Issues of The Journal, from August 25, 1972 to April 26, 1974 , have now been added to DigitalNC thanks to our partner, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Also known as The Carolina Journal, The Journal serves as the student newspaper for UNCC, covering topics from arts and entertainment to campus news. Marked by creative layouts, each cover page includes artwork reflecting the headline topic, nearby holiday, or student made visuals.
Today on the blog we’re announcing some additions from Braswell Memorial Library, our long-time partner in Rocky Mount (Nash County). They’ve shared a number of church and school records for digitization.
Now online are church records and minutes from Philadelphia Baptist Church in Nashville, N. C. Dating from 1888-1905 and 1920-1954, these three volumes of photocopied records include the church’s member lists, minutes, and articles of faith. The minutes include a record of members invited, those excluded from membership due to various infractions, and a record of activities like services and baptisms. The originals are held and maintained by the church.
Also included in this most recent batch are two volumes related to the history of Spring Hope High School. One is a class reunion book, which dates from a 1990 reunion held for the class of 1947. The other is the Parent Teacher Association’s Secretary’s record book from 1955-1977. Both of these offer a lot of names for genealogical and local history research: those who either attended the school, their parents, or various school staff members.
You can view all of the materials we’ve scanned for Braswell Memorial Library on their contributor page.
Thanks to our new partner, the Clay County Historical and Arts Council, we now have a batch of historic photos from Clay County on our website. These photos were initially put together by the council to commemorate the sesquicentennial of Clay County in 2011.
Clay County is situated in the far western part of North Carolina on the border between North Carolina and Georgia. The county seat is Hayesville, NC, a small town that currently has a population of about 400 people, while the county currently has a population of around 11,000. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of Hayesville was 35 people in 1870 and the population of Clay County was 2,461.
The photos span the years 1862-1975. A large portion of the images focus on Hayesville, NC, the county seat. The rest of the pictures focus primarily on the surrounding rural area of the county. The subjects of the photos include shop interiors, school groups, the Dam Construction at Lake Chatuge in 1941-1942, historic county documents, the Hayesville town square, the Hayesville Centennial celebration in 1961 and related events, the Tennessee & North Carolina Railroad Depot in Hayesville, and rural life in the county.
For more information on the Clay County Historical and Arts Council, please visit their website.
Thanks to our partner, Caswell County Public Library, we now have several issues of yearbooks from Caswell County on our website. The yearbooks are from Bartlett Yancey High School in Yanceyville, N.C. and Cobb Memorial High School in Ruffin, N.C. and cover the years 1947-1969.
Thanks to our partner the History Committee of Pine Knoll Shores, materials related to the development of Pine Knoll shores are now on DigitalNC. This batch includes a booklet on the history of Pine Knoll Shores, correspondence relating to development in the town, and lots of maps of the town and the developments in it, including the golf course. The materials span a 50 year period, covering 1955 to 2007.
Not only is Marianna Black Library a new partner of the NCDHC, but this partnership is also our first with an institution in Swain County, N.C., bringing more coverage for the western part of the state to DigitalNC.
Thanks to our partner, The Ward House: Bethel Heritage Center, we now have a 1947 edition of The Hickory Stick yearbook on our site. This yearbook is from Bethel High School in Bethel, North Carolina. The yearbook joins 20 others from Bethel High School, bringing the coverage of the school from 1947 up to 1970.
To view more North Carolina yearbooks visit our yearbooks page here.
Thanks to our partners at The University of North Carolina at Asheville, DigitalNC is proud to host over 200 new issues of UNCA student newspapers, with years ranging from 1948 to 2018. This upload includes issues from the following titles:
The Blue Banner continues as the current student newspaper, but the previous iterations formed the building blocks it still adheres to. While these titles all kept UNCA students abreast of current events happening around the campus, city, and world, The Rag and Bone Shop didn’t shy away from controversy (click here for the Easter cover and here for the response cover) and Kaleidoscope wrote weekly entertainment reviews on local and national music. The Blue Banner continues these themes today, frequently reporting on current politics such as The Woman’s March, school shootings, and DACA recipients. Other periodic articles of note include Ink of the Week and Beat from the Street.
The Chatham County Funeral Programs digital exhibit grew recently as we added 72 more programs, thanks to our partners at the Chatham County Historical Association. The new programs document the lives of African Americans from Chatham County who passed on from 1967 until as recently as 2018. The majority of these funerals took place in or near Goldston, though others were in Siler City, Pittsboro, and other towns. Several of these individuals were from the Alston, Bynum, Dark, Headen, Hooker, Turner, and Wicker families.
The funeral program collection from Chatham County Historical are a great resource for family history research and for research on the black community in the central part of the state. To see all Chatham County funeral programs, check out our digital exhibit here. To learn more about the Chatham County Historical Association, visit their contributor page here or their website here.
Beginning in the early 1900s, North Carolina citizens segregated their schools. African American and Native American children were forced to attend separate schools from their white counterparts. Sometimes within the students’ own towns, sometimes a county away, these segregated schools often operated with fewer resources and poor infrastructure.
We help cultural heritage institutions scan high school yearbooks. To date we’ve added over 8,200 to DigitalNC. Less than 5% come from African American high schools*. There are a lot of reasons for this – sometimes African American schools couldn’t afford to create a yearbook, or few members of their student population could purchase one. There were a lot fewer African American schools compared to white schools, too. Many cultural heritage institutions, due to implicit or explicit bias, haven’t collected them over the years. In addition, families may be less likely to give them up to a predominantly white collecting institution. We’re always so glad to see them come through our doors, with an awareness of the fact that they represent vibrant communities flourishing within a repressive social structure.
To highlight the rarity of these yearbooks and to possibly help locate more, we’ve created a list of the names and locations of all of the public African American high schools compiled from the North Carolina Educational Directory around the time that the schools were desegregated.
You can see from the image above that the list includes
- the school’s name along with any variants we’ve uncovered,
- whether or not we have any yearbooks on DigitalNC.org,
- a link to a known alumni association’s website, and
- links to the Educational Directories where the school’s name was located.
The Educational Directory series was compiled and produced by the State Department of Public Instruction. These directories are incredibly useful for researching public school history. They list the names of schools along with locations and statistics. In the years leading up to 1964, “negro” schools were listed separately from white schools for each county, as shown in the excerpt below.
Beginning in the 1964-1965 Educational Directory – a full 10 years after the federal abolition of school segregation – schools were no longer designated as “negro” or white. Full integration in North Carolina took even longer, only completing in 1971.
In addition to the list of schools, we’ve created a North Carolina African American High Schools exhibit page through which you can more easily browse or search the African American high school yearbooks currently available on DigitalNC.
We hope that both the exhibit page and the list are useful for those who may not know the name of the African American high school that used to exist in their county or community, or who may be looking for yearbooks from a particular school or area of the state. Both will be updated if our partners are able to locate more yearbooks for digitization. If you have questions, check our Yearbook Digitization page for more information or contact us.
* During segregation Native Americans were a significantly smaller portion of the population compared to African Americans. Native American children were not allowed to attend white schools. In a few cases they had their own schools; in many they were sent to the “negro” schools. We use the term “African American high schools” for brevity, acknowledging that these institutions educated students with many identities.