Posts Tagged ‘North Carolina State Archives’

With the Super Bowl right around the corner, the talk has turned to which commercials will get the most coverage. We thought this was the perfect opportunity to showcase some unique advertising-related artifacts from North Carolina’s past in our collections.

Though our collections contain hundreds of ads to to choose from, we’ve narrowed it down to four of our favorites and given you links to where you can see more.

1. An ad from the 1937 N.C. State Fair Premium List for 7-Up. The ad is now part of the State Government Publications Collection of the State Library. Check out more ads from that collection here.

State Fair 1937

2. A 1954 magazine ad for Camel Cigarettes featuring actor William Holden. The ad is now part of the collection of the N.C. Historic Sites.

3. 3-D glasses—now in the collection of the N.C. Museum of History— that were used to view an ad Coca-Cola ran during halftime of the 1989 Super Bowl.
 3-D Glasses

4. A window display from Brantley’s Drug Store in Raleigh, circa 1940. This image is now in the State Archives. See more images from the Archives here.

Brantley's Drug Store

If the actual football game is more your style, we’ve got you covered there too. Check out Carl Eller’s visor from Super Bowl XI (played in 1977) and this penalty flag from Super Bowl XXXIII (played in 1999), both now in the collection of the N.C. Museum of History.

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This 2012 proclamation for Rosenwald Schools Day is just one of the hundreds of thousands of records from the Perdue administration preserved by the State Archives

This 2012 proclamation for Rosenwald Schools Day is just one of the hundreds of thousands of records from the Perdue administration preserved by the State Archives

Though the transition to the new gubernatorial administration is only a few weeks old, the State Archives has been working behind the scenes for months to keep government transparent and ensure that all records from the previous administration are retained for posterity.

Since October, nearly 400,000 digital records from the Perdue administration have been transferred to Archives for permanent storage. These files include more than one terabyte (1 TB) of videos, images, emails, databases, press releases, Executive Orders, Proclamations, speeches, appointments, reports and more. To put it in perspective, 1 TB of information is the equivalent of about 330,000 photos, 250,000 songs or 1,000 hours of digital video.

The Archives and State Library have also regularly captured more than 35 websites and social media accounts managed by the Office of the Governor, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr accounts.

For more than 100 years, the State Archives has captured the paper records of gubernatorial administrations, but since the dawn of the computer age the Archives has added digital transfers like this one to its normal preservation practices to ensure that all records are retained.

To ensure the authenticity of records, the Archives uses strict file integrity protocols, and as a result of those protocols, the Archives can demonstrate that the files currently stored in its repository are the exact files transferred to it from the Office of the Governor.

Perhaps the most amazing part of this story is that the work of the Archives isn’t finished yet. Staff members are still in the process of preserving several email accounts and other records. Check out the Digital Collections of the State Archives and State Library, the State Government Web Site Archive and the beta State Government Social Media Archive to browse records from the Office of the Governor and other state agencies from the comfort of your own home.

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2013 Swearing InSaturday morning, the Curtis Bible was used to swear in Governor Pat McCrory’s eight new cabinet secretaries. The Bible, which is in the permanent collection of the State Archives, has quite an interesting story behind it. In fact, it is believed to have saved its namesake’s life.

A native of Caldwell County, Burton McKinley Curtis enlisted in the Army shortly after the U.S. entry into World War I. Assigned as a cook with 113th Field Artillery Regiment, Curtis was sent to Europe less than a month after his enlistment. Curtis’s unit took heavy fire during an assault on German forces as part of the Battle of Saint-Mihiel near Verdun, France, and the Bible reportedly saved Curtis’s life by absorbing the impact of a bullet or shrapnel. The damage to the Bible that resulted from the hit is still evident today.

Curtis BibleAfter receiving an honorable discharge in 1919, Curtis returned to North Carolina and worked as a bailer at a cotton mill. He donated the pocket-sized, war-worn New Testament to the Hall of History (now the N.C. Museum of History) on November 16, 1920. The Bible was eventually transferred to the Archives because it is a document. This piece of North Carolina history was selected for the ceremony by Governor McCrory’s inaugural committee.

The governor provided a commemorative bible to each of his new cabinet secretaries. Some also chose to bring a family bible. The Curtis Bible resided on the the rostrum in front of Justice Paul Newby, who administered the oath.

You can see a list of North Carolina here.

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Fall train excursions, untold stories of the Civil War and a brief history of chocolate are just a few of the fun events that you’ll find this weekend at the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

Start your weekend off tomorrow night at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem with the screening of a documentary on famed artist William Kentridge’s artistic philosophy and creative process.

Explore the Greek gods in sculpture Friday at the N.C. Museum of Art

The focus on the arts will continue Friday, when the N.C. Art Museum in Raleigh shows This Gun for Hire as part of its “Femme Fatale” movie series and presents gallery tours that explore how the Greek gods and goddesses are portrayed in stone.

Saturday morning, discover how you can record and preserve your family’s history through oral histories at a workshop hosted by the State Library and State Archives in Raleigh, or have lunch while listening to a lecture about the work of the work of Edvard Munch at the N.C. Museum of Art across town. Throughout the day, the President James K. Polk State Historic Site in Pineville will celebrate our 11th president’s birthday by recreating life as it was in 1795, while Tryon Palace will put on programs about the history of chocolate and alcohol in America.

Round your weekend out Sunday by spending the day on a train ride to Georgia and back with the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer, or listening to alternative histories of several famous Civil War battles at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh.

All weekend long, the N.C. Symphony will present a concert of Hayden and Mahler in Raleigh and Wilmington, while Tryon Palace will host performances of the Tony Award-winning play, God of Carnage.

