Adaptive Reuse, Community History, and Archival Practice

The Community Histories Workshop proudly announces publication of the whitepaper Adaptive Reuse, Community History, and Archival Practice, which outlines the scope of “Rocky Mount Mills: From Adaptive Reuse to Public Engagement,” a project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission of the National Archives and Records Administration, Project #DP100110. The whitepaper can be found on the Digital Rocky Mount Mills website. ...
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African-American Genealogy Workshop & Adaptive Reuse Charrette

On Tuesday, June 11, 2019, CHW hosted two events at the Power House in the recently renovated Rocky Mount Mills. The afternoon event was a "charrette" on the intersections of adaptive reuse of iconic historic sites and community history/archiving projects. The evening event was centered on African American family history and genealogy. Rocky Mount Mills lit up at night Both events were supported by a grant to the CHW from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission of the National Archives and Records Administration. The afternoon charrette brought together more than 20 invited adaptive reuse stakeholders from across North Carolina: major adaptive reuse developers, architects, government agencies, North Carolina's principal historic preservation organization, non-profit investors, local history and art museums, local history librarians, cultural heritage organizations, and community members. They were joined by representatives of key units of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Together they addressed the broad question "How might the rehabilitation and...
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“Lying about the age of a horse:” The Primitive Baptist Church on the Falls of the Tar River Records (Rocky Mount, NC)

The Primitive Baptist Church on the Falls of the Tar River was founded in 1757, and its congregation met just a short distance from where Rocky Mount Mills stands today. It’s members consisted of a large number of the residents of Rocky Mount at the time. Thanks to the work of the Southern Historical Collection's Bernetiae Reed, the Community Histories Workshop now has digital access to hundreds of records from the church spanning from the 1760s to the 1780s. The records are a great genealogical resource for anyone who has descended from early settlers of Rocky Mount or their slaves, many of whom also attended church services. In the church’s early years, Reverend John Moore led the church as pastor for many years, leaving the position around 1780. Many members of the Battle family attended the church, including Elisha Battle, John Battle, other family members, and their slaves. These records also offer an insight into what life, society, and religion...
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CURS Conversation with CHW Director Bobby Allen

CURS (Center for Urban and Regional Studies) recently interviewed CHW Faculty Director Bobby Allen on the work of the Community Histories Workshop. They posted the interview on their YouTube channel, which you can watch HERE. Professor Allen discusses the projects currently underway at CHW and the unique aspects of the work involved. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUTKQ7aaklU ...
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Tift Merritt, Distinguished UNC Alumna, joins CHW as performing artist in residence

Award-winning singer-songwriter Tift Merritt joins us this year as the CHW Performing Artist in Residence.  She will immerse herself in our work recovering the material history of Dix Hospital and the lives of some of the tens of thousands of North Carolinians who were treated there between 1856 and 2012.  Her goal is to write a song cycle reflecting the human experience of the site and eventually to perform it at Dix Park. Read more. On UNC's University Day (October 12, 2018), Tift was presented with a Distinguished Alumna Award.  In announcing the award, the selection committee noted: Tift Merritt is a Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter who began her career in local venues such as Cat’s Cradle and The Cave and soon began appearing on top-ten lists in The New Yorker and Time. Since starting a band while a creative writing student at Carolina, Merritt has released a unique, critically acclaimed body of work including seven albums of original material and three live records. Merritt has...
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Graduating CHW Fellow Morgan Vickers recognized (again!)

Graduating CHW Undergraduate Research Fellow Morgan Vickers was profiled in Endeavors, the research magazine published through the UNC Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. At the Chancellor's Award Ceremony in April, Morgan received the Peter Baxter Award as outstanding graduating American Studies major, and the William S. Powell Award as the senior who has added most to our understanding of the first state university and its traditions. Morgan is one of fifteen college juniors and seniors in the country to receive this year's Gilder Lehrman History Scholar Award, recognizing excellence in American history or American Studies as well as their commitment to public service, leadership and community involvement.   She will spend six days in New York City in June, participating in meetings with fellow honorees and eminent scholars. On May 13th, she was graduated with Honors in American Studies and a double major in Communication Studies. Morgan was an inaugural undergraduate research fellow in the CHW in 2016, and has contributed enormously and continuously across...
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