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Saturday March 25th

New Wilson Library exhibit highlights best of UNC special collections

<p>“An Alphabet of Treasures: Special Collections from A to Z,” an exhibit now on </p><p> display in Wilson Library, includes a range of artifacts for students to explore.</p>
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“An Alphabet of Treasures: Special Collections from A to Z,” an exhibit now on 

display in Wilson Library, includes a range of artifacts for students to explore.

These rare pieces are part of a new exhibit at Wilson Library entitled “An Alphabet of Treasures: Special Collections from A to Z.”

The exhibit gives students the ability to find unexpected treasures while exploring hand-picked pieces from UNC’s special collections.

The exhibition includes artifacts from all six of the UNC special collections, including one of Thomas Wolfe’s composition books from the North Carolina Collection, film cans used on “The Andy Griffith Show” from the Southern Historical Collection, and a list of civil rights demands made by the Black Student Movement in 1968 from University Archives.

Rachel Reynolds, coordinator of special collections exhibits and outreach at Wilson Library, took care in selecting standout pieces from each collection and fitting them to a theme ranging from activism to zombies.

“What we wanted to do was put an exhibition together that drew upon the six special collections of the University to highlight the treasures that exist within each special collection,” Reynolds said.

One way that this exhibit stands out is its unique way of storytelling. Rather than a collection of pieces working together to tell an overarching narrative, each piece stands on its own with its own unique history.

Reynolds said she is confident each person who enters the exhibit will have a different collection of favorites.

Communications major Perry Carter has found this to be true.

“The piece I was drawn to most was the cellophane wrapped Madonna “Sex” book. I was drawn to it because of its back-story,” Carter said. “When Madonna produced that book, it was exactly what young minds wanted to consume.”

Jason Tomberlin, head of research and instructional services, said he knows Wilson Library appears off-limits, but he hopes this exhibit will cause them to think otherwise.

“You will hear Wilson described as the scary Harry Potter library. It is a little off-putting, but we want it to be a place where students can use materials,” Tomberlin said.

He is encouraged by the changes Wilson Library has implemented to make it more approachable.He said familiarity with Wilson has improved in the past 10 years.

“Usually when classes come in now, we always ask, ‘How many of you have been here before?’ and more and more hands are raised,” he said.

Reynolds said the A to Z exhibit has received positive feedback, and she hopes more students explore it.

Reynolds’ goal is for the exhibit to continue to draw people in.

“The hope is that people will see this exhibition as a taste and it will inspire them to come and explore further,” he said.


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