January 24, 2022

Retiring Congressman G.K. Butterfield Donates Papers to UNC-Chapel Hill’s University Libraries

From UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries:

Throughout his life as civil rights activist, lawyer, judge and legislator, U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield has always been interested in history. He’s also a self-described “novice archivist” who has accumulated – and carefully labeled – boxes of materials from each chapter of his life.

“I’ve always been history-minded,” Butterfield said. “I’ve accumulated boxes, and I’ve labeled each box.” The result is a wide-ranging collection of papers and photographs from his family in Wilson, North Carolina, and his own career.

Butterfield has donated the collection to the University Libraries at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. They will become part of the Southern Historical Collection at the Wilson Special Collections Library.

“I’m 74 years old, approaching 75 years old, and I know it’s time for me to release this valuable trove of information to somebody who can appreciate it, who can preserve it and share it,” Butterfield said.


Butterfield’s materials add to the already-rich collections at Wilson Library, said Nicholas Graham, University archivist.

“The material that Rep. Butterfield is donating includes the history of Wilson, North Carolina, especially the evolution of Wilson’s Black community,” Graham said. “He has materials from his legal career where he worked on important voting rights cases in North Carolina.”

Butterfield’s materials will join other congressional papers collected at Wilson Library, Graham continued. “Documenting and preserving North Carolina and national politics is an area of focus for our collection. Congressman Butterfield’s materials lend a distinctive viewpoint, a distinctive perspective. I think that they’ll find a research community and students and faculty who are eager to dive into them from day one.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.