Special Collections & Archives Blog

In the 'Collection News' Category...

More Processed Collections!

Thursday, July 3, 2014 2:59 pm

Special Collections and Archives has been busy this first Summer session! With the help of Kristin Weisse and Martha Fulton, we have been processing (and re-processing) lots of collections. This includes appraisal and rehousing. We are thrilled to publish finding aids for the following collections:

David L. Smiley Papers

Percival Perry Papers

Doris Walters Papers

Alliance of Baptists Records

Maya Angelou Film and Theater Collection

James M. Dunn Papers

Merrill Gray Berthrong Records

Each of these collections has a tremendous amount of research value and we are sure that with the publication of these finding aids users will now have better access to our holdings. Please take a look at these finding aids and learn a little bit more about our collections!

Religion in North Carolina Project News

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 9:55 am

Monique Swaby

The following post was written by Monique Swaby, Religion in North Carolina Project graduate assistant.

My name is Monique Swaby and I am the graduate assistant working with research and outreach for the Religion in North Carolina Project at Wake Forest University’s Department of Special Collections and Archives. I am a graduate of Smith College, 06’ and received my Master of Education from the University of Vermont, 11’. Currently I am working on my Master of Divinity at Wake Forest School of Divinity, 15’. From there I will go on to create a faith-based non-profit that focuses on spiritual formation, community service and teaching in Winston-Salem. I believe this collection will be a great resource to my current and future endeavors for community collaboration and historical knowledge. Some of my work with this project includes producing materials to highlight items in the collection, as well as offering presentations on Religion in NC and its uses to groups at WFU and its neighboring community.

The digital collection for the Religion in NC project is a collaborative effort between Duke University, UNC- Chapel Hill, and Wake Forest University. Religion in NC is federally funded through a grant provided by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and administered by the State Library of North Carolina. This project is entering its third year of funding and will continue to enhance the digital collection of religious and cultural life in North Carolina. What makes this database so special is that it is the only one of its kind. It specifically focuses on one state’s religious life where a multitude of primary resources can be found right at your fingertips through a single collection. This project has gathered primary resources through thousands of local and state-wide religious institutions such as historical foundations, churches, individuals, and library systems at Harvard University, Elon College, the Charlotte Mecklenberg Library, and our very own Wake Forest Baptist Historical Collection to name a few.

So, who exactly can utilize our digital collection and what treasures of historical data can you find? I’m glad you asked. Our collection houses materials that include conference proceedings, meeting minutes, autobiographies, newsletters, serial publications, and sermons. There is also a growing number of ephemeral works such as cookbooks, event programs, and directories. One of the most intriguing aspects of this collection are the personal stories that are recorded through letters and other materials from individual life. Anyone interested in personal, professional, or social history of religion in a vast array of communities can find these resources helpful. The collection may also appeal to anyone who is interested in how technology is being used to document our state’s rich cultural and religious history such as historians, genealogists, librarians, religious groups, teachers, and students. The Religion in NC portal can be reached through our website  or directly thought the Internet Archive hosted site. Our goal is to help preserve and transfer the cultural and religious history of our state. With your help we can continue to add to this collection as well if you have any materials you may wish to add. We hope you will enjoy this great resource for many of your personal and professional needs. History is always worth preserving and the religious life of North Carolinians is no exception. Enjoy! If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact us at Special Collections and Archives…

Read more about the Religion in North Carolina Project on their blog and collection highlights by Monique

Beneath the binding of an astronomical treatise, scraps of a Wake Forest campus publication revealed

Thursday, June 12, 2014 1:23 pm

How did a literary magazine from Wake Forest wind up in the Smithsonian Libraries’ Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology? Until recently, neither the Dibner Library nor Special Collections & Archives at Wake Forest University knew that it had.

In a post on the Smithsonian Libraries Unbound blog, Vanessa Haight Smith (Head of Smithsonian Libraries’ Preservation Services) showcases instances of printer’s waste incorporated into book bindings — including an example of printer’s waste that we can identify as the front and back covers of an issue of the Wake Forest Student, the campus’s literary magazine.

Volume 3 of the Mécanique céleste held by Smithsonian LIbraries

With its binding removed, the lining of the spine of the Mécanique céleste is revealed as scrap paper from Volume 18, Number 3 of the Wake Forest Student. Image courtesy of Smithsonian Libraries.

Book bindings often incorporated printer’s waste. Binding structures require paper, scrap paper was often leftover from the printing process, and sometimes the same shop served as both a printer and a bindery. Unlike printer’s waste used as endpapers, Smith notes, “Waste used as spine linings is only visible when books are damaged in a way that exposes what lies underneath the covering.” In this case, the front cover and first section of text of the volume were detached, so the volume was sent to the Smithsonian Libraries’ Book Conservation Lab for treatment, and there the lining of its spine was revealed. What’s unusual and fun about this instance of printer’s waste is that we can tell exactly what it is — Volume 18, Issue 3 of the Wake Forest Student. Consequently, these scraps of printer’s waste provide tantalizingly specific clues as to the book’s provenance.

The book in question is the third volume of a later edition of the Mécanique céleste by French mathematician and astronomer Pierre Simon, marquis de Laplace. (View the item record in the Smithsonian Libraries’ catalog.) The Mécanique céleste translated Newton’s Principia from English into French and re-framed the Principia‘s understanding of classical mechanics from geometry to differential calculus, raising new scientific questions in the process. This particular edition of the Mécanique céleste is an English translation from the French original and was printed in four volumes from 1829–1839. So what can the appearance of the Wake Forest Student in its binding tell us about this particular copy of the Mécanique céleste?

