Collection Spotlight


We are very excited that our minority and women’s collections have been digitized and are available for browsing on Digital NC. Look for links in the post below. This digitization project has been a wonderful learning process for our digitization interns Amy and Corrine and for special collections librarian and project manager, Karen. Look for a post next month with details about the process of getting our collections online. Many thanks to Corrine for writing this month’s spotlight, the last post for our digitization grant project collection.

As the readers of this blog probably know by now, Winston-Salem has had no shortage of social and civic organizations organized and run by women in its history. The Woman’s Club of Winston-Salem is no different.

The club began with enthusiasm in 1919, when 15 women from various organizations met with representatives from the state federation of clubs to propose a Winston-Salem Woman’s Club. When a meeting was called to gauge interest, according to the club’s history in the 1950-51 directory, nearly 175 members showed up.  In the next two years, membership more than doubled to 380 women.  The local chapter’s colors were yellow and white, with the daisy as the club flower.

The club met in various locations in its early years, from the YWCA to the Robert E. Lee Hotel.  In 1925, the club purchased its long-time clubhouse, formerly the Tise House, on Fifth Street for a sum of $67,500. Drawings and photos of the house appear on the cover and inside of many of the club directories throughout the decades.

Cover of the 1960 Woman’s Club Year Book with an illustration of the club’s clubhouse on Fifth Street.

Cover of the 1960 Woman’s Club Year Book with an illustration of the club’s clubhouse on Fifth Street.

“The Union of All for the Good of All.” That was the motto of the Woman’s Club published in its 1930-31 Year Book and City Club Directory. The president’s report in that same directory, given by Club President Golda J. Watson, lists the many projects and activities of the club during the previous year, from providing Christmas stockings to those in need to bridge lessons to healthcare services. These annual reports provide a glimpse at the ways in which the club has benefited the community in its decades of service. The publication of the directory was in itself a service to the community, as it listed information about various civic and social clubs in the city during those years before transitioning to a true Woman’s Club-only year book.

Cover of Woman’s Club Year Book and City Club Directory, 1930-31

Cover of Woman’s Club Year Book and City Club Directory, 1930-31

The 1930-31 and 1950-51 year books are part of the Junior Woman’s Club Collection (the Junior club is still active) in the North Carolina Room, along with year books for nearly every year up to 2013.  Many of the year books, one from each decade, were also digitized by the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center as part of a project funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).  They can be found on the Digital Heritage Center’s website by browsing through the Forsyth County Public Library’s materials and by visiting the Digital North Carolina Blog.

Early directories published by the Woman’s Club also included advertising from local businesses and companies. In addition to the clubs in the city and the types of projects they engaged in, advertising provides some insight into the Winston-Salem of the 1920s and 30s.  As much as names and photos, advertising and the names of businesses can evoke a sense of the industries and culture that shaped the city’s past. Here are just a very few examples from the 1930-31 directory, which is available on the Digital Heritage Center’s site:

Blue Bird Cab Inc. advertisement .

Blue Bird Cab Inc. advertisement .

Mayo Underwear/Washington Mills Co. advertisement.

Mayo Underwear/Washington Mills Co. advertisement.

Big Winston Overalls/Fletcher Bros. Co. advertisement.

Big Winston Overalls/Fletcher Bros. Co. advertisement.

I would encourage you to check out the Woman’s Club and Junior Woman’s Club year books on the Digital Heritage website to explore the advertisements and other gems that can be found there.  Each of the publications gives a unique look into the activities of the club for the previous year, and offers an interesting chronicle and comparison of the club’s changing fortunes over the decades.  Or, you might just spot a familiar name and recall a few memories.  Happy browsing!

IMLS_Logo_2cThis publication was supported by grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.

Graduation time is here. In honor of all the hardworking college graduates out there, we would like to highlight some items from the American Association of University Women Collection found in the North Carolina Room of the Forsyth County Public Library. This post was created by our Digitization Intern Amy.

