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


New Issues from The Perquimans Weekly Now Online at DigitalNC

A few photos taken of ducks at the Perquimans River in a May 1984 article

New issues from The Perquimans Weekly are now digitized and online on DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, the Perquimans County Library, part of the Pettigrew Regional Library. Published out of Hertford, NC, the newspaper services Hertford, Belvidere, New Hope, Winfall, and other local areas. While our collection previously contained issues from 1934-1977, these new issues increase our collection with new material from 1944-1989.

An article about the Olympic Festival Torch passing through Hertford

As a weekly published newspaper, The Perquimans Weekly was often full of local headlines, political developments in the county, and municipal updates. There were often important state and national updates included, too. In 1987, as North Carolina was celebrating its 400th anniversary, it was also holding the U.S. Olympic Festival in the Piedmont region. At this time, people carried the Olympic Festival Torch from Wilmington to Raleigh, passing through Perquimans County that July. Around 100 citizens looked at the torch as it passed through Hertford, and local figures, including the County Manager and the Executive Director of the local Chamber of Commerce spoke and celebrated it at a local program.

To browse through other materials from the Perquimans County Library, part of the Pettigrew Regional Library, check out their partner page, or visit the website for the public library.


New Issues of The Franklin Press and the Highlands Maconian Now Online

A 1952 article about NC Governor W. Kerr Scott and Dr. Clyde Erwin, state superintendent of public instruction, visiting Macon County schools

Seventeen more years and over 10,000 more issues of The Franklin Press and Highlands Maconian newspaper have been newly digitized and put online on DigitalNC, with the help of our partner, the Fontana Regional Library. The Highlands Historical Society has also helped us with making these issues available for the public. While our collection previously only contained 1924-1942, we have nearly doubled the collection, with 1943-1960 now digitized online. Based out of Franklin in Macon County, the Franklin Press and Highlands Maconian was published weekly from 1932-1968.

A full issue in January 1944 wished servicemen victory in the coming year

Many of the newly digitized articles naturally deal with World War II, such as the snippet on the left of a January 1944 paper, which was wholly dedicated to wishing servicemen and soldiers victory in the coming year. After the war ended, the paper went back to its regular local and national coverage. For example, an article in 1955 detailed how excited the townspeople were of the forthcoming 1956 film The Great Locomotive Chase was being filmed in Franklin, Clayton, and Tallulah Falls.

With this new increase in pages from The Franklin Press and Highlands Maconian, DigitalNC becomes much closer to having the entire publication of the newspaper in our collection. To browse other materials from the Fontana Regional Library or the Highlands Historical Society, click on their partner pages, or visit their websites Fontana Regional Library and Highlands Historical Society here.


Smithfield Herald Now Digitized Online

Header of the Smithfield Herald March 15, 1901 issue

138 issues of the Smithfield Herald have been newly added to DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, the Johnston County Heritage Center. These are the first issues of the Smithfield Herald digitized on DigitalNC, covering January 1917 to April 1918. Established in 1882, the Herald was at one point the oldest operating newspaper in Johnston County. It joins fellow Johnston County newspaper, the Johnstonian-Sun.

The Smithfield Herald advertised War Bonds during World War I

The Herald is published semiweekly and offers local and national headlines of interest. During this time period, the Herald contained coverage from the different fronts in World War I. The newspaper also advertised local businesses who sold war bonds to support the war effort. Many local headlines are more innocuous, though – one issue had an article on how a local woman entertained a party at a local dance hall with games and ice cream. In addition, the paper also had smaller short stories, poems or jokes.

Having the Smithfield Herald added to our collection grows our knowledge of what Johnston County was like during that time period and is an invaluable resource. To browse through other materials from the Johnston County Heritage Center, check out their partner page, or visit their website.


The Transylvania Times Now Online at DigitalNC

33 issues of The Transylvania Times have been newly added to DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, the Transylvania County Library. These are the first issues of the Transylvania Times digitzed on DigitalNC, covering from January to August 1933. The Times joins other newspapers that cover Brevard and Transylvania County, including the Brevard News, the Sylvan Valley News, and the Echo.

At that time of publication, the Times was a weekly newspaper, including local news, some national news, comic strips, brief prayers, and news about the local schools and colleges. In the article to the right, the Times announced the creation of Brevard College, a private college in Brevard, North Carolina. It was created after Weaver and Rutherford Colleges were merged to create a single co-ed Methodist Junior College on the property of the Brevard Institute. Judging from the article, the townspeople were very enthusiastic about the decision, with congratulations pouring in from as far as Charlotte. Brevard College eventually opened in the fall of 1934.

Gaining the Transylvania Times to our collection is invaluable to helping us learn about the life of North Carolinians in Appalachia in the beginning of the 20th century. To browse through other materials from the Transylvania County Library, take a look at their partner page, or check out their website.


New Issues of the Pilot Now Online

16 years and over 800 issues of The Pilot have been added to DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, the Southern Pines Public Library. While we previously held issues of the Pilot from its inception in 1920 to 1948, we now have issues dating to 1965, nearly doubling our collection. Based out of Southern Pines, this newspaper services Moore County.

Taken from an article about the graduating class of Southern Pines High School of 1950, the largest up to that point

A December 1963 retrospective on the biggest local stories from that year

Published twice a week, The Pilot covers breaking news, local developments, politics, business, and sports. For example, the newspaper detailed the major stories and events in 1963 in the retrospective on the right. One reporter wrote glowingly of a bond being secured to improve the local community college and county schools, while they said that the next biggest story was an April fire that destroyed over 25,000 acres in the town of Pinebluff.

