July 2012

Early Doc Watson Recording in Appalachian Collection

Posted by Greta Browning on Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 2:21pm
Abrams record label

The earliest recording of Doc Watson is part of the archival collections of the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection at Belk Library and Information Commons at Appalachian State University.  This now internationally-known performer from Deep Gap, North Carolina, performed “Precious Jewel” at the 1941 Boone Fiddler’s Convention and was recorded by folklorist Dr. Amos Abrams.  The recording is available online as part of the Library’s digital collections.

Dr. Amos Abrams (1905-1991), an English professor at Appalachian State Teacher’s College from 1932 to 1946, made this recording of Doc Watson when Watson was about 18 years old.  As he tells at the beginning of the recording, Dr. Abrams thought that this was the first time Watson had sung for a microphone.

Dr. Abrams was an active collector, scholar, and promoter of North Carolina folklore.  His archival collection contains hundreds of field recordings from the 1930s and 1940s of the traditional music of western North Carolina, including well-known musicians such as Doc Watson and Frank Profitt.  The titles contained in Abrams’ collection range from Child Ballads to nineteenth century popular music to compositions of local origin.  The collection includes transcriptions of the songs and their variants, also created by Dr. Abrams.

Hear Doc Watson singing “Precious Jewel” in 1941.

Listen to field recordings in the Abrams collection.

View transcripts of songs in the Abrams collection.

For more information about the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection, please visit our website or call 828-262-4041.

New Children's Literature Illustration Exhibit

Posted by Greta Browning on Thursday, July 19, 2012 - 4:23pm
V.H. Drummond cover art

A new exhibit of artwork, "Miraculous Creatures and Natural Encounters: Selections from the Beulah C. Campbell Collection of Original Illustrations from Children's Books," is now on display in the Dougherty Reading Room in Special Collections on the 4th floor of Belk Library and Information Commons. The exhibit is accessible during the regular operating hours of the Dougherty Reading Room, Monday through Friday, 9am – 4pm. The exhibit, curated by graduate student and Dougherty Reading Room reference assistant David Funderburk, includes works by artists Pauline Baynes, Eric Carle, V. H. Drummond, Susan Jeffers, and Symeon Shimin. The illustrations on display were selected based on their depictions of animals and encounters with the natural world as fantastical or miraculous. This small selection includes heroic horses, an enchanted wood, animals with mythical abilities, a man who talks to a tree, and more.

The Beulah C. Campbell Collection of Original Illustrations for Children's Books is a compilation of over 400 original illustrations by European and American artists that were published primarily in children's literature and picture books. The collection includes works from twenty-eight twentieth-century illustrators, such as James Daugherty, Eric Carle, Jan Pienkowski, Symeon Shimin, Robert Quackenbush, and Leo and Diane Dillon. It includes pencil and charcoal drawings, pastels, watercolor paintings, photographs, printed posters, and other mediums. The illustrations and the children's books for which they were created are housed in Special Collections and are available to researchers by request through the Dougherty Reading Room. The illustration collection is viewable online through the Library's Digital Collections.

For more information, please contact us at 828-262-7974 or spcoll@appstate.edu.

Pictured: Detail from illustrator and author V.H. Drummond's cover art for Mrs. Easter and the Storks (1957).

New Travel Guides in the Browsing Collection

Posted by on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - 4:42pm
Costa Rica travel guide

Traveling this summer? Check out the library's new travel guides in the Browsing Collection! The collection includes over 30 books for countries all over the world.

Full list of titles

The Browsing Collection is located on the first floor, along the wall to the left of the fireplace. The travel guides are shelved at the end of the row. While you're there, check out the popular fiction and nonfiction books!

Architecture and Design in Britain Exhibit, 4th Floor

Posted by Greta Browning on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 11:55am
Rhinehart Room

A new rare book exhibit, “Architecture and Design in Britain: Selections from the Rhinehart Collection,” is now on display in the Rhinehart Rare Books and Special Collections Room on the 4th floor of Belk Library and Information Commons.  The exhibit runs through August 2012 and is accessible during Wednesday afternoon open houses in July or by appointment.

The publications on display contribute to and are evidence of the long history of architecture and design in Britain.  Given the nature of the topics discussed in each, all contain visual elements, such as woodcuts, engravings, or chromolithographs.  Of note is a recent acquisition, nineteenth-century Gothic Revival designer and architect A.W. N. Pugin’s Glossary of Ecclesiastical Ornament and Costume (1868, third edition), which contains over 60 chromolithographs.

For more information, please contact us at 828-262-7974 or spcoll@appstate.edu, or visit Special Collections on the web.

Rare Books Room Open Wednesdays in July

Posted by Greta Browning on Monday, July 9, 2012 - 11:59am
Rhinehart Room

The Rhinehart Rare Books and Special Collections Room on the 4th Floor of Belk Library and Information Commons will be open Wednesday afternoons, July 11, 18, and 25, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. for visits, questions, and book viewings from the Rhinehart Collection on British History.  Dr. Marjon Ames, Rhinehart post-doctoral fellow and assistant professor of history at Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, will be available to answer questions and provide information about the rare book collections.

Typically, this room is not open to the public, so take advantage of this opportunity to see books printed as early as the 16th and 17th centuries.

For more information, call 828-262-4041 or email spcoll@appstate.edu.