New Fund, New Direction
by Larissa Schraff
Breaking the rules sometimes pays off. That's what Faryl Sims Moss, Class of '66, discovered when she was visiting the U.S. Capitol and got on a "Staff Only" elevator. The year was 1964 and she was a sophomore in college. One of the official photographers at the Capitol, Dev O'Neal, was also on the elevator. This chance meeting led to a discussion of photography, one of her passions, and a gift of photographs from the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, including many from the turmoil surrounding President Kennedy's assassination. She gathered this collection into a scrapbook that she kept for many years, until she realized that it might be valuable to the Rare Book Collection at UNC, another of her passions.
As a senior in high school, Faryl thought she wanted to attend Duke University. During her interview at UNC, which was also the same day that President Kennedy spoke at the University Day celebration at Carolina, she saw the light, and there was no going back. She visited the Rare Book Room that day and was mesmerized by what she saw. As a student, she often studied in the North Carolina Room. "I loved the way staff shared the Library's resources and wanted to help us learn," she explains.
Ms. Moss shares many of the same values as the Library staff she remembers so fondly, and she continues to support the Library because she "really care[s] about sharing resources and disseminating knowledge." The UNC Library has always been included in her will, but she has also recently established an endowed fund with the purpose of enabling a better understanding of the cultural, political, and social changes that occurred in America during the 1960s. She also made a gift of the photographs she received in 1964, which "offer a special glimpse of the transition between administrations" and will be very interesting to researchers, according to Charles McNamara, curator of the Rare Book Collection.
The new endowment, the Documenting Social Change Fund, benefits the Rare Book and Manuscript collections, and income generated from it will support acquisition of original materials, including everything from drafts and revisions of speeches to pamphlets of poetry or essays published in small runs. The Library has long collected materials that document social change, but focusing specifically on the 1960s allows it to grow in an exciting new direction.
According to Tim West, curator of Manuscripts, Ms. Moss's gift will be instrumental for procuring valuable materials such as scrapbooks, posters, and correspondence created by organizations working to bring about social change in the areas of racial equality, voting access, open government, and the Vietnam conflict.
He also has high hopes that Ms. Moss's generosity will attract other supporters and raise awareness of the value of such materials. "We hope that Faryl's gift will inspire others to think about their own experience of the dramatic changes in the 1960s, and that this new attention will bring additional materials and contributions to the Library," he says. For instance, a potential donor might consider whether an item they are getting rid of—a diary or meeting minutes from a student political organization—could be a part of the historical record and valuable to researchers.
Because Ms. Moss's contribution is in the form of an endowed fund, the work of collecting can begin immediately. As a result current scholars, and those in the future, will benefit from her gift.
For more information on creating an endowed Library fund or including the Library in your estate plans, please contact Michele Fletcher, director of library development, at Michele_Fletcher@unc.edu or (919) 962-3437.