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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Microfilmed Newspaper Nominations Selected for Digitization, 2019

Back in August, we announced our annual call for microfilmed newspaper digitization. We asked institutions throughout North Carolina to nominate papers they’d like to see added to DigitalNC. As it is every year, it was an incredibly tough choice – we are typically able to choose between 40-60 reels out of hundreds or thousands nominated. This year we’ve chosen the following titles and years.

Title Years Nominating Institution
Carolinian (Raleigh) 1946-1959 Olivia Raney Local History Library
Chatham Record (Pittsboro) 1923-1930 Chatham County Libraries
Chowan Herald (Edenton) 1934-1956 Shepard-Pruden Memorial Library
Concord Times 1923-1927 Cabarrus County Public Library
Goldsboro News 1922-1927 Wayne County Public Library
Yancey Record / Journal 1936-1977 AMY Regional Library System

For our selection criteria, we prioritize newspapers that document underrepresented communities, new titles, papers that come from a county that currently has little representation on DigitalNC, and papers nominated by new partners. After selection, we ask the partners to secure permission for digitization and, if that’s successful, they make it into the final list above.

We hope to have these titles coming online in mid-2019. If your title didn’t make it this year don’t despair! We welcome repeat submissions, and plan on sending out another call in Fall 2019. 


A New Partner Means New Materials from Robersonville and Martin County

We are excited to welcome new partner Robersonville Public Library to DigitalNC.  With this addition, we are adding Robersonville and Martin County generally to our coverage map.  Our first batch from Robersonville includes several yearbooks from Robersonville High School, as well as Abstracts of Deed Books, Robersonville Cemetery Records, and books on the history of Martin County. 

Robersonville High School with students out front

Robersonville High School from the 1957 yearbook

The high school yearbooks cover 1954 through 1967 for Robersonville High School and give a great glimpse into what life was like for students in Martin County at the time.  Alumni who have moved out of the area will be particularly interested in these materials.  

The two books on the history of Martin County compiled by Martin County residents Francis M. Manning and W. H. Booker based on historical documents and oral histories. Martin County History Volume I chronicles more than two centuries of the county’s past, beginning with the arrival of colonists in the area that was previously only inhabited by native peoples. Martin County History Volume I explores notable events, individuals, and even inventions through 1976.

Martin County History Vol I page 252

Some of the inventions discussed in Martin County History Volume I include octagon soap, and a filleting machine.

Religion and Education in Martin County 1774-1974, also authored by these two local historians, includes information about Martin County churches, their congregants, their leadership, and even details regarding a nineteenth-century missionary movement within the county. Part two of the book details the development of the county’s school system, including photographs and details of public and private schools alike.

Williamston Academy Building 1914

Students stretch outside of the Willamston Academy in Martin County in an image from Religion and Education in Martin County 1774-1974.

Martin County genealogists may be especially interested in these new materials. Included in this collection are Abstracts of Deeds from 1774 to 1801, Will Books from 1774-1868, and two collections of cemetery records for Robersonville area cemeteries. These cemetery records including the new and old cemetery sections for the Robersonville Cemetery, the Grimes Cemetery, the First Christian Church Cemetery, and the Roberson Cemetery. These binders provide grave locations for many deceased residents as well as veterans status, dates of birth and death, and the names of plot purchasers for all included cemeteries.

Robersonville Public Library is part of BHM Regional Library, serving Beaufort, Hyde, and Martin Counties. To see more from the Robersonville Public Library, visit their partner page here on DigitalNC or check out their website.


Maps, Sketches, and Blueprints on DigitalNC from our new partner Wrightsville Beach Museum of History

A blueprint of the North Shore of Wrightsville Beach, with buildings, pipes, and pump stations marked in red.

Over four dozen historical maps, blueprints, and more have been digitized and added to DigitalNC, courtesy of our new partner, the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History. These maps, some dating back to as early as 1923, cover many different parts of the Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach areas and really illustrate to us how wide and varied the geography of New Hanover County really is.

Many of the blueprints detail buildings around Wrightsville Beach, while others show plots of land and city streets. Several of the maps are designed to show specific buildings and building sites, such as the former Babies Hospital at Mott’s Creek in Wilmington. Others are geological cross sections, showing tide lines, jetty locations, and inlets along the coast. These are invaluable blueprints for tracking the coastline, as well as illustrating how the beaches and the towns around them have changed over time.

