The Library passed a major milestone in the history of the Department as we celebrated the 70th birthday of the Southern Historical Collection's founding on January 14, 2000. Our seventy years have been marked by the continuous pursuit of historical documentation combined with active preservation and access programs. For access to collections, we have moved from early Works Progress Administration collection survey sheets to SGML-encoded finding aids available world-wide on the Internet. We have also continued to actively collect unique materials documenting Southern life and culture. By the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2000), the Department had grown to over 18.5 million manuscript items, 76,500 photographs, 86,000 audio recordings, and 27,000 film and video recordings, occupying about 39,000 linear feet of shelf space. Other highlights for the past year include the Southern Historical Collection's co-sponsorship of the Fourth Biennial Historic Natchez Conference, February 16-19, 2000. Department and campus staffs have been active participants in all four conferences and have found this meeting to be an excellent venue for sharing the historical wealth of the Library's holdings beyond our immediate region. The Southern Folklife Collection and Wilson Library also served as host for the annual meeting of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections, May 31-June 3, 2000, in the Pleasants Assembly Room. Archivists, audio engineers, and enthusiasts, as well as scholars from around globe, joined together to discuss the challenges and rewards of collecting, creating, and documenting sound recordings. We also successfully completed the first year of our two-year project, "Improving Access to North Carolina's African American Documentary Heritage," which is funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). Details about the collections processed are described in the following sections.COLLECTION USE
A total of 2,626 registrants made use of the Manuscripts Department holdings on-site this year. We received 8,536 inquires via fax, telephone, email, and surface mail. Researchers used 16,043 items in 1999-2000, an increase of more than 2,100 items over 1998-1999. In addition, staff spoke to 28 classes (716 students) about the Department's collections. Improved access to the Southern Folklife Collection and enhancements to the Department's finding aids on the Library's website continue to be a major factor in the growth of inquiries and collection use. A number of publications resulted from research in the Manuscripts Department, including:Selected Books:
Department staff created two major exhibits during the year that were displayed in the Department's lobby and entrance. "African Americana in the Manuscripts Department" highlighted the Department's documentation of African Americans in the South from the plantation period through the 20th century. Materials from the Southern Historical Collection documented the era of slavery through the Civil Rights movement, items from the Southern Folklife Collection illustrated African American musical traditions from gospel to blues, and materials from University Archives described the integration of UNC. Susan Ballinger, Teresa Church, Steve Weiss, and John White created the exhibit as a team effort. "From Wax to D.A.T.: A History of Recorded Sound" featured historical sound equipment and recordings from the Southern Historical and Folklife Collections. Equipment ranging from early dictation machines to modern digital recorders showed the invention and industry of audio recordings. The exhibit coincided with the annual meeting of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections held in Chapel Hill and was created by Amy Davis, Steve Weiss, and John White.COLLECTION GROWTH
The Southern Historical and Folklife Collections received 271 new accessions representing 876,679 items (1,172 linear feet). University Archives received 45 records transfers representing 127,472 items (106 linear feet). The Department received a grand total of 1,004,151 items (1,278 linear feet) during fiscal year 1999-2000.Notable gifts:
In FY1999-2000, we started coding all accessions to the Southern Historical and Folklife Collections by broad subject genres in an effort to assess present collecting levels in areas of strength and emphasis. We intend to track this data for the next several years in order to help us make informed decisions when establishing collecting and processing priorities. A breakdown by collecting genre of new accessions for 1999-2000 follows (does not include University Archives):
During FY1999-2000, we processed 113 new collections and records groups and/or additions to existing collections representing 1,166 linear feet (750,631 items) for the Southern Historical and Folklife Collections and University Archives.Notable collections processed include:
In addition to the finding aids for manuscripts collections, we also started a pilot project to create USMARC records for individual recordings in the Southern Folklife Collection. During FY2000-2001, the Department intends to solicit additional support from granting agencies. External support will permit us to enrich local and national databases with descriptions of our often unique folk music recordings.
We completed preservation microfilming for 3 collections (9 reels total) this year. The collections filmed were:
In addition, much of the preparation and microfilming for the records of the Dialectic Society were completed this fiscal year.
Thanks to support from the Randleigh Foundation, we were able to hire a part-time research assistant to work on Department materials under the direction of the Library's conservator, Jan Paris. The assistant performed item-level conservation work on some 672 items from the Department's manuscript collections at greatest risk, including materials from the Samuel Andrew Agnew, Charles Henry Alston, Cheves and Wagner Family, Preston Davie, John Edwin Fripp, Archie Green, William Heermance, John Steele Henderson, Howard Odum, William B. and Merle D. Umstead, and University Archives papers. In addition to the student's work with unbound paper materials, seven bound volumes were treated and others boxed.
Archival media preservation work in the Rivers studio was conducted only occasionally until April, when Jeff Carroll filled the position of full time studio engineer. This year the Department created 305 audio preservation masters from the collections of Jan Phillip Schinhan, Philip Gura, Frances Miller, James Parrish, the Southern Oral History Program, and the North Carolina Collection. Fifty-nine video preservation masters were created from the WUNC-TV archives as part of a project done in cooperation with the Institute of Government. Funds from the Library's Lynch Endowment supported the creation of preservation transfers from obsolete video formats by Vidipax Magnetic Media Restoration Company. Preservation masters and access copies for twelve 1/2" CV videotapes from the Southern Folklife Collection and nineteen 2" videotapes from the WUNC-TV archives were generated as part of this project.STAFF
The Department had a number of staff transitions last year. In December, after serving since March 1997 as Head of the Manuscripts Department on a term appointment basis, Tim Pyatt was named Director of the Southern Historical Collection and Curator of Manuscripts. Lynn Holdzkom was promoted to Head of Technical Services for the Department effective March 2000. In April Richard Shrader, Head of Public Services for the Department, retired after 29 years of service to the Library. Jill Snider, Manuscripts Processing Librarian, stepped in to serve as interim Head of Public Services while a search for his successor is being conducted. In April, we also added Jeff Carroll as our full time studio engineer. Funds from the Lynch Endowment will provide two years of support for this position. The Department will be actively soliciting additional funding to continue it as a permanent position.Respectfully submitted,