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 Spencer Bevis

Over 400 more issues of the Charlotte Post Now Available on DigitalNC

The front page for the Charlotte Post in April 1984, with a huge variety of topics on display

More issues of the Charlotte Post, from January 1980 to December 1987, are now online at DigitalNC, courtesy of Johnson C. Smith University. This new batch of over 420 issues joins an additional 400 issues of the Charlotte Post that stretches from 1971 into 1996. Founded in 1878 as a weekly publication, it is still published today and services the residents of Charlotte as “The Voice of the Black Community.”

Looking through these papers, it is easy to see why the Charlotte Post has become such an enduring institution. In nearly every paper, the Post covers local politics, national news, local events of note and more. For example, on the front page of the April 1984 paper shown above, there are articles on a new City-County Government Center to be constructed, travel records for highway patrol officials, holiday plans for local churches, an interview with the 1984 Delta Sigma Theta sorority debutante, and more.

An article in July 1987 highlighting the number of black candidates running for office that fall.

This new batch gives us a more complete picture of the important issues that the Charlotte Post has covered in the past as an important fixture for Charlotte’s minority community. To learn more about Johnson C. Smith University, visit their partner page or their website.

The Laurinburg Exchange Now Digitized and Available Online at DigitalNC

The front page of the Laurinburg Exchange, dated April 1916. Topics include the local County Commencement, Passion Week and the local churches, and debate teams from local schools competing in Chapel Hill.

61 issues of The Laurinburg Exchange have been newly digitized and added to DigitalNC. These are the first issues from The Laurinburg Exchange to be added to our collection, covering dates and issues from August 1889 to December 1926. Published since 1882, The Laurinburg Exchange serves the readers of Laurinburg and Scotland County to this day. The Exchange joins two other newspapers in our collection that cover Scotland County: the student newspapers for Presbyterian Junior College and St. Andrews University.

A reading list for local high school students for the years 1924-1925.

Looking through these newspapers, many of the articles are about local issues concerning the citizens and residents of Scotland County. Municipal issues, like elections and political developments, were written about especially often. Some news from throughout the state was also posted in the Exchange. However, its coverage was mostly focused on local issues – at any moment, the paper might have been notifying residents of changes in their courts or new stocked items in local businesses, or for example, warning residents about a local fever outbreak. In the photo on the right, the Exchange published a list of required books and associated course prices for local high schoolers.

Adding The Laurinburg Exchange to our collection represents a new wealth of knowledge about the lives of ordinary North Carolinians at the turn of the 20th century.

Rare issue of Bessemer City Messenger now on DigitalNC

Front page of the Bessemer City Messenger, dated May 25, 1895.

An issue of the Bessemer City Messenger has been newly digitized and added to DigitalNC. The issue is date May 25, 1895, making the Messenger one of the oldest newspapers we have on file. Unfortunately, not much else is known about this newspaper, including when it began or when it ended. This 1895 issue is only the second instance of the Messenger being preserved to this day. The only other copy of any issue known to exist is an 1892 edition held in the State Library of North Carolina in Raleigh, N.C.


Published out of Bessemer City, the Messenger served the residents of Gaston County during its circulation. Its articles take a distinctly Populist stance, celebrating Populist Party victories throughout the country in the early 1890s, while also arguing for greater distribution of wealth among workers and increased living conditions for children and women. A number of articles are also dedicated to trade protection, wheat production, manufacturing, and tariffs. For example, the article on the right is dedicated to the rapid expansion of cotton production mills in the South, with North Carolina being a particular spot for growth. While there were some notices of local events and local news among Gaston County and nearby towns in Cleveland County, the majority of this paper’s articles were dedicated to national or international events, creating an interesting dynamic when compared to other North Carolina papers of the time on our site. 


Having the Bessemer City Messenger added to our collection is an invaluable resource when it comes to learning about the lives of North Carolinians in the late 1800s. 

