Joyner Digital Library Exhibits Home


ECU Centennial
“Covering the period, 1901-1911, the ECU Centennial Exhibit is an effort to make available to a wide audience a variety of insights into the early history and growth of what is now known as East Carolina University. Through images, documents and commentaries of actual participants, the exhibit traces the complex but rewarding relationships that developed between the Eastern North Carolina community and the fledgling college. From the original idea for a state training school, through the struggle over legislative approval, to the first graduating class, the exhibit brings the early history of ECU to life and light. Without pretending to encompass the whole story of ECU’s establishment, the exhibit attempts faithfully to follow the ups and downs of what came to be East Carolina University."

Bismarck once said: "Laws are like sausages. It's better not to see them being made." That may be good advice to those who like laws or sausages; perhaps it is not so good advice to lovers of history. Indeed, the approach of ECU's centennial, in 2007, is the appropriate time to reflect on its early history and the ECU Centennial Exhibit is an ideal place to begin to learn how ECU was "made." The ECU Centennial Exhibit is directed at a general audience; it is informative and lively; it is both historically accurate and accessible. Nevertheless, it will also be useful and interesting to scholars and other experts. My advice to anyone interested in ECU's history is to explore the ECU Centennial Exhibit."

Jonathan Dembo, Ph.D.
Head of Manuscripts and Rare Books, Joyner Library
East Carolina University

“The digital Steamers Exhibit illustrates the unique material available in Joyner Library’s Manuscripts and Rare Books highlighting eastern North Carolina’s enduring maritime heritage. In focusing on the Askew family-owned steamboat operation we catch a glimpse of the economic and social life in the Albemarle Sound region during the post Civil War period. Coastal and inland steamers played an important and largely forgotten role in America by providing the first regular and reliable service for travelers and merchandise. Students and researchers will find many rare and unusual documents on-line. Here you will find the contract for constructing a new steamboat including sketches of the steam engine installation, discover the difficulties of navigating narrow rivers, and realize the complexities of late nineteenth century railroad and water transportation industries. Using documents and images the Steamer exhibit breathes life into the state’s early era of steam navigation and highlights the library’s larger maritime holdings.”

Frank J. Cantelas
Maritime Studies Program
East Carolina University

“The Pitt County Digital Tobacco History Exhibit is a unique and important resource for scholars, students and the general public alike. No other archive or research center provides the depth, breadth, or access necessary for understanding the critical history of the tobacco industry in eastern North Carolina-- or the role that it played throughout the world. Here you will discover the centrality of tobacco to a way of life for generations of farmers, warehousemen, and factory workers. You will come to understand tobacco life in all its glories and tragedies. It is not a simple picture of Pitt County's tobacco heritage that emerges from the exhibit, but one of refreshing complexity and nuance. I heartily recommend the exhibit for giving eastern North Carolina's past a fitting home here in Greenville and sharing it with the world.”

Dr. David S. Cecelski
2000-2001 Whichard Visiting Distinguished Professor in the Humanities
Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences
East Carolina University


2001-2002 Lehman Brady Joint Chair
Professor in Documentary and American Studies
Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Joyner Digital Library | University Archives | Manuscripts and Rare Books | North Carolina Collection

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