National Historical Publications and Records Commission

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On June 19, 1865, two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln’s historic Emancipation Proclamation, U.S. Maj. G...
06/18/2021

On June 19, 1865, two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln’s historic Emancipation Proclamation, U.S. Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger issued General Order No. 3, which informed the people of Texas that all enslaved people were now free.

This day has come to be known as Juneteenth, a combination of June and nineteenth. It is also called Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, and it is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

The Black Academy of Arts and Letters (TBAAL) was founded in 1977 as the Junior Black Academy of Arts and Letters to promote, cultivate, foster, preserve and perpetuate the African, African American and Caribbean Arts and letters in the Fine, Literary, Visual, Performing and Cinematic Arts. In its early years, TBAAL created its own touring theater troupe, the Third World Players. It has since grown to host over one hundred performances every year, including an annual tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. entitled Black Music and the Civil Rights Movement, and a Summer Arts program aimed at engaging Dallas K-12 students in the theatrical arts. Shown here is a flyer for the 1990 celebration of Juneteenth in Dallas.

An NHPRC grant to the University of North Texas in Denton will support a project to digitize 1,804 hours of audio-visual material from The Black Academy of Arts and Letters and transcribe 250 hours of speeches, lectures and literary readings drawn from African, African American and Caribbean arts and letters recorded between 1977 and 2013.

You can see more of the collection at https://digital.library.unt.edu/explore/collections/BLACKA/

On June 19, 1865, two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln’s historic Emancipation Proclamation, U.S. Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger issued General Order No. 3, which informed the people of Texas that all enslaved people were now free.

This day has come to be known as Juneteenth, a combination of June and nineteenth. It is also called Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, and it is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

The Black Academy of Arts and Letters (TBAAL) was founded in 1977 as the Junior Black Academy of Arts and Letters to promote, cultivate, foster, preserve and perpetuate the African, African American and Caribbean Arts and letters in the Fine, Literary, Visual, Performing and Cinematic Arts. In its early years, TBAAL created its own touring theater troupe, the Third World Players. It has since grown to host over one hundred performances every year, including an annual tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. entitled Black Music and the Civil Rights Movement, and a Summer Arts program aimed at engaging Dallas K-12 students in the theatrical arts. Shown here is a flyer for the 1990 celebration of Juneteenth in Dallas.

An NHPRC grant to the University of North Texas in Denton will support a project to digitize 1,804 hours of audio-visual material from The Black Academy of Arts and Letters and transcribe 250 hours of speeches, lectures and literary readings drawn from African, African American and Caribbean arts and letters recorded between 1977 and 2013.

You can see more of the collection at https://digital.library.unt.edu/explore/collections/BLACKA/

On February 29, 1944 Lillian E. Smith published her first novel "Strange Fruit" and soon found herself swept up in contr...
06/17/2021

On February 29, 1944 Lillian E. Smith published her first novel "Strange Fruit" and soon found herself swept up in controversy. The novel was banned as "obscene" in Boston and Detroit, and even the U.S. Postal Service temporarily banned interstate shipping of the novel in May. (The publisher appealed to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who in turn successfully appealed to her husband to lift the ban.) The book was a bestseller (approximately one million copies in hardback), went through two printings as an Armed Services Edition, and was subsequently republished as a Penguin paperback. The real cause of the controversy was the depiction of an interracial romance and the tragedy of racism.

Five years later she published "Killers of the Dream," an imaginative autobiography, which many critics consider her best book. In this and subsequent writings, Smith attempted to untangle the web of cultural traditions and mores in the American South and the twin evils of racism and segregation.

An NHPRC grant to the University of Georgia will provide greater public access to the correspondence and speeches of writer and civil rights activist Lillian Smith housed at the Hargrett Library and the University of Florida and total 37.5 linear feet. The project will also
make the digital images available through the Digital Library of Georgia and the Digital Public Library of America.

For an inventory of the materials in the Hargrett Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Georgia, go to:
http://hmfa.libs.uga.edu/hmfa/view?docId=ead/ms1283-ead.xml

For an inventory of the materials held by the Special and Area Studies Collections of the George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida, go to:
http://www.library.ufl.edu/spec/manuscript/guides/smith.htm

The Lillian E. Smith Center at Piedmont College in Athens, Georgia, which controls the literary estate of Lillian Smith, is supportive of this project and will supply a license to provide digital access to the collections through DLG and DPLA. For more information on the literary papers, go to: https://www2.piedmont.edu/lillian-smith-center

On February 29, 1944 Lillian E. Smith published her first novel "Strange Fruit" and soon found herself swept up in controversy. The novel was banned as "obscene" in Boston and Detroit, and even the U.S. Postal Service temporarily banned interstate shipping of the novel in May. (The publisher appealed to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who in turn successfully appealed to her husband to lift the ban.) The book was a bestseller (approximately one million copies in hardback), went through two printings as an Armed Services Edition, and was subsequently republished as a Penguin paperback. The real cause of the controversy was the depiction of an interracial romance and the tragedy of racism.

