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.
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).
Charlotte Data Day: Using Data for Community Development
Tuesday, March 26, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
UNC Charlotte Center City campus
FREE and open to the public (lunch included)
Registration required. Click here to register.
On March 26 the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County will host a forum in uptown Charlotte designed to tell the public about powerful sources of data and how to use them.
Whether the word data makes you yawn, or scoot to the edge of your seat and eagerly await what comes next, there are more tools than ever for finding and using data in innovative ways. But most people don’t know they exist or don’t know how to use them. Enter Charlotte Data Day, free and open to the public.
This event is aimed at everyone from academics to neighborhood groups to students, and will feature discussions and hands-on workshops. Speakers will show how public data is for everyone, not just statisticians.
Topics to be explored include using data to measure community assets and needs, using data for education policy-making, using data to understand neighborhoods, the importance of data in the nonprofit sector and innovations in visualizing data. The event workshops will cover some local resources, including the 2012 Neighborhood Quality of Life Study and the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute’s Charlotte Regional Indicators, as well as national sources like the U.S. Census and the Federal Reserve’s home mortgage data. Agenda available here.
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.