Digital North Carolina Blog

Digital North Carolina Blog

This blog is maintained by the staff of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center and features highlights from the collections at DigitalNC, an online library of primary sources from institutions across North Carolina.

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Even more additions to the R. Kelly Bryant Obituary Collection Now Online

New additions to the R. Kelly Bryant Obituary Collection, provided by our partner, Durham County Library, are now online at DigitalNC. This collection of funeral programs and obituaries of African American residents of Durham was compiled by R. Kelly Bryant (1917-2015), a historian with an extensive knowledge of Durham, North Carolina.

The collection is arranged alphabetically by the last names of individuals. Names included in the newest addition cover the surnames Mabry through Quiett. The funeral programs and obituaries are an excellent genealogical source and often include biographical details like birth and death dates, names of family members, locations lived, and aspects of an individual’s life story. We will continue to digitize this collection, so please check back for more entries in the coming months.

To take a look at what we have digitized so far of the R. Kelly Bryant Obituary Collection, please visit the collection’s exhibit page. Information about the collection is also available in the finding aid on Durham County Library’s website.

To see more materials from Durham County Library, visit their DigitalNC partner page, or take a look at their website.


New Yearbooks and More from Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Now Online

Several new high school yearbooks from Mecklenburg County are now online on DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner institution, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. Included are copies of various yearbooks around the county, all from 1967. The yearbooks contain individual school portraits, group portraits, and photographs of sports, activities, and their school groups.

To view the yearbooks, visit the links below:

Also new to our collection is a program from the 2017 Theresea C. Elder Trailblazer Awards Brunch, held in Charlotte. Created by Mrs. Elder in 2005, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Black Heritage Committee was formed to “research, collect and disseminate” historical information about the African-American community in the Charlotte Mecklenburg community. The 2017 brunch honored the Charlotte Post Publishing Company, the minority owned and operated news organization in North Carolina and South Carolina. The 2017 keynote speaker at the event was Mary C. Curtis, a columnist, journalist, national politics correspondent and speaker.

To see more from the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, click on their partner page or visit their website to learn more.


Brookford NC Celebrated in Newly Digitized Book

The author at age 10 on page 22 of Brookford Memories

Brookford Memories, a book contributed by Hickory Public Library, celebrates life in Brookford, NC, a small town in Catawba County. Brookford Memories was written in 2003 by Brookford native Dyke Little, born in 1935. This book contains the chapters “Childhood Memories”, “Brookford Places”, “Brookford Mills”, “Brookford People”, “Brookford Lives”, “Brookford Photos”, “Rosa Clinard’s Album”, “Grandview School”, “Mill Property”, “Church Brochures”, “Myrtle Hunt Scrapbook”, and “More Brookford Photos.”

Through a series of vignettes, interviews, biographies, and historical documents, Little paints a portrait of Brookford as it was during it’s heyday as a mill town. In the introduction, he reflects his childhood during the late 1930s and 1940s saying, “the Depression was over but World War II was starting. This was a time when we all felt closer to each other… Back then the pace of life was slower and people had more time for each other.”

Although Little’s focus is on Brookford, delving into family histories and specific childhood memories, the book touches on themes common to towns all around North Carolina and beyond.

To see more materials from Hickory Public Library, take a look at their DigitalNC partner page, or view their website.


Pamphlets, Booklets, Reports, and More from Gaston County Public Library Now Online

 

Photo from the advertising pamphlet “Gastonia, Your Convention City”

Back in February, some of the NCDHC staff travelled down to our partner Gaston County Public Library and set up to do two days of on site scanning.  The materials we scanned during that visit, as well as materials we brought back with us to scan in Chapel Hill, are now online.  

While on site, we scanned a chattel mortgage book from 1915, documents relating to a distillery in the area in the 1890s, and several local history books put together by students in the local schools in the 1950s and 1960s.  

Dozens of new reports, documents, and programs from Gaston County are also now available after we scanned those back in Chapel Hill.  Over 50 items in total, these documents, pamphlets, and booklets paint a greater picture of what it meant to live in Gaston County in the beginning and middle of the 20th century.

The 1976-1977 annual report from the Gastonia Housing Authority. The report includes stats on the types of houses and apartments under their management.

