UPDATE: Due to changes in the University’s operations in light of COVID-19,
we regret to announce that this exhibition is temporarily closed.
Reports that McClatchy, parent company of the News & Observer of Raleigh, the Charlotte Observer, and the Herald-Sun of Durham, filed for bankruptcy in early February have caught the attention of North Carolina news readers. While these papers have a storied history, they are not the only way residents past and current of the Tar Heel State have been able to read about the news.
“Papers for the People: A Treasury of North Carolina News Sources” is a University Libraries exhibition that features two centuries of written news, including newspapers, newsletters and magazines. It will be on view through May 31 in the North Carolina Collection Gallery of the Wilson Special Collections Library.
“This exhibition looks at the important role specialty news sources have played in informing, connecting and empowering North Carolina communities for nearly two centuries,” says Linda Jacobson, keeper of the North Carolina Collection Gallery and chief curator of the exhibition.
“In addition to the value these papers offer their readers, such news sources can provide researchers with a valuable window into the lives of everyday North Carolinians,” says Jacobson.
Exhibition viewers will be able to see a wide range of publications that connected readers with news that catered to their specific interest. Some of these papers were published by and for communities of African American, Latinx, Asian or LGBTQ residents, who found little about their communities in major dailies.
Other papers covered specific topics, such as agriculture, labor or politics. The exhibition also includes amateur publications of the late 19th century, including papers created by a teenage Josephus Daniels, future publisher of the News & Observer.
Among the items of note, says Jacobson, are three handwritten papers from the 19th century; The Prison News, which inmates in the Department of Prisons published during the 1920s; and Lager Fackel, a newsletter that German POWs published in North Carolina during World War II.
The exhibition contains 45 newspapers in all, says Jacobson.
On February 27, the exhibition will officially open with a talk by Penny Abernathy, Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics at the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at UNC-Chapel Hill. Abernathy, who has written extensively about news desserts and community journalism, will deliver the talk “Local News: Building Community and Nurturing Grassroots Democracy.”
The free public program begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room of Wilson Library following a 5 p.m. reception and exhibition viewing. For information, please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Papers for the People: A Treasury of North Carolina News Sources North Carolina Collection Gallery
February 20 – May 31, 2020
Free and open to the public (919) 962-3765 or email@example.com