New Special Collection to Make Randall Library A Destination for Researchers Worldwide


Dr. Percy in Special Collections

Dr. Antony Percy and his family have made a gift of his collection of books and papers, which totals several thousand individual pieces, to Randall Library’s Special Collections. The gift will also create The Percy Family Support Fund for Special Collections in the Center for Southeast North Carolina Archives and History (CSENCAH).

The family’s contribution will augment the CSENCAH Director position and provide much-needed funding for preservation, accessibility and storage of the Special Collections area’s materials. The gift will count towards the university’s current comprehensive campaign, Like No Other: The Campaign for UNCW.

“I needed to find a home for my collection, which focuses on 20th-century history and literature in the United Kingdom and America,” Dr. Percy said. “It was my belief a lot of people would enjoy browsing and not just going to find a book they want. That’s the serendipity of a second-hand bookstore. You go for something, see all the others and follow the trail. That’s the vision I had for how the collection would work.”

Randall Library and the CSENCAH will now house the Percy collection as a single discrete collection. Staff will catalog the books and materials, create an ArchivesSpace finding aid for archival materials and create a dedicated topical online guide to the collection. The library will also have a dedicated landing page on its website to introduce and explain the nature and contents of Dr. Percy’s collection, pointing to individual book records in the library catalog and to the ArchivesSpace finding aid.

Lucy Holoman and Dr. Percy

Dean of the Library Lucy Holman with Dr. Percy.

“Dr. Percy’s collection of books and archival material on 20th century intelligence and espionage is like no other and will make Randall Library a destination for researchers worldwide,” Associate Provost for Teaching, Learning & Library Services and Dean of the Library Lucy Holman said. “His gift is a game-changer for the Center of Southeast North Carolina Archives and History. The funds will allow us to greatly expand the work of the Center to collect and process new collection and provide greater access to a wealth of primary resources vital to the study of this region.” 

Dr. Percy had a long and significant career in technology. In his retirement, he has applied his analytical skills to gain a doctorate in Security and Intelligence Studies, which led to the publication of his book Misdefending the Realm. He was born in the United Kingdom and moved to the United States in 1980. He retired in 2000 and moved to Southport, N.C., a year later.

“The quality of people I have met here at UNCW has been splendid,” Dr. Percy said. “I have had many happy hours in Randall Library doing my research here. With the opening of the new library wing, the timing just seems beautiful to me. I thought what a great opportunity it would be to be in partnership together.”

The Percy collection will become the most substantial sub-collection for the CSENCAH, representing nearly 40 percent of its sub-collection.

Dr. Percy and Chancellor Aswani K. Volety

Dr. Percy and Chancellor Aswani K. Volety talk about history and the impact to the library's special collections.

Learn more about Like No Other: The Campaign for UNCW by visiting