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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Twenty years of The Chowan Herald are now available on DigitalNC

The Chowan Herald, May 26, 1949

The Chowan Herald, May 26, 1949

Twenty years worth of The Chowan Herald has recently been transferred to a digital format from a microfilm one, and these issues are now available on DigitalNC. These new additions cover Edenton’s news from 1934 until 1956 and cover all manner of Chowan County news.  This paper is made available thanks to our new partner Shepard-Pruden Memorial Library.

Among other things, the paper frequently shares images of local homes and businesses, though the digitized microfilm is sometimes difficult to make out:

The Chowan Herald, August 18, 1938

The Chowan Herald, August 18, 1938

The paper also often includes a comic strip, “Facts You Never Knew!!!”:

"Facts You Never Knew!!!," May 4, 1939

“Facts You Never Knew!!!,” May 4, 1939

To see more news from Edenton, and to learn more about The Chowan Herald, click here.


1300 newly digitized issues of Concord Daily Tribune are now available

The Concord Daily Tribune, October 10, 1923

The Concord Daily Tribune, October 10, 1923

Nearly 1300 issues of The Concord Daily Tribune are now available on DigitalNC, covering the paper’s publication from 1923 through 1927. From Concord, North Carolina, The Concord Daily Tribune was generally published daily except Sundays for decades.  This paper is available thanks to a nomination from our partner Cabarrus County Public Library.

The paper covers local, statewide, national, and even international news for its audiences. While the efforts of the paper document serious journalism, the paper definitely includes quirky moments. There is no shortage of comic strips, and various animals even deliver meteorological reports on every front page:

"What Smitty's Weather Cat Says," May 1, 1924

“What Smitty’s Weather Cat Says,” May 1, 1924

 

"What Sat's Bear Says," April 27, 1925

“What Sat’s Bear Says,” April 27, 1925

To learn more about The Concord Daily Tribune and view all of its issues, click here.


The Philanthropy Journal of North Carolina is now online

front page of the Philanthropy Journal, includes a photograph of a woman being treated by a doctor

Front page of the December 1994 issue of the Journal

Thanks to our partner the Government and Heritage Library, State Library of North Carolina in Raleigh, issues from 1993 to 1998 of the Philanthropy Journal of North Carolina are now on DigitalNC.  The Journal has been published since 1993.  Todd Cohen, an adjunct instructor in writing at William Peace University in Raleigh, launched a weekly philanthropy column for The News & Observer in 1991 as the newspaper’s business editor. In 1993, through The News and Observer Foundation, he created the Philanthropy Journal, the first statewide paper in the U.S. to report on nonprofits. He edited the Journal for nearly 20 years.  The Journal currently is published by the Institute for Nonprofits in a different format from the Journal of the 1990s and early 2000s, but maintains that it’s mission is to serve as a platform for nonprofits and their supporters to be reflective, think critically, and share their stories in order to build a stronger, more courageous sector.”  The issues now on DigitalNC give a good view into the nonprofit sector and the work being done across North Carolina during the mid-1990s.  

To learn more about the Journal, visit their homepage here.  To see more North Carolina newspapers, visit our newspaper site here.  


1950s and 1960s yearbooks from Chatham County Public Library are now online

Black and white photograph of the lunch room at Pittsboro High School in 1965

The cafeteria at Pittsboro High School in 1965

20 new yearbooks from Chatham County Public Library are now online here. The yearbooks come from Pittsboro High School, Chatham Central High School, Jordan-Matthews High School, and Goldston High School and cover the 1950s and 1960s.  These yearbooks join the already 25 yearbooks from Chatham County schools on DigitalNC.  

To learn more about our partner Chatham County Public Library, visit their partner page here and their website here.  To see more yearbooks from across North Carolina, visit our yearbooks page here.  


More issues of The Chatham Record are now available on DigitalNC!

The Chatham Record, March 27, 1924

The Chatham Record, March 27, 1924

Over four hundred issues of The Chatham Record were recently digitized from their microfilm formats and added to DigitalNC. These new issues range from 1923 to 1929 and supplement those from 1878 to 1904 which were already available. Printed in Pittsboro, North Carolina, The Chatham Record provided weekly news to the people of Chatham County.  This paper is made available thanks to a nomination from our partner Chatham County Libraries.

