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 by Elizabeth Blackwood


New Materials Tell Powerful Stories from Alamance County Public Libraries

Alamance County Prison Farm Inmates use Bookmobile

Alamance County Prison Farm Inmates use Bookmobile

More than 30 new objects are now available on DigitalNC thanks to our partner, Alamance County Public Libraries. Items in this collection are more additions within the 6 month in-depth digitization effort documenting underrepresented communities in North Carolina.

Charles Richard Drew: Alamance County Memorial, page 3

Charles Richard Drew: Alamance County Memorial, page 3

This batch of materials tells important and powerful stories from Black communities in Burlington, Graham, and other townships in Alamance County. Below are highlights from the batch.

Several documents in the batch tell the story of Dr. Charles Richard Drew and his tragic connection to Alamance County. Drew was an internationally-renowned black physician credited for developing improved blood storage techniques, which was important for establishing large-scale blood banks during World War II. He was considered to be the most prominent African American in his field and actively protested racial segregation in blood donation as it lacked any scientific foundation.

Tragically, Drew was killed in a car accident, while driving through the Haw River area of Alamance County in 1950. Many myths surrounded his death, all of which are covered in some of the materials in this batch. Learn more about Dr. Drew, his life, death and memory through the links below:

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 affected many communities in North Carolina ,especially with regard to school integration. This batch also includes several primary and secondary sources relating to the desegregation in Alamance county. Linked below, you can find a copy of the letter sent to parents of students in Burlington City Schools, announcing the upcoming change. In addition, there are several newspaper articles that document some of the lasting reactions. These items could be excellent tools for teachers who are looking for documents to support curriculum goals. Learn more about integration in Alamance County at the links below:

Black Youth Killed in Night of Violence, page 1

Black Youth Killed in Night of Violence, page 1

Responses to change are not always peaceful, as was the case in Burlington after integration. This batch also includes a selection of newspaper clippings that document the violence that occurred in May, 1969. A night of riots resulted in the death of 15 year old Leon Mebane, which is documented in several of the articles below. Material like these and others from this batch tell the important stories of many community members who are often underrepresented in mainstream formats. These items and all of the new additions are full-text searchable and available for research and teaching. Learn more about Leon Mebane, his family, and the Burlington race riots below:

Other highlights from this batch also include information about Alamance County Bookmobiles, Alex Haley’s Roots and connections to the county, genealogy in the African American community, and the legacies of segregated high schools in the area. Browse these materials at the links below:


Updates added to Transylvania County Architectural Survey

Transylvania County Courthouse, Letter from the NC Department of Cultural Resources

Transylvania County Courthouse, Letter from the NC Department of Cultural Resources

 Duckworth Mill Data Sheet

Duckworth Mill Data Sheet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The nearly 500 objects in Transylvania County Library‘s architectural survey have been updated with more detailed information and are now available on DigitalNC.

Lydia Morrow Raines House

Lydia Morrow Raines House

Added over the summer of 2016, the Architectural History of a Mountain County exhibit contains nearly 1500 photographs of structures in the county, including homes, farms, cemeteries, churches, and businesses. This update adds even more information, such as maps, data sheets, historical building registrations, newspaper articles, and official communications between the State of North Carolina and property owners.

These documents add context and usability to the photographs. The hand drawn maps, property records, and legal documents build a model of Transylvania County through documents. These could be excellent resources for genealogists interested in family and property records of those from Brevard, Cedar Mountain, Rosman, Lake Toxaway, and Pisgah Forest communities. Most objects include a data sheet with the official survey records, a write up about the property, a hand drawn map, and notes.

To learn more about Transylvania County Library, please visit the contributor page or the website. To see more images of historic North Carolina, please visit the Images of North Carolina Collection.


New Memorabilia, Assorted Records added to the Rockingham County Legacy Digital Exhibit

Madison-Mayodan Charm Bracelet

Madison-Mayodan Charm Bracelet

A new batch of materials from Rockingham County Public Library is now available on DigitalNC!

