UNCG University Libraries is expanding on its popular “Hop into History” events with the newly launched “Well Crafted NC,” a project that documents the history of brewing in downtown Greensboro from the saloons of the 1890s to the craft breweries of today.
Last fall, University Libraries launched Hop into History as a series of monthly pop-up historical exhibits – covering a variety of topics related to the city’s history – at Gibb’s Hundred Brewing Company in downtown Greensboro. Given the success of the events, the University Libraries team decided to take the project one step further.
“Hop into History takes history to the breweries, so the next natural step is to uncover the history of the city’s breweries, past and present,” said Erin Lawrimore, UNCG university archivist. “This project fits well with our efforts to document not only the history of Greensboro, but what our alumni are doing. Many UNCG alumni work in the industry.”
The first step? Location analysis, which involves looking through old city directories and newspapers to identify where bars were located.
“A lot of the buildings that served as saloons are still standing,” Lawrimore said. “And a lot of the buildings that current breweries are in have existed for just as long, but as other businesses.”
This fall, the team plans to employ and train a student who will conduct oral history interviews with the owners and brewmasters of the four – soon-to-be five – downtown breweries.
“It’s a great opportunity for a student to get their feet wet in oral history interviews,” said Lawrimore. “We have a handful of classes that can give students oral history experience, but this project helps hone those skills even more and serves as an excellent portfolio piece.”
Over the course of the semester, the team will publish the interviews, blog posts and a historical timeline at wellcraftednc.com. Updates will also be posted frequently on the project’s social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr.
In April, during North Carolina Beer Month, University Libraries will host a free, community-wide launch event for the project in downtown Greensboro. Finalized details will be announced in early 2018.
Well Crafted NC is supported by a $2,500 University Libraries Innovation and Program Enrichment Grant and is led by Lawrimore, Digital Technology Consultant Richard Cox and Digital Projects Coordinator David Gwynn.
To learn more, visit wellcraftednc.com.
Story by Alyssa Bedrosian, University Communications