A photo taken during the mid-scanning process of one of the larger, composited maps of Wrightsville Beach

Many of these maps are massive, with some stretching to nearly 6 feet in length. A few of the aerial shots of Wrightsville Beach were even longer, requiring a small team to handle the map just to make sure it could be documented. As a result, it was a slow process for us to roll out these maps and blueprints, scan them using our overhead camera, composite them into complete shots, and prepare them for production. We have posted an instructional video on our Flickr page to show and explain how we scanned them. Many of them, including the aerial view of Wrightsville Beach, took 3 and sometimes 4 individual shots to stitch together, resulting in images that were sometimes over 8000 pixels high and over 10000 pixels wide.

A portion of a 1956 map from the A.S.C.S. showing Moore Inlet and Mason Inlet.

These maps were in excellent condition, and we are honored in being able to digitize them and host them for everyone to see. To learn more about the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History, please visit their contributor page or their website.


1962 Pep-Pac from Henderson, NC now on DigitalNC

The 1962 Henderson High School Band

A new yearbook from Henderson, North Carolina, is now available on DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, the Perry Memorial Library, the 1962 Pep Pac yearbook from Henderson High School for the 1961-1962 school year.

An exterior shot of Henderson High School

This yearbook contains individual and class portraits, the school’s alma mater poem and fight song, senior superlatives, and the class poem. Also included are photographs of student activities, class clubs, and student athletics.

The yearbook also includes a “class prophecy”, descriptions of what they hoped they would be doing and how their lives would play out after graduation, and the “last will and testament”, where they “left behind” their skills, abilities, and different items to the underclassmen and future graduates.

This yearbook gives us a valuable window into what life was like as a high schooler in the early 60’s. To see more from Perry Memorial Library, visit their partner page or check out their website to learn more.


100 Issues of The Carolina Union Farmer now online at DigitalNC

Carolina Union Farmer Front Page October 10 1912

Front page of the Carolina Union Farmer, October 10, 1912

100 issues of the Carolina Union Farmer are now online at DigitalNC. The recently digitized issues form a nearly complete representation of the weekly paper’s publication between July 1911 and May 1913. Published by the North Carolina Farmer’s Union, the paper provides unique insights into the Labor Movement as it manifested itself in the South during the early twentieth century.

Cosmetics ad Carolina Union Farmer

Cosmetics ad in the August 22, 1912 issue

Wool ad Carolina Union Farmer

Wool-buyers ad in the August 14, 1912 issue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The issues deal heavily with economics, politics, religion, and topics of agrarian interest, all seen through a distinctly Progressive-Era lens. Many articles urge their audiences to organize against large corporate farming interests and provide instruction as to how the average farmer might go about doing so. Also included are pages of classified and commercial ads, op-eds, cultural submissions such as poetry and prose, and notifications for events and programs hosted by the Farmer’s Union. Many of the issues published in the second half of 1912 feature columns related to the 1912 national and state elections, with political advertisements and endorsements occupying several pages.

 

Carolina Union Farmer political ad

Political ad in the September 26, 1912 issue

These issues of The Carolina Union Farmer are held by UNC Libraries. Click here to learn more about the other UNC materials hosted online at DigitalNC.


New Images from Central Carolina Community College Now Online at DigitalNC

Nearly 75 new photographs have been digitized and added to DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, Central Carolina Community College.

A photo of CCCC students working in the Guided Studies Building

This new batch comes in five collections. The first contains photos of students and staff lining up and working at the bookstore on campus in the 1960s and 1970s, back when it was still called Central Carolina Technical Institute. The second collection contains around two dozen photos from 1984 of Budd Memorial Court and Budd Hall on the Lee County campus of CCCC. The third collection focuses on the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center at the Lee County campus, with nearly two dozen photos of students or shots of the building from the 1990s. The fourth contains photos of the Classroom and Fitness Center on the Lee County campus, featuring students and campus views. Finally, the fifth features images of the Guided Studies Building on the Lee County Campus.

A shot of the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center on the Lee County CCCC Campus.

These photos bring yet more knowledge and representation about what it meant to be a student at CCCC throughout the 20th century. To learn more about Central Carolina Community College, please visit their contributor page or check out their website.


Sketches of the Battle of Kings Mountain and More Now Online

A sketch of the Battle of Kings Mountain, drawn by Kathryn L. Bolin.

New photographs and sketches of Kings Mountain have now been digitized and uploaded to DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, the Kings Mountain Historical Museum. These tin type photos are of men, women and children, and are likely quite old. These sketches, however, were created by Kathryn L. Bolin, and depict militiamen and soldiers at the Battle of Kings Mountain. These sketches were designed for the Mural of Battle of Kings Mountain in the Kings Mountain City Hall.

