One of the great classics of American literature, and a treasure of world literature, Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick was published for the first time on October 18, 1851. It tells the story of the sailor Ishmael and his adventures on the whaler Pequod, led by Captain Ahab who leads his crew on a hunt for the whale Moby-Dick.
You can read a first hand account about what shipboard life was like during Melville’s time, and probably the inspiration for much of his writing, in the A. M. Handley journal located in Joyner Library’s Digital Collections; call number 1064.1.a
The month of December is always a busy time for college students. At East Carolina University, Joyner Library has been bustling around the clock with students finishing their coursework and preparing for exams. The same was true in December 1954, when this photograph was taken by a Daily Reflector photographer. Even though times have changed and the landscape of the library looks much different today, Joyner remains the place to study on campus. To see more photographs of Greenville’s past, be sure to check out the Daily Reflector Negative Collection, Manuscript Collection #741.
Source: East Carolina UniversityCentennial Oral History Collection, 45-05-01-14:
Staff Person: Lynette Lundin
Juanita Williams grew up in Rocky Mount, North Carolina she was one of 13 children. She graduated East Carolina Teachers College in 1932. She talks about her experiences during the depression and going to ECTC. This is one of 33 Centennial Oral Histories. You can find this in our digital collections at http://digital.lib.ecu.edu/1270
Source: Arthur Whitford Papers, East Carolina Manuscript Collection, #18.1.a
Staff Person: Jonathan Dembo
Description: Letter from Fannie Wallace to Mannie and Sissie Tuten, 29 July 1863
Fannie Wallace Civil War Letter 29 July 1863
This little letter is from a young woman in Greensboro, North Carolina to her grandparents, Mannie and Sissie Tuten. It offers a glimpse into social life in the South during the crisis of the Civil War. Written less than a month after the Battle of Gettysburg (1-3 July) and the Fall of Vicksburg (4 July 1863) that ended any hope of Confederate victory, Fannie makes no mention of these disasters. Instead, she focuses on her family and social activities, her friends and her parties. She writes that her cousins are visiting and wishes they could be with them too. She passes on Nancie’s request for some snuff. Fannie knows there is a war on and that there are shortages. Indeed, she proclaims her patriotism: she is writing with Confederate ink on a Confederate spelling book and danced with two Confederate officers at a Ball. Either she did not understand the seriousness of the military situation, or, perhaps, more likely, did not wish to think about them or burden her grandparents with her worries.
Study for the Great American Cock, Male one of the major plates in the large elephant folio edition of Birds of America by John James Audubon (1785-1851), artist, and William Home Lizars (1788-1859), engraving done around 1826, in Lousiana. Watercolor on paper, 37 x 25 1/2 inches. This print is from the New-York Historical Society edition of Audubon’s fifty best watercolors from the original watercolors preparatory for John James Audubon’s Birds of America, Chicago, Oppenheimer editions, ca. 2006.
Source: University Archives Visual Materials Collection
Staff Person: Arthur Carlson
Description: This photo from the University Archives shows East Carolina students participating in a 1953 Sadie Hawkins Day Race (UA55-01-4841). By tradition, on Sadie Hawkins Day girls ask boys to accompany them to a dance or on a date. The event originated in 1937 with the comic strip Li’l Abner when the town spinster, Sadie Hawkins, is sent in pursuit of the town’s eligible bachelors as they raced to avoid marriage to the “homeliest gal in the hills.” The gender-based role reversal proved popular among female college students as Sadie Hawkins Day events rose in popularity across the nation. By 1952, Sadie Hawkins Day events were held in over 40,000 locations. In this image, Fleming and Wilson Dormitories are on the right and the Old Cafeteria Complex is just visible on the left. The large building in the center rear is the original Austin classroom building.
Source: North Carolina Collection NoCar F265.N4 P74 1977
Staff Person: Susan Holland
Description: In October 1972, Ben Chavis along with nine other defendants were sentenced in the February 1971 firebombing of Mike’s Grocery in Wilmington, NC. The arson stemmed from long-standing frustration among African Americans due to the slow movement of school desegregation and other social reforms in the state. Known as the Wilmington 10, the group was perceived as political prisoners and were the subject of documentaries and news articles. Human rights groups including Amnesty International and the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression took up the cause to release the prisoners. In 1977, in response to President Carter administration’s accusations of Soviet Union human rights violations, the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression called for rallies in cities across the United States to free the Wilmington 10. In January 1978, North Carolina’s Governor Jim Hunt refused to pardon the prisoners, though he commuted their sentences. In 1980, a federal appeals court overturned the Wilmington 10’s conviction, and they were released. In May 2012, forty years after their conviction, the Wilmington 10 asked Governor Beverly Purdue for pardons.
Source: Lucy J. Webb Papers, East Carolina Manuscript Collection #363
Staff Person: Lynette Lundin
Miss Lucy J. Webb, arrived in Shanghai, China, in August of 1922. She worked as a Methodist missionary from 1922 to 1943 and from 1946 to 1951. Her memoir describes the labor done by the many missionaries in Shanghai during those years, with special attention to the work of Moore Memorial Church. This chart shows the difficulties of correct usage of tones in the Chinese language and how tone changes the meaning of words.
Source: Joyner Library Digital Collections Identifer: 55-01-1676
Staff Person: Ralph Scott
William Clyde “Bill” Friday (July 13, 1920 – October 12, 2012) served as the head of the University of North Carolina system from 1956 to 1986. He was born in Raphine, Va., and raised in Dallas, N.C. After retirement, Friday remained an influential voice in North Carolina and hosted a public television talk show, North Carolina People, which he began while still president of the University system. Friday is shown here with ECU President Leo Jenkins in this undated photograph. No doubt Jenkins was explaining some of the finer points of the Pirate Life to Mr.Friday. Mr. Friday died on Friday, October 12, 2012.
Description: Father Maurice Tew came to Greenville from West Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1935 to assist the priest at St. Peter’s Catholic Church. Charged with the responsibility of ministering to African Americans in the city, Father Maurice spearheaded the construction of a mission church on West Fifth Street. Named in honor of St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother, the church was dedicated on March 1, 1936. In 1956 the church built a school for African American children. The nuns who taught the eight grades lived in a convent across the street. Of the 170 students who enrolled in the school initially, most were not members of the Catholic Church. A man with good sense of humor, Father Maurice endeared himself to many, as this photograph would indicate. He employed both radio and television broadcasts as a means of outreach to the broader community. (Source: Greenville Times, June 26-July 9, 1991).