DigitalNC partner Cleveland County Memorial Library provided us with a rich collection of documents, photographs, and yearbooks related to the history of Black citizens in the area. Much of the collection focuses on Black schools that were established during the era of Jim Crow and segregation. These schools were created out of necessity but did not survive integration, leaving their history vulnerable. Fortunately people like Ezra A. Bridges, a longtime educator and community activist, made it a priority to preserve items related to the Black experience in Cleveland County.
Biographical Information on Ezra A. Bridges.
Ezra A. Bridges at groundbreaking.
A few highlights from the collection are the yearbooks, various histories of schools in the area, and photographs of students and educators. There is a lot more in this important collection of materials that stress and celebrate Black citizens of Cleveland County and their relentless pursuit of education and proper representation. To see more from Cleveland County Memorial Library visit their contributor page.
Educator and her students.
Today we are highlighting new partner, Andrews Public Library, who has partnered with the NCDHC to digitize notes and documents related to board meetings and annual reports. The library is a Carnegie Library and much of the materials relate to the library being built and it’s earliest days serving the community. Among the collection is a Minutes of the Board of Trustees, notebook that covers 1916- 1924. Inside the notebook is a newspaper clipping related to the significance of what a Carnegie Library is in regards to origin and design.
Minutes of the Board of Trustees 1916-1924
Newspaper clipping on Andrews’ Carnegie Library
There is also another notebook that covers more than thirty years of Board of Trustees meetings.
Board of Trustees Meeting Notes, 1953-1984
To learn more about Andrews Public Library, visit their partner page here or their website here.
Andrews Carnegie Library Annual Report, 1922
Bennett College has shared with us a collection that covers more than 100 years of their school activities, with a particular focus on the Home Economics program at the school and the yearly institute hosted by the school on varying topics related to Home Economics. Among the collection are institutional records, numerous booklets related to home economics research, event programs, obituaries, flyers, newsletters, and photos of faculty, students, and community members. There are also newspaper clippings and magazines that relate to happenings at Bennett related to educational enrichment and fashion.
Bennett College Home Economics Students, circa 1900.
A highlight of the collection are photographs from a political rally in support of Shirley Chisholm.
Students at rally for Shirley Chisholm
Shirley Chisholm, 1972
The African American all women college of Bennett is located in Greensboro, N.C. Bennett is filled with a rich tradition and historic legacy that will never be surpassed, we are proud to partner with them and to help preserve their heritage. To learn more about the Bennett College collections click here.
Gittens / Ward Home Economics Club Newsletter, September 17, 1988
Laborers threshing wheat on the Carpenter farm
Agriculture is the theme of our latest digitized collection. Our partner the Historical Association of Catawba County provided photographs from the 1920’s through the 1950’s that show farm workers, mills, and the cultivation of crops from that era. There are also pictures of farm equipment and farm animals such as horses, mules, and cows. And if you have ever wondered how farmers threshed wheat, there are a few photographs that will show you how its done. Other photographs include farmers proudly displaying their crops and farm animals. While the majority of photographs were taken in Catawba county, there are pictures from other counties throughout North Carolina. To see all of the photographs in this collection click here.
A man, a police officer, and two large watermelons.
The ripples of the Civil War still resonate throughout the United States, especially in the south. North Carolina seceded from the Union in 1861 and joined the confederacy in its fight to maintain the institution of slavery. North Carolina was host to numerous battles during the war and there has been much historical research of those encounters and how towns and people were affected by those tumultuous events. Primary source materials from the Civil War and Reconstruction era are useful for better understanding our past, present, and improving our future as fellow citizens of North Carolina.
Letter certifying that Hollowell was a prisoner of war
Now on our site you can read, though it may be disconcerting at times, original letters and correspondence from J.M. Hollowell, thanks to our partner Wayne County Public Library. Hollowell was a confederate soldier from North Carolina who was imprisoned by Union troops for a period of time during the Civil War. Included in this collection is a memoir, of sorts, by Hollowell that was published in 1939. Based on a series of articles he wrote in 1909 for the Goldsboro Weekly Record, this memoir published nearly thirty years after his death, gives the reader insight into the life, culture, and prejudices of a North Carolina citizen and confederate soldier. Reflecting the views of his peers at the time who were also fighting to maintain the status quo of slavery in the South during the Civil War, this collection of Holloway’s letters and writings gives insight into the daily thoughts of those fighting for the confederacy and how they reacted to Reconstruction, racial progress, and politics following the war. Explore J.M. Hollowell’s documents here.
War-Time Reminiscences and Other Selections by J.M. Hollowell
Members of the Graduating Class of 1949
DigitalNC is proud to announce the Dudley Alumni Association as its 250th partner. The Dudley Alumni Association provided us with yearbooks, photographs, student newspapers, and newspaper clippings related to educators in Greensboro, N.C. As an alumni of James B. Dudley High School with family ties that include my father, sister, aunt, great uncle, and other family members I am overjoyed to have such an intimate connection to this contribution to the DigitalNC website.
Included in the collection are yearbooks from 1957 and the years 1966-1969. I had the personal pleasure of viewing yearbooks that cover my father’s entire time at Dudley, 1967-1969. There are also photos of students and administrators in the classroom, and students on the campus yard, as well as images of the graduating classes of 1949, 1953, and 1959 in their caps and gowns.
1969 Dudley High School Yearbook
Graduates from the Class of ’69
The historic James B. Dudley High School is an intricate part of the legacy of Greensboro, N.C. and now other alumni, community members, and people who want to be reminded of, or are curious about, what Panther Pride looks like can view items that frame this historically Black high school.
Students and Administrators
We are excited to welcome new partner Clemmons Historical Society to DigitalNC.
The first set of materials from them is a big batch that documents the history of Clemmons. The Clemmons Historical Society provided numerous pieces of correspondence, pictures, scrapbooks, and yearbooks. Can you read German? Checkout the “Bethlehem Diary Excerpts” from the late 1700’s. Stagecoach enthusiasts can view pictures of the “Hattie Butner Stagecoach” as it appeared post-restoration in 1994. If you want to see what teenage life was like in Clemmons in the 1940’s & 50’s take a look at a collection of yearbooks from that era. There are many more documents and pictures that help to frame the long history of Clemmons and you can find them all here.
Clemmons Scrapbook from 1953
Drawing of Hattie Butner Stagecoach on a Fund Raising Note Card
To learn more about our new partner, please visit their partner page or their website for more information.