Regular news included updates about local farming, businesses, significant individuals, social events, and others, supplemented with statewide, national, and international news. Some typical clippings are shared below:

"Message to Cotton Growers," October 2, 1924

“Message to Cotton Growers,” October 2, 1924

 

"Town - County Briefs," May 19, 1927

“Town – County Briefs,” May 19, 1927

 

"Pittsboro High School Basket Ball Team," February 2, 1928

“Pittsboro High School Basket Ball Team,” February 2, 1928

To learn more about The Chatham Record and view all issues, click here.


Henderson County Genealogical Society and Henderson County Public Library join DigitalNC with yearbooks

Drawing of a boy looking at a yearbook and a word bubble that says "Laureate 1957"

Cover page from the 1957 Laureate

A new batch of yearbooks are now available and online at DigitalNC, courtesy of our partners, the Henderson County Public Library, and the Henderson County Genealogical and Historical Society. The first batch, from HCPL, includes issues of Hendersonville High School’s yearbook, the Laureate, from 1948 to 1961. The second, from the HCGHS, includes more issues of the Laureate, from 1962 to 1963, as well as a 1916 yearbook from Hendersonville High School, which was entitled The Mountaineer. These batches represent the first digitized items from both partners, and we are privileged to have them on our website.

The 1916 Mountaineer has a class poem, class prophecy, valedictorian address, “The A.B.C. of the H.H.S.”. Most others have class portraits, individual portraits, photos of faculty, class photos, sports teams, student clubs and activities, national honor society honorifics. 1956 Laureate also has a dedication for the students themselves at the very end.

These yearbooks are the first items from the Henderson County Public Library and the Henderson County Genealogical and Historical Society, and we are privileged to have them as contributing partners. Having their materials improves our knowledge of what Henderson County life was like for high schoolers in the 20th century.

To learn more from the Henderson County Public Library, please visit their partner page or check out their website. To see more from the Henderson County Genealogical and Historical Society, please take a look at their partner page or visit their website.


Call for Nominations – North Carolina Newspaper Digitization, 2019

Front page of The Carolinian newspaper from November 06, 1948, declaring Truman Wins.

An issue of The Carolinian (Raleigh) newspaper from November 6, 1948.

It’s time to announce our annual round of microfilmed newspaper digitization! As in previous years, we’re asking cultural heritage institutions in North Carolina to nominate papers from their communities to be digitized. We’re especially interested in:

  • newspapers covering underrepresented regions or communities, and
  • newspapers that are not currently available in digital form elsewhere online.

If your institution is in one of these counties, please consider nominating! These are counties that currently have little content represented on DigitalNC. Bertie, Bladen, Camden, Caswell, Clay, Gates, Hoke, Jones, Northampton, Onslow, Pamlico, Swain, Tyrrell.

If you’re interested in nominating a paper and you work at a cultural heritage institution that qualifies as a partner, here’s what to do:

  • Check out our criteria for selecting newspapers, listed below.
  • Verify that the newspaper you’d like to see digitized exists on microfilm. Email us (digitalnc@unc.edu) if you’re not sure.
  • Be prepared to talk with the rights holder(s) to gain written permission to digitize the paper and share it online. We can give you advice on this part, if needed.
  • Send us an email with the name of the newspaper you would like to nominate, along with your priority years for scanning. Please talk briefly about how the paper and your institution meet the criteria below.

Nominations will be taken on an ongoing basis, however don’t wait! We typically get many more requests than we can accommodate. Please contact us at digitalnc@unc.edu with questions. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

Criteria for Selecting Newspapers to Digitize from Microfilm

Titles to be digitized will be selected using the following criteria:

  • Does the newspaper document traditionally underrepresented regions or communities?
  • Does the newspaper include significant coverage of the local community or largely syndicated content?
  • Does the newspaper come from an area of the state that has little representation on DigitalNC? (Titles that have not previously been digitized will be given priority. Here’s a title list and a map showing coverage.)
  • Are the images on microfilm legible, or is it difficult to read the text?
  • Is the institution willing to obtain permission from the current publisher or rights holder(s) to digitize issues and make them freely available online?
  • If the newspaper is selected for digitization, will the nominating institution promote the digital project through programs and announcements?

*Updated 8/9/2019 to add county list.


