HUAC Investigates North Carolina: How Federal Documents Can Help Uncover State and Local History
Durant, David M.
Federal government documents tend to be all too often overlooked when providing general reference assistance, especially on topics involving state and local history. Reasons include the unique and often arcane nature of federal publications; unfamiliarity and trepidation on the part of many non-specialist librarians; and a lack of awareness of how federal documents might prove relevant to researching state and local topics. One good example is the history of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC: 1934-35; 1938-69.) While many think of HUAC as a body that primarily affected politics at a national level, the committee held a number of hearings that directly discussed individuals, organizations, and events in North Carolina, and these hearings in turn impacted political and social developments in our state. This 50 minute presentation will discuss this neglected yet fascinating aspect of North Carolina history, while serving as a case study in how federal documents can shed light on state and local history. Time for questions will be included.
Presented at the North Carolina Library Association’s Government Resources Section and Reference and Adult Services Section joint workshop.