This batch includes several 3-dimensional, physical objects, which are always interesting to digitize. DigitalNC has digitized everything from full size quilts to wedding dresses, but not everything requires that much work. Rockingham County Public Library’s pins, brooches, hair barrette, and charm bracelet are small enough to scan using the same workflow as larger scrapbooks and newspapers (see the documentation about our Phase One Camera), which are more common on the site. To see examples of larger items that must be shot in a studio, follow this link.

Brownie Scout Hair Barrette

Brownie Scout Hair Barrette

North Carolina Tar Heel Girl State Pin

North Carolina Tar Heel Girl State Pin

In addition to the physical objects, this batch also includes several other items that may be of interest to researchers or genealogists. The Speedwell Presbyterian Churchyard Graves booklet documents the names and locations of all of those buried in the historic cemetery between 1739-1969. The Stoneville Patron Registration books records the names and locations of those who used this branch library between 1959 and 1982.

See the lists below for all of the material digitized in this batch.

Physical Objects:

Booklets:

Other Digitized Memorabilia:

These items and more than 1500 more are all available at the digital exhibit, Rockingham County Legacy: A Digital Heritage Project. To learn more about Rockingham County Public Library and to see even more interesting Memorabilia, visit the contributor page or the website. To see more digitized physical objects available on DigitalNC, please use the following link.


Help Us Identify Students, Instructors in a New Batch of Photos from Sampson Community College

DigitalNC now hosts more great photographs from Sampson Community College.  Those photographs can all be seen here.

Unfortunately, there is very little information about any of the images, other than that they were taken at the school.  So we’d like to throw this out to our wide audience: know anything about this latest batch of photographs?  We’d love to update them with more specific information.  If you have any dates, names, or places you can identify in the photographs, send us an email at digitalnc@unc.edu, link to the image you have information about and let us know what you know.  Both the Digital Heritage Center and Sampson Community College will greatly appreciate any input!


The Hill: Newly Digitized Volume Documents a Lost Community in Catawba County

The Hill, Page 1

The Hill, Page 1

Partnering with the Hickory Public Library in Catawba County, NC, DigitalNC has published a copy of “The Hill,” a volume documenting the history and people from the Ridgeview Community in Hickory.

The Ridgeview Community, better known as “the Hill,” was once a bustling community full of close-knit families, active churches, and black-owned businesses. The area was hub of activity in the late 1930’s, with many physicians’ offices, beauty and barber shops, restaurants, and entertainment.  Most of the homes and business were demolished between 1950’s and the 1980’s, but the volume documents many of the photographs and memories that some Hickory residents still hold.

Drucella Sudderth Hartose, The Hill, page 8

Drucella Sudderth Hartose, The Hill, page 8

The volume is comprised of the research and memories of Drucella Sudderth Hartsoe, a community leader in Catawba county who has steadily worked to make Hickory a better place. She was president of the Progressive Club and took the initiative to send her daughter to Hickory High School as the first African American student. Hartsoe moved to the hill in the 1940, a time when the area was thriving with activity and personally been a part of the history.  Many of the photos and research come from her family history and direct experiences.

The volume also documents historical moments in the community, like participation in civil rights activities. One example is picture below, in which members of the Ridgeview Community traveled to Washington D.C. to march with Dr. Martin Luther King in August, 1963.

 

The Hill can also serve as a useful genealogical tool for those interested in families and property from the area. It contains many images, family names, and death dates of community members both old and young. This is especially true for those in the religious community, as the volume draws heavily on church records. It also documents the street addresses and locations of businesses that have long since been demolished. In addition, the volume contains many names and images of those who went to school in the Ridgeview Community, especially those who participated in extra curricular activities, like band and sports.

The Hill, page 81

The Hill, page 81

The Hill, page 58

The Hill, page 58

Information ranges from the community’s founding in 1903 through publication in 2001.

