|Library to showcase letters from luminaries|
|Tuesday, February 03, 2009|
Handwritten letters from presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Another by poet Langston Hughes.
These and more materials seldom seen by the public will be on view Feb. 17 in a library tour at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
UNC’s Wilson Library will open normally off-limits stacks for free public tours from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. The event, “Open Stacks: Behind the Scenes in the Southern Historical Collection, Southern Folklife Collection and University Archives of Wilson Library,” will feature guided tours by collections staff.
Other items to be seen on the tours include a letter signed by Albert Einstein; meeting records and maps from the 1790s that describe the founding of the University; and photographs, documents and artifacts spotlighting the work of UNC’s manuscript archivists in preserving the history of the South.
One mid-20th-century photograph shows staff unloading materials that were stored in whiskey boxes. Also on exhibit will be Civil War-era diaries and papers of author and UNC alumnus Walker Percy.
The program will complement the exhibit “Making Archives: An Inside Look at the Work to Preserve Southern Memory,” free to the public on the fourth floor of Wilson from Feb. 9 to April 30.
Biff Hollingsworth, collecting and public programming archivist for the Southern Historical Collection, said the exhibit will honor a great library of “Southern human records.
“We save these items from decay, from being forgotten, and we make them available,” he said. “Researchers and students say it’s like magic, but it’s really the hard work of lots of people behind the scenes.”
Images of items on the tours:
A letter from Thomas Jefferson: http://www.lib.unc.edu/spotlight/2009/images/archives/jefferson_letter.jpg
Library staff processing the papers of the late Sen. Sam Ervin in 1976: http://www.lib.unc.edu/spotlight/2009/images/archives/processing_ervin_1976.jpg
Note: Hollingsworth can be reached at (919) 962-1345.
News Services contact: LJ Toler, (919) 962-8589