During the Fall 2014 semester, we will be hosting a special series of guest blog posts promoting the Stuart Wright Collection at J.Y. Joyner Library. These posts, written by graduate students and faculty in ECU’s Department of English, highlight items of special interest in this unique literary collection, which came to ECU in 2010. Among the treasures held in the collection, you’ll find letters between Eudora Welty and Robert Penn Warren, drawings by Maurice Sendak, and, as the blog’s first post showcases, cartoons created by the young John Updike. We hope the blog sparks your interest in the Stuart Wright Collection. You’re invited to:
*Explore digital images of collection items.
*Browse finding aids for each author in the Stuart Wright Collection.
*Read the story of the Stuart Wright Collection.
*See the exhibit, Stuart Wright: A Life in Collecting.
*Visit the collection’s home in the Special Collections Reading Room on Joyner’s 3rd floor.
*Learn more about using the collection for research and teaching by asking a special collection librarian
Source: University Archives Image Collection (UA55-01-9775)
Staff Person: Arthur Carlson
Description: This image from the University Archives features the layout of J.Y. Joyner Library on Alumni Day in 1968. Joyner Library was dedicated on March 8, 1955 as part of that year’s Founder’s Day celebrations. The growing student body forced campus administrators to add air conditioning and two additional floors in 1964. From 1994-1999, a third major renovation added the rounded tower and Sonic Plaza which make Joyner among the most recognizable buildings on campus. Its namesake, James Yadkin Joyner, was a career educator and served as state Superintendent of Public Instruction from 1902-1919. He was instrumental in the modernization of the North Carolina public school system.
Source: Augustus Moore Family Papers (ECU Manuscript Collections #1216)
Staff Person: Lynette Lundin
St. James Episcopal Church was built in a Gothic-Style, the church is located in Kittrell, NC.
A Confederate Hospital was located in Kittrell during the Civil War and the church saw to the patients needs and provided Christian burials for the 52 soldiers who died there. PC-1216.13.a.1
Source: Emil Gorling Papers, MC #1200
Staff Person: Nanette Hardison
This image is from a postcard that is part of the Emil Gorling Papers, a collection that has postcards and photographs that show the result of the 1918 German Spring Offensive in Northern France and specifically the Noyon Campaign (April-August 1918). This particular scene is a building in Noyon, France that was damaged in April 1918 during that campaign. Emil Gorling was a German soldier in the 3rd Landwehr Division during World War I and his postcards and photographs of WWI show scenes of devastation and of German soldiers in the field.
Source: Boy Scouts of America, East Carolina Council Records, MC #1199
Staff Person: Nanette Hardison
This photo (1990) is from the Boy Scouts of America, East Carolina Council Records; a collection of documents that illustrates the history of the eastern N.C. branch of the Boy Scouts of America. This picture was taken at a Boy Scout charity event called Scouting for Food; a food drive that the Boy Scouts conduct on a regular basis to collect food donations for the hungry. The picture shows a boy scout with two cub scouts preparing for the Scouting for Food Campaign.
This portrait of R.W. Chambers is included in the 1895 edition of The King in Yellow owned by Joyner Library. The work is comprised of ten short stories that are intertwined with passages from a fictional play, The King in Yellow, which causes those who read it in its entirety to go insane. For those not in the know, this work has had wide ranging influence since its initial publication, from the writings of HP Lovecraft and August Derleth to countless references in games such as Call of Cthulhu and Dungeons and Dragons. Most recently, the work and associated mythos that it features has been woven into the storyline of the highly acclaimed HBO series True Detective. It has been interesting to see the resurgence of this fairly forgotten work which rivals the best writing from folks normally associated with the genre like Edgar Allen Poe.
Source: Daily Reflector Negative Collection (Manuscript Collection #741)
Staff Person: Martha Elmore
For decades women faced tremendous hurdles in their desire to become pilots. In the early years they weren’t allowed to enter into competitions such as the National Air Race because these races were thought to be too dangerous for women. In 1929 women pilots held their first National Women’s Air Derby. Humorist Will Rogers, who was the starter for the race, referred to the women pilots as “petticoat pilots and flying flappers” and nicknamed the race the Powder Puff Derby.
This photograph shows a group of women welcoming Petticoat Pilots to the airport at Greenville, North Carolina, in August of 1965. I don’t know what the occasion was for this group of women pilots gathering, but it is interesting that the nickname for women pilots in 1929 was still being used in 1965.
Information about the Powder Puff Derby came from Karen Bush Gibson’s book titled, Women Aviators: 26 Stories of Pioneer Flights, Daring Missions, and Record-Setting Journeys.
Source: Minges Collection (Manuscript Collection #1136)
Staff Person: Dale Sauter
Description: Tripp Texaco Service Station, U.S. Hwy 13, Greenville, NC with Pepsi-Cola bottle outdoor display case, circa 1950s-1960s.
Source: Hagerty Company Collections (EC Manuscript Collection # 1084 Os1)
Staff Person: Ralph Scott
Description: The Douglas Fir Plywood Association founded in 1933 in Tacoma, Washington was one of many trade associations that that were set up following the National Recovery Act. The Association set standards for plywood manufacture and in 1938 became the holder of an industry wide trademark on plywood. Prior to that each manufacturer had their own brand logo. The new DFPA Construction Standard was accepted by the Farm Home Administration for interior and exterior use of FHA approved homes. In addition to developing industry-wide standards the DFPA also promoted consumer use of member plywood. One such promotion is shown here in a plan for a 7′ 9″ pram. Construction techniques for the pram as well as a bill of materials were supplied on this plan dated 1940. During World War II DFPA plywood was used in barracks, life-boats, and gliders. The Hagerty Company of Cohasset, MA constructed PT boats, skiffs, sailboats and dinghies from DFPA plywood.
Source: L. H. Smith Papers (#23.1.a.1)
Staff Person: Jonathan Dembo
Description: Below is a personal letter from future Edgecombe and Duplin County school teacher, L. H. Smith, to his brother Edward P. Smith. At the time he wrote this letter, L. H. was teaching at Bradly’s School House, but had not yet earned his teaching certificate. Edward begins the letter by recounting his search for two of Edward’s mislaid letters and his eventual discovery of a silver shilling leading him to the comic deduction that Edward’s letter must have contained silver ore. He promises that if Edward sends him a gold shilling, he will be more careful of it. However the bulk of the letter describes his experiences teaching at Bradley’s School House, North Carolina. He focuses on the regular Friday routine. All his scholars, he writes, “speak”, or recite their lessons, on Friday and he musters all the boys accompanied by a fife and drum. “The smaller boys”, he writes, “have wooden guns and the larger real ones.” Apparently, this was something of a social occasion in the community and a matter of serious competition between different schools and schoolmasters. L. H. reports that “Frank was here last week and see [sic] me drill them. He says they beat his company. Some Fridays there is some 25 or thirty people to hear them speak and to see them muster and lots of girls among them.” L. H. notes that he is writing during recess and has no time to “collect my thoughts” but readers will note numerous errors of spelling and punctuation in the letter. One hopes that the students benefited more from L. H.’s lessons in reading and arithmetic than they could have from his writing lessons.