If you’ve never used a typewriter before, now’s your chance. "Click, Clack: Typewriters and Authors" will be on display at The Orange County Historical Museum until July 1.
From old-school to tiny typewriters, the collection highlights the role of Southern authors who are from North Carolina or have written about the state. It also presents the idea of technological innovation and how writing styles have evolved over history. Tennessee Williams, Cormac McCarthy, Carl Sandburg, Paul Green and Allan Gurganus are among the authors who will be featured.
“'Click, Clack: Typewriters and Authors' explores the technological developments of typewriters and celebrates the literary importance of the South and Orange County," said Stephanie Pryor, interim executive director at the museum.
The idea for the exhibit came about when board member Bessie Mbadugha and her husband learned about the expansive typewriter collection owned by their friends Susan and Luis Galiano. When asked about the idea, they were excited to be a part of it — and the event took off from there.
This exhibit was especially fitting for the city of Hillsborough.
“Hillsborough is sort of a mecca for authors, it feels like,” Mbadugha said. “It has a very rich literary history, both historic and contemporary presence, and I just thought it would be neat to do something that celebrated that.”
Several events are being held in conjunction with the exhibit including workshops, historic bar games, a panel discussion on June 9 and an event with Susan and Luis Galiano on May 20. The latter was inspired by the result of many people asking if they could showcase their own typewriters.
“We're calling it a vintage typewriter road show and people can come in and bring their typewriters," Mbadugha said. "He's going to do a talk about the history of typewriters, and then after that he will have people just bring their typewriters to him. They'll look at the typewriters and re-ribbon them for a small fee, which will go right to the museum. They will let people know what they have in their hands, what their typewriters are about, when they were made and so forth."
Viewers should be ready to leave a personalized note at the end of the exhibit.
“There’s an interactive portion of the exhibit where you get to use a typewriter at the end, and I love that so much," said Mia Armstrong, sophomore at UNC-CH and intern at the museum. "It’s so much fun."
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