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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Viewing entries posted in October 2015


The Perquimans Weekly, 1934-1977, Devoted to the Upbuilding of Hertford and Perquimans County

We’ve worked with a new partner, Perquimans County Library (part of the Pettigrew Regional Library), to share over 40 years’ worth of The Perquimans Weekly newspaper online. Published out of Hertford, N.C., The Perquimans Weekly includes news from Hertford, Belvidere, New Hope, Winfall and other local towns. Issues from 1934-1977 are now DigitalNC.

Interesting issues that caught our eye include the August 26, 1938 issue, which describes the opening of a bridge spanning Albemarle Sound. There was a huge parade and celebration of “new activity, new life, new contacts” brought by the bridge.

Headline from August 26, 1938 issue of The Perquimans Weekly

Headline from August 26, 1938 issue of The Perquimans Weekly

We also saw a few articles recognizing Perquimans native and Major League baseball player Jim “Catfish” Hunter, like one from October 26, 1972 covering Jimmy Hunter Day.

The ongoing restoration of the Newbold-White House, which dates from 1730 and is one of the oldest historic houses in North Carolina still standing, was a multi-year project that involved fundraising and promotion. In the Weekly, we found articles describing the house’s nomination for the National Register, the local Restoration Association’s successful drive to fund its restoration, and ongoing coverage of the restoration work, including the making of the shingles.

Excerpt from the November 28, 1974 issue of The Perquimans Weekly

Excerpt from the November 28, 1974 issue of The Perquimans Weekly

This is the first community paper nominated from the far northeast corner of the state and we hope to hear from more institutions in that area. You can search The Perquimans Weekly together with many other titles on our Newspapers collection page.


From The Twig to Meredith Herald, Meredith College’s Student Newspaper is Now On DigitalNC

Headline from the October 23, 1939 issue of The Twig

Headline from the October 23, 1939 issue of The Twig

Issues of Meredith College’s student newspaper from 1921-2009 have been added to DigitalNC. This is just in time for Meredith’s 125th anniversary, which the college is celebrating over the 2015-2016 school year.

Meredith is a women’s college located in Raleigh, with a student body of around 2,000. The school’s student newspaper began in April 1921 as The Twig. In January 1986, the paper changed to the Meredith Herald, its current title, in an effort to remake it to “more professional reporting and looking paper.”

“Stunt,” “Palio,” “Corn huskin'” – as we were processing this newspaper we kept coming across the strangest terms making big headlines. It turns out that longstanding traditions with names like these are a hallmark of Meredith College, and it’s interesting to see how many started in the school’s earliest days. “Stunt” has been ongoing since 1915, and mention is made in the October 1921 issue of the paper. The first Palio, which eventually became “Corn Huskin'” can be found on the “Stuntsville Starter” page of The Twig, September 28, 1935. The page below, from October 27, 1934, shows that Stunt Day activities included Tree Planting, Bicycle Racing and, of course, the Stunts.

Extra Issue of The Twig, October 27, 1934

Extra Issue of The Twig, October 27, 1934

We worked with Meredith College to bring these issues, digitized awhile ago by an outside vendor, to DigitalNC.org. Over the next few months, we hope to fill in the missing gaps, to present a more complete run online.

You can view Meredith College yearbooks and newspapers through their contributor page, and find out more about Meredith College’s Archives on their website.


More Issues of The Carolina Times, Durham Newspaper, Just Added to DigitalNC

November 10, 1973 issue of The Carolina Times

November 10, 1973 issue of The Carolina Times

One of the more frequently used newspapers on our site is The Carolina Times, a weekly newspaper from Durham. We recently added more issues, covering the years 1973-1982.

As mentioned in earlier posts, The Carolina Times was edited and published by Louis Austin. The paper covered and addressed issues most pressing to the African American community in Durham, with local news as well as national coverage.

This title was suggested for digitization by the Durham County Library. You can view other items digitized for the Library on DigitalNC, and also check out their own rich online collections.


Mill Newspapers and Additional Woman’s Club Scrapbooks from High Point Now Online

A new batch of scrapbooks from the Woman’s Club of High Point and newspapers from local companies have been uploaded to DigitalNC. The scrapbooks came to us from the High Point Museum, and they show the various activities and community services that the women in the club undertook. This batch includes scrapbooks from 1971 through 1993.

