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An alphanumeric look at Carolina

From classrooms to makerspaces, take a new and unique look at the University through the alphanumerics that bring meaning to campus locations.

A collage of photos including metal lettertypes, a section sign of Kenan Stadium, drill bits, the spine of a book, the

Numbers and letters form the basis for communication. They are the foundation for sharing ideas and creating context for how objects are defined and understood.

When walking Carolina’s campus, alphanumerics can be seen in nearly everything from the spines of books in Wilson Library to the ceramic tiles that border Bowman Gray Memorial Pool.

Take a new and unique look at the University through the alphanumerics that bring meaning to campus locations.

Numbers and letters combine to inform swimmers of the depth of a particular area of Bowman Gray Memorial Pool.

Opened in 1938, the Bowman Gray Memorial Pool is the oldest pool on campus and was estimated to be one of the largest indoor pools in the country when students took their first plunge. Once the home of Carolina’s swim team, the Olympic-length pool provides exercise and recreation space for all Tar Heels today.


The Morehead Planetarium and Science Center is home to one of the largest sundials in the world. The brass structure is approximately 36 feet in diameter and 113 feet in circumference and features a shadow-casting gnomon that is nearly 24 feet long and 20 feet tall.

While the gnomon of the sundial casts a shadow to indicate the time of day, a plaque on the side provides various information, including the exact location of Chapel Hill and how to tell the correct time based on the day of the year.


In the digital age, the ways of Johannes Gutenberg’s press have largely been left behind. But in the printmaking lab at Hanes Art Center, Carolina students bring new life to the metal letters and numbers to create art using the traditional presses.

Home to the College of Arts & Sciences’ art and art history department, the Hanes Art Centers features 45,000-square-feet of space dedicated to the arts with lecture classrooms, studio classrooms and studio spaces for photography, painting and electronic media.


When it comes to finding the best seat in the house to watch the Tar Heels play, alphanumerics help Carolina fans find their way in Kenan Stadium.

The home of Carolina football, Kenan Stadium was constructed in the middle of campus and opened in 1927. The stadium has changed several times in the past nine decades. Today, Kenan Stadium seats more than 50,000 spectators, the players compete on a synthetic field and fans sit on individual seats rather than bleachers.


Letters and numbers play a critical role in creating in Carolina’s makerspaces. Be a Maker Network’s four makerspaces provide the University’s maker community with the tools to design and make physical objects for education, research, entrepreneurship and recreation.

Alphanumerics indicate the size of individual metal transfer punches that are used to transfer the particular size of a hole made within metal into another metal surface.

A combination of numbers and letters also indicate the shape and size of individual bits in the Murray Hall makerspace.

Open to students, faculty and staff, the spaces are equipped with emerging technologies like 3D printers and laser cutters in addition to traditional wood and metalworking equipment.


The spines of books in the Fearrington Reading Room in the Louis Round Wilson Library provide information regarding the volume and content within each book. Wilson Library is home to five special collections that hold unique and rare books, organizational records, personal and family papers, photographs, moving images, sound recordings and artifacts that document history and culture.

The iconic Wilson Library and its 85-foot-high dome are hard to miss while walking through Polk Place. Serving as Carolina’s main library from 1929 to 1984, the building was originally named simply “the library” before it was renamed Wilson Library after the University’s first librarian.