Beginning in Boston in 1881, a group of 17 college educated women got together. Their hope was to combine the demands placed on them by 19th century society with their love of learning.  What they came up with was the Association of Collegiate Alumnae and by their first official meeting in January of 1882, they had a  group of 65 women, representing 8 colleges. One of the first things they did was publish a report dispelling the myth that a college education would adversely affect a woman’s health. After that they pushed for equal pay, women’s rights, research grants/opportunities and of course funding for higher education.  In 1921 the Association of Collegiate Alumnae joined with the Southern Association of College Women and became the American Association of University Women. Today the AAUW has over 170,000 members representing 800 colleges nationwide. http://www.aauw.org/

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Original Seal

The Winston-Salem branch of the AAUW got its start in 1914. They offered local university women the chance to socialize and continue learning through study groups and educational programs. They disbanded during the early 1940s since most of the women were involved in the war effort.  In 1947 the Association regrouped and came back strong.   Since then, they have actively worked towards the AAUW goals of promoting equity, lifelong learning and positive changes in society.

The association was open to any woman with a four year degree from a “qualified” school. To be qualified meant that  a college had to have a high academic standing and a strong foundation in general education. They also needed to make adequate provisions for female students and of course give recognition and support to female faculty and administration.  In 1957, Salem College was the one school in Winston-Salem offering degrees that would qualify a young woman for admission into the AAUW.  Other qualifying colleges in the area included Greensboro College and Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina (now UNCG).

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Page from AAUW Membership booklet listing Salem College and the degrees accepted by the AAUW for Membership in 1957.

During its long history, the AAUW has encouraged women not only to educate themselves but to take a stand on important issues. For the local chapter that meant providing funding for scholarships and research grants, improving educational opportunities and pushing for political reform. Each branch built its programming around local needs or issues. The Winston-Salem branch of the AAUW was involved in a number of things locally including the Little Theatre, the Salem Lecture Series, study groups,political forums and elections. They also joined with the national chapter in support of bigger issues like equal pay, desegregation, the environment, and the Equal Rights Amendment. Today, the AAUW continues to advocate for these and many other issues.

 Items from the collection include flyers, memberships directories, reports, brochures, programs,newsletters, photographs and news articles covering the many activities of the AAUW in Winston-Salem. Some of the highlights from the collection include:

Handout for Parents from the Television Study Group.

Handout for Parents from the Television Study Group.

One of several study groups in the AAUW. This one focused on the effects television had on children and families.

Cover of the Report on the Yadkin-Pee Dee River Basin Study  1984.

Cover of the Report on the Yadkin-Pee Dee River Basin Study 1984.

This group received a grant to study and file a report on the current status of the water quality, supply, and wastewater treatment facilities in the Yadkin-Pee Dee River Basin.

News article featuring the winners of the 1977 Alderman race. One of whom was an AAUW member.

News article featuring the winners of the 1977 Alderman race. One of whom was an AAUW member.

Coupon asking for ideas for ratifying the ERA, printed in the AAUW Journal 1976.

Coupon asking for ideas for ratifying the ERA, printed in the AAUW Journal 1976.

And of course the AAUW continued working to improve educational and leadership  opportunities for young women. Both of the following programs came out of AAUW reports published in the 90’s. These reports focused on how schools were not meeting the needs of girls and how gender gaps were affecting the education of children.

Brochure for the Educational Symposium,  Today’s Girls, Tomorrow’s Leaders  1995

Brochure for the Educational Symposium, Today’s Girls, Tomorrow’s Leaders 1995

 Information on the Today’s Girls, Tomorrow’s Leaders Symposium: Defining the Dimensions of Success. Held on the Salem College campus, this was a joint effort with the Girl Scouts of America to help young women develop leadership skills.

Booklet for the Healthy Lifestyles program  2005.

Booklet for the Healthy Lifestyles program 2005.

The Healthy Lifestyles, a new strategy for enhancing math and science skills among adolescent girls. The AAUW worked in cooperation with the Salvation Army’s Girls Club on this project. The goal was to enhance the math and science skills of young girls by working with them incorporating basic nutrition and exercise into their daily lives.

