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DigitalNC: North Carolina's Digital Heritage

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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A variety of new High Point newspapers now online

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The cover of the first issue of Elm Leaves, dated October 31, 1938

A new batch newspapers and serial publications from the High Point Museum are now up on DigitalNC. These include new issues of the High Point High School’s school newspaper, The Pointer, as well as the Junior Pointer from High Point Junior High. Also included are issues of an elementary school newspaper called Elm Leaves from the Elm Street School in High Point, issues of The High Point Scout, and issues of The Young American.

Elm Leaves, an elementary school newspaper, offers many treats including coloring pages, stories, book reviews, jokes, and poems by students.

The Young American, published in High Point, also offers stories, poems, and book reviews, but is geared towards a slightly older audience. The purpose of The Young American, as stated in its first issue, is “to entertain, direct, and express the young American,” and the magazine is dedicated, “primarily to the young man and young lady of sixteen and nineteen years.” The publishers further state that at the time of publication, a variety of magazines for younger teens and adults existed, but they found a lack of available magazines aimed at teens aged 16 to 19, and believed The Young American could fill this gap.

To look through issues of these publications, click the links below:

To see other materials from the High Point Museum, visit their partner page or website.


We Run on IMLS: Who and What Supports NCDHC

We Run on IMLS BadgeDigitization is faceless work – you rarely see the hands that carefully place fragile scrapbooks under the camera and click capture, or hear the voices debating the best description of that great photograph a partner sent us. And we don’t stick a price tag on each item, parsing out how much our funders contributed to get that item online. 

So today’s post is about two things I think don’t get noticed often enough. The first thing is money. All of the accomplishments of the Center have been supported in very large part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, through Library Services and Technology Act funding disbursed by the State Library of North Carolina. In other words, we run on IMLS. Digital libraries often include funders in footers or on “About” pages, but I decided to take this opportunity to bring it up front. Together, IMLS, UNC-Chapel Hill, and the State Library of North Carolina are the why, how, and whether DigitalNC exists. The power of this funding partnership is in its efficiency, its statewide view, and the way our work boosts what’s being done by counties and towns in their local institutions. It’s how our partners supercharge their collections, moving them beyond shelves to your screen. And we really hope it sticks around

A Wayne County scrapbook page that includes the gloved hand of the student scanner.

A rare shot that includes the gloved hand of a student worker as they gently lift up a document to capture the letter underneath.

The second thing is people. Behind each of the hundreds of thousands of images on DigitalNC.org are multiple individuals from multiple communities, who want YOU to see, share, build upon, question, and participate in North Carolina’s culture, wherever you are. These are the caring librarians, archivists, curators, or history-minded individuals with a passion not only for preserving their community’s history but also for giving that history legs. These are the full-time NCDHC staff who answer questions, juggle schedules, write code, and try to best serve users. These are the 20 student workers who have scanned, and scanned, and scanned over the last six years, whose professional development we have fostered and who were exposed to information-rich, quirky, poignant, and various special collections from all over the state.

Our goal is to make the materials front and center so you don’t see us or think about us.  But next time you find that great article on your hometown’s history, we hope you’ll think about who helped get it there and the funding it took to make it happen.


High Point scrapbooks featuring articles from Piedmont Triad newspapers

5 scrapbooks from the Heritage Research Center at High Point Public Library are now available. These intricately constructed scrapbooks are packed full of articles from newspapers published in the Piedmont Triad (the areas in and surrounding Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point). These scrapbooks hold articles from 1955-1959 and recount local news stories. Each page contains a matrix of carefully placed news clippings that are often overlapping or folded. Multiple images of each page were digitized to capture the full text of as many articles as possible. These scrapbooks were hand-indexed by the compiler and are now fully text searchable as well. Some of the newspapers represented in these scrapbooks are the High Point Enterprise, the Greensboro Daily News, and The Beacon.

A page in volume 40 contains a variety of articles from the High Point Enterprise concerning municipal issues. Multiple images of this page were captured so more of the articles are readable.

To view these scrapbooks, visit the link below:

These scrapbooks join several previously digitized High Point scrapbooks. To view these, and other materials from the Heritage Research Center at High Point Public Library, view their partner page, and take a look at their website.


Journals, Photos, and a Scrapbook from Davie County Public Library

A page from Mary Jane Heitman’s scrapbook that includes photographs and memorabilia along with a handwritten poem musing about the future.

