Monday, February 1, 2016

University Libraries at UNCG Contribute African American History Materials to Google Cultural Institute

Housekeeping Staff
of the State Normal and Industrial School, circa 1895
Starting this week, artifacts from the University Libraries at UNC Greensboro can be viewed online by people around the world due to a new partnership between the Google Cultural Institute and the University Libraries.

Visitors to the Google Cultural Institute site may also view an exhibit regarding African Americans at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 1892-1971.  To view the exhibit and learn more about the UNCG materials on the site, see https://uncglibraries.culturalspot.org/home

This exhibit traces the history of African American faculty, staff, and students at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG), from its opening as the State Normal and Industrial School in 1892 until 1971. Through digitized photographs and documents as well as audio clips from oral history interviews conducted as part of the African American Institutional Memory Project, viewers can learn more about African American employees on campus prior to desegregation, Jim Crow-era debates over the use of facilities by African Americans, the fight to integrate the student body, student involvements in the sit ins and protest movements of the early 1960s, the founding of the UNCG Neo-Black Society in 1968,  and the hiring of the first African American faculty members.

Some of the highlights of the exhibit:
  • Photographs of African American employees who worked on campus in the 1890s and 1900s. Many of these photographs have never before been published.
  • Letters from campus administrators outlining the Jim Crow era segregation laws that impacted the use of campus buildings and facilities by African Americans.
  • Audio clips from oral history interviews conducted as part of the African American Institutional Memory Project. Clips include JoAnne Smart Drane discussing her arrival on campus as one of the first two African American students, Karen Lynn Parker recalling her participation the Tate Street protests over segregation in 1963, and Marie Darr Scott discussing the founding of the Neo-Black Society in 1968.
The University Libraries’ project with the Google Cultural Institute was coordinated by the Special Collections and University Archives (Erin Lawrimore) and the Electronic Resources and Information Technology Department (Richard Cox and David Gwynn).

The Google Cultural Institute and its partners are putting the world’s cultural treasures at the fingertips of Internet users and are building tools that allow the cultural sector to share more of its diverse heritage online. The Google Cultural Institute has partnered with more than 1,000 institutions giving a platform to over 250,000 thousand artworks and a total of 6 million photos, videos, manuscripts and other documents of art, culture and history. Read more here.

UNCG Faculty Members Jody Natalle and Jenni Simon will Present “Michelle Obama: First Lady, American Rhetor” on February 9 at 4 pm

The event is free and open to the public.  For more information or to request  disability accommodations, please contact Barry Miller at 336-256-0112 or barry_miller@uncg.edu