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Digital Collections at Atkins Library Now Live!

September 6, 2011

Digital Collections at Atkins Library is now available at and features digitized versions of Special Collections and University Archives holdings from the J. Murrey Atkins Library at UNC Charlotte. This digital resource makes rare and unique research materials freely accessible to students, researchers, teachers, and lifelong learners around the world.

Inaugural collections include photographs from noted Charlotte photographer Steve Perille. While working for The Charlotte Observer, Perille was named the 1975 Southern Photographer of the Year. His images capture the social landscape of the late 1960s and 1970s. The collections also feature digitized historic Charlotte postcards from the Mary Boyer Collection. The postcards include views of the city, prominent homes, buildings (both public and private), schools, churches, hospitals, parks, and historical monuments in and around Charlotte throughout the twentieth century.

The William H. Sumner Collection includes photographs of news events, weddings, buildings, business meetings, sports events, store openings, ribbon cuttings, social gatherings, and numerous other activities. Sumner was a North Carolina photographer who worked in Charlotte; he focused on subjects that interested him or that he was commissioned to photograph.

Aerial Photographs of UNC Charlotte and University City illustrate the rapid and extensive growth of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the surrounding neighborhood, University City. The photographs begin in 1959 with the site chosen for Charlotte College and show the progressive area growth through 2008. These images are part of UNC Charlotte’s University Archives.

Approximately 2,000 unique items are currently part of Digital Collections at Atkins Library, with more being added regularly. The collections are free and available to all researchers. Please contact Kristy Dixon, Digital Programs Archivist, at with any questions or suggestions.


Winter’s Coming!

December 3, 2010

Who said "Sunny South?" December 1917. From the Mary Boyer Collection, UNC Charlotte Special Collections. View this and others in our Digital Collections.

Charlotte might be a New South City, but that doesn’t mean we’re without our share of wintry weather. We’ve got lots of images of snowy Charlotte and holiday decorations from the past in DC@AL. View this and other images in our ever-growing Digital Collections!

DC@AL – Now with more Charlotte!

November 8, 2010

We’ve added LOTS of new material to Carolina Past – please visit to see postcards and photographs illustrating Charlotte from the late 19th century to the 1980s. Many of the postcards represent Charlotte as a modern, progressive center of Southern commerce – even as early as the 1920s. Check it out!

Looking northeast from Realty Building, Charlotte, NC. 1910. From the Mary Boyer Collection.

Photographs Now in DigitalNC

October 22, 2010

We’re thrilled to announce that Digital Collections at Atkins Library has contributed a small digitized collection of photographs from the William Hoke Sumner Collection to Images of North Carolina, a diverse and robust digital collection illustrating the history of  North Carolina people and places through photographs and other media. Images of North Carolina is a part of DigitalNC, which is the online home for materials presented by the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center.

We invite you to explore the materials from our collections and to browse the entire DigitalNC site.

Digital Collections at Atkins Library will be contributing more digitized images to the Images of North Carolina project in the upcoming months. We also will be introducing the collections we’re building here at UNC Charlotte.

As we make more of our original materials available digitally, we welcome any and all feedback from you. We’d like to know what you like, what you don’t like, and what’s missing that you’d like to see! Stay tuned for all the changes.

Born to Be Wild

October 8, 2010

Have a fun weekend.

Born to be wild

Caldwell and Davidson Family Papers, University of North Carolina at Charlotte Library.

Rosedale: [left to right] unidentified, Alice Caldwell, Craighead Davidson, and Robert Baxter Caldwell in front of the house (1886).

What if…..

October 7, 2010

We have been thinking a lot about better ways for people to access our collections – a better web site, enhanced description for collections, better research guides, more digital access, more intuitive ways for anyone to discover and use what we have.

This week, North Carolina Archives Week as it happens, two things occurred that have inspired me to to think in new ways about some of what we are doing:

1) I saw an article of mapping information in archival finding aids as a way to give people a new tool to search by. [Article: David Martin Dwiggins,
Putting the ‘where’ in the archives: Web 2.0, mapping and archival records.”

2) I did a class session for a History of 1812 class and to figure out how to find materials in our collections solely by date range with no information on title, author, keywords, subjects, nothing….just dates. It was a challenge but I found a round about way to do it.

So, what if….

What if we could provide timeline searching and GIS mapping for our materials?? What if we could enhance traditional search methods using language and keywords with an effective array of visual searches. I know work has been done to provide searching through visualization of keywords — see the website for the National Museum of African American History and Culture as one example — but I’m thinking of using our metadata and catalog information on all types of materials in a very different kind of way. I have no idea how to do any of this, but what if we could figure it out.  Just saying….

I loved the poetry.

October 7, 2010

Written on the back of the postcard pictured below. 1914. Unidentified sender.


Charlotte, NC, view of Tryon Street, looking south from Seventh St. From the Mary Boyer Collection.