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 May 2019


Dozens of Maps, Booklets, Brochures and Scrapbooks from High Point Now Available on DigitalNC

An aerial shot of the city of High Point circa 1955.

40 new maps, booklets, and brochures from High Point, North Carolina have been digitized and added to DigitalNC, courtesy of our partners, the High Point Museum and the Heritage Research Center at High Point Public Library. These materials range from the 1930s all the way to 2018, really illustrating all the different ways that the city changed throughout the 20th century.

There is a huge variety of materials in this batch. The scrapbooks contained in this collection date from 1931 to 1944 and focus on municipal issues in High Point and the Piedmont Triad. Over a dozen booklets and programs are also included that are from the Community Leadership Development Program of the High Point Chamber of Commerce. These booklets memorialize the programs designed to inform community members about local issues and businesses, encourage productive discussion and develop future local leadership.

The 1992 class of Challenge: High Point attending a meeting at WGH Piedmont.

A number of other booklets are included as well. Many of them contain statistics about High Point at that date, including its tax rates, municipal features, population sizes, what industries are there, per capita incomes, and more. Many also contain photos of local institutions and colleges, as well as larger maps of High Point. Finally, this collection also contains several maps by themselves, including one map of High Point that highlights city limits, and others that highlight High Point as it is in 2013 and 2018.

To see more from the High Point Museum, take a look at their partner page, or visit their website. To learn more from the Heritage Research Center at High Point Public Library, please check out their partner page, or take a look at their website.


27 more issues of the Charlotte Post are now available!

 
The Charlotte Post, August 7, 1997

The Charlotte Post, August 7, 1997

If you’ve been following our announcements of additional issues of The Charlotte Post being made available online, then you’ll be glad to know that issues from the remainder of 1997 and one from March 1998 are now up as well! Our digital holdings for this title currently span 1930-1934 and 1971-1998. These recent additions continue with the same great content, focused particularly for Charlotte’s African American community.

Advertisement for The Charlotte Post, November 13, 1997

Advertisement for The Charlotte Post, November 13, 1997

Each issue contains news about local activities, including business, religion, entertainment, sports, and others. Tips for buying real estate and cars are often included, as well as celebrations of African American history and culture. For example, a special inclusion was added to the May 15th issue commending “1997’s best and brightest” from the graduating senior class.

"Top Seniors" from the May 15, 1997 issue

“Top Seniors” from the May 15, 1997 issue

DigitalNC is thankful to our partner Johnson C. Smith University for  working with us to provide digital access to The Charlotte Post. To view all digitized issues of this paper, click here. For more information about Johnson C. Smith University, visit their partner page here or their website here. Stay tuned because more issues are coming soon!


Luther Byrd Genealogical Collections from Surry Community College Now Online at DigitalNC

An excerpt of the John Hunter Family Record, who came to the US from Ireland around 1750.

Over 120 genealogical collections from Surry County have been digitized and added to DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, Surry Community College. Created and assembled by Luther Byrd, former Elon College professor from Westfield, North Carolina, these collections represent a huge variety of information about different families and their descendants living in Surry County. Many of the collections include documents, papers, newspaper clippings, and personal letters to and from Byrd about the family members.

The coat of arms for the Thrower family, included in the Arrington collection.

Also included are various family records and family tree diagrams, complete with indexes to determine where a given family member is located in the tree. One such example is the Hunter Family Record excerpted above. Looking through these collections, it is fascinating to see the staggering amount of documents and material that these families created and saved throughout the years, as well as the amount of work that Byrd put in to ensure that these collections are all relevant and well-maintained.

These collections represent a growing wealth of information about the history of Surry County. To browse through other materials from Surry Community College, visit their partner page or check out their website.


Massey Hill Heritage Discovery Project Materials Tell The Story of One Fayetteville Neighborhood

A partial map of the Mill Villages found in Massey Hill.

Over 120 new photos, news clippings, artifacts, and oral interviews have been digitized and added to DigitalNC, courtesy of the Arts Council of Fayetteville, as part of the Massey Hill Heritage Discovery Project. This project was designed to trace the history of the Massey Hill neighborhood in Fayetteville dating back into the 19th century. Located between Camden Road and Gillespie Street along Southern Avenue, Massey Hill is a neighborhood that grew up alongside the three local textile mills and inspired feelings of family and community among its long-time residents, many of whom lived their whole lives in Massey Hill.