To find out, I turned to the complete run of the Wake Forest Student — later titled simply The Student — held by the Special Collections & Archives here at Wake Forest. (View the item record in the ZSR Library Catalog.) The date of the issue was not visible in the binding waste itself, but by consulting our collections, we can date that particular issue to December 1898 and speculate that the copy of the Mécanique céleste now held by the Dibner Library was probably re-bound around the turn of the century. We may never find out what bindery had scraps of the Wake Forest Student lying around with which to line the spine of the Mécanique céleste now held by the Dibner Library. Perhaps the same shop that printed the Wake Forest Student also bound the Mécanique céleste, and perhaps that printer-bindery was located in or near Raleigh, NC since Wake Forest College was located in Wake Forest, NC at the time. Or to entertain a more fanciful supposition, perhaps the binder of the Mécanique céleste was a Wake Forest alumnus who received the Wake Forest Student on a subscription basis.

Even without identifying the specific bindery, however, we know more than we did before. Not bad for a day’s sleuthing!

Buildings & Roads of WFU: A Student Perspective

Friday, May 16, 2014 9:26 am

Bostwick Residence Hall

Did you ever wonder who Jasper Memory was? Or want to know more about Bostwick Residence Hall? We have got the online exhibit for you!

Special Collections & Archives is excited to release Buildings & Roads of Wake Forest University: A Student Perspective on our University’s History. This project started last summer when John Walsh, Class of 2014, worked part-time in Special Collections. His charge was to research and write-up the history of how or why buildings and roads on campus were named. The result is an engaging narrative of the campus landmarks we see every day. Enthusiastically written and complemented by the photography of Ken Bennett, Special Collections & Archives hopes that students, faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors all utilize this exhibit to learn more about campus and have a little fun. Many thanks to Kevin Gilbertson and his expertise for putting this online exhibit together.

Lots of New Finding Aids Online!

Friday, May 2, 2014 1:05 pm

Special Collections and Archives has been very actively processing and re-processing collections over the past months and we are pleased to share the finding aids with our public!

As part of our collections overhaul and shifting project, manuscript collections 1-11 have been reviewed, processed, and have had finding aids published:

Account Books, Fayetteville, Cumberland County, N.C. 

John Thomas Alderman Papers

John Mason Peck Letters

Walter Eugene Daniel Papers

John Berry Papers

William Phillips Biddle Papers

Issac Winston Bill of Sale to L.G. Ligen

Charles Jefferson Black Papers

Henry Nathan Blanchard Papers

Lawrence O’Bryan Branch Papers

Iverson Lewis Brookes Papers

In addition to our ongoing, systematic processing, we have also processed some collections “out of order” including:

Secrest Artists’ Series

Reverend Doctor James Irvine Murphy Papers

Arthur Samuel and Pauline P. Gillespie Papers

William Elwyn and Jessie Swann Crocker Papers

Charles Tolbert Wilkinson Papers

I recommend taking a look at the finding aids- there are some very interesting materials in these collections!

Wake Forest’s Endangered Artifact

Thursday, May 1, 2014 2:22 pm

ZSR WFU Philomathesian Banner_sm

Special Collections and Archives is honored to be included in the North Carolina Preservation Consortium’s list of North Carolina’s Most Endangered Artifacts. You may have already ready about the “discovery” of our Philomathesian Banner in Wake Forest Magazine. You can read more about the history of the banner and the plans for conservation as well as see the other “Most Endangered” North Carolina artifacts at the NCPC website.

New Finding Aid

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 2:25 pm

A new finding aid is available from Special Collections for the Baptist Women in Ministry of North Carolina Collection. This group has existed since 1984, and helps to support and connect Baptist women in North Carolina who serve in a ministerial capacity. This collection has materials documenting the beginning of the group, as well as those from following years which show how it has grown and changed. Photos, audio interviews, and newsletters show the rich history of the people who have been and still are involved, as well as the projects, ministries and efforts that they have been part of over the years. For more details, you can see finding aid here: Baptist Women in Ministry of North Carolina.

Hoffmann Collection in the News

Thursday, March 13, 2014 3:49 pm

The Gertrude and Max Hoffmann Collection is enjoying the limelight once again. An article by ZSR Special Collections Librarian Megan Mulder about the collection is featured in the Winter 2014 issue of Performance!, the publication of the Performing Arts Section of the Society of American Archivists.

The entire publication is available in PDF format here.  Don’t miss the cover photo of Max, Gertrude, and their photogenic cat!

Gertrude Hoffmann was a dancer, choreographer, and manager of her own dance troupe;  her husband Max was a ragtime composer and musician. Their papers, now part of ZSR’s Special Collections, include music manuscripts, photographs, posters, correspondence, and other materials– many of which are now available as digital collections. The Performance! article describes the Hoffmanns’ colorful careers in early 20th century vaudeville and on international tours, and also explains how the collection came to reside at Wake Forest.

For more information about the Hoffmann papers at ZSR Library, please contact Special Collections and Archives.

“Finding A Piece of History” in Wake Forest Magazine

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 11:08 am

We are so excited about the story published in Wake Forest Magazine on Friday! Read all about our discovery of a Philomathesian banner and our plans for it in the future in Kerry King’s article “Finding A Piece of History.”

New Finding Aid Online!

Thursday, October 31, 2013 9:27 am

Special Collections and Archives is happy to announce that the Harold Tedford Collection of Theatre Programs is processed and the finding aid is now online. This collection is one of many performing arts collections available in Special Collections & Archives. We will be publishing a guide to all of these collections soon, so stay tuned!


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