Many of these items are informational booklets, some published by the Gastonia Chamber of Commerce, telling readers about the population, GDP, schools, and industries throughout Gastonia. Others are specific booklets or programs from certain events. One program is from the 1974 dedication and recognition of Zoe Kincaid Brockman, a former editor of the Gastonia Gazette. There are other programs, including church programs from First Baptist and First Presbyterian in Gastonia. A few of the other booklets included in this collection also detail the towns outside Gastonia, like Mount Holly, Cherryville, Ranlo, and Lowell. These collections can be viewed here, and here.

Also included in this collection is a dozen booklets about the Gastonia Debutante Club, from 1976 to 1987. These booklets celebrate the Debutante Club and honor the individuals who helped put it on. Certain editions also include a list of members, the by-laws of the Debutante Club, a list of past Presidents, the history of the organization, and the debutantes of various years.

To see more materials and learn more about the Gaston County Public Library, you can visit their partner page or take a look at their website.


The Latest Batch Q-Notes, LGBT Newspaper from Charlotte, Shows the Paper’s Origins

The newest batch of Q-notes, Charlotte’s LGBT newspaper, adds very early issues of Q-notes to DigitalNC. These issues from 1983 and 1984 were published as a monthly newsletter by Queen City Quordinators (QCQ), a non-profit group established in 1981 by gay activist Don King and lesbian activist Billie Stickell. According the the Q-Notes website,

“The newsletter ended its run in 1984, with the close of the non-profit. In 1986, the newsletter was revived, and the publication was reborn as a monthly, print newspaper. The first issue of the revived community news source was published in June 1986, to coincide with National LGBT Pride Month.”

The early Q-Notes QCQ newsletters shed light on issues facing the LGBT community in Charlotte in the early 1980s and show the some of the grassroots resources and organizations pushing for information, safety, and acceptance. Conferences, meetings, and support groups were highlighted as ways of finding and building communities. Another important resource was the Gay/Lesbian Switchboard, a volunteer-run hotline providing information to Charlotte’s LGBT community.

This batch also includes newer issues of Q-notes from the 2000s, completing our run of Q-notes provided by our partner, University of North Carolina at Charlotte. To see more materials from University of North Carolina at Charlotte visit their DigitalNC partner page or take a look at their website.


See Central Carolina Community College from Above in New Photos

1997 aerial view of Central Carolina Community College’s Lee County Campus, showing construction on the Vocational Technology building (later renamed Joyner Hall)

The path between the Learning Resource Center and Wilkinson Hall on the Lee county main campus of Central Carolina Technical Institute in the snow.

A new batch of photographs from Central Carolina Community College is now available on DigitalNC. These photographs range in date from the 1960s through the 1990s and focus mainly on campus facilities. CCCC was started as Lee County Industrial Education Center in the early 1960s, but underwent name changes in 1965, 1979, and 1988 to become Central Carolina Technical Institute, then Central Carolina Technical College, and finally Central Carolina Community College. These photographs follow the school through periods of growth and change and document how campus looked through all of these stages. Particularly striking is a collection of aerial photographs that shows CCCC’s Lee County Campus from above.

This new batch of photographs joins previously digitized photos from CCCC that focus on student life and academic programs. To see more materials from our partner Central Carolina Community College, visit their DigitalNC partner page or take a look at their website.


Newsletters from Richmond Community College Now Available on DigitalNC

Two new scanned documents from Richmond Community College are now available on DigitalNC. These newly digitized documents are a 1984 newsletter to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the college, and the 1985 Spring Quarter Schedule for the school, at the time named Richmond Technical College.

The 1984 booklet celebrated the 20th anniversary of Richmond Technical College. In April 1984, a four-day-long Open House was held at the RTC campus, with entertainment, displays from local businesses and industries, demonstrations of RTC’s computer systems, and North Carolina Governor Robert Scott speaking as president of the NC Community College System. It also acted as an informational booklet, including which classes would be offered the following year, which degrees and curricula were offered at the school at the time, and new equipment the campus had received.

The 1985 Spring schedule also contained news and information on campus activities, tuition, and dates and times for classes. One of the programs they advertised was their computer-aided graphic design curriculum, where students could “print a picture of Einstein”, then “command the computer to reverse the image.” (see right) At the time, it cost a resident of North Carolina $51 for a full-time student’s tuition.

To learn more information about Richmond Community College, visit their partner page, or take a look at their website.


Moore County Historical Association contributes Southern Pines High School yearbooks as a new partner

Southern Pines High School 1951 buildings

From the 1951 Southern Pines yearbook, showing the new school building.