Exterior photo of the Massey Hill Hardware Store

A photo of the Tolar-Hart Mill Water Tower in Fayetteville.

 

There is a ton of variety in this batch, giving us a vibrant image of what it was like to live and grow up in Massey Hill. Dozens of photos are included, with many highlighting life in the mills, events and celebrations that were held for holidays, and pictures of local schools and schoolchildren. A number of newspaper clippings are also found in this batch, detailing many different parts of life in Massey Hill, including interviews with local residents. One resident, Ida Belle Dallas Parker, also wrote several short stories reminiscing on her childhood and family history in Massey Hill. Finally, a number of oral histories from Massey Hill residents are included – they also discuss their personal histories growing up in Massey Hill, how they feel about the neighborhood, and what it meant to them.

Having these materials on DigitalNC is an important reminder of how we build communities in our lives and what they mean to the people who live there. To browse through other materials from the Arts Council of Fayetteville, check out their partner page or take a look at their website.


Hmong Keeb Kwm: Hmong Heritage Project Materials Now Online at DigitalNC

Ten individuals in uniform standing in a group facing forward

A photo of Hmong soldiers graduating from pilot training in November 1973

two individuals in military uniform looking at the camera

Nao Chao Lo and Nhia Thong Yang in their military uniforms, circa 2018

Over a hundred photographs, documents, artifacts, oral histories, and other materials from Hmong Keeb Kwm: The Hmong Heritage Project are now online, courtesy of the Catawba County Library. This new batch represents the first materials on DigitalNC to come from the Catawba County Library. This collection also has the honor of being the first to represent the Hmong people of North Carolina on our website.

There is a huge amount of variety in the materials in this batch. It contains dozens of photographs of physical objects to DigitalNC, including colorful embroidered material, Laotian and Thai currency, bracelets and jewelry, and more. Text materials, like personal records, newspaper clippings, and program certificates are also included. A number of photographs of Hmong individuals, their family members, and their personal lives are also found in this collection. Finally, several oral histories are also included in this collection, allowing people to tell about their experience of coming to the United States. These oral histories are both available as audio files and as written transcripts.

Having these materials on DigitalNC represents an important addition to our understanding of Catawba County, and allows us to continue in our mission to digitize materials from all communities throughout the state. To see other materials from the Catawba County Library, visit their partner page or check out their website.


The Goldsboro News-Argus is the latest newspaper title available on DigitalNC

Goldsboro News-Argus, April 26, 1957

Goldsboro News-Argus, April 26, 1957

DigitalNC is pleased to announce the addition of a special issue of the newspaper the Goldsboro News-Argus. Thanks to our partner at the Wayne County Public Library, we are glad to provide access to an issue of the paper from April 26, 1957, which honors Lieutenant Seymour Johnson, U.S. Navy.

Lt. Seymour Johnson portrait

Lt. Seymour Johnson portrait

A native of Goldsboro, Lt. Johnson died in a plane crash near Norbeck, Maryland, on March 5, 1941. Johnson was “one of the first young men from Goldsboro to adopt aviation in the armed forces as a career.” He had been a test pilot for five years and his “friends in Goldsboro often heard reports that he safely brought to port airplanes which had developed mechanical trouble and it seemed all but impossible to land them.” The Air Force base in Goldsboro was named for Lt. Johnson in 1942.

The remainder of the issue provides news about Goldsboro and the Air Force base, frequently emphasizing how glad the town is to welcome those associated with the base.

To view this issue of the Goldsboro News-Argus, click here. To learn more about the Wayne County Public Library, visit their partner page here or their website here.


W.S. Clark Store Accounting Ledgers Now Online at DigitalNC

ledger page for Mrs. Judge Howard with products and prices

A snapshot from the 1899 Millinery Book Ledger

A new batch of materials from Edgecombe Community College in Tarboro, North Carolina is now online and available on DigitalNC. This collection contains several accounting ledgers from the late 19th century. These five account books are all from the W.S. Clark Store in Tarboro. The store, started by William Samuel Clark (1846-1923), was operated in Tarboro from the 1870s through the 1980s as a general store. By the 1950s, it operated as a department store that sold everything from furniture to clothing to groceries. It was continued for over 50 years after Clark died by his sons.