To learn more about the Hickory Public Library and its collection, please visit the contributor page or the homepage.


Fourth Batch of Central Carolina Community College Photos Now Online: Heavy Machinery, Adult Ed. Classes Featured

Machining tool and die student.

Machining tool and die student.

Machining student, 1965

Machining student, 1965

 

A fourth batch of photos from Central Carolina Community College are now available on DigitalNC. The overarching exhibit, A Pictorial History of Central Carolina Community College, now holds nearly 2,000 photos.

This batch documents the Machine Tool & Die program, the Motorcycle Mechanics program, the English-as-Second-Language program, the Industrial Maintenance program, Fire Fighter training program, Laser Optics program, and the Extension Courses.

Of particular interest in this set of photos are the amount of women who trained and studied in many heavy industry programs, like Machine Tool & Die and Motorcycle Mechanic courses. The photos above are just two of many women who broke into traditionally male-dominated fields.

In addition, the extension course photos document Central Carolina Community College’s important role in the city of Sanford and the surrounding areas. Students, both young and old, participated in a variety of classes– from pottery and other crafts to cooking and calligraphy. These photos demonstrate the far reaching benefits of community colleges with continuing education. They also often a window into hobbies and trends during the 1970’s and 1980’s. It’s hard to find classes in macrame and doll making today!

Student in a doll making class

Student in a doll making class

Motorcycle Mechanics Students

Motorcycle Mechanics Students

 

To learn more about Central Carolina Community College, visit the contributor page or the website. To view the entire collection of digitized photos from CCCC, please view the exhibit. To view more images from community colleges in North Carolina, browse the Images of North Carolina Collection.

 


Murphy Public Library Offers 20 Years of the Cherokee Scout

The Cherokee Scout, January 26, 1923, page 1

The Cherokee Scout, January 26, 1923, page 1

20 years of the Cherokee Scout, from Murphy, N.C., are now available online. Murphy Public Library, located in Cherokee County, is a new partner on DigitalNC and the first from the county. 

Cherokee Scout, July 27, 1923, page 4

Cherokee Scout, July 27, 1923, page 4

Like many community newspapers, the Scout contains many stories of national importance, as well as local events and activities. The Scout documents and reflects stories of importance to the community, especially crop reports, sermons, humor, poetry, and serial stories. Newspapers like these are useful for researchers of all types as they are full of names, dates, and cultural data.

Murphy’s proximity to the Georgia border also offers information about that region– making this newspaper a unique resource for researchers interested in the economic and social links between North Carolina and Georgia mountain communities.

The Cherokee Scout is still an active newspaper with 9,600 readers. You can learn more about the history of this newspaper, it’s owners, and the happenings of this Western NC community by visiting the landing page.

To learn more about Murphy Public Library, please visit the contributor page or the website. Learn more about community newspaper and find information from your community by visiting the North Carolina Newspapers Collection.

Cherokee Scout, May 29, 1931, page 2

Cherokee Scout, May 29, 1931, page 2


The Future Outlook: Documenting African American Communities in Greensboro from WWII-1970’s

The Future Outlook, July 14, 1967, page 1

The Future Outlook, July 14, 1967, page 1

The Future Outlook, a community newspaper from Greensboro, NC, is now available on DigitalNC. Thanks to our partner, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, nearly 25 years of the paper are now online and full-text searchable. The nearly 450 editions range from 1941-1947, 1949, 1952, and 1958-1972.

The Future Outlook served an African American community in Greensboro and documents major events from their perspective. Like community newspapers throughout North Carolina, the paper documented births, deaths, and events of its readership. Economic and business activities received a lot ink over the years, highlighting prominent black leaders in Guilford County, as well as, members of clubs and professional organizations. Elections and voting related activities are also well documented. Before each election, including smaller city and county elections, the paper published extensive district maps and voting information.

