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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.
This collection was processed with support from the Randleigh Foundation Trust.
|Size||2.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 1300 items)|
|Abstract||William Joseph Eudy "Billy" Arthur, North Carolina editor, publisher, columnist, comedian, politician, and businessman. Arthur, a dwarf, toured on the vaudeville circuit, 1929-1930, then attended the University of North Carolina where he majored in journalism and was head cheerleader, 1931-1932. From the 1930s through the 1950s, he edited or wrote for several newspapers. He also represented Onslow County in the North Carolina House of Representatives, 1943-1945, and served as House reading clerk, 1955-1961. In 1962, Arthur opened a hobby shop in Chapel Hill, from which he retired in 1980. The collection includes correspondence, writings, photographs, and other materials relating to Arthur. Letters document Arthur's career as a writer, reading clerk in the North Carolina House of Representatives, comedian, and businessman. Notable correspondents include Terry Sanford, Dean Smith, Christopher Fordham, many state and national politicians, and various editors and publishers. Writings include newspaper clippings; syndicated material; and book-length manuscripts, among them a book of North Carolina humor. There is also material relating to the activities of Arthur family members and materials Arthur used in his comedy routines. In addition, there are three scrapbooks documenting all phases of Arthur's life and many photographs of Arthur, his family, and his friends.|
|Creator||Arthur, Billy, 1911-2006.|
|Curatorial Unit||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection.|
The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.
Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.
|1911||Born in Charlotte, N.C., to Annis Eudy and J. A. Arthur, with the congenital disease achondro-plasia that results in dwarfism|
|1922-1927||Mascot for Charlotte Hornets|
|1925||Worked for WBT radio in Charlotte, N.C.|
|1928||Graduated from Charlotte Central High School|
|1929-1930||Toured on the vaudeville circuit on the eastern seaboard|
|1931-1933||Attended the University of North Carolina, majored in journalism, and was the head cheerleader, 1931-1932|
|1933-1940||Became city editor of the New Bern Tribune in New Bern, N.C.|
|1940-1953||Published News and Views in Jacksonville, N.C.|
|1943-1945||Served in North Carolina House of Representatives, representing Onslow County|
|1950||Married Edith Harris of Elizabeth City, N.C.|
|1951||Annis Lillian Arthur born (also a dwarf)|
|1952||Billy Arthur Jr., born (also a dwarf)|
|1954||Moved to Chapel Hill and worked as publicist for the Morehead Planetarium and wrote for The Chapel Hill Weekly|
|1955-1961||Served as reading clerk in the North Carolina House of Representatives|
|1958||Started a newspaper clipping service|
|1962||Opened a hobby shop in Eastgate Mall in Chapel Hill, which was bought by Trico, Inc., in 1974, but managed by Arthur|
|1980||Retired from hobby business|
The collection includes correspondence, writings, photographs, and other materials relating to Arthur. Letters document Arthur's career as a writer, reading clerk in the North Carolina House of Representatives, comedian, and businessman. Notable correspondents include Terry Sanford, Dean Smith, Christopher Fordham, many state and national politicians, and various editors and publishers. Writings include newspaper clippings; syndicated material; and book-length manuscripts, among them a book of North Carolina humor. There is also material relating to the activities of Arthur family members and materials Arthur used in his comedy routines. In addition, there are three scrapbooks documenting all phases of Arthur's life and many photographs of Arthur, his family, and his friends.Back to Top
Letters and telegrams, incoming and outgoing, documenting Billy Arthur's public career as a writer, reading clerk in the North Carolina House of Representatives, comedian, and businessman. Notable correspondents include Terry Sanford (folder 6), Dean Smith (folder 10), UNC-CH Chancellor Christopher Fordham (folder 10), many state and national politicians, and various editors and publishers. Personal and family correspondence is scant.
Arrangement: by type.
Correspondence, contracts, blueprints, advertisements, copyrights, a birth certificate, and a will documenting several of Arthur's business ventures and family financial matters. Of particular interest is correspondence dealing with a dispute between Trico, Inc., and Billy Arthur, Inc. (hobby shop), over Arthur's a bonus in 1979.
Arrangement: by type.
Newspaper clippings, syndicated material, and two book-length manuscripts written by Billy Arthur. Among the clippings are columns written by Arthur for Suden's Red Fez, The Jacksonville Daily News, The Chapel Hill Weekly, and The Chapel Hill Newspaper. The manuscript Worst of Billy Arthur remains unpublished. There is also a manuscript for a book of North Carolina humor. The material from The Chapel Hill Weekly was selected by Arthur, not written by him.
Arrangement: by type.
Material documenting the activities of various members of Billy Arthur's family, biographical material (mostly newspaper clippings), genealogical material, monologue material, awards and certificates, and some printed material. Arthur purchased most of the material he collected for his comedy monologues.
|Oversize Paper Folder OPF-4448/1|
|Extra Oversize Paper Folder XOPF-4448/1|
Volume 1: Scrapbook, circa 1923-1929. Pictures, newspaper clippings, programs, telegrams, and business cards documenting Billy Arthur's high school years in Charlotte, N.C., his experiences in a vaudeville troupe after graduation from high school, and cheerleading at UNC. #04448, Series: "5. Volumes, circa 1922-1962." Folder 57
Volume 2: Scrapbook, circa 1929-1937. Pictures, newspaper clippings, and programs documenting Arthur's years at UNC, his graduation, and his subsequent editorship of the New Bern Tribune. During this time, Arthur continued to do his vaudeville act, "One Yard of Fun." #04448, Series: "5. Volumes, circa 1922-1962." Folder 58
|Oversize Volume SV-4448/3||
Volume 3. Oversized scrapbook, circa 1929-1962. Pictures, newspaper clippings, musical scores, and letters dealing with Billy Arthur's various activities, including his vaudeville act, editor- ship of various newspapers, and his hobby store, Billy Arthur, Inc. #04448, Series: "5. Volumes, circa 1922-1962." SV-4448/3
Arrangement: by category.
Pictures of Billy Arthur, family, and friends. Pictures are in rough chronological order within each category. The designation N shows that a negative is on file.
Image Folder PF-4448/1-2
|Image Folder PF-4448/3|
|Image Folder PF-4448/4|
|Image Folder PF-4448/5|
|Image Folder PF-4448/6|
|Extra Oversize Image Folder XOP-PF-4448/1|
|Image Folder PF-4448/6|
|Image Folder PF-4448/7|
|Image Folder PF-4448/8|
Image Folder PF-4448/9-10
Processed by: Marion Pressler with assistance from Connie Cartledge and Angela Abbatiello, October 1986 and subsequent additions
Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008
This collection was revised with the support of the Randleigh Foundation Trust.Back to Top