Chapel Hill Public Library Launches Podcast About Community History

September 9, 2019

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Chapel Hill Public Library Launches Podcast About Community History

For the past year, Chapel Hill Public Library has been taking a deep dive into local history, uncovering untold stories and telling them from “the bottom up and the inside out.”  These stories are the basis of the Library’s new podcast, Re/Collecting Chapel Hill, that launches today, Monday, Sept. 9.

The first season of Re/Collecting Chapel Hill focuses on the community’s history and connections with historical monuments and markers. Listeners will hear archival audio mixed with present-day interviews that illuminate the history behind some of the most iconic – and occasionally controversial – monuments and markers in Chapel Hill. Featured in the first season:

  • Peace and Justice Plaza. Find out why the plaza outside of the old post office on Franklin Street became Peace and Justice Plaza, and learn more about the people whose names are engraved there.
  • Old Chapel Hill Cemetery. Take a tour of the oldest cemetery in Chapel Hill with Ernest Dollar, local historian.
  • State Highway Historical Markers. Who makes the decisions behind these markers? What are the real stories beyond the few sentences on the signs? Learn more about the B-1 Navy Band and the Journey of Reconciliation.
  • Silent Sam. Learn about the history of protest around Silent Sam from Chapel Hill community members, then hear ideas for what comes next.
  • The Chapel Hill Nine. The Town of Chapel Hill is planning a new historical marker on Franklin Street to honor Chapel Hill’s first sit-in. Hear behind-the-scenes stories about that process, as well as the history of the sit-in.

The first season is co-hosted by Molly Luby, Special Projects Coordinator at Chapel Hill Public Library, and Danita Mason-Hogans, Chapel Hill Community Historian and member of the Town Council’s Historic Civil Rights Commemorations Task Force. Each episode will feature community voices from both the past and present, and invites listeners to consider how these voices can help us envision a better future.

The guiding principle of Re/Collecting Chapel Hill is to tell our community history from the bottom up and the inside out. Says Luby, “Community history is a fresh approach to the people, places, and events from our past. It amplifies the experiences of those who lived through historical events, particularly those voices omitted from existing scholarship. This history is a living history, open to new information and revision.”

Episodes will be released every two weeks beginning on Monday, Sept. 9. Season one includes 14 episodes, ranging in length from 15-30 minutes. Listeners can subscribe to the podcast or listen online at

Season one of Re/Collecting Chapel Hill was supported by grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the federal Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.