DigitalNC on the web: NC Hunt and Fish and the Outer Banks Fisherman

We love being sent or just stumbling upon, projects on the web that utilize materials digitized through the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center.  We thought since they have done such a great job highlighting us, it’d only be fair to turn around and highlight a few we’ve found recently.

Man standing in the ocean holding a fishing pole

We are still right in the middle of summer time here in North Carolina so it seems like a good time for another post on DigitalNC on the web featuring fishing.  This particular use of DigitalNC was figured out by the staff at the NCDHC due to web traffic analytics.  Last winter when we ran the numbers on our highest viewed items for 2018, we were surprised that a video of fishing was the second highest viewed item on our site in 2018. Specifically this film of Roland Martin, a well known fisherman fishing on the Outer Banks.  It is aptly titled, “Outer Banks Fisherman” and was digitized thanks to our partner the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  

We decided to do some digging into why that might be and stumbled upon a really great forum – NC Hunt and Fish. Someone on there had found the video and posted it – which promoted lots of excitement on the forum and drove lots of avid fishermen to our site to view it for themselves apparently!  The video itself is a fun look at sport fishing on the NC coast in the 1980s and the forum has lots of great memories of those who themselves used to go down to the Outer Banks to fish.

If you have a particular project or know of one that has utilized materials from DigitalNC, we’d love to hear about it!  Contact us via email or in the comments below and we’ll check out.  To see past highlighted projects, visit past posts here


Over one hundred more issues of the Greensboro High School newspaper are online now

Thanks to our partners at the Greensboro History Museum, DigitalNC is proud to announce more digitized issues of Greensboro High School’s (now Grimsley High School) student newspaper, High LifeThis addition covers 1921 to 1939, which precedes the issues that had already been available from 1940 to 1978.

The paper shares relevant news with GHS students, covering topics such as academics, athletics, social events and clubs, and opinion pieces. Writers frequently share humorous columns to keep things interesting, including this clipping mocking “a Kentuckian at Yale:”

"A Kentuckian at Yale," May 21, 1925

“A Kentuckian at Yale,” May 21, 1925

However, there’s a time and place for serious news as well. The 1922 issues often shared an “Administrative News” section, where Greensboro school administrators shared useful information with students. Here are some sample headlines from this section:

Clipping from "Administrative News," October 20, 1922

Clipping from “Administrative News,” October 20, 1922

To learn more about High Life, and view all of our digitized content from this title, click here. To learn more about the Greensboro History Museum, visit their partner page here or their website here.


The Daily Record Project: “Remnants” of a Pivotal Paper in North Carolina’s History

About two years ago, we had the honor of hosting a group of students from Wilmington who were studying one of the most politically and socially devastating moments in the state’s history–the Wilmington Coup and Race Riots of 1898. Their efforts centered around locating and studying the remaining issues of the newspaper at the center of that event, the Wilmington Daily Record. Owned and operated by African Americans, this successful paper incited racists who were already upset with the political power held by African Americans and supporters of equality. During the Coup, the Record’s offices were burned and many were killed. Thanks to these students, their mentors, and cultural heritage institutions, you can now see the seven known remaining issues of the Daily Record on DigitalNC.

Our main contact on this project has been John Jeremiah Sullivan, a well known North Carolina author and editor. He originally approached us back in 2017 to enlist our help and, since then, has been working with a cohort of supporters, volunteers, and students to dig deeper into the Daily Record and to raise further awareness of its history. Today we’re excited to share the Project’s latest efforts in Sullivan’s own words below. 

Group portrait of middle schoolers and adults outside in a field

Daily Record Project Historians, taken by Harry Taylor in May 2017 at the Cape Fear Museum

Highlights

  • Over the past few years, Wilmington middle school students have been combing through newspapers, periodicals, manuscripts, and other publications contemporaneous with The Daily Record searching for content from the Record that is quoted in those sources.
  • Their efforts yielded numerous quotes, which have been assembled into what they’re calling a “Remnants” issue of the Record.
  • Literary content, biographical information about the Record’s editors, Wilmington political news and more can be found in this issue.
  • For the first time in one place you can read content that was published in issues of the Record that may no longer exist.