High Point Woman's Club Fundraiser

High Point Woman’s Club Fundraiser

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many of the scrapbooks in this batch feature the Club’s fundraiser in partnership with the Southern Furniture Market Center. This fundraiser allowed the club’s members to hold many of their other activities and events throughout the year. Much of what the women did was for charity or volunteer work, but occasionally they would require administrative funds for the club. For example, in 1984, the clubhouse underwent renovations which were well-documented in that year’s scrapbook.

Renovation of the High Point Woman's Clubhouse

Renovation of the High Point Woman’s Clubhouse

Over the course of the years that these scrapbooks cover, the Woman’s Club of High Point had some events and charities in which they participated fairly regularly. One such event was the Arts Festival and Sewing Contest. This is just one example of the Club’s dedication to education and helping youth. Other charities that the Woman’s club supported include the Kidney Foundation, Mobile Meals, the High Point Women’s Shelter, and the Girls’ Haven of North Carolina.

For more information about the High Point Woman’s Club and their scrapbooks, see this previous blog post. To learn about women’s clubs and how they are still functioning today, visit the North Carolina Federation of Women’s Clubs website.

In addition to the scrapbooks, the High Point Museum has shared company newspapers from several local businesses on DigitalNC. As with many other company newsletters and newspapers, these contain a mix of company events and milestones as well as employee personal news and accomplishments.

  • 8 Additional issues of Sew It Seams [1948-1963], published by the High Point Overall Company, part of the Anvil Corporation.
  • W. & J. Rives, Inc. Employee Newsletter [1979-1990]

You can view all of the materials contributed by the High Point Museum on DigitalNC.


Durham Chose Me: Yusuf Salim Remembered in Moving Image

yusuf

Yusuf Salim interviewed for Durham Technical Institute and Arts in Durham.

From Durham Technical Institute’s Community Video Services and the Durham Arts Council, Cynthia Watts interviews Yusuf Salim in Arts in Durham, Brother Yusuf, 1979. This moving image can be found in DigitalNC’s  new North Carolina Sites and Sounds Collection. It was contributed by the Durham Public Library.

Born Joseph Blair in Baltimore in 1929, Yusuf Salim was a lifelong Jazz pianist and composer, performing in several bands in Baltimore, New York City, and Durham. Salim was a well-known figure in Durham, but apart from his small collection of archival material, his memory now resides mainly in the hearts of Durhamites who knew him. He served as a resource for the growing jazz community and often helped and hosted musicians who were settling in or passing through the Triangle. He was also known as a humanitarian and community activist, promoting peace among the rapidly diversifying population in the Triangle.

In the film, Watts askes Salim “Why did you choose Durham?” (3:14)
“Durham chose me.” Salim continued to describe his love of the Triangle area. He discussed the many “points of reference” by which he compared his experience. One such moment was his time as a Marine in Eastern North Carolina. Even in his full Marine uniform he was forced to walk in the dirt to let white people pass. But times had changed in the Triangle and Salim’s attitude and outlook were positive, which he credits to his Islamic faith. Salim also spoke openly about his struggle with heroin and how his faith freed him from his addiction. He went cold-turkey upon his move to Durham in 1974 and was clean from then on.

More than half of the moving image is dedicated to what Salim did best– jazz performance. The film documents 15 minutes of Salim’s skill on the jazz piano.

Two other moving image items from the the Durham Public Library that also feature Salim are available on DigitalNC:

Salim died in 2008 after a battle with prostate cancer. His memorial was held at the Hayti Heritage Center in Durham. This moving image offers a warm memory of a beloved Durham jazz icon and captures a moment of the art scene in the Triangle during the 1970’s. For more information and research about Yusuf Salim and his life in Durham, please visit Duke University’s Rubenstein Library where his collection is housed. It holds many of the original scores that he composed. Related material about Jazz in Durham can be found at the Durham Main Library in the Bus Brown Collection. You can also view many other materials shared by Durham County Library on DigitalNC or in their own digital collections.


More than Just Jars- Ball Corporation Glass Awareness Committee Scrapbooks added to DigitalNC

5 new scrapbooks from Perry Memorial Library (Henderson, N.C.) have been recently added to DigitalNC.

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Members of the Glass Awareness Committee designing recycled jar Christmas trees for their float in the Warrenton Christmas Parade. GAS Awareness Scrapbook [1990], page 121

Ball glass jars have long held popularity in North Carolina. You might have seen them in your grandmother’s kitchen, full of canned goods from the garden. Or maybe you have seen them at a friend’s wedding, served as creative drinking glasses, an idea found on a Pintrest craft board. But have you ever thought about where those glass jars came from? What about where they are going when you are finished with them?