The Richmond Headlight Now Digitized and Online at DigitalNC

The front page of the July 1, 1904 Richmond Headlight

43 issues of the Richmond Headlight have been newly added to DigitalNC and are available now. These are the first issues of the Richmond Headlight to be digitized and uploaded to DigitalNC, covering from March 1901 to September 1906. It is also the first newspaper on DigitalNC from Richmond County. Published as a weekly newspaper in Rockingham, the Richmond Headlight advertised itself as the “only Democratic paper in the county” at the time. As the newspaper folded in late 1906, this batch may represent the entirety of the Richmond Headlight‘s circulation still in known existence, completing the collection.

The Headlight provided local news for Richmond County residents, as well as updates from throughout the state. Rather than specifically focusing on the county seat, the city of Rockingham, it made efforts to include news from all throughout the county, from towns both large and small. Looking through the articles now, it is remarkable to see what news the editors and reporters believed to be important to contemporary readers. The “Local Column” announced what had happened in the previous week; in one issue, it noted the election of Governor Robert B. Glenn in 1904, the creation of a lodge of the Junior Order United American Mechanics, and made mention of one resident spending Sunday with another.

Adding the Richmond Headlight to our collection represents an invaluable resource in helping us learn about the lives of North Carolina in the beginning of the 20th century.  To view more newspapers on DigitalNC, visit our newspaper page.

Ten More Years of The Guilfordian Now Online at DigitalNC

A 2007 article highlighting an exhibition at Guilford College of Ethiopian artist Wosene Worke Kosrof

A new batch of student newspapers have been added to DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, Guilford College. Included in this collection are nearly 250 issues of The Guilfordian, the student newspaper designed to update, teach, and inform students at Guilford College. Stretching from September of 2005 to May of 2015, this collection represents adding the experiences of nearly 3 generations of college students to our holdings.

A list of what was being played by student radio station WQFS during the week of April 10, 2009.

The Guilfordian is mostly dedicated to student activity on campus, advertising clubs, events, or speakers coming to Guilford College, it also included other details that students, alumni, or readers may find interesting. For example, as you can see to the left, for several years, the paper included lists of the top tracks played by Guilford College’s own student-run radio station, WQFS 90.9.

While many of the earlier articles are dedicated to student news, news around Greensboro, and activities on campus, readers can see how the direction and editorial stance of the paper changed with each generation of students. Over time, The Guilfordian has developed a stance more towards individual empowerment and highlighting student growth on campus. Just as the paper changed, adding or removing different sections, it is fascinating to see how the student body changed and reacted to different events over the years. For example, as seen below, The Guilfordian covered how Guilford College students demonstrated in Occupy Greensboro in the fall of 2011.

Guilford College students took to the streets in Occupy Greensboro in fall 2011.

To see more issues of The Guilfordian, click here. To learn more from Guilford College, you can see more information by visiting their partner page or taking a look at their website.

New Yearbooks From Wayne County Now Online at DigitalNC

A birds eye view of Goldsboro High School, taken in 1968.

A new batch of yearbooks from Wayne County are now available on DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, Wayne County Public Library. In this collection are over half a dozen yearbooks from the 1950s and 1960s from across Wayne County, including the city of Goldsboro and the towns of Dudley and Pikeville.

These yearbooks include individual portraits, class portraits, and more. They also include photographs of activities, student clubs, and the schools’ sports teams. These yearbooks highlight different parts of the student bodies, including the history clubs, the technical students, the students involved in foreign language classes, honor societies, and more.

A photo of students at Southern Wayne High School in 1968.

Follow the links below to browse the yearbooks from the schools included in this batch:

Senior supplements published in the early 1940s are also now online, which can be seen here

These yearbooks give us fascinating insights into what life was like for high school students in Wayne County in the mid-20th century. To see more from our partner who provided these yearbooks, visit Wayne County Public Library’s partner page, or take a look at their website.