New materials from Davie County Public Library are now up on DigitalNC, including a set of 6 journals by James McGuire Jr., a collection of photographs of Arden Farms in Forsyth County, and a scrapbook compiled by Mary Jane Heitman.

James McGuire Junior’s journals take the form of Gude’s Pepto-Mangan Physician’s Memorandum books. Each page corresponds to a day of the year, and includes a short medical fact, often related to Gude’s Pepto-Mangan medicine, along with a space to write. James McGuire Jr., a prominent business man in Mocksville, North Carolina, wrote many short entries recounting topics such as the weather, travel, social engagements, shopping lists, and finances. The memorandum books themselves most likely originated from James’ father, Dr. James McGuire, a physician.

Mary Jane Heitman’s scrapbook tells the story of her life in photographs, news articles, postcards, handwritten musings, and illustrations from 1891-1927. Mary Jane Heitman was a teacher and historian from Mocksville, North Carolina, and her scrapbook recounts with fondness both her time as a student and a teacher. Each page is poetically constructed, and photographs and descriptions of friends and relatives are distributed throughout. The last page of the scrapbook includes a written tribute by one of her students from Salem Academy that was added after her death in 1962.

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

James McGuire Junior’s entry from February 20, 1902 that describes the weather as cloudy with sleet at night.

 


Detailed 1904 map of Anson County now online from new partner, Anson County Historical Society

anson

DigitalNC is happy to welcome a new partner– the Anson County Historical Society!

The Anson County Historical society is an organization devoted to providing access to Anson County’s rich history through educational, cultural, and recreational resources. This includes the preservation of physical items, like this map from 1904. An excellent resource for genealogists or local historians, this map documents family names and property locations in addition the other intricate details, like schools, cemeteries, businesses, railroads, and homesteads. Maps with this much detail are rare and serve as excellent research tools.

For more information about the Anson County Historical Society, please visit the contributor page or the website. For maps of North Carolina on DigitalNC, please search the Images of North Carolina Collection and limit by “maps.”


Telephone directories highlighting areas from around eastern North Carolina now online

Brawell Memorial Library (Rocky Mount, N.C.), covers

Braswell Memorial Library (Rocky Mount, N.C.), covers

14 phone directories are now available for search and use on DigitalNC!

Phone directories, like city directories, offer a wealth of information for researchers and genealogists. Each contains pages dedicated to using the directory and even using a phone. Some of the younger users of this site may have never used a physical phone book, made a collect call, or utilized a phone booth. While that may be shocking to some, resources like these could serve as excellent teaching tools to help younger users and students understand the differences in how people have communicated over the past few decades.

You can see all of the newly digitized directories at the links below:

Telephone Directory for Rocky Mount, Enfield, Nashville, Spring Hope, Tarboro, and Whitakers [1937], page 4

Telephone Directory for Rocky Mount, Enfield, Nashville, Spring Hope, Tarboro, and Whitakers [1937], page 4

To learn more about Rocky Mount, N.C. and the surrounding areas, check all of the materials that Braswell Memorial Library has contributed to DigitalNC. To learn more about the library, please visit the website or the contributor page.


New yearbooks from Benson Museum of Local History are full of character

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The Tatler [1964], page 1

Our partner, Benson Museum of Local History, has contributed two more yearbooks that are now available online.

These yearbooks detail the lives and activities of students from Benson High School in Johnston County. This high school has regularly demonstrated creativity and character in its yearbooks and these do not disappoint. Resources like these are great tools for genealogical research and lesson planning. They could also serve as vintage look books for those interested in the fashion and hairstyles of the 1960’s.

The new yearbooks are linked below:

Another interesting feature of these yearbooks is their

The Tatler [1964], page 71

The Tatler [1964], page 71

condition. Both of these editions of the Tatler are well used and contain the many handwritten notes by the original owner and friends. The 1964 copy contains notes on nearly every page! Many of the yearbooks that our partners contribute are in pristine condition, serving as excellent original documents; however, these copies from the Benson Museum contain the life and character of their owners– a unique aspect for digitized archival collections. The image pictured at the top is an example.

You can learn more about Benson High School and the Benson Museum of Local History by viewing the contributor page or the website. To see more high school yearbooks, perhaps from your community, please browse the North Carolina Yearbooks Collection and limit your search by High School Yearbooks.