Materials from this collection have been digitized as part of an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant received by the North Carolina Room by the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center. Visit digitalnc.org, find the Forsyth County Public Library on the contributors page, and choose “Memorabilia” to browse items from the American Association of  University Women collection and other collections.

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This publication was supported by grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.

The Memorial Industrial School Archives is the subject of our April collection spotlight created for you by digitization intern Corrine.

Today’s Forsyth County-ites might be familiar with the sprawling green expanse of Horizons Park in the northeastern section of the county with its disc-golf course, dog park, and hiking trails. They may also know about Horizons Residential Care Center and its work with people with developmental disabilities. Together, the properties make up an area of about 500 acres in Rural Hall. What residents might not realize is the historical significance behind the Horizons property and the road it flanks on either side – Memorial Industrial School Road. The road’s namesake, Memorial Industrial School, was one of two public orphanages for black children in North Carolina  in the early 20th century and operated on the Rural Hall campus from the 1920s through the 1970s.

The catalyst for what eventually became the Memorial Industrial School originally grew out of the black community in the Belview/Waughtown area of the city. Seeing a need for a place for orphaned children, the community came together and formed the Colored Baptist Orphanage in 1905. Due to a combination of a 1924 fire, declining facilities, and financial issues, operations were eventually taken over by a coalition of various Winston-Salem civic clubs, collectively called the Winston-Salem Community Chest. The Rural Hall-area campus opened in 1928 and was built on land donated by W.N. Reynolds, with donations for construction of the dormitories coming from the Reynolds and Gray families. The orphanage also received an annual contribution from The Duke Endowment’s Hospital and Orphan Section.

 Floor plan by Lashmit Brown & Pollock Architects for improvements to Memorial Industrial School’s baby cottage dormitory in 1964.

Floor plan by Lashmit Brown & Pollock Architects for improvements to Memorial Industrial School’s baby cottage dormitory in 1964.

The North Carolina Room has a significant collection of administrative records from the Memorial Industrial School, from as early as 1924 through 1972 when the orphanage ceased operations. Among the records are longtime Board President Roy C. Haberkern’s correspondence to donors and other affiliates, inventory and supplies lists, gradebooks, budget records, audit reports, newspaper clippings, and copies of the orphanage’s annual application to the Duke Endowment. The applications provide an interesting snapshot of year-to-year operations and include such information as the numbers and ages of the boys and girls who resided there; activities; lists of teachers, administrators, and board members; equipment that was used on the property; and even the number of gallons of milk the children consumed each year.

Front page of the Memorial Industrial School’s 1926 application for assistance from The Orphan Section of The Duke Endowment.

Front page of the Memorial Industrial School’s 1926 application for assistance from The Orphan Section of The Duke Endowment.

Admittedly, the collection does not give us much of the children’s perspective on their experience at the Memorial Industrial School. However, at least two people have based works on the orphanage.  Dr. English Bradshaw, who lived 12 of the first 14 years of his life at Memorial Industrial School, has written several books, including one based on his experiences at the orphanage. A play, Horizons Memorial, written by playwright Samm-Art Williams and presented by the North Carolina Black Repertory Company (NCBRC) in 2013, tells the history of the Memorial Industrial School property partly through the eyes of the children who lived there. It was commissioned for the 40th anniversary of Horizons Residential Care Center.

Inside of program from the “Seventh Annual Commencement of the Memorial Industrial School”, held May 19, 21, 22, and 24, 1939

 

IMLS_Logo_2cMaterials from this collection have been digitized as part of an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant received by the North Carolina Room by the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center. Digitized items include Duke Endowment applications from the 1920s through the 1960s, which allow for comparisons of the Memorial Industrial School’s operations across the decades. Other items from this collection available on the Digital Heritage Center website include commencement and special events programs, floorplans from what appears to be renovations to the dormitories from the 1960s, and auction posters from the sale of the former Colored Baptist Orphanage property. Visit digitalnc.org, find the Forsyth County Public Library on the contributors page, and choose “Memorabilia” to browse items from the Memorial Industrial School and other collections.

