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North Carolina State History

The following information provides key contacts, links to history websites, museums, archives and other sources relating to state and local 4-H history in North Carolina.

Contact Information

Major Contact
Secondary Contacts
Dr. Chester Black

Status of 4-H History Preservation

The North Carolina State University Libraries' Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) received a $49,992 NC ECHO Digitization Grant in 2005 to create a resource-based research and educational website entitled "Green 'N' Growing: The History of Home Demonstration and 4-H Youth Development in North Carolina. "The goal was to enable teaching, learning, and research by providing access to primary resource materials.

The project called for digitizing 5,000 unique images, pamphlets, flyers, and other textual documents dating from 1910 to 1970, and it created web-based search tools such as EAD finding aids and metadata searchable through Luna Imaging's Insight software. These will be presented in a framework that facilitates both research and educational use at NCSU and throughout the world. While appropriate for use at the college level, these resources can also be accessed by teachers and students at the K-12 grade levels.

Housed in the SCRC's University Archives, the original materials provide valuable information on the history of women, race relations, education, agriculture, and rural life. The 4-H and Home Demonstration Extension programs commenced in the early 1900's as part of the agricultural extension movement to transmit new information about "scientific" farming and homemaking practices to the people at large.

"Green 'N' Growing" will draw upon the NCSU Libraries' expertise in developing content for online history resources. The grant was awarded through the State Library of North Carolina as part of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). LSTA is managed by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), an agency dedicated to creating and sustaining a nation of learners by helping libraries and museums serve their communities.

During the first year, the project exceeded its goal, and staff scanned more than 7,100 photographs and pages of text and created near 3,500 searchable metadata records. Included has been the majority of 4-H and Home Demonstration photographs in NCSU's University Archives, as well as pages from several pamphlets, flyers, brochures, programs, and other documents from the Archives dated from the 1910's to the 1970's.

The NCSU Libraries was awarded a grant of $75,000 in July 2006 to fund a second year of the "Green 'N' Growing" Project. During the second year of the project, an additional 10,000 pages of text were scanned, and NCSU partnered with the North Carolina State Archives to digitize materials there. Included were annual reports of the 4-H and Home Demonstration programs as well as booklets created from 1912 to 1915 by the first girls who participated in the Home Demonstration program. In addition, a small number of audio recordings were digitized.

Museums and Archives

North Carolina State Universities Libraries 4-H Collections

The Green Growing Grant Project relates to the History of Home Demonstration and 4-H Youth Development in North Carolina. Dating from the early twentieth century programs were established to instruct children and women in agricultural practice and home economics. Land grant universities, like North Carolina State University, with the support of the United States Department of Agriculture, ran Agricultural Extension Services (later renamed Cooperative Extension Service), which administered 4-H clubs and Home Demonstration programs. This site presents thousands of images and textual materials that document the history of 4-H and Home Demonstration in North Carolina from the 1900s to the 1970s. Users will also find a timeline of events, a collection of original historical essays, an annotated bibliography, and guides for primary resources held by the North Carolina State University Special Collections Research Center.

The North Carolina 4-H Museum & History Center

The story of the North Carolina 4-H Museum & History Center really begins more than 70 years ago in Cumberland County. It was there, in the depths of the Great Depression, that a young boy planted a plot of peanuts as part of a 4-H project and roasted them in his mother's kitchen. Amidst the pleasing aroma of roasting peanuts, Rudolph Carl Ellis detected a scent of potential profit as well. At that instant, Ellis' Fancy Peanuts was born. Peddling - and literally pedaling on his bicycle - the bags of peanuts throughout a territory ranging from Dunn to Elizabethtown, Ellis amassed enough money to put his family into a new house on land of their own at the eve of the Second World War. The "House That 4-H Peanuts Built" was gifted to 4-H by the Ellis Family and is today the centerpiece of the new, North Carolina 4-H Museum & History Center at Millstone 4-H Camp in Ellerbe, North Carolina. The house is the centerpiece and the beginning of a broader vision for the North Carolina 4-H Museum & History Center. That vision is what 4-H Honor Club member and Museum Committee volunteer Malcolm Hawkins calls a "conceptual clover." It is the first of the four "leaves" of which the complex is comprised. A new History Center, a Heritage Courtyard, and the Farm Bureau Old-Fashioned Farm Shop are the other "leaves" in this grand clover at Millstone 4-H Camp. Support for the Museum & History Center continues to grow.

State and Local 4-H History in Digital Format

History of 4-H in North Carolina
A narrative on the history of 4-H in North Carolina, plus a few photos.
4-H Camps in North Carolina
A brief narrative history on North Carolina's state 4-H camps.
4-H Short Course, State Club Week and State Congress
An essay on the history of North Carolina's 4-H Short Course, State Club Week and State Congress.
Early North Carolina Tomato Clubs
A brief essay on canning clubs and tomato clubs in North Carolina.
Early Agricultural Clubs in North Carolina
The early history of corn clubs and corn contests and early agricultural clubs in North Carolina.
4-H and Home Demonstration during the Great Depression
North Carolina in the 1930s.
North Carolina 4-H Centennial Proclamation

Links to related sites

Other information

Book Clover All Over: North Carolina 4-H in Action
James W. Clark
Digital Format:Digital Copy in PDF Format  Download the PDF version of 'Clover All Over' (16.9MB)

Book Images of 4-H
L. R. Harrill
Comments:4-H Inspiration
Digital Format:Not Available

Compiled by National 4-H History Preservation Team.

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