New Yearbooks from Leaksville High School in Rockingham County Now Online at DigitalNC

An exterior shot of Leaksville High School in 1947.

A new batch of several yearbooks from Rockingham County is now available on DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, the Rockingham County Public Library. Included are six issues of The Pilot from 1937 to 1945, and four issues of The Weaver, from 1947-1952. Both titles are from Leaksville High School and these yearbooks give us a greater picture of what it meant to be a high school student in Rockingham County around that time.

These yearbooks include individual and class portraits, as well as photographs of activities, clubs, and sports teams. Some of the yearbooks also include class histories and the history of Leaksville High School. The 1937 yearbook highlights the changes since the school’s founding in 1905, and notes that the school “no longer is dependent on the janitor to ring the bells,” but instead has a “system of electric clocks, gongs, and bells.” A few of the yearbooks also include poems dedicated to the class, and “last wills and testaments,” where the graduating class would “bequeath” their skills, positions, and duties to upcoming seniors.

1947 photos of the Leaksville High annual yearbook staff (L) and the staff of The Cub Reporter school newspaper (R)

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

To see more from Rockingham County Public Library, visit their partner page, or take a look at their website.

New Batch of Yearbooks from Granville County Now Online at DigitalNC

A photo of the 1962 football team at Franklinton High School.

A new batch of yearbooks from Granville County are now available on DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, the Granville County Public Library. Included in this collection are several yearbooks from across Granville County in the 1940s and then later in the 1960s.

These yearbooks contain individual and class portraits, class and school histories, and honorifics of the students and assorted faculty members. Also included are photographs of school activities, class clubs, and student athletics. A few of the yearbooks also included “class prophecies,” descriptions of what they hoped they would be doing and how their lives would play out after graduation, and “last wills and testaments”, where they “bequeathed” their skills and abilities to future graduates.

An exterior shot of Franklinton High School, taken in 1965

Follow the links below to browse the yearbooks from the schools included in this batch:

To see more from Granville County Public Library, visit their partner page, or check out their website to learn more.

New Yearbooks from Benson Museum of Local History Now Online at DigitalNC

A group of students from Benson High School in 1968

A new batch of yearbooks from Benson, North Carolina, are now up on DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, the Benson Museum of Local History. Included in this batch are two yearbooks from Benson High School, The Tatler from 1968 and The Tatler from 1969.

These yearbooks show what it was like to go to school in Benson at that time. These yearbooks include individual portraits, class portraits, and photographs of activities, student clubs and organizations like Future Farmers of America, and sports that the students participated in. They also include photographs celebrating the years’ homecoming events, and faculty at the school, including librarians and the school’s bus drivers.

A colored photo of Benson High School Principal Robert D. Warren speaking to the Senior Class of 1969.

To see other materials from the Benson Museum of Local History, please visit their partner page. To learn more about the museum, visit their home page.

Over 60 Years of Gaston College Catalogs Now Online at DigitalNC

Over 60 years and dozens of catalogs from Gaston College are now online at DigitalNC. The publications span over six decades, from 1955 to 2018. Founded in 1952, the institution was originally called Gaston Technical Institute. Run under the banner of the School of Engineering at North Carolina State College (which changed its name to NC State University in 1962), the school was later renamed to Gaston College in 1964. These catalogs cover admissions, student registration for classes, scheduling, financial aid information, and lists of programs and classes.

Because of Gastonia’s focus on industrial development and the importance of the textile industry to the area, it is no surprise that many of the classes at Gaston College originally reflected that. In the beginning, it was almost exclusively classes on civil engineering, chemical engineering, electrical and electronic engineering, and mechanic and industrial engineering. It also included a curriculum for pre-textiles, which would have assisted in the study of textile chemistry, knitting technology, and textiles technology. In 1970, taking such a program would have cost you $32 to be a full time student.

Click here to browse through the catalogs. To learn more about Gaston College, visit their partner page or take a look at their website.