Memorial markers have been placed by the Forsyth County Historic Resources Commission at the site of the original Colored Baptist Orphanage and at the Memorial Industrial School, in 2005 and 2013, respectively. Earlier this year, Forsyth County commissioners also stated their support for the Goler Community Development Corporation’s nomination of the Memorial Industrial School site for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

Spring is almost here! Daffodils are popping up around downtown Winston-Salem. It is time for March’s collection spotlight, written for you this month by our digitization intern Amy. She has been evaluating materials in the Junior League of Winston-Salem Archives (JLWS) collection for digitization. Read on for an overview of the Junior League activities that have created the collection over the years.

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Headline from a 1936 news article says it all. For years the Junior League worked to avoid references to the social standing of its members and focus on their good works. Unfortunately when most people thought “Junior League” they imaged fashionably dressed women hosting tea parties and fancy dinners. Of course the Junior League hosted quite a few galas and lavish fundraisers but behind all the fancy trappings was a group of extremely hardworking, dedicated women.

Formed  in 1923, the Winston-Salem Junior League was the first of its kind in North Carolina. Their focus was and still is service to their community. Over the years these industrious women changed the face of Winston-Salem. Since its founding, the Junior League has focused on improving healthcare, childcare, education and of course the arts. At the same time they worked to develop and strengthen leadership skills among their members.

1963 Newsletter Cover

1963 Newsletter Cover

Junior Leaguers were an extremely organized group. New members spent a year as a provisional member learning about the organization. Once they became full members they were placed in volunteer positions and served on committees. Members received monthly newsletters. Here they were updated on league activities, offered household tips, recipes and even ideas on what to get your model husband. Leaguers also received an annual report which covered the business of the league for the year. The collection also includes numerous scrapbooks containing newsworthy items involving the league.

One of those newsworthy items was the annual Junior League rummage sale. For 60 years people in Winston-Salem looked forward to this event. According to JLWS newsletters, it was all hands on deck. Everyone was expected to pitch in, including spouses (those model husbands).

Duke advertisement from Junior League News, April 1942

Duke advertisement from Junior League News, April 1942

In the years before the rummage sale  the Junior League operated the rag shop, a gift shop, a thrift store and a beauty parlor. They organized Follies (variety shows), dances and designer home tours to raise money for their projects. The funds and countless hours of volunteer work enabled the Junior League to sponsor a wide variety of services to the community. The list of activities these women were involved in is extensive. Here are just a few highlights.

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In 1928 the JLWS raised money (60,000 dollars in 10 days) and built the Junior League Hospital for Incurables. Here they provided extended care to the elderly,handicapped and terminally ill of Winston-Salem. The doors were opened in 1929 and closed in 1937 when Forsyth County opened their hospital and home for the aged and infirm. In 1946 the old hospital building was leased to Wake Forest College and became the home of Bowman Gray School of Medicine.

Junior League Hospital for the Incurables.

Junior League Hospital for the Incurables.

The Junior League operated a Prenatal Clinic the first of its kind in North Carolina. They also sponsored the Visiting Housekeeper program which offered classes in household management to lower income families and a Child Guidance Center to help children with emotional and psychological issues.   

The 1920’s saw the  start of  their Children’s Play committee.  The committee made it their mission to bring theatre to the school aged children of Winston-Salem.   Some of the plays produced were classics but many were written by the ladies of the Junior League.

Program from 1930’s play for children.

Program from 1930’s play for children.

This gave rise to the Scribblers Club where group members were encourage to write original works for production by the JLWS.   The Radio Council’s  “Story time” series produced by the Junior League won national recognition in 1948 for it’s creativity in art and language.  Members recorded stories which were then broadcast over the radio to preschool and primary school aged children.

Reading story for radio broadcast.

Reading story for radio broadcast.