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Journey back in time to the Civil War homefront
Saturday at Bentonville Battlefield

With nearly 20 events from the N.C. Maritime Museum in the east to Horne Creek Farm in the west, the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources offers you and your family plenty of ways to experience North Carolina arts, history and culture.

Begin your weekend early tonight with a contemporary concert at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, or a screening of the film The Man from Snowy River at Historic Bath.

Friday morning, take a guided kayak tour of saltwater marshes and sand bars with the staff of the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort, or learn about how you can preserve the historical items your family owns at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh. In the afternoon, head to Elizabeth City to decorate a pumpkin with your kids at the Museum of the Albemarle. Things get spookier Friday night, with Halloween-themed tours of the Poe House at the Museum of the Cape Fear in Fayetteville, walk-throughs of  the truly frightful haunted Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington and a murder mystery dinner at the Maritime Museum in Southport.

Saturday, the team of the Queen Anne’s Revenge shipwreck project will host Blackbeard-themed games, entertainment and educational activities at the Maritime Museum in Beaufort, while the Horne Creek Living Historical Farm in Pinnacle will present its annual fall festival complete with cloggers, apple cider and living history demonstrations. Visitors can also transport themselves back to the Civil War homefront at Bentonville Battefield in Four Oaks, experience the coast’s colonial past first-hand at Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson in Winnabow or bring their old home movies to the State Archives in Raleigh for viewing. The day will round out with an antique auto show at the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer, a classic radio-themed theater performance at Tryon Palace in New Bern and a “Sleepover Under the Stars” at Town Creek Indian Mound in Mount Gilead.

The N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh will host a community celebration in conjunction with the opening of its new Still-Life Masterpieces exhibition Sunday. Also Sunday, Historic Stagville in Durham will present a lecture on African-American genealogy and Rob Christensen, the political columnist at the News & Observer, will give a talk on famous Tar Heel political commercials at the N.C. Museum of History.

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I am fortunate to be able to spend a good deal of time in and around Black Mountain.  I am always amazed at the breadth of talent and artistry in the area.  It’s not uncommon for a small town to have a creative atmosphere, but I’m always reminded of the days when Black Mountain was home to a remarkable experimental center of learning.

supine dome

The Supine Dome Model with Si Sillman (bending), Buckminster Fuller, Elaine de Kooning, Roger Lovelace, and Josef Albers, Black Mountain College, summer of 1948. Photograph courtesy of the Beaumont and Nancy Newhall Estate, Scheinbaum and Russek Ltd., Santa Fe, New Mexico

Founded in 1933, Black Mountain College focused on fine arts education—but the education was not always text-book, so to speak.  The teachers and students lived together as a community and learned from one another.  One writer stated “As the college evolved, it assumed characteristics of a small college, a summer camp, a religious retreat, a pioneering community, an art colony and a farm school.”  In a way, it defies categorizing—it is, simply, Black Mountain College.

The list of teachers and students at Black Mountain College reads like a virtual who’s who of 20th Century arts, including musicians, painters, poets, actors, dancers, fiber artists, sculptors, and architects.  Names like Robert Rauschenberg, Walter Gropius, Robert Motherwell, Josef Albers, John Cage, Charles Olson, Buckminster Fuller, Merce Cunningham and Willem de Kooning.

The North Carolina Archives accepted the college’s administrative records after it closed in 1956.  The papers and the manuscript collections associated with students and faculty have long been popular with researchers who traveled to Raleigh from all over the world to study the influential college.  The archives’ collections related to Black Mountain College recently have been transferred to the new Western Regional Archives, officially opening on August 13 in Asheville.

John Cage and Merce Cunningham, Black Mountain College 1953 Summer Institute in the Arts. Black Mountain College Research Project Papers, Visual Materials, North Carolina State Archives, Western Regional Office.

Having the documents and photographs close at hand will surely be a great complement to Asheville’s  Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, a facility that explores and preserves the legacy of the college through exhibits and programs.  And, of course, North Carolina is known around the world for the breadth of its traditional and contemporary arts.  Learn more at the North Carolina Arts Council.

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I don’t think that many people are aware that the two most famous sets of conjoined twins in the 19th century called North Carolina home – Chang and Eng Bunker (the original Siamese Twins) and Millie-Christine McKoy (the Carolina Twins or the Two-Headed Nightingale).


Chang and Eng Bunker. Image from the State Archives.

Chang and Eng Bunker, born in Thailand (then Siam) in 1811, amassed a fortune for themselves on the circus and exhibition circuit and retired to North Carolina in 1839.

They first lived in Wilkes County, where they married sisters Sarah and Adelaide Yates. With growing families, the brothers purchased land in Surry County and built large homes a little over a mile apart. For the rest of their lives they spent 3 nights at one house and then 3 nights at the other.

If you visit the Andy Griffith Playhouse  in Mount Airy you can see a large collection of Siamese Twin memorabilia. The North Carolina Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill has Chang and Eng papers and artifacts.

Millie-Christine considered herself one person and railroad lines even issued letters to conductors instructing them to require only one ticket for the “dual woman.”  She was born into slavery near Whiteville, Columbus County, in 1851.


Millie-Christine McKoy. Image from the State Archives.

Exhibited initially as a curiosity, the twins eventually learned to sing and dance.  She even performed for Queen Victoria in England. Having eventually been able to profit from shows and exhibitions (after emancipation), Millie Christine purchased the Columbus County property on which she’d been born.

The State Archives has manuscript collections for both Millie-Christine and Chang and Eng—they have put together an educational resource site that includes digitized images of some of the documents.

Chang and Eng and Millie-Christine are buried in North Carolina, and using findagrave.com, you can see their final resting places. (You can also see the grave of celebrated 20th century conjoined twins, Daisy and Violet Hilton, who spent their last years working at a grocery store in Charlotte.)

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