 

A new batch of yearbooks from Southern Pines High School are now available on DigitalNC, courtesy of new partner, the Moore County Historical Association. Included in this collection are over a dozen yearbooks from Southern Pines High School from 1951 to 1969.

These yearbooks give us a glimpse into what the high school experience was like for the students in Southern Pines at that time. These yearbooks feature individual and class portraits, photographs of activities, school clubs, and sports teams from Southern Pines High School, and more.

To see more from the Moore County Historical Association, visit their partner page, or take a look at their website.


10 More High Point Scrapbooks Added to DigitalNC

From page 29 of High Point Scrapbook [1959]

From page 304 of High Point Scrapbook Vol. 52

10 more scrapbooks documenting news in and around High Point, North Carolina are now up on DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, the Heritage Research Center at High Point Public Library. Materials in these scrapbooks range in date from 1957-1972 are comprised primarily of clippings from newspapers published in the Piedmont Triad. Papers represented include the High Point Enterprise, the Greensboro Daily News, and the Winston-Salem Journal. Five of the scrapbooks are from a volume set and join previously digitized volumes dating back to 1951. Many clippings from this set of scrapbooks deal with municipal and civic issues, and each scrapbook includes a handwritten index in the front.

The other five scrapbooks cover periods of time that overlap with the volume set. They are physically large scrapbooks, and occasionally include an entire page from a newspaper. Newspaper pages and clippings cover a wide array local and regional news.

To view the new scrapbooks, visit the links below:

To see more materials from our partner, the Heritage Research Center at High Point Public Library, visit their DigitalNC partner page or take a look at their website.


19th century papers from Davidson College trustees are now online

A bond certificate addressed to Jonathan D. Johnson, who purchased $100 Confederate dollars in March 1864.

Over three dozen 19th century and early 20th century Presbyterian Church sermons delivered by Robert Zenas Johnston are now digitized and available on DigitalNC. Also included are reports from 19th century Presbyterian Churches, documents from Rufus Johnston, and correspondence from Mary Gibson, both citizens of Mecklenburg County. All of these documents come to DigitalNC courtesy of our partner, Davidson College as part of their Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded “Justice, Equality, Community: Reimagining Humanities Curricula” project, which is a three-year, campus-wide initiative. All materials digitized for the project by DigitalNC can be found on the exhibit page Nineteenth Century Family Papers and Plantation Records of Davidson College Trustees.

The cover of one of the notebooks used by the Presbyterian Churches of Mecklenburg County, made in roughly 1876.

Johnston’s sermons (over 550!) stretch from 1859 to 1907, until just before his death in 1908. He delivered them all across the state, from Asheville to Shelby, in different cities around Mecklenburg County, and even at the Unity Church in South Carolina. Approximately 61 of those sermons are undated, but they most likely date from the 1800s as well. In many of the earlier sermons, he discussed the Civil War on the local towns. We also have several of his student notebooks, a contract for a teaching position and pastoral position that Johnston was offered, and more.

Also included in this new collection of documents are financial records of Rufus Johnston, including receipts, bonds, and bills of payment. We also received correspondence and letters from Mary Gibson, one of which tells her brother Robert what she would like done with her property towards the end of the Civil War.

Another folder contains a few documents about Davidson College itself. One document was written by Reverend Jethro Rumple, reminiscing about life at the college in the 1840’s. Included is a small handwritten biography by Reverend Rumple about Reverend John Bunyan Shearer, the eighth president of Davidson College from 1888 to 1901. These documents help give us all a greater idea of what living as a student in those times was like. Also included in this batch is a letter written by Rumple to Brother McLaughlin about an 1878 Concord Presbytery Meeting in Statesville, North Carolina.

This collection also includes various reports to and about Presbyterian Churches across the state. A few letters are addressed to synods, while others are reports on new developments within the church. There are also several notebooks, copybooks, and ledgers used by the church.

An 1855 receipt from Rural Hill Plantation promising payment of $50.12 due the next day.

Finally, DigitalNC also received folders of papers and documents about several Mecklenburg County plantations. Stretching from the 1820s to the 1860s, many of the folders contain financial records and receipts from Rural Hill, a plantation in Huntersville that was built in 1788 by Major John Davidson. There are also documents from his grandson, Adam Brevard Davidson, who later became a Trustee of Davidson College, and financial records, ledgers and booklets from the Mt. Tirzah Plantation in Lincoln County.

To browse through these materials, feel free to visit Davidson College’s partner page, or check out their website.