The Visiting Teacher program, started in 1937 was yet another way in which the Junior League reached out to the community. Volunteers worked with teachers visiting families of children struggling with school. In the 1970’s the JLWS opened a residential home for severely handicapped children. The home is located  on the grounds of the former Memorial Industrial School, another collection being digitized for the NC Room.

Horizons Residential Care Center brochure.

Horizons Residential Care Center brochure.

These items plus many more can be found in the Junior League of Winston-Salem collection in the North Carolina Room and will soon be a part of the North Carolina Memory online collection at the Digital Heritage Center.  Stay tuned, more to come!!

 

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This publication was supported by grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.

 

Spring is almost here and high school proms and graduations are coming up. It is a great time to share with you our newly digitized collection of Atkins High School photographs.

The digitization of this collection is the result of a grant funded project to increase diversity in digital collections in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and across the country. Atkins High School was the first modern African American high school in Winston-Salem, opening in 1931 and dedicated to Simon G. Atkins, a local African American educator and education advocate. The school offered both college and vocational education paths for students.

Atkins High School Class of 1951.

The North Carolina Digital Heritage Center is in the process of digitizing a collection of photographs located at the Malloy Jordan East Winston Heritage Center. The photographs currently digitized are of 1930s and 1940s Atkins High School graduating classes. Further digitization will include graduating classes from the 1950s and 1960s as well as two Columbia Heights High School class photographs.

Look for a forthcoming Collections Spotlight post about the photograph collection when digitization is complete.

IMLS_Logo_2cThis project was supported by grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.

 

This month’s collection spotlight is written by our grant intern Corrine. She has been selecting items from our archive collections suitable for digitization through a grant the North Carolina Room was awarded by the State Library of North Carolina. The grant project involves digitizing items from women and minority collections in order to increase archival diversity in the state. Look for more spotlight posts on the other collections included in the grant. We’ll be sure to update the links when the collections become available online.

We are the League of Women Voters
            And we’ve reached maturity.
For twenty-five years we have labored hard
           In this community.
We are studious observers
         Of politics in this town —
The aldermen and commissioners
           Always know that we’re around.
          The Board of Education is a prime concern —
          Curricula and budgets can really turn us on.
               We are the League
               Determined to know what’s done.

Handwritten sheet music for the local League of Women Voters’ song “We Are The League” written by member Blanche Zimmerman. The full sheet music and typed lyrics can be found in the League of Women Voters collection in the North Carolina Room and are also part of selected materials to be digitized by the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center.

Handwritten sheet music for the local League of Women Voters’ song “We Are The League” written by member Blanche Zimmerman. The full sheet music and typed lyrics can be found in the League of Women Voters collection in the North Carolina Room and are also part of selected materials to be digitized by the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center.

 You may not recognize the lyrics above, but they make up the first verse of “We Are The League,” written for the League of Women Voters of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County by local member Blanche Zimmerman, presumably in or around 1976, the 25th “birthday” of the local League. The full lyrics, along with handwritten sheet music, can be found in the League of Women Voters of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County collection in the North Carolina Room’s archives. And soon they will be available online too.

The League of Women Voters collection is one of five women and minority collections from the North Carolina Room that have had selected materials sent to the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center at UNC Chapel Hill for digitization. These soon-to-be-digitized materials (along with others in the collection) provide some insight into the activities and administrative functions of the League and its reach within the community.

Hand-drawn League of Women Voters (LWV) logo from a local bulletin.

Hand-drawn League of Women Voters (LWV) logo from a local bulletin.

The League of Women Voters of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County was established in 1951. The League was extremely active in the political realm of the county, hosting candidates’ forums for local and state elections, educating voters (women and men) about voting and political issues, publishing pamphlets and flyers about hot button issues, and working hard to educate its members about the latest trends. The League was also pretty faithful in the newsletters it sent to its members every month. While the title of the newsletter may have alternated over the years, variously called League Lines, The Twin City Voter, or simply and straightforwardly The League of Women Voters Bulletin, the bulletin itself was sent out with regularity for several decades during which the local LWV operated. In 1999, the League joined with the Guilford County League to form the League of Women Voters of the Piedmont Triad.