The Daily Record Project

by John Jeremiah Sullivan

For the past four years, Joel Finsel and I, in conjunction with the Third Person Project, have been meeting weekly with groups of Wilmington 8th-graders to learn as much as we can about the Wilmington Daily Record, the African American newspaper destroyed at the start of the race massacre and coup d’état that turned Wilmington upside down in November of 1898. At the heart of the original Daily Record Project was an attempt to locate any surviving copies of the paper. Books and essays about the massacre always include a sentence along the lines of, ‘Sadly no copies remain,’ but it seemed impossible that they could all have disappeared. After three years’ hunting, we were able to identify seven copies–three in Wilmington, at the Cape Fear Museum (the staff historian there reached out to make us aware of their existence), three at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City, and one at the State Archives of North Carolina in Raleigh. (The latter is a mostly illegible copy of the issue containing Alex Manly’s editorial of August 18, 1898, the article seized on by white supremacists as a pretext for stirring up race-hatred in the months before the massacre.) These seven copies, thanks to the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center, can now be examined online by anyone with an Internet connection. For the first time in more than a hundred years, it is possible to read one of the most famous and important African American newspapers of the late-nineteenth century. 

“When those seven copies had been thoroughly read through and annotated, and it did not seem that any more were going to surface (at least not in the near future), we found ourselves faced with the question of “What next?” Should we discontinue the project? We had no desire to do that—it had been too much fun and we were learning too much. We had developed rewarding relationships with the three middle schools that sent their students to study with us: Williston School, D.C. Virgo Preparatory Academy, and the Friends School of Wilmington. The Daily Record Project had become a kind of field laboratory for excavating more information about the events of 1898 and Wilmington history more largely. The last thing we wanted was to shut that down. 

Adult at the front of a room addressing middle school students seated at large tables.

John Jeremiah Sullivan addressing the Daily Record Project class at DC Virgo Preparatory Academy, 2019

“We had noticed, in the course of studying the seven copies, that there did exist, in various sources from that period, isolated fragments of text from various issues of the Record that may no longer exist. We were finding these fragments in other newspapers. Just as publications do today, papers were reprinting one another’s material. Sometimes it was in the form of a quotation—several paragraphs, or even just a sentence. Sometimes whole articles were being re-published. In a couple of cases, the text survived by way of advertisement: a traveling circus, for instance, had liked what the Record said about it when it passed through Wilmington, and used that paragraph in announcing future appearances. We started wondering how many of these “ghost” stories might exist. The more we looked, the more we found. We enlisted the 8th graders to help us search. They turned up even more stuff. The range of sources we were using expanded. From old newspapers we moved on to magazines and books and pamphlets and letters. Often the writers or editors doing the quoting were critical of, or even hostile to, the Record and its politics. In attacking pieces from the Record that had offended them, they were unwittingly preserving more of that newspaper’s copy for future generations. 

By the time it was over, we had a folder containing scores of these “remnants,” as we were calling them, enough to create an entire new issue–a “ghost issue”–of the Daily Record, and that is what we have done. 

To create the actual issue, we worked with a brilliant graphic designer in New York named Stacey Clarkson James, who for many years had been the Art Director at Harper’s Magazine. I had worked with Stacey at Harper’s many years ago and have collaborated with her many times since. She exceeded even our high expectations by designing a newspaper issue that is not so much an imitation of the original Daily Record as a resurrection. She went in and crafted, by hand, a typeface that matches the now-extinct one used by Alexander Manly and the original editors. Then she laid out the pages according to the old 1890s press-style, even dropping in advertisements that we knew to have appeared in the Record. At the top it says REMNANTS. We gasped when we saw it. 

“On the second page, above the masthead, can be seen a list of sources we used. There are a lot of them. The very size and range of the list shows the scope of the Record’s notoriety in its day. It was being read in many parts of the country. 

“Maybe the most interesting thing about this issue is that, because it consists only of material that other publications found interesting enough to re-print, it winds up forming a kind of Greatest Hits compilation (though all of these “hits” have been buried in other papers until now). It’s a fascinating issue to read. There are articles on politics, culture, and social life, as well as strange unplaceable pieces, like the one about a man in Arkansas who caught fire in his orchard and just kept burning. No one could put him out. We still aren’t sure what that one means. 