Five years later she published "Killers of the Dream," an imaginative autobiography, which many critics consider her best book. In this and subsequent writings, Smith attempted to untangle the web of cultural traditions and mores in the American South and the twin evils of racism and segregation.

An NHPRC grant to the University of Georgia will provide greater public access to the correspondence and speeches of writer and civil rights activist Lillian Smith housed at the Hargrett Library and the University of Florida and total 37.5 linear feet. The project will also
make the digital images available through the Digital Library of Georgia and the Digital Public Library of America.

For an inventory of the materials in the Hargrett Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Georgia, go to:
http://hmfa.libs.uga.edu/hmfa/view?docId=ead/ms1283-ead.xml

For an inventory of the materials held by the Special and Area Studies Collections of the George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida, go to:
http://www.library.ufl.edu/spec/manuscript/guides/smith.htm

The Lillian E. Smith Center at Piedmont College in Athens, Georgia, which controls the literary estate of Lillian Smith, is supportive of this project and will supply a license to provide digital access to the collections through DLG and DPLA. For more information on the literary papers, go to: https://www2.piedmont.edu/lillian-smith-center

School may be out for the summer. Time to start thinking about the fall.An NHPRC Public Engagement grant to the Tennesse...
06/16/2021

School may be out for the summer. Time to start thinking about the fall.

An NHPRC Public Engagement grant to the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) will facilitate opportunities for teachers and students across the state to engage with historical records drawn from the TSLA collections through series of teacher workshops and webinars, and through expansion of the DocsBox program.

The project has three elements: workshops and institute, webinars, and DocsBox.

Twelve workshops, each hosting approximately 25 teachers, will be held across the state each year of the project. The workshops will include an introduction to TSLA’s education website and its resources, and will focus on developing classroom activities corresponding to the six historical skills defined in the Tennessee Social Studies Practices. Activities will be created collaboratively in small groups according to grade level and will be posted to the education website post-workshop. Approximately 4 to 5 activities will be developed during each workshop. Additionally, a summer teacher institute will be held each June of the project period. The institute engages up to 35 participants in a multi-day version of the workshop.

Beginning in year two of the project, staff will host a series of one-hour webinars. Webinar topics may include introductions to TSLA’s collections, potential classroom activities, assisting National History Day students, or an introduction to the TSLA for independent research. The webinars will be recorded and posted to the Education Outreach website.

The project will also expand the DocsBox program to include videos and other online components; this expansion was suggested by teachers who have used DocsBoxes. The videos will feature a costumed, living history interpreter from the State Parks interpretive team at a physical place in Tennessee connected to each DocsBox topic, and will include primary sources from the TSLA. Project staff will work with the State Parks interpretive team to create videos for the Civil War, World War I, World War II, and Women’s Suffrage DocsBoxes. The project staff also will create content for the 4th, 5th, and 8th Grade Reviews, and the 5th-grade Tennessee History DocsBoxes.

For more on the TSLA Education programs, go to https://sos.tn.gov/tsla/education and take a peek at the DocsBox program at https://sos.tn.gov/products/tsla/docsbox

School may be out for the summer. Time to start thinking about the fall.

An NHPRC Public Engagement grant to the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) will facilitate opportunities for teachers and students across the state to engage with historical records drawn from the TSLA collections through series of teacher workshops and webinars, and through expansion of the DocsBox program.

The project has three elements: workshops and institute, webinars, and DocsBox.

Twelve workshops, each hosting approximately 25 teachers, will be held across the state each year of the project. The workshops will include an introduction to TSLA’s education website and its resources, and will focus on developing classroom activities corresponding to the six historical skills defined in the Tennessee Social Studies Practices. Activities will be created collaboratively in small groups according to grade level and will be posted to the education website post-workshop. Approximately 4 to 5 activities will be developed during each workshop. Additionally, a summer teacher institute will be held each June of the project period. The institute engages up to 35 participants in a multi-day version of the workshop.

Beginning in year two of the project, staff will host a series of one-hour webinars. Webinar topics may include introductions to TSLA’s collections, potential classroom activities, assisting National History Day students, or an introduction to the TSLA for independent research. The webinars will be recorded and posted to the Education Outreach website.