McDowell County high school yearbooks now available

The 1966 Nebo High School baseball team

Several yearbooks from various high schools in McDowell County, provided by McDowell County Public Library, are now on DigitalNC. Included are editions of The Nushka from 1963-1966 by Glenwood High School, editions of The Marionette from 1963-1966 by Marion Junior High School, editions of The Hylander from 1963-1967 by Marion High School, the 1966 Pioneer by Nebo High School, editions of The Arrowhead from 1963-1967 from Old Fort High School, and editions of The Pines by Pleasant Gardens High School from 1964, 1966, and 1967. The yearbooks join many previously digitized yearbooks from these schools. These yearbooks include photographs of clubs, activities, dances, sports, and more.

A sock hop at Marion Junior High in 1966

To view more materials from McDowell County Public Library, visit their partner page, or take a look at their website.


See how UNC School of Dentistry students relaxed in 1984

Impressions [1984], page 5

Impressions [1984], page 5

Some may think that Dental School is all work and no play, but that was certainly not the case at UNC School of Dentistry during the 1980’s! Thanks to the North Carolina Collection at UNC Chapel Hill Libraries, the 1984 edition of the Impressions yearbook is now available online!

Check out the photos below for a window into the fun had by dentists in training!

Impressions [1984], page 9

Impressions [1984], page 9

Impressions [1984], page 31

Impressions [1984], page 31

Impressions [1984], page 41

Impressions [1984], page 41

Impressions [1984], page 61

Impressions [1984], page 61

Impressions [1984], page 72

Impressions [1984], page 72

To learn more about the history of UNC School of Dentistry through the materials published on Digital NC, please click the following link. To learn more about the University of North Carolina at Chapel and see other digitized items from the North Carolina Collection, please visit the contributor page or the homepage for the North Carolina Collection.


Catamounts to Camels: College Mascots in North Carolina

Mascots are a complicated phenomenon. They inspire a spectrum of reactions: ridicule, ambivalence, or fierce loyalty. With thousands of yearbooks online, all of us here at the Digital Heritage Center have probably spent more time looking at yearbooks than anyone else you’re likely to meet. Mascots are a common theme.

I’ve been working on today’s post for quite some time; unable to find a history or comprehensive list of mascots in North Carolina I decided to compile one myself. So here’s a stab at a college mascot overview, drawn from yearbooks and other campus publications. Let me know what I’ve missed or gotten wrong!

Children

In the early 20th century, schools frequently chose children as mascots or sponsors, whether for a sports team or for a particular class. The earliest example we’ve found on DigitalNC is from a 1910 publication by Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College) in Wilson, which shows Elizabeth Settle Caldwell as the Senior Class sponsor.

Elizabeth Settle Caldwell, First North Carolina Mascot? From the 1910 Pine Knot yearbook, Atlantic Christian College.

Ms. Caldwell was the daughter of Jesse Cobb Caldwell, the college president. From what we’ve been able to tell, children mascots were frequently younger siblings of students, teachers, or others associated with the school. Students mention that Ms. Caldwell brought “solace to many a lonely, homesick heart” and this may be why children were chosen – to foster a feeling of family and comfort among students. We’ve seen several references to mascots being elected or being chosen through competition, although what this might be we haven’t been able to discover. The trend of choosing children as mascots seems to continue through the 1960s. The latest one we found is Dawn, the Senior Class mascot at Peace College (now William Peace University) in 1966.

Animals

Animal mascots span schools across the state, whether it’s Rameses at UNC-Chapel Hill or WCU’s Catamount. The bulldog and different types of cats win out as most frequently adopted. Pictures of live animal mascots start to appear in yearbooks in the early 1900s, and continue today although much less frequently. For a variety of reasons, including concerns expressed by animal rights activists, schools have shifted away from actual animals to students dressing up like animals, as you’ll see later on in this post. 

“Buc” is described here as East Carolina University’s first mascot. From the 1959 Buccaneer yearbook.

Characters

While about half of the four-year college mascots in North Carolina are animals, most of the others are characters that are historic, mythical, or extraordinary in nature. From what I’ve seen in NC yearbooks, humans dressing up as the school mascot really got traction in the 1960s. Initially, these costumes weren’t the fuzzy creations we think of today, but rather less complicated ensembles where the mascot’s identity (his or her face and body) was often apparent. Yosef the Mountaineer, beloved icon of Appalachian State University, was created sometime around 1942 and looked like this in the 1960s:

Yosef the Mountaineer, aka James Randle Tedder (we think). From the 1969 Rhododendron yearbook, Appalachian State University.

One of my favorites has to be this picture of Duke Blue Devil, from 1950:

The Blue Devil. From the 1950 Chanticleer yearbook, Duke University.