Another mentioned the creation of the Moore County Mental Health Clinic and an expansion of the Moore Memorial Hospital. Others mentioned new real-estate developments, a new golf course, and new manufacturing industries that came to the county. All of these help paint a bigger picture of what life was like in Moore County in the middle of the 20th century.

To browse through other materials from Southern Pines Public Library take a look at their partner page, or check out their website.


11 More Years of the Carteret County News-Times Now Available

A January 1958 article showing and detailing events in a 1957 retrospective

Nearly a dozen years and over 14,000 pages of the Carteret County News-Times have been newly added to DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, the Carteret County Public Libraries. While previously covering from May 1948 to March 1949, DigitalNC now covers from May 1948 to January 1960. Based out of Morehead City, this newspaper covers Carteret County and joins the Pine Knoll Shores, another newspaper that services Carteret County.

An article in the Carteret County News-Times, dated January 13, 1950

The News-Times is a weekly and semi-weekly newspaper that offers mostly local headlines, although some are of national importance. Many are naturally about the North Carolina coast and maritime news, like the article to the right. In early 1950, scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution released glass bottles into the ocean off the coast, in order to test the ocean’s drift due to winds or currents. The bottles included notes that had a return address to the institute on them, and if the notes were returned, the sender received 50 cents back for their help.

Having this massive increase in pages from the News-Times helps gain knowledge and increase representation of coastal North Carolina cities in our collection. To browse through other materials from the Carteret County Public Libraries, take a look at their partner page, or visit their website.


Twelve More Years of the News-Record Digitized

Happy New Years wishes from the News-Record as 1977 turned into 1978

Twelve years and over 7200 pages of the News-Record have been added to DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, the Madison County Public Library. The collection had previously covered from 1912 to 1976 sporadically – these new pages cover from 1976 to 1988, adding over 650 issues to our holdings. Based out of Marshall, the News-Record is a weekly newspaper that covers Marshall, Mars Hill, and the rest of Madison County.

Many news articles found in the News-Record dealt with local municipal issues, political events, or updates for local sports teams. In the snippet on the right, a September 1979 article announced to local residents how cable television would be coming to Marshall and Mars Hill later that fall. While the wiring and antennas were largely in place for the town, the Clearview Cable Company still required approval to lay wiring across railroad tracks in Marshall. At the time, the monthly charge for cable was $7.75, and that gave residents 12 channels.

To browse through other materials from the Madison County Public Library, check out their partner page, or visit the Madison County Public Library website.


20 More Years of the Alamance Gleaner Now Available

A front page from August 1946. News included veterans’ furlough pay, farm credit bills in Congress, and the 20th anniversary of sound in movies

Twenty more years and almost 7000 pages of the Alamance Gleaner have been added to DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, the Alamance County Public Libraries. Previously, issues of the Gleaner only covered from 1875-1882 and 1911 to 1926, but DigitalNC now includes January 1927 to January 1947. Based out of Alamance County, the Gleaner was published from 1875 through 1956, and it joins other Alamance County newspapers, including the Mebane Leader and the Burlington Twice-A-Week Dispatch.

A July 1927 article about a highway that would eventually become Route 66

The Gleaner was a weekly newspaper based out of Graham that offered local news, national news, international news, and short stories. One story that the Gleaner wrote about in 1927 was a plan to create a highway from Chicago to Los Angeles, thought of as a “Main Street of America”, a stretch that would eventually become Route 66. As time went on, the Gleaner also came to include a comics section, quizzes, and timely updates from the different campaigns in World War II.

With this new increase in pages from the Alamance Gleaner, DigitalNC becomes that much closer to having the entire published history of the newspaper in our collection. To browse other materials from Alamance County, take a look at their partner page, or visit their website.


All of Brevard News Now Digitized and Online

Eight more years and over 4300 new pages of the Brevard News have been digitized and added to DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, the Transylvania County Library. Previously, issues of the Brevard News only covered from 1917 to 1923, but DigitalNC now includes January 1924 through December 1932. This means that DigitalNC now contains digitized versions of the entire run of Brevard News, from its beginning to when it folded in 1932. It joins fellow Transylvania county newspapers the Sylvan Valley News, The Echo, and The Transylvania Times.

A snippet from a December 1927 article advertising Santa Claus coming to Brevard

In February 1930, farm agents warned local farmers not to focus only on tobacco for their sole income

Much of the articles cover local news, including residents of note and local politicians, events that were happening at the time, and advice for farmers in the area. For example, in early 1930, the Brevard Banking Company announced it would help fund 50 farmers to plant one acre of tobacco each in order to bring money into Transylvania County, like it did to nearby Madison County. However, local farm agents cautioned farmers not to get too carried away with profitable tobacco farming, and to focus on grains and other existing crops first.

To browse through other materials from the Transylvania County Library, take a look at their partner page, or check out their website.


1945 Film of Willsherr Lodge on Win-Mock Farm now online

A new video has been digitized and added to DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, Davie County Public Library. The original 16mm film shows Dr. S. Clay Williams Jr. walking around the garden at Willsherr Lodge on Win-Mock Farm in uniform in 1945. Click here to view the film.

A frame from the video, showing Dr. S. Clay Williams Jr walking in the garden

Win-Mock Farm is a plot of land along the Yadkin River built by S. Clay Williams, president of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, located halfway between Winston-Salem and Mocksville. The Willsherr Lodge acted as the large family home, which is very briefly visible in the film.

To learn more about Win-Mock Farm, their website is here. To see more materials from Davie County Public Library, visit their partner page, or take a look at their website.