The project will also expand the DocsBox program to include videos and other online components; this expansion was suggested by teachers who have used DocsBoxes. The videos will feature a costumed, living history interpreter from the State Parks interpretive team at a physical place in Tennessee connected to each DocsBox topic, and will include primary sources from the TSLA. Project staff will work with the State Parks interpretive team to create videos for the Civil War, World War I, World War II, and Women’s Suffrage DocsBoxes. The project staff also will create content for the 4th, 5th, and 8th Grade Reviews, and the 5th-grade Tennessee History DocsBoxes.

For more on the TSLA Education programs, go to https://sos.tn.gov/tsla/education and take a peek at the DocsBox program at https://sos.tn.gov/products/tsla/docsbox

Next Tuesday, June 22, at 7 p.m., North Carolina State Archives staff present a virtual roundtable on the Colonial Court...
06/15/2021

Next Tuesday, June 22, at 7 p.m., North Carolina State Archives staff present a virtual roundtable on the Colonial Court Records project. Funded with a grant from NHPRC, this project has included digitization, updated arrangement and description, crowdsourced searchable transcription (with a corps of 300 online volunteers!), and creation of an educator resource. Learn about these new elements and NC's colonial history! Register in advance for this Zoom webinar. More info at https://archives.ncdcr.gov/news/events/state-archives-presents-virtual-roundtable-discussion-colonial-court-records

The Colonial Court Records digital collection includes three series from holdings of the State Archives of North Carolina:

Civil and Criminal Action Papers, Other Courts, 1669-1775 (CCR.193)
Estate Papers (CCR.179-CCR.186)
Land Papers (CCR.187)

The court system of colonial North Carolina began to function some time shortly after the grant of Carolina to the Lords Proprietors in 1663. The first court to open in the colony probably was composed of the governor and Council, the governor's advisory body. Extant records do not reveal its name or functions, or the year of its organization, but evidence suggests either 1664 or 1665. The governor and Council apparently sat as the highest court of law in the colony until 1698, during most of this time bearing the name "General Court" and hearing civil and criminal cases in both an original and an appellate capacity. During the early decades of the proprietary period, which lasted from 1663 to 1729, courts held by the governor and Council included the General Court, Court of Chancery, Palatine's Court, Council of State, Court of Grand Council, and Grand Court--the latter two possibly being variant names for the General Court. Several of the courts had executive as well as judicial powers, and all of them had jurisdiction over the entire colony. Functions as well as terminology were far from being firmly set during this period, and likely the courts had overlapping responsibilities.

You can help transcribe the documents at https://archives.ncdcr.gov/researchers/transcribenc/transcribenc-colonial-court-records-resources

Find out more at the Zoom conference at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-GKXKfb7Qlet_TRbmtLG3A

Next Tuesday, June 22, at 7 p.m., North Carolina State Archives staff present a virtual roundtable on the Colonial Court Records project. Funded with a grant from NHPRC, this project has included digitization, updated arrangement and description, crowdsourced searchable transcription (with a corps of 300 online volunteers!), and creation of an educator resource. Learn about these new elements and NC's colonial history! Register in advance for this Zoom webinar. More info at https://archives.ncdcr.gov/news/events/state-archives-presents-virtual-roundtable-discussion-colonial-court-records

The Colonial Court Records digital collection includes three series from holdings of the State Archives of North Carolina:

Civil and Criminal Action Papers, Other Courts, 1669-1775 (CCR.193)
Estate Papers (CCR.179-CCR.186)
Land Papers (CCR.187)

The court system of colonial North Carolina began to function some time shortly after the grant of Carolina to the Lords Proprietors in 1663. The first court to open in the colony probably was composed of the governor and Council, the governor's advisory body. Extant records do not reveal its name or functions, or the year of its organization, but evidence suggests either 1664 or 1665. The governor and Council apparently sat as the highest court of law in the colony until 1698, during most of this time bearing the name "General Court" and hearing civil and criminal cases in both an original and an appellate capacity. During the early decades of the proprietary period, which lasted from 1663 to 1729, courts held by the governor and Council included the General Court, Court of Chancery, Palatine's Court, Council of State, Court of Grand Council, and Grand Court--the latter two possibly being variant names for the General Court. Several of the courts had executive as well as judicial powers, and all of them had jurisdiction over the entire colony. Functions as well as terminology were far from being firmly set during this period, and likely the courts had overlapping responsibilities.