Ball Brothers Glass Company began in 1880 in Buffalo, New York. They later merged with their competitor, Foster-Forbes Glass Company. In 1969, it became Ball Corporation, as it is now called. These changes had no effect on the iconic script labeling each jar. Most recently, the company was acquired by Ardagh Group (of Luxembourg) in 2014. The plant located in Henderson, N.C. is also under this new banner. Several of these merges and name changes are documented in the scrapbooks, a record of the changes on individuals working within the company.

Ball glass jars and other glass containers are recyclable, making them a sustainable choice in comparison to plastic bags or containers. The scrapbooks document the activities of the Ball-Foster Glass Container Company- Glass Awareness Committee (GAC) in their mission to “encourage all plant employees to promote [the] product and its ability to be 100% recycled, in Henderson and the surrounding area.” They are full of the correspondences, documents, and photos of the group’s activism in the community, encouraging citizens of all ages to recycle. They were quite active with booths at the N.C. State Fair, local fundraisers, and festivals.

To learn more about the activities of the Ball-Foster Glass Company- GAC  see the full scrapbooks at the links below. To learn more about the Perry Memorial Library, please visit their contributor page or their website.


“Strange Saga of Misdirected Star” Among Several Volumes Added to Hays Collection

Granville_Hays_Vol68_0007

Headline from the Durham Herald-Sun from the Robert Potter Scrapbook, Page 7

Seven new volumes from the Granville County Public Library’s Francis B. Hays collection have been added to DigitalNC.

Among Francis B. Hays’ many scrapbooks documenting the history of Granville County is his research on the infamous politician, Robert Potter. Born around 1800 in Oxford, N.C., Potter quickly became well known for his charisma and intelligence. According to the Durham Herald-Sun, he began practicing law in Granville county in 1821. Although he acquired a reputation filled with campaign brawls and duels, he was elected to the state legislature and served from 1825-1834.

Potter was not the typical member of the legislature. Unlike most politicians, he was elected to his second term while serving time in the county jail. Potter served a six month sentence for castrating two preachers whom he thought were having affairs with his wife. This short prison sentence reflected the fact that no law against castration existed in North Carolina prior to the incident. One year later, the state legislature passed a law officially making castration, or “Potterizing” as it was locally known, illegal.

After he was released from prison and finished his term in the state senate, he moved to Texas. There he continued in politics, serving in the state assembly and even becoming secretary of state of the Republic of Texas. Although he found renewed success there, his violent past foreshadowed the rest of his life. In 1842 he was killed in another brawl, which may have happened in or near the Red River.

Robert Potter may not be one of Granville County’s proudest sons in all aspects; however, he was a staunch advocate for labor and education before his dramatic end. You can read more about Potter’s politics and life in the Robert Potter Scrapbook. Along with contemporary newspaper articles outlining the story, Hays collected numerous primary sources and documents including, speeches and scholarly articles. Another unique feature of the scrapbook is the organized documentation of Hays’ research process, including his letters and notes to libraries in the area as he sought information about Potter’s life in North Carolina. This scrapbook in the Francis B. Hays Collection is an excellent resource for researchers interested in the “strange saga” of Robert Potter or in the processes and workflows of historical researchers prior to the digital age.

The other recently added volumes also offer many opportunities for research. The four Obituaries volumes are full of newspaper obituaries that could be used for genealogical data. Buses, Oxford, N.C. contains bus timetables for charter companies in North Carolina and the continental United States, many from Greyhound Lines, Inc. The other scrapbooks also give glimpses of the business and social history of Granville county during the early-mid twentieth century.

To view all of the Granville County scrapbooks, please see the Hays Collection Digital Exhibit page. To see more contributions from Granville County Public Library, please visit their contributor page.


Moonlight Schools in Early 20th Century North Carolina

Moonlight Schools Article, Danbury Reporter

First “Moonlight School” Opens in Wake County, Danbury Reporter, October 6, 1915

In the early 20th century, at least 1 in 10 North Carolinians wouldn’t have been able to read this blog post (had it been printed out, of course). Estimates from the 1910 census suggest that 140 out of every 1000 white males were illiterate; numbers were less accurate for women and African Americans, but illiteracy rates were probably higher among those populations. James Y. Joyner, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction at the time, called it a duty of the state to improve the lot of these “grown-up children.”