Perhaps it was too hard to maintain a degree of consistency as students graduated over the years, and mascot anonymity seemed like a better idea. Whatever the reason, you start to see fuzzy, oversized costumes with gigantic headpieces in the late 1970s.

The Big Costumes

Whether animal or character, plush mascots that include a single piece body suit with a large plastic or cloth-covered head is something most Americans can identify with, thanks to professional sports. Colleges in North Carolina really embraced these costumes through the 1980s. Here’s what the UNC-Wilmington Seahawk looked like in 1987:

The Seahawk. From the 1987 Fledgling yearbook, UNC-Wilmington.

Some schools have developed multiple mascots dedicated to different audiences. It seems like the difficulty with these types of costumes is how to pull off a fierce facial expression that doesn’t come off as goofy or too scary for children. I think this picture from Davidson College sums it all up:

The Davidson Wildcat and … friends. From the 1983 Quips and Cranks yearbook.

I will also take this opportunity to mention a mascot that routinely makes the “wait … what?” list – the Campbell University Fighting Camels:

The Campbell Camel. From the 1983 Pine Burr yearbook.

Even the humans and human-like creatures are clothed in oversized costumes these days. Wake Forest University’s Deacon is a dapper chap:

Wake Forest’s Deacon poses with fans. From the 1985 Howler yearbook.

In addition to the Demon Deacons and the Blue Devils, North Carolina boasts a number of  other spiritual mascots: North Carolina Wesleyan’s Battling Bishops, Belmont Abbey’s Crusaders, and Guilford College’s Quakers. Meredith College’s teams are known as the Avenging Angels (formerly just the Angels). While Elon University’s mascot is now the Phoenix, before 2000 they were the Fighting Christians:

The Elon Fighting Christian mascot with cheerleaders. From the 1986 Phi Psi Cli yearbook.

Two schools break with the animal/human tradition in North Carolina. The Brevard College Tornadoes and the Louisburg College Hurricanes. Weather phenomena mascots are always difficult to pull off. I couldn’t find one for Brevard, but Louisburg, which currently has a bird mascot, had “Louie” up until 2006:

Louie, the former Louisburg College Hurricanes mascot. From the 1996 The Oak yearbook.

Who knows when the next mascot sea change will happen. Below is a list of mascots in North Carolina; let us know if we got anything wrong. Which one is your favorite?

School Mascot Notes
Appalachian State University Yosef the Mountaineer First appeared in the yearbook in 1942
Barton College Bulldog  
Belmont Abbey College Crusader  
Bennett College   Known as the Bennett Belles
Brevard College Tornado  
Campbell University Fighting Camels The Hornets in the 1920s-1930s
Catawba College Catawba Indian  
Chowan University Hawks The Braves until 2006
Davidson College Wildcats Also a bulldog (1929) and a bobcat (1939)
Duke University Blue Devil  
East Carolina University Pirates Formerly Pee Dee the Pirate
Elizabeth City State University Vikings  
Elon University Phoenix The Fightin’ Christians until 2000
Fayetteville State University Broncos  
Gardner-Webb University Runnin’ Bulldogs  
Greensboro College The Pride Formerly the Hornets
Guilford College Quakers  
High Point University Panthers  
Johnson C. Smith University Golden Bulls  
Lees-McRae College Wily the Bobcat  
Lenoir-Rhyne University Joe and Josie Bear  
Louisburg College Hurricanes  
Mars Hill College Mountain Lion  
Meredith College Avenging Angels Formerly the Angels
Methodist University Eagles  
Montreat College Cavaliers  
Mount Olive College Trojans  
North Carolina A&T Aggie Dog (Bulldog)  
North Carolina Central University Eagles  
North Carolina State University Wolfpack  
North Carolina Wesleyan College Battling Bishops Formerly the Circuit Riders
Peace College Pacer  
Pfeiffer University Falcons  
Queens University of Charlotte Rex the Royal  
Saint Augustine’s University Mighty Falcons  
Salem College Spirits  
Shaw University Bears  
St. Andrews University Knights  
UNC Asheville Bulldog  
UNC Chapel Hill Rameses the Ram Also known as the Tar Heels
UNC Charlotte Norm the Niner  
UNC Greensboro Spartans  
UNC Pembroke Braves  
UNC Wilmington Seahawk  
UNC School of the Arts Fighting Pickle  
UNC School of Science and Math Unicorn  
Wake Forest University Demon Deacons  
Warren Wilson College Owls  
Western Carolina University Catamount “Paws”
Wingate University Bulldog  
Winston-Salem State University Ram