You can help transcribe the documents at https://archives.ncdcr.gov/researchers/transcribenc/transcribenc-colonial-court-records-resources

Find out more at the Zoom conference at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-GKXKfb7Qlet_TRbmtLG3A

Today is Flag Day, and it is worth recalling the story of William Carney, who well understood the value of the flag.Born...
06/14/2021

Today is Flag Day, and it is worth recalling the story of William Carney, who well understood the value of the flag.

Born as a slave in Norfolk, Virginia on February 29, 1840, William H. Carney escaped through the Underground Railroad, and found his father living in Massachusetts. In February 1863, Carney joined the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry as a Sergeant. The regiment was one of the first official African-American units in the United States during the Civil War. He took part in the July 18, 1863, assault on Fort Wagner in Charleston, South Carolina. (This battle was dramatized in the 1989 film "Glory.")

In "The Black Military Experience," from the Freedman and Southern Society Project (supported by the NHPRC), there is an account of the battle from Lt. Col. E.N. Hallowell:

"With Col. Shaw leading, the assault was commenced. Exposed to the direct fire of cannister and musketry and as the ramparts were mounted, the havoc made in our ranks was very great.

Upon leaving the ditch for the parapet, they obstanetly contested with the bayonet our advance. Notwithstanding these difficulties the men succeeded in driving the enemy from most of their guns, many following the enemy into the Fort. It was here upon the crest of the parapet that Col. Shaw fell; here fell Capts Russel and Simpkins; here were also most of the officers wounded. The Colors of the Regt reached the crest, and were there fought for by the enemy. The State Flag then torn from its staff, but the staff remains with us. Hand Grenades were now added to the missels directed against the men."

The Massachusetts 54th suffered 272 killed, wounded or missing out of the 600 in the battle. Hallowell singled out Carney and three other men for special merit. After being wounded, Sgt. Carney saw that the color bearer had been shot down a few feet away. Carney summoned all his strength to retrieve the fallen colors and continued the charge. During the charge Carney was shot several more times, yet he kept the colors flying high. Once delivering the flag back to his regiment, he shouted "The Old Flag never touched the ground!"

In May 1900, nearly 37 years after the battle, Carney received the Congressional Medal of Honor.

The Freedmen and Southern Society Project was established in 1976 to capture the essence of that revolution by depicting the drama of emancipation in the words of the participants: liberated slaves and defeated slaveholders, soldiers and civilians, common folk and the elite, Northerners and Southerners. For more information, go to http://www.freedmen.umd.edu/index.html

Today is Flag Day, and it is worth recalling the story of William Carney, who well understood the value of the flag.

Born as a slave in Norfolk, Virginia on February 29, 1840, William H. Carney escaped through the Underground Railroad, and found his father living in Massachusetts. In February 1863, Carney joined the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry as a Sergeant. The regiment was one of the first official African-American units in the United States during the Civil War. He took part in the July 18, 1863, assault on Fort Wagner in Charleston, South Carolina. (This battle was dramatized in the 1989 film "Glory.")

In "The Black Military Experience," from the Freedman and Southern Society Project (supported by the NHPRC), there is an account of the battle from Lt. Col. E.N. Hallowell:

"With Col. Shaw leading, the assault was commenced. Exposed to the direct fire of cannister and musketry and as the ramparts were mounted, the havoc made in our ranks was very great.

Upon leaving the ditch for the parapet, they obstanetly contested with the bayonet our advance. Notwithstanding these difficulties the men succeeded in driving the enemy from most of their guns, many following the enemy into the Fort. It was here upon the crest of the parapet that Col. Shaw fell; here fell Capts Russel and Simpkins; here were also most of the officers wounded. The Colors of the Regt reached the crest, and were there fought for by the enemy. The State Flag then torn from its staff, but the staff remains with us. Hand Grenades were now added to the missels directed against the men."

The Massachusetts 54th suffered 272 killed, wounded or missing out of the 600 in the battle. Hallowell singled out Carney and three other men for special merit. After being wounded, Sgt. Carney saw that the color bearer had been shot down a few feet away. Carney summoned all his strength to retrieve the fallen colors and continued the charge. During the charge Carney was shot several more times, yet he kept the colors flying high. Once delivering the flag back to his regiment, he shouted "The Old Flag never touched the ground!"

In May 1900, nearly 37 years after the battle, Carney received the Congressional Medal of Honor.

The Freedmen and Southern Society Project was established in 1976 to capture the essence of that revolution by depicting the drama of emancipation in the words of the participants: liberated slaves and defeated slaveholders, soldiers and civilians, common folk and the elite, Northerners and Southerners. For more information, go to http://www.freedmen.umd.edu/index.html

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