These ledgers were donated to Edgecombe Community College by his grandson, Clark Jenkins, and then they found their way to DigitalNC. They contain transactions of the wide variety of goods that people purchased, as well as the prices of various items, and indicate when customers made payments on their accounts. For example, in 1896, a pair of slippers cost $1.35 and a straw hat cost 15 cents.

Follow the links below to browse the items included in this batch:

To learn more from the Edgecombe Community College, click here to visit their partner page or click here to visit their website.

 


New materials from McDowell County Public Library’s Greenlee Collection of Scrapbooks now online at DigitalNC!

two individuals next to a small mill powered by two mules

Cutout from the McDowell County Agriculture Scrapbook

21 new scrapbooks and 10 new yearbooks from the McDowell County Public Library are now online at DigitalNC. The scrapbooks, all of which make up part of MCPL’s Greenlee Collection of Scrapbooks, date roughly from the 1910s to the early 1990s and document various aspects of life in McDowell County. From health and safety, to forest conservation, to arts and crafts, each scrapbook focuses on one of a wide range of topics. The scrapbooks’ pages consist largely of newspaper clippings from various local papers, such as the McDowell News, and a few more regional publications like the the Charlotte Observer. The materials provide a wealth of information for anyone interested in learning about topics of interest to citizens of communities such as Marion and Old Fort over the course of the 20th century. The scrapbooks are neatly organized and generally present their information in chronological order.

"Now Let's ALL buy defense bonds" ad with large american flag

Cutout from the McDowell County military scrapbook, 1941-1945

The recent batch also features 10 more yearbooks from MCPL. These include four from Glenwood High School (1951, 1952. 1954, and 1957), two from North Cove High School (1941 and 1942). and one each from Clevenger College (1959), Old Fort High School (1968), Nebo High School (1968), and Marion High School (1968). Together the two sets of materials represent a treasure trove of resources for researchers of local history in North Carolina.

The new additions join a handful of other MCPL scrapbooks and yearbooks already online at DigitalNC. For more information, please visit the MCPL’s DigitalNC page or follow this link to their website.


WWII-era Newsletters and Railroad Photo Albums from Braswell Memorial Library Online

New materials from Braswell Memorial Library are now live on DigitalNC. Included in this batch are photo albums of trains and railroads across the United States and a newsletter produced by staff members at Sidney Blumenthal and Company’s textile mill in Rocky Mount.

A drawing of a man in a military uniform and a woman.

The May 1944 Cover of the Caromount News

When workers Blumenthal’s Caromount Mills deployed for World War II, remaining staff members created the Caromount News for Service Men and Women, a newsletter “published solely for the benefit of all former Blumenthal employees now in the service of our country.” These editions include updates for and about employees who were deployed, jokes, musings, local updates, and even a little workplace gossip. This newsletter continued to be published even after the cessation of the war; we have digitized editions through 1955. The Caromount News grew to be a community newspaper in the post-war years, capturing weddings, graduations, home purchases, town events and more in addition to workplace accomplishments and announcements.

 

Included within the bound editions of the Caromount news was a telegram from a Navy Chief of the Bureau of Supplies and accounts to the men and women of Sidney Blumenthal and Company Incorporated. In this telegram, Rear Admiral W. B. Young credits cloth made by the textile mill with saving the lives of crew members following a ship wreck on the Newfoundland coast during a blizzard. “Those who were best able to take care of themselves after 30 grueling hours in sub-zero temperature were wearing jungle cloth special winter clothing outfits. Those men possibly owe their lives to that equipment” reads the telegram.

Railfans rejoice! The other materials in this batch are all centered around railroads — functional and defunct — up and down the East Coast and even as far as Mexico and California. Documented within the albums are the first trips of several NC routes, including the Piedmont and Carolinian trains. The photos included in these eight albums span the years between 1945 and 2006.

To learn more about Braswell Memorial Library, check out their partner page or website.