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 by Kristen Merryman

Issues of Wake Forest University’s The Student from 1906-1935 added

Additional issues of Wake Forest University’s The Student are now online.  The additional issues cover 1906 through 1935.  The Student was typically published quarterly and featured articles, opinion columns, and stories written by the students of what was then Wake Forest College, located in Wake Forest, North Carolina.  The later issues, published in the 1930s have more of a magazine feel than the earlier issues, which are focused literary journals.  Topics covered include World War I, the depression, college life, dating, and social issues such as homelessness, the mentally infirm, and the death penalty.  Each issue includes a humor section as well.  The later issues also include a number of advertisements for both local businesses in Wake Forest and Raleigh and a number of full color cigarette ads.  

To read about previous batches of The Student we have digitized, visit here and here and here.  Visit Wake Forest University’s partner page to learn more about what they have contributed to DigitalNC.  

Student newspaper from Johnson C Smith University is now online

The University Student, Johnson C. Smith University’s student newspaper, is now available on DigitalNC with issues from 1926-1930.  Johnson C Smith University, a historically black university in Charlotte, NC was founded in 1867 as the Biddle Memorial Institute.  The name was changed to Johnson C Smith University in 1923 after a benefactress’ husband, shortly before the available run of papers were published.  The school became co-ed in 1932.    

The student newspaper was published monthly in the 1920s and not only had news about the university and Charlotte, but also news about the wider African-American academic world, with a lot of very thought provoking articles about the issues of the time, with articles discussing topics varying from “Social Hereditary” to “Is Smith the Potential Yale of the South?”

To view more resources from Johnson C Smith University, visit their partner page here.  And to view more student newspapers from across the state, visit our newspapers here.

Sail back to the 1800s with materials from our new partner, Beaufort Historical Association

Today we are highlighting the great materials from our new partner, Beaufort Historical Association.  

Two items were especially exciting in the first batch of materials, which were prioritized for their fragile condition.

One is the account book of Dr. William Cramer, a physician who ran the Apothecary Shop in Beaufort in the 1850s.  The account book lists the medicinal items that Dr. Cramer sold to the citizens of Beaufort.  

The other is the account of Mr. Cecil G. Buckman, a 19 year old local carpenter’s son who was on the schooner Ogeechee to Baltimore from Beaufort in 1873 when it ran into a storm and the ship ran aground on Hatteras Island for several days before the ship’s passengers were able to continue along their way to Baltimore.  A great account about the travails and uncertainties of ocean travel even late in the 19th century.

To learn more about our partner Beaufort Historical Association visit their partner page here

Shaw University yearbooks from 1949, 1960, and 2010-2015 now available

From the 2015 The Bear yearbook

More yearbooks from Shaw University are now online on DigitalNC.  The 2015 volume celebrates the 150th anniversary of Shaw, which was the first black college in the South founded in 1865 shortly after the Civil War ended.  

To learn more about Shaw University and see other materials we have from them online, visit their partner page here. To see more yearbooks from colleges and universities across the state, view our Yearbook Collection.



World War I materials on DigitalNC


Company H, WWI, 1st North Carolina Infantry of the National Guard, departed Waynesville’s train depot on June 26, 1916. They guarded the Mexican border and returned to Waynesville in February 1917. In July 1917 they then were sent to France during WWI.  Courtesy of Haywood County Public Library.

Last Thursday, April 6, 2017, marked the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I.  Over the next year, many cultural heritage institutions around the country are highlighting the materials they hold related to the “Great War.”  We wanted to highlight some of the fantastic local North Carolina materials we have digitized for our partners that document the World War I perspective from North Carolinians’ eyes.


Service records, photographs, news clippings and letters back home from communities across the state are digitized here on DigitalNC.  From Wilson County, we have a set of records from 70 men that served in the war that the United Daughters of the Confederacy collected and a scrapbook that includes letters from a Robert Anderson before he was wounded in action and died in France. From Stanly County, we have an enlistment record that includes the amount Harvey Jarvis Underwood was paid to serve, and a history of the service records of Stanly County men who served in the war.  From the Grand Lodge of the Ancient, Free, and Accepted Masons of North Carolina, the NCDHC digitized a list of all the North Carolina masons who died in World War I.

Several scrapbooks from Elon University detail the students’ view of the war as well as what college life during World War I looked like here in North Carolina.  

Headline from Page 2 of the April 12, 1917 edition of the Roanoke News









The richest source of information on World War I and North Carolina on DigitalNC may very well be the many local newspapers we’ve digitized that contain the local perspective on the war, including some quite subdued headlines announcing the US’s entry.  DigitalNC also hosts several World War I camp and hospital newspapers including the Trench and Camp from Camp Greene and the Caduceus, the paper of the Base Hospital at Camp Greene.  Both are from Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

To view more materials from World War I, check out a search of our collections here.  And to learn more about World War I materials from across the state, visit the institutions highlighted in this blog post from our colleagues over at the State Archives of North Carolina.

“But, this election has been unlike any other.”

Front page of The Amco News, October 1, 1960

Front page of The Amco News, October 1, 1960

“When we note the bare knuckled television fights of both candidates on the same stage, discussing the same issues, it is much like the pugilistic
contests in which the victor’s hand is raised in a decision of victory.”

