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Archival Revival

A digital exhibit highlighting the collaborative writing project between the Central Piedmont Archives and Creative Writing (ENG125).

Spring 2020: Chloe-Hailey

Outline, tear, cut, repeat,

Glue, scissors, tape.

Black shapes on a white sheet,

Time slips away.


Coffee droplets dot the tabletop,

She rubs her eyes and stretches awake.

Hands moving on the clock that won't stop,

The lines across the paper blurring.


Thoughts begin to run wild through her head.

Ideas of paper perfection,

Creating her final assignment.

But something's missing in her work.


Sketching, trace, draw, erase,

Suddenly her hands are flying, her thoughts moving.

Everything has a place,

Her imagination starts to accelerate.


The paper and glue and ink becomes a blur,

Night trickles by and then morning arrives.

And the final masterpiece is before her,

One she doesn't even remember making.

Advertising and Graphic Design student working on a class assignment, 1976. AR.0036 - Academics

"Painted Memories"

She felt moments in shapes and colors. Many thought of that as odd, moments can only be felt as ordinary moments. Just as a memory of the feeling or the smells and sounds. But she felt these ordinary moments, she felt the smells and the sounds, but her mind transformed them into a creation on a sheet of sketchbook paper. Everytime she wanted to remember, she’d run to her room, turn on her lamp and pull out her gouache paints. Then she’d paint and paint till she knew everything she’d felt that day was on the paper to forever be cherished. Her father loved her art, he was the only that saw it though because she felt that she needed to keep her memories private. He disagreed, wanting her to show her work, or rather in his words, to help people feel the joy and pain she poured into each one of her strokes. She’d painted the page the day she’d finished high school, bright colors covered the page with a large shape in the middle almost resembling a sun. Her father took her for food after she’d thrown her cap into the air, her classmates laughing and cheering with her. He smiled at her as she chewed on the fries, he knew she’d fill her page with joyous colors when they got home. The day her father died she stared down at the tear stained page and couldn’t find herself being able to pull out her paint. For weeks she couldn’t find herself being able to do anything but flip through the bright pages of her book, remembering. One morning as she checked her email, she saw one from her professor with a reminder of the final project. Her eyes trailed to her notebook resting on the table beside her and she knew what she had to do, she knew what had to be done. The next week, she received another email, one telling her she should check on the new presentation at the art gallery in her college. She grabbed her bag and keys and found herself a few minutes later staring at rows and rows of her memories. Her heart beat heavily in her chest as she looked across each one, living each and every color and brush stroke. A woman stood inside, her head bent as she looked down at one of the pages. She walked closer, finding herself standing next to the woman. She had tears in her eyes before she looked over at her. The woman simply remarked how much joy the image had brought her and she couldn’t explain why, then left. As she stood staring at the page, she couldn’t help but smile. She’d remembered that day perfectly. It was the last beautiful day she’d had with her entire family, a bright sunny day on the lake, laughter sprinkled across the dewy grass. She wiped a tear away as she stood in that room, the hours passing her like distant thoughts.

A visitor to the Art Gallery in 1991. AR.0035, The Spark.

"Looking Back at a Growing Skyline"

It was a long day working on building the skylines of a growing city. The clouds overhead held back the unbearable heat with shaded salvation. A bright red crane assisted the construction workers by bringing them the supplies they needed to continue to build. Workmen were tired from the days long and labor intensive work but they continued to be precise and hard-working. from their worksite they could see the skyline of the city that they were currently building more skylines for through the trees. Smaller buildings also doubted the horizon. Concrete was being laid on top of the current surface that was being worked on. Many men were working together at many different jobs to bring together a smooth leveled surface. The men working war hardhats to protect themselves along with work boots and regular T-shirts and pants. They worked in groups and talked among themselves to ensure the jobs were being done correctly. The concrete building that they were constructing would become an important staple for the growing city. A college was being built for this growing city and would help to educate thousands of students. with a job as important as constructing buildings of such importance photographs were taken depicting the process. These pictures were saved and archived for the college to remember how it began and where it started. Archived photographs help ground students and the reality of the hard work that it took years ago for them to be blessed with such a place to learn. Education was a necessity for the city ever expanding. And although this campus was the first it was not The last, for many more campuses were built around different areas of the city to ensure educational availability throughout. 

Construction of the original Learning Resources Center, 1968. The Charlotte skyline is shown behind the construction workers. AR.0034 - Time Capsule Collection - slides.

From Honda and Harley-Davidson

To Suzuki and Yamaha,

It seems that the public’s love for motorcycle has waned in the newer generation

A motorcycle’s  appeal was to whip in between cars ,

To have a roaring engine telling everyone of its presence.

But not anymore.


From their un-protective nature compared to cars and their consumers getting older,

To many people seeing motorcycles as luxury few can afford,

Motorcycles are just too out of reach for younger riders.

Older riders want power and are mechanically inclined

Younger riders want speed and are technically inclined


Any product that has existed over many generations has to find younger users,

And for motorcycles, those who young don’t get one until their much older.

A student poses for a photograph during an automotive instruction session, 1972. AR.0036 - Academics.

"Lois Dixon"

Her spark was lit in desolate conditions

Surrounded by doubt 

Surrounded by people who didn’t want her to win

Her fire only grew 

While they tried to put it out


It didn’t come easy

She struggled through the extra traps

Extra traps that the others didn’t have


Tiredness shown in the dark circles around her eyes

Energy given in the form of coffee


This is what she wants

Every fiber of her being is telling her to keep pushing

This is for those who come after her

This is bigger than just her


And so she warns them

Try not to get cut 

When glass shatters from the ceiling

Photograph of Dr. Lois Dixon, first female dean of the Business Administration Department, 1981. Photo Credit: The Charlotte Observer.