library Specialist
Phone Number: 
Office: 
RL2042J