These sketches in particular join the collection of materials on the Battle of Kings Mountain we have already digitized on DigitalNC. In our holdings, we have photographs of the bicentennial celebration of the Battle, materials like programs from that celebration, histories of Kings Mountain, and more.

Having these materials in our collection helps complete our understanding of the Battle of Kings Mountain, as well as how we remember it. To see more from the Kings Mountain Historical Museum, check out their contributor page here, or click here to visit their website.


Over 90 issues of Lambda, UNC’s LGBTQ student newspaper, now online at DigitalNC!

Over 90 issues spanning nearly the entire run of Lambda, UNC Chapel Hill‘s LGBQT student newspaper, are now online at DigitalNC. Publication of Lambda started in 1976 and ran until at least 2013. The paper began as simple newsletter for the UNC gay community, but later appeared in a number of formats, from an “activist newspaper” (Lambda January 1993), to a “LGBTIQ-Affirming Magazine” (Lambda Spring 2004), and finally to an online blog.

The issues now online constitute a valuable resource for those interested in LGBQT history at UNC Chapel Hill, in the greater Triangle area, and in the United States as a whole. Most of the writing within deals with topics like sexuality, identity, and politics at all of these levels. Many notable events, such as the deadly anti-gay assaults at Little River in Durham in April 1981, as well as the national debates around the issue of same-sex marriage in the early- to mid-2000s, are covered in detail.

Lambda Spring 2004 Front Page

Front Page of Lambda, Spring 2004

In browsing the paper’s many issues, one gets a distinct sense of the scope of the LGBQT movement throughout its history as well as the identities involved. This is exemplified by the progression of organizations that sponsored the paper over the years. Beginning with the Carolina Gay Association in 1976, the paper later became the voice of the Carolina Gay and Lesbian Association; the Carolina Bisexuals, Gay men, Lesbians and Allies for Diversity (B-GLAD); The Queer Network for Change; and finally the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transsexual Student Association.

 

The newly digitized issues of Lambda are another addition to the already considerable amount of UNC Chapel Hill materials currently hosted at DigitalNC. For more information about Lambda and the various LGBQT student associations that form an important part of UNC history, visit The Carolina Story and its exhibit on UNC student organizations.


Nashville Business and Professional Women’s Club Scrapbooks Now Online at DigitalNC

Nearly a dozen new scrapbooks from the Nashville Business and Professional Women’s Club are now digitized and online at DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, the Harold D. Cooley Library in Nashville, NC.

A 1981 clipping from the Nashville Graphic about the Nashville BPW setting up for the Stonewall Christmas Open House.

One clipping advertising the Nashville Opry, put on by the Nashville BPW, featuring an Elvis impersonator Tim Bunn.

Chartered in 1921, the National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs was designed to promote the professional and business interests of women, extend professional opportunities to women, “elevate the standards for women”, and more. This batch includes the articles and bylaws of incorporation for the BPW Club, as well as over 12 years of scrapbooks for the group. Inside these scrapbooks are documents, photos of members and of state conventions and functions, newspaper clippings about local events, and newsletters all about the clubs and its members.

 

Having this material on our website is crucial to preserving information about social clubs and increasing representation online. To see more materials from Harold D. Cooley Library, please check out their contributor page or visit their website.


How DigitalNC materials are being used across the web: Legeros Fire Blog

We love hearing about ways that materials digitized through the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center have impacted research and recreation. 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.  

Cover page of Raleigh Fire Department women's group scrapbook, features a firetruck illustration

Cover page of the Raleigh Fire Department Ladies’ Auxiliary 1968-1969 scrapbook, digitized for the Raleigh Fire Museum

 

Our focus today is a particularly fun one because the author of the blog is not only a heavy user of DigitalNC, but also our main contact for one of our partners, the Raleigh Fire Museum.  Mike Legeros’s Fire Blog provides a very detailed look into the history of fire departments in North Carolina, as well as keeping up to date on what’s going on in those departments today.  It also links to a Fire History page, which has resources of the history of fire departments across the country, including historic and present day photographs of fire stations.  

screenshot of city directory on the fire blog

We are particular fans of the post that explains in great detail how to use our city directories, which is one of our favorite resources on DigitalNC and one that Mike has used extensively in his research.  You can check out his tips and tricks here:  https://legeros.com/blog/burlington-and-graham-fire-alarm-box-locations-1920-21/ 

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 read about other places on the web that feature content from DigitalNC, check out past blog posts here.