“Two of many things worth highlighting within the “Remnants” issue:

Photographic portrait of Charles W. Chesnutt

Charles W. Chesnutt, Charles Chesnutt Collection, Fayetteville State University Library.

“First–at the center of the issue is Charles Chesnutt’s short story, “The Wife of His Youth.” Chesnutt was, of course, one of the first great African-American fiction writers, and the novel that many consider to be his greatest work, The Marrow of Tradition, is a re-telling of the events of 1898, set in a fictionalized Wilmington that he calls Wellington. Chesnutt had many and deep ties to this city, more than most scholars are aware. (His cousin, Tommy Chesnutt, was the “printer’s devil” or apprentice at the Daily Record–you can find his name on the masthead on page 2.) “The Wife of His Youth” is probably Chesnutt’s best-known story. What’s curious is how we learned that it ran in the Daily Record. In Chesnutt’s published correspondence, there is a letter to Walter Hines Page, his editor at the Atlantic Monthly. It’s basically a letter of complaint: Chesnutt is telling Page that Alex Manly had reprinted the story (serially) in the Record, without having asked permission. At the time of that writing the Record had already been burnt and Manly had fled Wilmington, so Chesnutt essentially says, I guess we can give him a pass… But the complaint contained valuable information, because it tells us that the Record had an ongoing literary dimension. Manly was likely running stories and poems quite frequently—one of the seven surviving copies also contains a short story, “The Gray Steer” by one Frank Oakling. It’s on page 3 of the August 30th, 1898 issue. 

Photographic portrait of Alexander Manly

Alexander Manly, in the John Henry William Bonitz Papers #3865, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“Second–readers will notice that at the end of the “Remnants” issue, in the last couple of columns on the last page, there is a series of articles from not the Wilmington Daily Record but the *Washington* Daily Record. These represent probably the most exciting discovery we made during this most recent session of the Daily Record Project. The way the story of 1898 traditionally gets told, the massacre and coup d’état marked the end of the Manly brothers’ journalistic careers: they left the city, their ambition blighted, and sank into relative obscurity. The reality could not have been more different. It turns out that the Manlys went almost immediately to Washington, D.C., and re-established the Daily Record there. Before a year was out, they had the press up and running. They operated the Daily Record for four more years in the capital, then handed it off to another editor, who ran it for another six or seven. One of their articles included here is a stirring anti-imperialist denunciation of American military intervention in the Philippines. Another describes the renaissance in African-American literary activity that was felt to be happening around the turn of the century. As far as we can determine, these few pieces represent the only extant copy from the *Washington* Daily Record, for its entire decade-long run. 

“There is much more worth unpacking, but we want to allow visitors to the NC Digital Heritage Center’s website to have the fun of doing that themselves.  

“Long live the Daily Record. Thank you for reading. 

“There are a lot of people to thank. First, the incredible 8th-grade students participated in the “Remnants” session of the Daily Record Project. It was a privilege to work with them and be around their energy: 

  • Ridley Edgerton
  • Bella Erichsen
  • Dymir Everett
  • Love Fowler
  • Malakhi Gordon
  • Heaven Loftin
  • Katy McCullough
  • Juan Mckoy
  • Shalee Newell
  • Isis Peoples
  • Nakitah Roberts
  • Gabe Smith
  • Maria Sullivan
  • Latara Walker
  • Ramya Warren

“Second, the adults (teachers, administrators, chaperones, donors, friends, and Third Person Project members) who contributed every week to making this year’s work possible: 

  • Rhonda Bellamy
  • Dan Brawley
  • Laura Butler
  • Stacey Clarkson James
  • Michelle Dykes
  • Clyde Edgerton
  • Brenda Esch
  • Joe Finley
  • Cameron Francisco
  • Sabrina Hill-Black 
  • Mariana Johnson
  • Trey Morehouse
  • Tana Oliver
  • Donyell Roseboro
  • Elliot Smith
  • Beverley Tetterton
  • Larry Reni Thomas
  • Candace Thompson
  • Leyna Varnum
  • Tony Ventimiglia 
  • Florence Weller
  • The Cape Fear Museum
  • NC State Archives
  • The Schomburg Center 

“And finally, a shout-out to the Digital Heritage Center. Thanks to you, more than 120 years after white supremacists tried to erase the Daily Record, people are reading it again.”