Emphasizing a variety of subject matter, North Carolina Librarian John Lawrence and staff member Fred Harrison bring forth a display of favorites from recent acquisitions in the Verona Langford Joyner North Carolina Collection's newest exhibit.
Highlighted are books, pamphlets and journals covering North Carolina Primitive Baptists, medicine, textbooks, Black Mountain College and noted journalist W. O. Saunders.
Saunders, editor of The Independent an Elizabeth City, NC newspaper and a magazine, The Down Homer attracted both state and national attention with his often unapologetic and nonconformist views. Through purchase from library supporters, Snow L. and B.W. Roberts of Durham, NC, the North Carolina Collection has obtained a nearly complete run of his short-lived Down Homer magazine.
Interesting also is a small assemblage of early North Carolina textbooks, particularly Marinda Branson Moore's Primary Geography, Arranged as a Reading Book for Common Schools (1863). One of a series of books Moore wrote and tailored for children of the Confederacy. The volume advances a negative view of the North and as such contains only maps of the southern states.
During the Civil War, Dr. Edward Warren (CSA) served as Surgeon General of North Carolina. He later contributed to the nucleus of what was to become Johns Hopkins Medical School in Baltimore Maryland. A recent donation to the North Carolina Collection is his 1863 manual on military surgery: An Epitome of Practical Surgery for Field and Hospital.
Briefly rounding out the display are a number of items related to Black Mountain College which operated near Ashville, NC between 1933-1957, including promotional tracts and course catalogs from the early 1940s and 1950s.
Of special note is a grouping of Primitive Baptist materials dating from the 1810s to early 1900s, including the sect's principal journal in North Carolina, Zion's Landmark which succeeded the early newsletter, The Primitive Baptist in the late 1800s and was recently ended itself in 2012. Included as well are local area association minutes for Pitt, Edgecombe and Johnston Counties. Specific mention is given to a donation from Susan T. Mewborn of Coats, N.C. of Joshua Lawrence's Basket of Fragments for the Children, an extremely rare Primitive Baptist tract, only one of three copies known to exist.
The North Carolina Collection is located on the 3rd floor of J.Y. Joyner Library. The current exhibit runs through August 2016. For further details contact the Special Collections Division at 252-328-6601.
Fred Harrison is Curator for Exhibits in the North Carolina Collection.