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Scrapbook 16, 1979-1982


Scope and Contents

From the Collection:

This collection contains twenty scrapbook albums documenting the life and career of Benjamin David (B.D.) Schwartz, his wife Sylvia, and their family beginning in 1918 and ending in 1993. Schwartz, a Jewish immigrant from Poland, moved to Wilmington as young child. He attended local schools, worked at his father’s furniture business, and assisted his family in establishing the B’nai Israel Synagogue. After graduating from UNC Chapel Hill, he returned to the port city and continued working with his father before eventually starting his own furniture business. He married Sylvia Wolk in 1931 and the couple had two children.

As Schwartz prospered in business, he became increasingly involved in the community through organizations such as the Wilmington Merchants Association and the Chamber of Commerce. In 1969, he filed as a candidate for Wilmington City Council and was successfully elected. In this role, he served as mayor pro tem and later as mayor of Wilmington. Schwartz then successfully ran as a candidate for the 12th district of the North Carolina House of Representatives, serving three terms, and later as a candidate for the 4th district of the North Carolina senate, serving one term.

Materials contained within these scrapbooks document cultural, economic, and political life in Wilmington over the course of 75 years. They provide a view of life in the port city during important eras in American history including the Great Depression, World War II, and the civil rights movement. Notably, these scrapbooks include documents pertaining to a period of significant racial discord and violence in Wilmington during the late 1960s and early 1970s. They also shed light on all aspects of government at both local and state levels and illustrate the network and influence of politicians particularly in eastern North Carolina. Finally, they provide a glimpse into the experience of a Jewish family living in the South and the Zionist movement during the 20th century.


  • Creation: 1979-1982


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.


From the Collection: 4.58 Linear Feet (Contains 21 boxes.)

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

From the Collection: Hebrew

From the Collection: Yiddish

From the Collection: German

From the Collection: French

Repository Details

Part of the Randall Library Special Collections Repository