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Tip Sheet

Not for publication

June 29, 2005 -- No. 300

Local angles: Greeneville, Miss.; Memphis

Brian Sturm, UNC expert
can discuss new Potter book

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill associate professor Dr. Brian Sturm is available to reporters covering the July 16 release of the sixth Harry Potter book, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."

Sturm, who teaches in the UNC School of Information and Library Science, can discuss why the Potter series has been so successful, the effects on children of such books and of reading, and the value of reading for everyone. He is an expert on literature for children and young adults.

Sturm’s research interests include storytelling and folklore, children and technology, children’s and young adults’ literature, public library services and bibliotherapy. He came to UNC in 1998, having earned his bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary and his master’s and doctoral degrees in library science from Indiana University.

He can be reached at (919) 962-7622, work; (919) 968-6115, home; or


Librarian who met alumnus Shelby Foote
can discuss author, his papers held at UNC

The personal papers of historian Shelby Foote, who died Tuesday (June 28), are housed in the Southern Historical Collection in UNC’s Wilson Library.

Dr. Walter C. "Tim" West, collection director and curator of the library’s manuscripts department, can share stories of his visit to Foote in the author’s home last fall, when the Foote drove West to buy boxes and then helped him pack additional manuscripts he was donating to UNC. "He talked about his visits with William Faulkner and showing Faulkner the Shiloh Battlefield," West said.

Foote attended UNC for two years, leaving in 1937. "He told me that he spent most of his time at UNC in Wilson Library," West said. "He came to read." In 1992, the university awarded Foote an honorary doctor of letters degree, and in 1975, a Distinguished Alumnus Award. He also was a Morgan Writer-in-Residence at UNC.

The library has Foote’s carefully handwritten manuscripts of "Shiloh" and some of his other novels. "They’re almost calligraphic," West said of the script. There also are typeset proofs of Foote’s three-volume "The Civil War: A Narrative," with handwritten notes by Foote and his editors and a cassette tape of Foote reading selections from Volume III.

The papers in Wilson include Foote’s correspondence with his lifelong friend, novelist Walker Percy, who graduated from UNC in 1937. "The letters are remarkable, funny and intelligent," West said. "They both were tremendous readers, so there are all kinds of references that challenge (letter) readers to pick up on these associations."

UNC experts on Foote include:

West, who can be reached at (919) 962-1345 today (June 28), tomorrow until 11:30 p.m. and next week; on Friday (July 1), leave messages at (919) 619-8418;

Dr. Harry Watson, professor of history and director of UNC’s Center for the Study of the American South, at, or leave a message at (919) 962-5436.

The Southern Historical Collection, with more than 15 million items, is likely the world’s largest collection of manuscript material documenting the American South. For more information, visit


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News Services contact: L.J. Toler, (919)962-8589