The Randolph Community College Archives and Special Collections began as a conversation in November 2004, between Debbie Luck, then Director of Library Services, and Clark Adams, English Instructor, about a few old college catalogs that were on a shelf in the office space in the back of the R. Alton Cox Learning Resources Center. This conversation led to more focused discussion and shared vision between both Luck and Adams; and by April 2005, a clear plan to establish a College Archives Collection at Randolph Community College was in place.
Luck and Adams proposed this idea at an Administrative Council meeting on June 13, 2005 and it was endorsed by College management. The initial work included collecting historical materials as well as conducting oral history interviews of college retirees and other significant figures in college history. A number of interviews were conducted between 2005-2009.
An Archives Committee was established on July 13, 2005 composed of faculty and staff members who were interested in helping to establish the Archives Collection. The initial members of the committee were: Joyce Wolford, Dr. Tim Allen, John Davis, Clark Adams, Debbie Luck, Lewis Edwards, Greg Stewart, Dr. Becky Megerian, Susan Milner, Mitchell Kiser, Daffie Matthews, Rhonda Winters, Joyce Schmack, Wanda Brown, Sylvia Stainback, Arlene Phillips, Joyce Branch, Phyllis Helms, Glenda Martin, and Donna Windish. The project was given the title of “Preserving the Past, Framing the Future” in September 2005. The original location for the Archives, until 2010, was on the second floor of the R. Alton Cox Learning Resources Center in the area now occupied by the office of the Director of Distance Education. This room was originally a photography darkroom for the College’s Graphic Designer.
Luck and Adams traveled to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and met with Betty Carter, University Archivist, on numerous occasions between 2005-2008 in order to obtain her professional expertise and assistance in establishing the collection. Carter also met with Luck and Adams on RCC’s campus to discuss a location for the collection that would provide the archival conditions necessary to preserve the collection. Clark Adams invited Dr. Chuck Bolton of the history department at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro to present an Oral History workshop for those interested in participating on December 9, 2005.
Jessica Rolland, a Museum Studies graduate at UNCG, was hired as intern for the Archives from July 12-August 23, 2007 through an RCC Foundation grant. Rolland took an inventory of the materials and roughly organized the collection.
On March 22, 2012, during the College’s 50th Anniversary year, Luck and Adams took all of RCC’s College Catalogs to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for inclusion in the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center project. The North Carolina Digital Heritage Center is a statewide digitization and digital publishing program housed in the North Carolina Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Digital Heritage Center works with cultural heritage institutions across North Carolina to digitize and publish historic materials online.
After consulting with college and university archives staff at a number of other North Carolina community colleges such as Central Piedmont Community College and four-year universities such as the University of North Carolina at Asheville, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Luck and Adams drafted a formal Archives Collection Policy document and Donor Agreement form which were both formally approved by the Randolph Community College Board of Trustees at their November 21, 2013 meeting.
Over the past 10 years, materials from the College Archives have been extremely helpful during the planning of RCC’s 45th and 50th Anniversaries in 2007 and 2012 respectively. In addition, many questions about college programs and services, policies, procedures, community leaders, SACS accreditation, events, facilities, alumni, retirees, and more have been able to be answered through materials in the College Archives collection. As of 2014, Luck and Adams hope that the Archives and Special Collections will continue to grow and develop as the years progress, so that it can continue to serve as a repository for the College and community’s historical record.
Written by Clark Adams: June 26, 2014