Tagged: Charlotte History

Living Charlotte

UNC Charlotte Atkins Library was awarded a grant to continue a large-scale digitization project.  Living Charlotte: The Postwar Development of a New South City, 1944-1987 will provide free, online access to many materials found in the UNC Charlotte Special Collections and other local library collections.  Some of the digitized content and more information about the project are now available at the Living Charlotte website.

living charlotte

Partnering with Johnson C. Smith University’s James B. Duke Memorial Library and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Atkins Library is leading a project to digitize oral history recordings; bound print materials; and pages/images of manuscript materials, including photographs and oversized items such as maps, aerial photographs and scrapbooks. The objective is to make accessible to researchers and the general public materials documenting the enormous economic and social changes in the Charlotte region from approximately 1944 to 1987. This era was chosen for the project because of the rich collections held by Atkins and its partner institutions representing this time of unprecedented and interrelated economic, political, and social change. Digital surrogates and high quality, shareable, standards-compliant metadata will be made available through UNC Charlotte’s Digital Collections at Atkins Library and shared with aggregators including the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).


New Digital Collections

Archives Unbound – Gale Digital Collections

Atkins Library recently added several digital primary source collections:

City and Business Directories: North Carolina, 1886-1929

The Greensboro Massacre, 1979:  Shootout between the American Nazis & the Communist Workers Party

Literature, Culture and Society in Depression Era America: Archives of the Federal Writers’ Project

Price Control in the Courts: the U.S. Emergency Court of Appeals, 1941 – 1961

Savings & Loan Crisis: Loss of Public Trust and the Federal Bailout, 1989 – 1993

The War Department and Indian Affairs, 1800 – 1824

All collections can be accessed from the History Databases Research Guide.

Local Highlights:

City and Business Directories: North Carolina, 1886-1929 Digital Archive

City and Business DirectoryCity directories are among the most comprehensive sources of historical and personal information available. Their emphasis on ordinary people and the common-place event make them important in the study of American history and culture.  In addition, researchers can learn much about day-to-day life through analysis of information on churches, public and private schools, benevolent, literary and other associations, and banks.  Finally, most directories include advertising, often illustrating the products being sold. This information lends valuable insight into the city’s lifestyles and illustrates popular trends.

The Greensboro Massacre, 1979:  Shootout between the American Nazis & the Communist Workers Party

Greensboro Massacre CollectionThis collection of FBI, local and state police, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, shed new light on the motivations of the Communist organizers, the shootings, subsequent investigations, and efforts to heal the Greensboro community.

Source: Archives Unbound

New Special Collections Exhibit

If you’ve visited the Atkins Library recently you may have walked past the display cases in the atrium without realizing their contents. Inside are letters, books, photos and other items which illustrate the progress of African Americans since the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.

“Chains & Champions” was created to celebrate both Black History month and the 150th anniversary of the Proclamation on January 1st, and it will remain up through March. Items on display are from the library’s Special Collections, and help tell the story of the sacrifices, struggles and strength of African Americans before freedom was granted, and significant accomplishments since that time.

Figure 1. Child-size shackles from Sumter, SC
Figure 2. Examples of books and writings
Figure 3. Items from the Civil Rights era
Figure 4. African American “Firsts” from NC

“The Atkins library is proud to share a glimpse into the history of African Americans through a display of original documents and items from the library’s Special Collections” said Denelle Eads, Special Collections Research & Outreach Librarian. “It is part of our state’s history and Atkins Library is very fortunate to have items like this which tell the story of our past.”

“Chains & Champions” includes original documents such as bills of sale and receipts of slave purchases, information about the slave trade, and documents describing how slaves were informed of their freedom. On loan from the South Carolina State Museum are child slave shackles excavated from Sumter Country. The displays also include written work by African American authors such as Phillis Wheatley, Frederick Douglass and Lunsford Lane, which represent how some slaves were taught to read and write by their owners.

The progression of African Americans is next represented through the Civil Rights era, with a focus on people and events in Charlotte and the state. Here, items show the struggles for equality during the Jim Crow era, with examples of letters for and against the integration of public facilities, organizations, and a segregated cemetery.  Original handwritten notes from the landmark school desegregation case Swann v. Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education are included in this display case.

Finally, “Chains to Champions” looks at African Americans who have made significant contributions to American society by becoming “firsts.” Featured in this section are Frederick Douglas Alexander (first African American to become a member of the Charlotte City Council), Reginald Hawkins (first African American to run for governor of North Carolina), Harvey Gantt (first African American mayor of Charlotte), and Barack Obama (first African American president).

“When patrons view this exhibit, we hope they’ll want to learn more about the rare and unique items that have been preserved for the public to see and use,” said Eads. “We have a treasure chest of history just waiting to be opened, and we invite everyone to visit Special Collections to discover our wealth of historical items.”

The Atkins Library Special Collections is located on the tenth floor and include many original historical documents of Charlotte and the Carolinas region.  For more information, please call 704.687.1170.

Source: http://library.uncc.edu/node/12300

Special Collections in the Classroom

Atkins Library subject librarians collaborate with Atkins Library Special Collections to support a range of disciplines, including History, Education, and more.  Consider creating an assignment that allows students to explore the collection.  Contact your subject librarian to schedule an instruction session, or to brainstorm ideas for an assignment.

To learn more about what is available in the collection, please contact outreach librarian for Special Collections, Denelle Eads, or attend one of the following workshops (open to faculty and graduate students).

African American History

Friday, September 21 (Atkins Library 10th floor), 11 am – 12 pm, Register

History of Education (CMS, Charlotte College, and UNC Charlotte)

Tuesday, October 16 (Atkins Library 10th floor), 10 – 11 am, Register

Children’s Literature

Monday, October 29 (Atkins Library 10th floor), 3 – 4 pm, Register

Historic Charlotte (Mills, Race Relations, Religion, Business & Industry)

Wednesday, November 14 (Atkins Library 10th floor), 3 – 4 pm, Register