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A Guide to Researching Campus Monuments and Buildings: Unsung Founders Monument

Books and Articles

Compared to "Silent Sam" and the Caldwell monuments, the Unsung Founders Memorial is a relatively recent addition to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus. As a result, books and articles devoted to the statue and the related debate on campus are lacking. However, newspapers and campus publications can be excellent resources for researchers interested in this topic. Many of these resources are listed in the "Campus Buildings and Additional Resources" tab of this guide. A few are particularly relevant to the Unsung Founders Memorial: 

Araujo, Ana Lucia ed. Politics of Memory: Making Slavery Visible in the Public Space. 2012. C378 UW33

This book is a collection of 14 chapters discussing the various ways in which slavery is publicly remembered and memorialized in the Americas, Africa, and Europe. Chapter 8, "The Challenge of Memorializing Slavery in North Carolina: The Unsung Founders Memorial and the North Carolina Freedom Monument Project," discusses the movement to have the memorial built on the UNC campus and the design process. Other chapters describe similar debates in other communities across the United States. 

The Daily Tar Heel

The Daily Tar Heel is the main student publication at UNC. Published daily during the academic year, the newspaper is a good resource for information on the reaction to the Unsung Founders Memorial. In addition to news articles, editorials and letters to the editor may be useful. This title is available on microfilm in the North Carolina Collection and online for users affiliated with UNC. Articles published from about 2005 to present are available via the newspaper's website.

Black Ink

The long-running publication of the Black Student Movement at UNC is another good resource for understanding the installation of the Unsung Founders Memorial. Copies of the paper from 1969 to 2013 can be found in the North Carolina Collection. The paper can also be accessed online. Issues from 1969 to 2001 are available through DigitalNC and issues published from 2009 to 2013 can be found at the group's website

North Carolina Collection Newspapers

The North Carolina Collection holds a large number of newspapers from around the state, in addition to student publications. Many of these, such as the Raleigh News & Observer and the Durham Herald-Sun, report on campus news and controversies. 

Archival Resources

Archival materials, from the Southern Historical Collection and University Archives, are excellent resources for researchers examining the Unsung Founders Memorial on the UNC- Chapel Hill campus:

John Kenyon Chapman Papers, 1969-2009. Southern Historical Collection. Collection # 05441. 

Chapman was a social justice activist, organizer, and historian focused on workers' rights and African American empowerment in central North Carolina. Chapman was intimately involved in the discussion about race and UNC and helped organize campus groups on this topic. Records in this collection document the debate surrounding the building of the Unsung Founders Memorial. In addition to Chapman's correspondence, the collection contains recordings of the Unsung Founders Panel, a group convened to discuss the project. Chapman's research notes on slavery at the University are also included.

Office of the Chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: James Moeser Records, 2000-2008. University Archives. Collection # 40228. 

James Moeser was the chancellor of UNC during the time that the Unsung Founders Memorial was being designed and installed. This collection includes records related to the Black Student Movement at UNC and actions of the Buildings and Grounds Committee in the early 2000s. 

  • Last Updated: Aug 3, 2020 12:40 PM
  • URL: https://guides.lib.unc.edu/campus-monuments