The Future Outlook, June 13, 1942, page 6

The Future Outlook, June 13, 1942, page 6

Another area that might be of interest for researchers is the paper’s coverage of local educational institutions. Greensboro is home to several historically black colleges and universities, including North Carolina A&T and Bennett College. Scholars and students at these universities are heavily covered, especially in during the 1960’s. Students on the Dean’s List, scholars who received grants (like the image above), fraternities and sororities,  and university conferences cover many front pages and serve as a record of university activities.

Also included in this batch are issues dating from 1941-1947, documenting the entirety of World War II and community reactions to it. Stories, advertisements, and political messages cover the pages during this period. The paper featured stories about locals who were working for the war effort, like Margaret Lanier. Lanier was a secretary in the Press Division of the Office of Facts and Figures. The Future Outlook published the photo on the left of her posing with seven new poster designs to be distributed for Flag Day in June 1942. In addition, there are many of the iconic war advertisements, posters and cartoons, featuring African American men and women.

 

The Future Outlook, September 12, 1942, page 4

The Future Outlook, September 12, 1942, page 4

The Future Outlook, September 26, 1942, page 4

The Future Outlook, September 26, 1942, page 4

 

To view all of the issues of the Future Outlook, please visit the following link. To view more community newspapers like this one, please visit the North Carolina Newspapers Collection and limit by “Community Papers.” You can also learn more about this partner, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, by visiting the contributor page or visiting the website.


New Partner! The State Port Pilot from Margaret & James Harper, Jr. Library in Brunswick County

The State Port Pilot, January 8, 1936, page 6

The State Port Pilot, January 8, 1936, page 6

 

DigitalNC is happy to welcome a new partner, the Margaret and James Harper, Jr. Library. Located in Southport, Brunswick County,  this partner adds to our growing list of contributors representing coastal communities.

This partner’s first contribution is a decade of editions of a community newspaper. The State Port Pilot documents community life in Southport and the surrounding areas from 1935-1945. The paper could be an excellent resource for those interested in agriculture at the coast, with many of the stories, advertisements, and images dealing with tobacco farming in that part of the state. This resources is also full-text searchable, allowing for quick research by name and location.

The Pilot also is unique in its advertising techniques, especially during the 1930’s. Full page ads address readers directly with clean simple statements that changed each week. 

To learn more about the Margaret and James Harper, Jr. Library, please visit the contributor page or the website. To find a digitized newspaper from your community, browse the North Carolina Newspapers Collection.

 

The State Port Pilot, May 8, 1935, page 4

The State Port Pilot, May 8, 1935, page 4


Additions to the Greenlee Collection of Scrapbooks Document the Doctors, Churches, and Events in McDowell County History

People and Events in McDowell County News Volume I, 243

Scrapbooks are the newest additions to the North Carolina Memory Collection, courtesy of McDowell County Public Library.

Each scrapbook contains newspaper clippings and notes about various subjects relating to McDowell County, its residents, and its culture. This batch contains information about local churches, doctors, general events from the early to mid twentieth century. Because most of the text included is newsprint, the scrapbooks are full-text searchable, which can make research easier and more efficient.

Several of the highlights from this batch include stories that recognize notable women from McDowell County, including the scrapbooks’ creator Mary Margaret Greenlee. One example is represented in the story on the right about Mrs. Louise Cunningham Byron. Byron trained and worked as a mortician and was interviewed about her breaking the mold in a male-dominated field.

People and Events in McDowell County News, Volume II, page 123

Mrs. Greenlee is also prominently featured in the scrapbooks. Greenlee was a well known educator and advocate in several counties in Western North Carolina. These scrapbooks are excellent resources for learning more about her life, the lives of women and men throughout the county, and about the history of McDowell County.

You can view all of the new scrapbooks in this collection at the links below:

To see all of digitized scrapbooks from the Greenlee Collection, please use the following link. To learn more about McDowell County Public Library, please visit the contributor page or the website.