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.

RSS Subscribe By Mail UNC Social Media Statement


Viewing entries by Taylor de Klerk


More Yearbooks from John Graham High School in Warrenton, NC now online

Thanks to our partners at the Warren County Memorial Library, we’ve added 13 new John Graham High School yearbooks to DigitalNC, bringing our total from this school to 22. We now hold each yearbook from 1947 until 1969, enabling digital access to resources on student life in Warrenton, North Carolina. The school integrated in 1966, so these recent earlier additions show the school when it’s population was all white students.  

Our holdings of John Graham High School yearbooks were created by the school after it had become a coeducational, public high school. The original school, named Warrenton Male Academy, was founded in 1786 and was one of the first high schools in the state. John Graham High School of the 1900s was the white high school in town until integration with John R. Hawkins High School in the mid-1960s. The class of 1981 was the last graduating class of John Graham High School, which then became a middle school. Local teenagers moved to the new Warren County High School building. The building is now the John Graham Center for Warren County Family Services.

To learn more about Warren County Memorial Library, visit their partner page here or visit their website here. To see these and other high school yearbooks, visit our North Carolina Yearbooks collection.


Durham County Aerial Photographs from 1980 and a 1951 Zoning Map Recently Added to DigitalNC

Comparison of part of I-85 from 1980 and 2019

Thanks to the Durham County Library, DigitalNC now hosts several aerial photographs and maps of the county from the second half of the twentieth century. Among the 1980 aerial photographs is a 1951 zoning map, which focuses mainly on the borders of the county and shows all major roads, bodies of water, and railroads. Landmark Engineering Company from Cary, NC, took the aerial photographs on March 13, 1980. They document the landscape of much of Durham County, though some are annotated to include street names.

Each photograph is identified by a four digit number followed by a two digit number in the bottom right-hand corner of the page. This index shows all four digit zones and how they split into four sections with two digits each. Use landmarks such as roads to identify the location of the photograph or map, then these locations can be matched to current landmarks on Google Maps or a similar tool. The hand drawn sketch (left) shows which segment of the county each grouping of photographs documents.

  1. Northwestern Durham County
  2. Northern Durham County
  3. Northeastern Durham County
  4. Northeastern Durham County
  5. Northwestern Durham County
  6. Northern Durham County
  7. Northeastern Durham County
  8. Eastern Durham County
  9. Eastern Durham County
  10. Southeastern Durham County
  11. Not included in this batch

To view all maps and photographs in this batch, click here. To learn more about the Durham County Library, visit their contributor page here or their website here.


New materials from Rockingham and Stokes Counties are now online!

New materials from the Rockingham County Public Library are now available on DigitalNC. This batch includes photographs, remembrance books, neighborhood histories, newspaper clippings, and a football schedule poster.

Photographs include the one above of Lowes Methodist Church, now Lowes United Methodist, in Reidsville, and one of Charlie Jackson Bennett laying in state in 1953. There are remembrance books for the same Bennett, as well as Carrie Lee H. Bennett and Sylvia Bennett Brown. The funeral home where Sylvia Bennett Brown was laid to rest also created a remembrance plaque, included in this batch of items.

Other items include a variety of materials documenting the history of Mayodan and Stoneville, North Carolina, mostly from the twentieth century. The Carolina Heights neighborhood in Eden, North Carolina, is also represented here by a leaflet sharing its history. Carolina Heights was formerly in Spray, which was consolidated into Eden in 1967. To see all materials on DigitalNC from Spray, click here.

DigitalNC is thankful to our partner, Rockingham County Public Library, for enabling access to these materials online. To learn more about the Rockingham County Public Library, visit their partner page here or their website here. To see all items in this batch, click here, and to see everything contributed by the library, click here.


New High School Yearbooks from Bethel in Pitt County Just Added

Thanks to our partnership with The Ward House: Bethel Heritage Center in Bethel, North Carolina, DigitalNC recently added fifteen yearbooks from Bethel High School (1949-1970). These yearbooks shed insight into the lives and activities of white students in northern Pitt County in the mid-twentieth century, particularly before the school was integrated with Bethel Union High School in the late 1960s. The class of 1970 was the final graduating class from Bethel High School. The following fall, North Pitt High School opened for students of Bethel, Belvoir, Pactolus, Stokes, and Staton House. Click here to browse all of the yearbooks from Pitt County on DigitalNC.

Click this link to see all fifteen yearbooks added in this batch. To learn more about The Ward House: Bethel Heritage Center, visit their contributor page here. To view more high school yearbooks from throughout North Carolina, check out our list here.


New Chatham County Photographs and the Story of Navigation on the Cape Fear and Deep Rivers

Thanks to our partners at the Chatham County Historical Association, DigitalNC now hosts nearly 100 new photos of Chatham County, as well as a profile of the Cape Fear and Deep River Slack Water Navigation from 1851 and the story of the Cape Fear and Deep River Navigation Company.

The Cape Fear and Deep River profile and its story are DigitalNC’s first additions to provide insight into North Carolina’s inland navigation system, though this information is complemented by several photos of the Cape Fear river on our site. The Deep River, along with the Haw River, is a tributary of the Cape Fear River. The two rivers meet just south of Jordan Lake in Chatham County, near Moncure and Haywood, North Carolina. The Cape Fear and Deep River Navigation Company was organized in 1849 in Pittsboro, NC, to enable steamboats to traverse the rivers. The company ensured navigation of the rivers by building dams and locks as a slack water system of navigation. To learn more about the company, visit Wade Hadley, Jr.’s history of the organization from 1980.

