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 February 2018


New batch of yearbooks from Union County now available

Winchester Avenue School’s Library Club in the 1965 Buffalo

A new batch of high school yearbooks, provided by Union County Public Library, are now available on DigitalNC. These yearbooks are all from Union County schools, and include Benton Heights High School, Fairview High School, Indian Trail High School, Walter Bickett High School, Wesley Chapel High School, and Winchester Avenue School. The yearbooks include individual and class portraits, photos of student organizations, senior superlatives and more!  

The Wesley Chapel High School Biology and Science Club in the 1951 edition of Chapel Hi-Lights

To view the new additions, follow the links below:

To learn more about our partner, Union County Public Library, visit their partner page or take a look at their website.


New Issues from The Perquimans Weekly Now Online at DigitalNC

A few photos taken of ducks at the Perquimans River in a May 1984 article

New issues from The Perquimans Weekly are now digitized and online on DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, the Perquimans County Library, part of the Pettigrew Regional Library. Published out of Hertford, NC, the newspaper services Hertford, Belvidere, New Hope, Winfall, and other local areas. While our collection previously contained issues from 1934-1977, these new issues increase our collection with new material from 1944-1989.

An article about the Olympic Festival Torch passing through Hertford

As a weekly published newspaper, The Perquimans Weekly was often full of local headlines, political developments in the county, and municipal updates. There were often important state and national updates included, too. In 1987, as North Carolina was celebrating its 400th anniversary, it was also holding the U.S. Olympic Festival in the Piedmont region. At this time, people carried the Olympic Festival Torch from Wilmington to Raleigh, passing through Perquimans County that July. Around 100 citizens looked at the torch as it passed through Hertford, and local figures, including the County Manager and the Executive Director of the local Chamber of Commerce spoke and celebrated it at a local program.

To browse through other materials from the Perquimans County Library, part of the Pettigrew Regional Library, check out their partner page, or visit the website for the public library.


New Opportunity for Digitization Assistance with the Digital Heritage Center and State Archives of North Carolina

Men standing around and on top of a truck full of bags of tobacco.

Truck Load of Tobacco Weighing 23,188 lbs. From Braswell Memorial Library.

We’re excited to announce that we’re partnering with the State Archives of North Carolina on an initiative that will help current and new partners prepare and transport their materials to the Digital Heritage Center for scanning. Participants will attend workshops on describing materials and getting them ready for digitization. The State Archives will also provide for transport of materials to and from the Digital Heritage Center. We’re hoping this will be especially helpful for those furthest from Chapel Hill. The State Archives’ blog includes information about the program and a link to the application. The application deadline is March 16. Please let us know if you have any questions or need assistance filling out the application.

This program is funded through a grant awarded to the State Historical Records Advisory Board and the State Archives of North Carolina and, as such, the opportunity won’t be around forever. It is open to current Digital Heritage Center partners as well as any institution or organization eligible to become a partner. We hope you’ll share the word with organizations who may be interested.


New Issues of The Franklin Press and the Highlands Maconian Now Online

A 1952 article about NC Governor W. Kerr Scott and Dr. Clyde Erwin, state superintendent of public instruction, visiting Macon County schools

Seventeen more years and over 10,000 more issues of The Franklin Press and Highlands Maconian newspaper have been newly digitized and put online on DigitalNC, with the help of our partner, the Fontana Regional Library. The Highlands Historical Society has also helped us with making these issues available for the public. While our collection previously only contained 1924-1942, we have nearly doubled the collection, with 1943-1960 now digitized online. Based out of Franklin in Macon County, the Franklin Press and Highlands Maconian was published weekly from 1932-1968.

A full issue in January 1944 wished servicemen victory in the coming year

Many of the newly digitized articles naturally deal with World War II, such as the snippet on the left of a January 1944 paper, which was wholly dedicated to wishing servicemen and soldiers victory in the coming year. After the war ended, the paper went back to its regular local and national coverage. For example, an article in 1955 detailed how excited the townspeople were of the forthcoming 1956 film The Great Locomotive Chase was being filmed in Franklin, Clayton, and Tallulah Falls.

With this new increase in pages from The Franklin Press and Highlands Maconian, DigitalNC becomes much closer to having the entire publication of the newspaper in our collection. To browse other materials from the Fontana Regional Library or the Highlands Historical Society, click on their partner pages, or visit their websites Fontana Regional Library and Highlands Historical Society here.


Franklin Times now covering 1909-1944 and 1963-1972 online

A headline from the June 22nd, 1934 issue of The Franklin Times gives the film “Tarzan and His Mate” a rave review!

On June 29th, 1934, the 12 year old National Spelling Bee winner from Maine was featured on the front page of The Franklin Times.

More issues of The Franklin Times, provided by our partner, Louisburg College, are now available online. The issues are from the years 1912-1944 and 1963-1972, and join previously digitized issues from 1909-1911. Established in 1870, The Franklin Times covers news in Louisburg, North Carolina, as well as statewide and national news of note. The Franklin Times continues to publish issues on a weekly basis both online and in print form and is distributed throughout Franklin County.

