Monday, February 6, 2012

Bill Snider, former Friends Board chair, Dies

Bill Snider, former editor of the Greensboro News & Record, died in late January at his home at Well-Spring. Along with his wife Flo, Bill was a long-time member of the Friends of the UNCG Libraries, and his papers reside in our Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives. A native of Salisbury who came to Greensboro in 1951, Bill was an editor of the Greensboro newspaper during the turbulent 1960s, and together with several others formed a group that his friend and colleague Ned Cline called “the core that held Greensboro together during the civil rights era.” Bill was one of the last of this group to pass away, and he retained his concern and love for the people of Greensboro and of North Carolina long after his retirement from the paper in 1982, writing books and columns in the Sunday edition.
With Bill’s encouragement and support, the News & Record has been a long-time friend of the UNCG Libraries, helping recruit journalists and other speakers for the annual dinner that will celebrate its 53rd year in March. He and Flo attended the Dinner virtually every year as long as his health permitted. Bill served as chair of the Friends of the UNCG Libraries during the 1980s. Former University Librarian Doris Hulbert remembers being a bit in awe of Bill, who “knew everyone.” She recalls that he was “always helpful whenever we asked for his advice, despite the many demands of his job and his many other interests.”
Bill was honored by the North Carolina Library Association in 1963 for his work on behalf of libraries, including the Greensboro Public Library, whose new building he called newspaper readers to support in the late 1950s. “I know of no honor to be more deeply cherished,” the gracious Snider noted in accepting the citation, suggesting that others in the community should have shared the award.
The William D. Snider papers in Jackson Library at UNCG include many clippings of Snider's articles, correspondence, research material for his published works, speeches he delivered, awards, pamphlets, notes, interviews, photos, and drawings of editorial cartoons. Most of the collection dates from 1944-2009.
As Dean of University Libraries Rosann Bazirjian reflected, “The Friends of the UNCG Libraries is grateful for the long-time support of folks like the Sniders, and privileged to make Bill’s papers available to scholars and students. Bill and Flo’s names appear on our Wall of Honor in Jackson Library.”

Friday, February 3, 2012

Dr. Elliott Engel coming to UNCG to celebrate Dickens

The Freshman Seminar Program at UNCG is pleased to sponsor Charles Dickens: 200 Years of being "The Inimitable" by Dr. Elliot Engel on Tuesday, February 21 at 3 p.m. in Jackson Library on the UNCG campus.

With the program, Dr. Elliot Engel brings to life the extraordinary genius of the man many critics recognize as the greatest novelist in our language. Using anecdotes, analysis, and large doses of humor, Professor Engel will reveal Dickens' fascinating business acumen that was every bit as creative as his literary imagination.

The program is free and open to all, but seating is limited.

Originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, Dr. Engel now lives in Raleigh, where he has taught at the University of North Carolina, North Carolina State University, and Duke University. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at UCLA. While at UCLA he won that university’s Outstanding Teacher Award.

Dr. Engel has written ten books published in England, Japan, and the United States. His mini-lecture series on Charles Dickens ran on PBS television stations around the country. His articles have appeared in numerous newspapers and national magazines including Newsweek. He has lectured throughout the United States and on all the continents including Antarctica. Four plays which he has written have been produced during the last ten years.

For his scholarship and teaching, Dr. Engel has received North Carolina’s Adult Education Award, North Carolina State’s Alumni Professorship, and the Victorian Society’s Award of Merit. Most recently, for his thirty years of academic work and service in promoting Charles Dickens, he was nominated and inducted into the Royal Society of Arts in England.

Since 1980, Dr. Engel has been President of the Dickens Fellowship of North Carolina, the largest branch of this worldwide network of clubs. The sales of Dr. Engel’s books, CDs, and DVDs have raised funds for The Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital which Dickens helped found in London in 1852.

For more information about Engel, see For more about UNCG’s celebration of the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens, see

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Novelist Matthew Pearl to appear at UNCG March 1

Matthew Pearl’s first three novels, The Dante Club, The Poe Shadow and The Last Dickens have been translated into more than thirty languages and have more than one million copies in print combined. Because of his authorship of The Last Dickens about the publication of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Pearl's appearance is made in conjunction with UNCG's “A Dickens of a Celebration.” The appearance is sponsored by the University Libraries and the Center for Creative Writing in the Arts at UNCG.

Critics have likened Pearl to E. L. Doctorow, and he has been described as “at the very forefront of contemporary novelists” (Caleb Carr), “sparkling with erudition” (Janet Maslin, The New York Times), and “the shining star of literary fiction” (Dan Brown). With his new novel THE TECHNOLOGISTS, Pearl expands his repertoire to bring the same suspense to nineteenth-century science that he did to three of literary history’s greatest mysteries.

In nineteenth-century Boston, a war exists between the past and present, tradition and technology. On an early April morning, a fiery cataclysm in the harbor throws commerce into chaos, as ships’ instruments spin inexplicably out of control. Soon after, another mysterious catastrophe devastates the heart of the city. On a former marshy wasteland, the daring Massachusetts Institute of Technology is rising, its mission to harness science for the benefit of all and to open the doors of opportunity to everyone of merit.

The shocking disasters cast a pall over M.I.T. and provoke assaults from all sides—rival Harvard, labor unions, and a sensationalistic press. With their first graduation and the very survival of their groundbreaking college now in doubt, a band of the Institute’s best and brightest students—including “charity scholar” Marcus Mansfield, a quiet Civil War veteran and one-time machinist; Robert Richards, the bluest of Beacon Hill bluebloods; class genius Edwin Hoyt; and Institute’s lone, ostracized female student Ellen Swallow—secretly come together to save innocent lives and track down the truth, armed with ingenuity and their unique scientific training. Working against their small secret society, from within and without, are the arrayed forces of a stratified culture determined to resist change at all costs and a dark mastermind bent on the utter destruction of the city. THE TECHNOLOGISTS is a dazzling journey into a dangerous world where the word “technology” represents a bold and frightening new concept and where the America we know today begins to shimmer into being.

Pearl will appear and sign books at UNCG at 7 pm on Thursday, March 1 in the Virginia Dare Room in the Alumni House at UNCG. The event is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Celebrate Blues Music on March 28 to support the University Libraries

You are invited to join us for the Friends of the UNCG Libraries annual dinner on March 28, when we will welcome Dr. William R. Ferris(above) and Mr. Logie Meachum(below) in a celebration of blues music to support the University Libraries at UNCG.

For more, see the University's news release.