This batch of materials also includes nearly 100 new photographs of twentieth century Chatham County. Several showcase local high schools, activities at the Gilmore Hunting Lodge, dam construction, the Carolina Power and Light Company, churches in Mount Vernon, and other subjects.

To learn more about the Chatham County Historical Association, visit their contributor page here or their website here.


200 More Photos from Central Carolina Community College are Available Now!

Thanks to our partnership with Central Carolina Community College (CCCC), there are 200 new photographs on DigitalNC, making our total number of photographs nearly 4,000! These latest photographs document happenings at the college form the 1960s until 2001, focusing mainly on staff and faculty portraits and activities. CCCC originally opened as Lee County Industrial Education Center in the early 1960s, and later became Central Carolina Technical Institute, then Central Carolina Technical College, and finally Central Carolina Community College.

To learn more about Central Carolina Community College, please visit their partner page or their website. To see more photos like these from CCCC, check out the nearly 4,000 photos in the collection A Pictorial History of Central Carolina Community College.


More Materials from Johnston Community College are now Available

Aerial Photograph, 1983

Aerial Photograph, 1983

Thanks to our partners at Johnston Community College, DigitalNC is proud to make more photographs, a scrapbook and a 1988 class schedule available online. This batch follows a previous set of about 750 photographs from the college, and continues along themes of education, community, and the campuses in Smithfield and Four Oaks.

Some of the most notable photos are of campus personalities, including Dr. A. Curtis Phillips, President Donald Reichard, other faculty and staff, and several that focus on President John Tart as he was about to retire.

John Tart, his wife Marjorie Tart, and their grandchildren at President Tart's retirement party, 1998

John Tart, his wife Marjorie Tart, and their grandchildren pose by a series of cakes meant to look like the Johnston Community College at President Tart’s retirement party, 1998

The batch also includes the first scrapbook of news clippings produced by Johnston Community College. This book, filled with clippings from 1969 to 1972, is the first of many scrapbooks assembled by College faculty and staff. This book documents the origins and early days of the school, which opened as Johnston County Technical Institute in Fall 1969.

First class of curriculum students, September 1971 clipping in the 1969-1972 scrapbook

First class of curriculum students, September 1971 clipping in the 1969-1972 scrapbook

To see all of the photographs on DigitalNC from Johnston Community College, click here. DigitalNC also hosts several yearbooks from Johnston Community College from this time period–click here to view them. To learn more about Johnston Community College, visit their partner page here or their website here.


New scrapbooks documenting Iredell County schools are now on DigitalNC!

Fourteen scrapbooks about Iredell County public schools are now available on DigitalNC, thanks to our partner, the Iredell County Public Library. These scrapbooks document the schools throughout the county from 1970 to 1981, including Mooresville High School, South Iredell High School, North Iredell High School, West Iredell High School, East Iredell High School, Statesville High School Union Grove Elementary School, Troutman Elementary School, and the Board of Education.

One notable topic in these scrapbooks is the planning for and opening of West Iredell High School in 1972. The article below is an announcement of the land for the school being purchased in August 1971. 

"School Site Purchased," August 1971

“School Site Purchased,” August 1971

Another event covered in the scrapbooks is the November 1979 Statesville Christmas Parade. The clipping below shows the North Iredell High School marching band in the parade.

North Iredell High School marching band, November 20, 1979

North Iredell High School marching band, November 20, 1979

Click here to see all Iredell County schools scrapbooks. To learn more about our partner, the Iredell County Public Library, visit their partner page here or their website here.


More yearbooks from Surry County are now available on DigitalNC

The North Star from North Surry High School, 1962

The North Star from North Surry High School, 1962

Nine new Surry County yearbooks from the 1950s and 1960s are now available on DigitalNC, thanks to our partners at the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History.

The batch includes seven Windswept Echoes from Copeland High School in Dobson, which adds to five existing yearbooks. We now host a complete set from 1950 to 1961 for this school.

Two North Stars from North Surry High School in Mount Airy (from 1961 and 1962) are also included in this batch. We previously held one from that school from 1960.

These yearbooks represent two of thirteen high schools from Surry County represented on DigitalNC. Click here to browse them all.

Click here to see all nine yearbooks from this batch. To see all materials from the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History, click here. To learn more about them, visit their partner page here or their website here. DigitalNC is very thankful for their partnership in making these yearbooks accessible online.


More newspapers and engineering drawings from the Chapel Hill Historical Society are now available

Thanks to our partners at the Chapel Hill Historical Society, DigitalNC is happy to be able to provide access to two groups of materials from their collection online. A new set of drawings that illustrate the civil engineering and planning of Chapel Hill, and more issues of The Lincoln Echo from Chapel Hill’s Lincoln High School.

Only a few dozen issues are known to exist of The Lincoln Echopublished by the pre-integration African American high school of Chapel Hill, making this resource vital for the community. Our digital holdings of the paper now cover 1949 to 1965, and we also have issues of its precursor, The Orange Echofrom 1944 to 1947. The May 1945 issue of The Lincoln Echo is particularly noteworthy as it includes seniors’ reflections on graduating in light of V-E Day, which happened around the same time. One student said, “The outlook for myself is that when this war is over I will have equal opportunities with anyone, and be able to earn an honest dollar regardless of my color.”

The other digital additions in this batch are comprised of engineering drawings for the planning of the town. These drawings include scaled radiuses of fire trucks and garbage trucks, used to calculate the necessary dimensions for streets. Also, there are drawings of various street details, such as bus shelters, sidewalks, curbs, and other elements. The batch also includes plans for several roads around town, including Airport Road (NC86), now known as Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., pictured below.

Click here to view all of the newspapers from the Chapel Hill Historical Society, and here to view all other materials. To learn more about the organization, visit their partner page here or their website here.