“Both candidates are always screaming about making their position clear, but often they don’t”

[reactions to the Kennedy-Nixon debate in 1960]

“What we saw was not impressive. It did not inspire confidence…one also realized that these two men were one step away from the presidency because they were very wealthy, were willing contestants in the dehumanizing game of politics, and were able handlers of the mass media.”

[reaction to the Carter-Ford debates in 1976]

“The name of the game is now “image-building” and opinion shaping by way of the electronic media”

“Election-year Presidential politics being what they are, have never been noted for their coming to grips with the real, people oriented, bread and
butter issues.”

[reactions to the Reagan-Carter debates in 1980]

“Perhaps there is too much of an image problem involved in a televised debate”

[reaction to the Reagan-Mondale debates in 1984]

“The November 8th election is here, and Americans are going to the voting booth to choose our next president. But, this election has been unlike any
other.  Former Presidents are calling it a “farce” and a “joke.” The American people seem to be uninterested.”

[reaction to the Bush-Dukakis debates in 1988]

Do these statements ring a bell?  Do they echo the same statements being bandied about this election year?  It appears that for at least the past 56 years, since the first televised presidential debate in 1960 between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, the American public has not found much confidence in what they were seeing.  So if you’re feeling downhearted about the slinging happening in the 2016 election, perusing our newspaper collection will let you know that it is nothing new.  One thing we can all probably agree on is the editorial comment from the October 15, 1960 issue of The Carolina Times from Durham as early voting starts up today in North Carolina.

“Talk about the election is great.  But a vote in the election is even better”

Talk is Great, but the Vote is Better

The Carolina Times. October 15, 1960. Page 2.


Photographs of Central Carolina Community College online

The first batch of photographs depicting student life and academics at Central Carolina Community College are now online.  The photographs date from the 1960s to the 1990s and show primarily students studying agriculture, accounting, automotive mechanics, and broadcasting.  This group of photographs was the first of many that we will be digitizing for Central Carolina, which is located in Sanford, North Carolina in Lee County.

cccc_accounting cccc_ag cccc_auto cccc_auto2

To learn more about our partner Central Carolina Community College and see other materials they have had digitized, visit their partner page here.  To view more photographs contributed by institutions all over the state, visit our Images of North Carolina collection.

Wilson Book Club programs from 1920-2005 now online

From the 1930-1931 booklet, a listing of the topics of discussion since 1898.

From the 1930-1931 booklet, a listing of the topics of discussion since 1898.

85 more years of the Wilson Book Club programs are now available online, thanks to our partner, the Wilson County Public Library.  We have previously posted about the earliest of these programs, dating back to 1901.  With the addition of 93 years of programs starting in 1911 and going through 2005, one can now have a good glimpse into changing interests in the literary world and how book clubs operate over the past 100 years.  The earliest programs in this new batch often had a subject for that whole year, whether it was based on genre or topic, such as “The Netherlands” or “Modern Irish Literature“.  Later years tended to have much more diverse set of subjects across the year, although on occasion still have a primary focus for the year.  The 1975-1976 program reflects the bicentennial being celebrated and many of months have a colonial era focus.  In addition to the information on the books read, a listing of the club members and who hosted each month is also included in the programs.

Perhaps a question many of us were asking in 2005.

Perhaps a question many of us were asking in 2005.

To view all the book club programs, visit here.  And to learn more about our partner Wilson County Public Library and view their digitized materials, visit their partner page.

DigitalNC welcomes new partner Brevard Music Center

Entrance to Brevard Music Center, 1959

Entrance to Brevard Music Center, 1959

The North Carolina Digital Heritage Center has added another new partner, the Brevard Music Center.  Materials from the Center that are now available online include photographs that date back to the Center’s origins as a music camp at Davidson College and every issue of Overture, the program for the camp and festival that has occurred every year since 1945.

Brevard Music Center was started by James Christian Pfohl as Davidson Music School for Boys in 1936.  The school moved to it’s present location in Brevard in 1944 and became coeducational and named the Transylvania Music Camp.  In 1946, a music festival was added along to the summer camp and in 1955 the school and festival became the Brevard Music Center.  Over the years has trained hundreds of students in music, from playing instruments to singing.  Many big names have played at the Center, including Midori Ito and its’ current artistic director, Keith Lockhart.  The NCDHC is excited to add such an important part of North Carolina’s music education history to DigitalNC for a wide audience to enjoy.











To learn more about the Brevard Music Center and view the resources that have been digitized, visit their contributor page here.

The Foothills View, a Boiling Springs community paper, now online

You can now learn lots of intimate details about the lives of those in the Boiling Springs area in the early 1980s in The Foothills View, a community newspaper digitized by the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center, courtesy of our partner Gardner Webb University.  Issues from the 1981 to 1984 are now online.  The paper, which was published weekly, included national and local news sections, as well as detailed community comings and goings for each of the local communities around Boiling Springs, such as Lavonia, Trinity, and Mt. Pleasant.

A tongue in cheek look at some of the letters to the editor The Foothills View got in their mailbag.

A tongue in cheek look at some of the letters to the editor The Foothills View got in their mailbag.

News about Earl Scruggs, a Boiling Springs native, visiting home in 1984

News about Earl Scruggs, a Boiling Springs native, visiting home in 1984

News out of Mt. Pleasant on March 19, 1981

News out of Mt. Pleasant on March 19, 1981

To view more materials from our partner, Gardner Webb University, visit their partner page here.  And to view more newspapers from across North Carolina, visit our North Carolina Newspapers Collection.