Local News

UNC Assembling Kuralt Collection

Posted July 8, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— He travelled the back roads of the nation and told the stories of ordinary people. Now the University of North Carolina wants to rememberhisstory with a collection that will highlight the life and times of Charles Kuralt.

The manuscripts department at UNC's Wilson Library hosts more than 16 million papers, tapes and films, making it an archive of the American South.

It hopes to add a new section soon -- the papers and memorabilia of the late Kuralt, a Carolina graduate and an icon of broadcast news.

"We had spoken off and on for the past several years to Mr. Kuralt," said Tim Pyatt, manuscripts department curator. "He was obviously very anxious for his papers to come to his alma mater, and we're very anxious to accept them."

Right now, the library only has few items from Kuralt's life, copies of the books that he's written, a picture from his yearbook during his days here at Carolina, and a front page of the student newspaper that he edited,The Daily Tar Heel.

"I think there's going to be a lot of interest in him, not only in the next few years, but historically, because of his impact on journalism, in personalizing it," said Robert Anthony, North Carolina Collection curator.

The Kuralt collection will include his video and film work as well as his writings. While the library hopes to get many items through the Kuralt family, organizers say they'll also go on the road. They hope anyone who had dealings with the folksy reporter will send them letters, pictures and anything else that might help illustrate the man and his life.

If you have something you would like to contribute to the Kuralt Collection, you should contact the Wilson Library staff at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Charles Kuralt will be buried in the UNC Chapel Hill cemetery Tuesday morning.

A public service will be held at noon Tuesday in Memorial Hall on campus. Guest speakers include retired CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite and Governor Jim Hunt. Bill Leslie will have live reports from the service in the News at Noon. UNC Public Television will air the entire service live at noon and rebroadcast it at 9 p.m. Tuesday.