Minutes, programs, correspondence, journals, reprints, reports, posters, and miscellaneous records (1902-2016) documenting the North Carolina Academy of Science, journal issues for the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society (1883-2007, some missing), and memoir of the Rev. Elisha Mitchell, D.D. (1858).
The formation of the North Carolina Academy of Science was the result of the imagination of two men, William W. Ashe and Franklin Sherman, who began to discuss the formation of the State Academy of Science in 1901. The two men discussed their idea with Herbert H. Brimley, (Curator at the N.C. State Museum), F.L. Stevens, (Plant Physiologist at the State Agricultural and Mechanical College, now N.C. State University), and Tait Butler, (State Veterinarian) in 1902. The first organizational meeting, attended by nine people, was held on March 12, 1902 where they approved the name of the organization (North Carolina Academy of Science) and elected its first slate of officers, with William L. Poteat serving as the Academy's first President. The first annual meeting was held at Trinity College (now Duke University) on November 28 - 29, 1902. The Academy's original constitution was published in the Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society (JEMSS) in 1904.
The Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society, (EMSS) which was founded in 1883, fostered scientific research and communication. The society began publishing the Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society in 1884 and after the formation of the NCAS, the society and the academy considered the journal their official publication. Most of the founding members of the NCAS were not affiliated with the society, but the members of the EMSS quickly became associated with the NCAS and took advantage of the interaction with scientists both outside the UNC system and as a way to participate in scientific activities other than monthly seminars.
The NCAS grew and eventually became a three-tiered organization that includes Senior, (faculty and graduate students), Collegiate (undergraduates), and Student (middle and high school students) academies. The Senior Academy began to provide awards for deserving students, implementing the Collegiate Lectureship Program and the Undergraduate Research Workshop, planning the annual meeting, supporting the JEMSS, and being the scientific voice of the state.
The Academy has voiced its opinion about many topics dealing with science or the protection of natural resources. Two of the topics that they vigorously voiced their opinions about were evolution and the preservation of natural resources. In the 1920's when the "Scopes Monkey Trial" was attracting much public attention, two members of the Academy, B.W. Wells and Z.P. Metcalf, debated the topic of evolution with evangelist W.B. Riley at the Third Bible Conference in Raleigh. The Academy has often revisited the subject of evolution and the teaching of evolution.
The annual meeting is the focal point of the Academy's annual agenda, and the timing and venue of these meetings provide some interesting history about the Academy. The first two annual meetings, in 1902 and 1903, were held in November, but have since occurred during the spring months. Meetings were in late April and May until 1975, when they were shifted to late March and early April. Annual meetings were first rotated among Trinity College, University of North Carolina, Wake Forest College, State Agricultural and Mechanical College (now North Carolina State University) and State Normal College (later known as the North Carolina College for Women, then Woman's College, and now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro). Each institution has hosted the annual meeting more than ten times. Fourteen other colleges and universities have hosted the annual meetings, which attests to the Academy's widespread influence on all institutions of higher learning in the State.
All the information above was obtained from Wm. David Webster's article on the North Carolina Academy of Science. For more information, please visit the NCAS website at:
Webster, Wm. David. "North Carolina Academy of Science (NCAS)". North Carolina Academy of Science. 25 February 2008. http://www.ncacadsci.org/index.html.
The records of the organization are divided into series reflecting the three-tiered structure that the academy had become by the 1980s. These include the parent organization North Carolina Academy of Science (NCAS), NCAS Collegiate Academy (CANCAS), NCAS Student Academy (NSCAS), American Association for the Advancement of Science (AASS) and Other Organizations.
By far, the most voluminous series is that of the NCAS materials. The bulk of these include typical organizational materials such as correspondence, meeting minutes and reports. Also included are lists and abstracts of scientific papers that were presented at the annual meetings. The bulk of the resolutions relate to legislation of state parks. The most comprehensive documentation is that of the annual meetings in the form of programs and proceedings. These include almost a complete run from the beginning of the organization until the mid-1990s. Unfortunately, nearly all of the other materials in this series date from only the 1970s thorough the 1990s, and in most cases are not comprehensive. Minutes are present from the earliest meeting, but contain a large gap between early years and the 1970s. Correspondence topics vary, but mostly focuses on issues related to annual meetings, organization history, natural and wildlife conservation efforts and scientific research. Included in the correspondence are letters from Jesse Helms, Sam J. Erwin and Roy A. Taylor.
CANCAS and NSCAS materials also consist of traditional organization records such as those found in the NCAS. CANCAS materials are few and are mainly limited to the late 20th Century time period. There is approximately a decade of programs documenting their annual Undergraduate Research Workshops. NSCAS materials are even less in number and scope, documenting only a short duration of activity. There are only a handful of AAAS records, all limited to the 1970s and 1980s. These mainly document annual meetings and membership in this national organization. Materials of other organizations are also very few in number and scope and are made up mostly of other North Carolina science-related state agencies.
Gift of Alan Goble
Gift of Dr. Randolph L. Ferguson
Gift of Dr. John W. Nowell
Gift of Dr. Edward J. Kuenzler
Gift of Bill Burk
Gift of Gerhard W. Kalmus
Gift of Lisa Kelly
Processed by Dennis R. Lawson, June 8, 1979
Processed by Leigh Younce, April 1, 2008
Processed by Dale Sauter, May 1, 2008
Processed by Cheryl Funderburk, May 1, 2008
Encoded by Mark Custer, May 13, 2008
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.