The Orange County Historical Museum will soon highlight the history of writers and renowned authors in Hillsborough in their new exhibit, “Click, Clack: Typewriters and Authors” on Wednesday, April 4.
Hillsborough is known for its literary community that is brimming with talented and aspiring writers – and not just those in the last few decades.
This exhibit seems like a very apt topic to be displayed in Hillsborough, with the inspiration formed from both the simple idea to dedicate an exhibition to such a large aspect of life in Hillsborough, but also an idea that fell into Interim Museum Director Stephanie Pryor’s lap.
When the museum heard that museum board member, Bessie Mbadugha, had a friend who collected typewriters, they sought to somehow display those in the museum and connect them to the larger narrative of writers in Hillsborough and the south.
The typewriter collectors, husband and wife duo Susan and Luis Galiano, will be displaying at least eight typewriters from their collection, alongside various other typewriters to total 11 typewriters and a dictaphone in the exhibit.
Each typewriter model will be linked with a southern author or an author that wrote about the south, and ones that once used a similar typewriter model to complete their works of literature.
Authors such as Tennessee Williams, Cormac McCarthy, Carl Sandburg, H.L. Mencken, Paul Green, and local author Allan Gurganus will be highlighted.
Gurganus, born in Rocky Mount, and author of “Plays Well with Others,” “Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All,” and his most recent, “Local Souls,” has lent his typewriter for the exhibit as well.
His typewriter will be among the typewriters from the Galianos, with local author Steven Petrow lending his typewriter, and a final typewriter and dictaphone of author Paul Green to be on display from the North Carolina Collection Gallery at Wilson Special Collections Library, UNC-Chapel Hill.
“The goal of the exhibition is two fold,” Pryor said. “To show the development of technology but also then to illustrate the practical use of the typewriters by showing a southern author or whose stories took place in the south.”
During the exhibit, those attending will be informed upon entry of a typewriter prompt at the end of the exhibit. This final piece will be an interactive part in which people can leave notes, favorite quotes, poems, reflections on the exhibit. or thoughts, written on a typewriter. These writings will be displayed on a table throughout the exhibition.
“It’s been fun to curate this, to get to work with the community in a way that you don’t usually get to when you curate an exhibit,” Pryor said. “I’m hopeful it will be a popular exhibit.”
The opening reception for the exhibit will be on Wednesday, April 4, from 5:30 to 7 p.m and will run from April 3 to July 1, 2018. Following the reception will be a lecture with Georgann Eubanks on the “Literary Trail of the North Carolina Piedmont” until 8 p.m.
This lecture will explore North Carolina’s literary importance as Eubanks takes attendees on a literary tour of North Carolina’s Piedmont, past and present.
This event is part of the OCHM’s First Wednesday Lecture Series, which brings a variety of voices to the museum to discuss local and national history with the public. This lecture is made possible by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and is free and open to the public.
Along with the lecture series, events will be held with all different age groups to discuss the exhibit and its significance.
Soon, the museum will be hosting a teen poetry slam where participants will write poems and type on a working typewriter and read their poems. In addition, the museum will host a similar tween event, though the museum is still finalizing dates for both of these events.
On Sunday, April 15th from 2 to 4 p.m. the museum will host a free storytime and typewriter workshop event geared towards children in grades K through 5th. The participants will hear the book “Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type” and then do a poetry craft with a typewriter, presented by Dr. B Science, LLC. To attend, one must register by April 13th as space is limited. To register or for more information, please contact Anna Boyer, Museum Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.