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Collection Number: 05092-z

Collection Title: Tom H. Ray Papers, 1973-1996

This collection has access restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the section for more information.


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Size 120 items
Abstract Tom H. Ray graduated with honors in writing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1972. As of 2006, Ray is the Collections Management Coordinator at the Library of Virginia (Richmond, Va.) and an adjunct faculty member at Catholic University. The collection is chiefly postcards and other materials sent to Tom H. Ray by North Carolina poets Ronald H. Bayes, Jeffery Beam, and Jonathan Williams. There are also photographs of Bayes, Beam, and Williams; several letters from Williams to Ray; a 1978 audio cassette of poet Amon Liner reading; and other items.
Creator Ray, Tom H.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
Use of audio materials may require production of listening copies.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Tom H. Ray Papers #5092-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Tom H. Ray in April 2002 (Acc. 99229) and January 2003 (Acc. 99397).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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Tom H. Ray graduated with honors in writing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1972. He recieved his Masters degree in Library Science from North Carolina Central University in 1972. He has held positions at McNeese State University (Lake Charles, La.), Princeton Theological Seminary (Princeton, N.J.), and, Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, La.) As of 2006, Ray is the Collections Management Coordinator at the Library of Virginia in Richmond, Va., and an adjunct faculty member for Catholic University. Since the early 1990s Ray has been an avid collector of American outsider art, most by African-American artists.

Biographical Statement by Tom H. Ray, June 2006

I am the third of four related Tommie Rays born in Wake or Durham County between 1890 and 1960. My father was a Ray, my mother's mother was a Ray and my mother's father's mother was a Ray. Few Rays have ventured far from the Stony Hill area of Wake County since the late 1700s but I was a military brat. I attended high school near Cambridge (England) and was accepted to UNC-CH in 1968. I lived in Chapel Hill until 1982.

I graduated with honors in writing from UNC in 1972. I earned an MLS degree from NC Central in 1982. I am currently the Collections Management Coordinator at the Library of Virginia (Richmond, Va.) and an adjunct faculty member for Catholic University. I previously held positions at McNeese State University (Lake Charles, La.), Princeton Theological Seminary (Princeton, N.J.), and, Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, La.).

Since the early 1990s I've been an avid collector of American outsider art, most by African-American artists. Though I must admit one of my most prized possessions is a white silk dinner jacket made for "Nicholas Romanoff". It came in very handy when I was Czar of Cataloging here at the Library.

I "came of age" in the Chapel Hill of the late '60s and early '70s coached and coaxed and coerced by the likes of Carolyn Kizer, Reynolds Price, Ron Bayes, Jonathan Williams and all the poets who visited the university during those years. Janis Joplin admonished us in those days to "get it while you can." I certainly tried. And I still do.

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The collection is chiefly postcards and other materials sent to Tom H. Ray by North Carolina poets Ronald H. Bayes, Jeffery Beam, and Jonathan Williams. There are also photographs of Bayes, Beam, and Williams; several letters from Williams to Ray; a 1978 audio cassette of poet Amon Liner reading; and other items.

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Contents list

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Processing Information

Processed by: Jackie Dean, June 2006

Encoded by: Jackie Dean, June 2006

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