Adopting a model used in Kentucky, North Carolina began holding “Moonlight Schools” to educate adults who were unable to write or read English. Moonlight schools were held in the evenings so working adults could attend. They operated throughout the state and relied on volunteering teachers, university students, and local civics clubs. The article to the right, from the October 6, 1915 issue of the Danbury Reporter, describes the opening of the first moonlight school in Wake County.

Excerpt from Moonlight School lesson number one

Lessons for use in the Moonlight Schools in North Carolina, The Courier (Asheboro), November 4, 1915

In October 1915, North Carolina newspapers carried articles describing Governor Craig’s proclamation of November 1915 as “Moonlight School Month.” Throughout that month papers shared sample lessons in not only reading and writing but also basic arithmetic and general knowledge. As public sentiment gathered behind the movement, local papers reported on their counties’ efforts in eradicating illiteracy: “Illiteracy doomed in Transylvania,” “The Moonlight School will Enable You to Be Master of Your Own Fate.” Articles talking about the diligence and appreciation of both the students and teachers were also common.

November 1915 saw over 10,000 adults enrolled in moonlight schools across North Carolina (Report of Director, Schools for Illiterates, of 1918-1919 and 1919-1920). While volunteer support waned in the years immediately following, the need was still dire and, in 1919, the schools were incorporated into the public school system with funds specifically earmarked by the state legislature. Over 8,000 adults were enrolled in moonlight schools in 1919-1920 (almost equally split between white and black students).

After Joyner turned over his position as State Superintendent of Public Instruction to E. C. Brooks, the term “moonlight school” is no longer found in the official reports coming from that office. Instead, the report from 1920-1922 discusses “classes for adult beginners,” which were held in over 50 counties. The term gradually transitioned to “adult education,” although we’re unsure why “moonlight school” fell out of favor. This article from The Pilot newspaper in 1938 describes the waxing and waning of interest in promoting adult education throughout the early 20th century. It also describes how the WPA had taken up the cause, cleverly zeroing in on identifying those who signed their drivers licenses with a simple cross mark.

You can learn even more about moonlight schools by browsing through related articles in the newspapers collection on DigitalNC.


DigitalNC.org Honored with 2015 North Carolina Genealogical Society Award

NCGS 2015 Award Winners

NCGS 2015 Award Winners at the Annual Luncheon in Raleigh. (left to right) Helen F. M. Leary, CG (Emeritus), FASG; Ginger R. Smith; Pam Toms, Awards Chair; Vickie P. Young, NCGS President; Sharon Gable; Maryann Stockert Tuck; Judi Hinton; and Lisa Gregory

On Saturday, at the North Carolina Genealogical Society Annual Meeting luncheon, we were honored as co-winners of the NCGS 2015 Award for Excellence in Web Presence.

We work hard to make sure our site represents the materials shared by our 180+ partners in a professional and easy-to-use manner, and are thrilled at the recognition from NCGS. It’s our hope that genealogists everywhere continue to find our site helpful for their research. We share this award with the State Library of North Carolina and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, without whom our work wouldn’t be possible. Even more, we share this award with all of our partners, who are making their collections more accessible for users all over the world through DigitalNC.org.


Now Online: New Yearbooks and Directories from the Stanly County Museum!

The Stanly County Museum has provided a number of additional high school yearbooks and directories for the city of Albemarle to be added to DigitalNC. The yearbooks come from Albemarle High School, Norwood High School (now South Stanly High), New London High School (now North Stanly High), Endy High School, West Stanly High School, and Stanfield High School.

Sports page from the 1960 Cross Roads yearbook, "Then and Now"

Sports page from the 1960 Cross Roads yearbook, “Then and Now”

Future Homemakers of America, West Stanly High School 1965

Future Homemakers of America, West Stanly High School 1965

 

 

 

 

 

 

Future Farmers of America, West Stanly High School 1965

Future Farmers of America, West Stanly High School 1965

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These yearbooks provide an intriguing look into the lives of students. They showcase the fashions, clubs and activities of North Carolina students, some that will be familiar to students today and some that have been abandoned over time (Did you class have child mascots? How about a superlative for Best Looking?).

For more information about the Stanly County  Museum and their materials, visit their contributor page on DigitalNC or their home website.