The issues from this batch span a large period of Louisburg’s history, and the paper includes articles on municipal decisions, social and cultural events, meetings, contests, and more at the local level. Large national news stories are also covered, and the paper allows for a glimpse both at life inside and outside Franklin County through the eyes of Louisburg residents throughout much of the 20th century.

To browse through all digitized issues of The Franklin Times, click here. To see more materials from Louisburg College, take a look at their partner page or visit their website.


Smithfield Herald Now Digitized Online

Header of the Smithfield Herald March 15, 1901 issue

138 issues of the Smithfield Herald have been newly added to DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, the Johnston County Heritage Center. These are the first issues of the Smithfield Herald digitized on DigitalNC, covering January 1917 to April 1918. Established in 1882, the Herald was at one point the oldest operating newspaper in Johnston County. It joins fellow Johnston County newspaper, the Johnstonian-Sun.

The Smithfield Herald advertised War Bonds during World War I

The Herald is published semiweekly and offers local and national headlines of interest. During this time period, the Herald contained coverage from the different fronts in World War I. The newspaper also advertised local businesses who sold war bonds to support the war effort. Many local headlines are more innocuous, though – one issue had an article on how a local woman entertained a party at a local dance hall with games and ice cream. In addition, the paper also had smaller short stories, poems or jokes.

Having the Smithfield Herald added to our collection grows our knowledge of what Johnston County was like during that time period and is an invaluable resource. To browse through other materials from the Johnston County Heritage Center, check out their partner page, or visit their website.


The Transylvania Times Now Online at DigitalNC

33 issues of The Transylvania Times have been newly added to DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, the Transylvania County Library. These are the first issues of the Transylvania Times digitzed on DigitalNC, covering from January to August 1933. The Times joins other newspapers that cover Brevard and Transylvania County, including the Brevard News, the Sylvan Valley News, and the Echo.

At that time of publication, the Times was a weekly newspaper, including local news, some national news, comic strips, brief prayers, and news about the local schools and colleges. In the article to the right, the Times announced the creation of Brevard College, a private college in Brevard, North Carolina. It was created after Weaver and Rutherford Colleges were merged to create a single co-ed Methodist Junior College on the property of the Brevard Institute. Judging from the article, the townspeople were very enthusiastic about the decision, with congratulations pouring in from as far as Charlotte. Brevard College eventually opened in the fall of 1934.

Gaining the Transylvania Times to our collection is invaluable to helping us learn about the life of North Carolinians in Appalachia in the beginning of the 20th century. To browse through other materials from the Transylvania County Library, take a look at their partner page, or check out their website.


Another batch of Q-Notes from Charlotte LGBT community takes us through 2016

The cover of the April 8-21 issue of Q-notes

The last batch of Q-notes, a newspaper provided by our partner, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, covers the years 2005-2010 and 2015-2016. These issues join previously digitized issues from 1986-2004 on DigitalNC, and digitized issues on the Q-notes website from 2008-2013. 

Q-notes is newspaper that serves the LGBT community in North Carolina with a focus on Charlotte and the surrounding areas. The currently digitized span shows the evolution of relevant  LGBT issues in the American South from the late 1980’s through the late 2010’s, which mirrors the evolution of the look and feel of Q-notes as a publication.

In the last two decades, incremental strides have been taken in terms of legal equality and acceptance of the LGBT community, much of which has been documented in the pages of Q-notes. Q-notes has captured issues such as the struggle for the legal status of same-sex marriage to the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Repeal Act to an increase in representation of LGBT individuals in the media culture. More current issues of Q-notes remind us that we have a ways to go, for example providing legal protection for and cultural inclusion of trans and non-binary individuals. 

The cover of the November 4-17 issue of Q-notes

During the past 20 years, Q-notes has also evolved from an 8 page monthly paper with an underground aesthetic to a much longer bi-weekly publication with a more polished appearance that is matched by a constantly updated website.  

To learn more about Q-Notes, visit their website. To learn more about our partner, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, visit their partner page or take a look at their website


New Issues of the Pilot Now Online

16 years and over 800 issues of The Pilot have been added to DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, the Southern Pines Public Library. While we previously held issues of the Pilot from its inception in 1920 to 1948, we now have issues dating to 1965, nearly doubling our collection. Based out of Southern Pines, this newspaper services Moore County.

Taken from an article about the graduating class of Southern Pines High School of 1950, the largest up to that point

A December 1963 retrospective on the biggest local stories from that year

Published twice a week, The Pilot covers breaking news, local developments, politics, business, and sports. For example, the newspaper detailed the major stories and events in 1963 in the retrospective on the right. One reporter wrote glowingly of a bond being secured to improve the local community college and county schools, while they said that the next biggest story was an April fire that destroyed over 25,000 acres in the town of Pinebluff.

Another mentioned the creation of the Moore County Mental Health Clinic and an expansion of the Moore Memorial Hospital. Others mentioned new real-estate developments, a new golf course, and new manufacturing industries that came to the county. All of these help paint a bigger picture of what life was like in Moore County in the middle of the 20th century.

To browse through other materials from Southern Pines Public Library take a look at their partner page, or check out their website.