The North Carolina Room collection contains monthly newsletters from almost every month between 1952 and 1980, like this one from September 1957.

The bulletins give insight into the League’s operations, both internally and externally, in the greater community. Aside from announcing regular functions like unit and topical committee meetings, the newsletters provided summaries of current topics like water conservation, school consolidation, proposed ordinances and resolutions, state and national legislative issues, and budgetary overviews for the League. The September 1952 bulletin announces that then-presidential hopeful Dwight D. Eisenhower will be visiting the city and invites local members to come hear him speak. The October 1954 issue says that the League will be at the Dixie Classic Fair demonstrating a “new” technology: voting machines. In January 1963, the hot topic was consolidation of the Winston-Salem city schools and Forsyth County county schools into one school system – a position the local League was decidedly for; they even produced a special pamphlet about it.

The bulletins were also a forum for League leaders to communicate with members (and occasionally admonish, particularly about fundraising and membership), as well as disseminate local and national positions on key issues for which a consensus had been reached. Bulletins might also include statements on national political and news events, like the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (May 1968) or raise important questions on contemporary issues, like nuclear energy and changes to the Constitution (October 1975). As a whole, what the bulletins seem to illustrate is the breadth and depth to which the League examined its current agenda and program, as well as issues within the organization itself. They also provide interesting impressions of the political climate in Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, North Carolina, and the United States from the 1950s through the 1980s.

A handy illustrated list of League vocabulary compiled by the Winston-Salem League for 1962-1963, included in the October 1962 bulletin.

A few other highlights include a special bulletin in April 1958 when the Winston-Salem League hosted the state convention:

LWVSpecConv

Handwritten Graphic

A flyer about a proposed library referendum included in the April 1965 bulletin:

Referendum Flyer

Referendum Flyer

A call to action in the February 1973 bulletin:

Call to Action Flyer

Call to Action Flyer

For the Digital NC collection, one bulletin from each year was chosen for the initial digitization project. All of the items mentioned in this article can be found in the League of Women Voters collection in the North Carolina Room and will soon be part of the North Carolina Memory online collection at the Digital Heritage Center. Stay tuned!

 

IMLS_Logo_2cThis publication was supported by grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.

 

Our first Collection Spotlight of 2015 features two books from our North Carolina monograph collection.  These books have come to our collection by way of a generous donation of the Bethabara Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.

Call number NC 973.3 K35A. Available for reference in the North Carolina Room.

Call number NC 973.3 K35A. Available for reference in the North Carolina Room.

The first, The American Revolution: A Historical Guidebook edited by Frances H. Kennedy is a historical account of almost 150 various sites associated with the Revolutionary War. From battlefields and encampments to taverns and state houses, the aim of the guidebook is to preserve the famous and not so famous places where men and women of the Revolution created a nation. Published in 2014 by the Oxford University Press, this substantial volume is of interest for historical researchers, readers interested in learning more about the Revolutionary War, and travelers with an appreciation for historic sites.

Call number NC 975.602 D919R. Available for reference in the North Carolina Room.

Call number NC 975.602 D919R. Available for reference in the North Carolina Room.

The second, Redcoats on the Cape Fear: The Revolutionary War in Southeastern North Carolina by Robert M. Dunkerly is a collection of “eyewitness accounts and other primary sources” that tell the tale of Wilmington and the Lower Cape Fear region during the Revolutionary War. The city had a politically polarized climate between Whigs and Loyalists and was a contested site for news, supplies, and blockade running. This revised edition, published in 2012 by McFarland & Company, Inc., is a great reference for anyone interested in the Revolutionary War history of North Carolina.

The North Carolina Room collection is always available for reference at the new location on the Second Floor of the Forsyth County Government Building, 201 N. Chestnut Street, Winston-Salem, 27101.

 

 

 

 

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