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 tagged "memorabilia"

A Local History of the Civil War from Mauney Memorial Library

The latest from the genealogy shelves of our partner institution Mauney Memorial Library can be found online at DigitalNC.  In his book, White Plains Goes to War: The Civil War Saga of Edward and Benjamin F. Dixon, David C. Neisler chronicles the Civil War experiences of his ancestors, brothers Edward and Benjamin F. Dixon.

Letter written by Edward Dixon

The first half of the book focuses upon the lives and experiences of the Dixon brothers as Confederate soldiers in the Civil War. Neisler’s research is based upon personal correspondence and a few other documents found in a relative’s attic. Copies of these materials and photos of the Dixon brothers are provided in the book.


The second part of the book looks at Company D of the Fourteenth Regiment of the North Carolina Troops, or the Cleveland Blues as they were known. Lead by Edward Dixon, the Cleveland Blues were primarily from White Plains, N.C. Following a brief historical sketch about the Cleveland Blues, Neisler provides an annotated roster of all 68 volunteers who enlisted at the White Plains Post Office on April 26, 1861.

New minute books, scrapbooks, objects, and more from Grand Lodge of North Carolina

Gavel made from the wood of the Council Oak.

A photo of Cecil Liverman from the scrapbook documenting his time as Grand Master of North Carolina.

New materials from our partner, The Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina are now up on DigitalNC. This batch features minute books, scrapbooks, resolutions, and proceedings, along with images of a historic gavel. The gavel was made circa 1900 from the wood of the Council Oak at Quaker Meadows in Burke County, NC, where the leaders of the patriot forces met on September 30, 1780 to plan their attack on British and Loyalist forces at Kings Mountain.

Two scrapbooks focus on the Grand Lodge career of Cecil Liverman. The first documents his time as a Mason Officer from 1976-1983, and the second documents his year as the Grand Master of Masons in North Carolina from 1982-1983. The scrapbooks include photographs, letters of correspondence, news clippings, event programs, and more.

Lodge officers at the cornerstone laying for Selma Lodge #320 on June 2, 1983.

To view these new items, click the links below:

To see more materials from The Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina, visit their partner page or take a look at their website.

Sail back to the 1800s with materials from our new partner, Beaufort Historical Association

Today we are highlighting the great materials from our new partner, Beaufort Historical Association.  

Two items were especially exciting in the first batch of materials, which were prioritized for their fragile condition.

One is the account book of Dr. William Cramer, a physician who ran the Apothecary Shop in Beaufort in the 1850s.  The account book lists the medicinal items that Dr. Cramer sold to the citizens of Beaufort.  

The other is the account of Mr. Cecil G. Buckman, a 19 year old local carpenter’s son who was on the schooner Ogeechee to Baltimore from Beaufort in 1873 when it ran into a storm and the ship ran aground on Hatteras Island for several days before the ship’s passengers were able to continue along their way to Baltimore.  A great account about the travails and uncertainties of ocean travel even late in the 19th century.

To learn more about our partner Beaufort Historical Association visit their partner page here

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:

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:


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.

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.

Collection of Durham Funeral Programs Now Online

The first page of the funeral program for Mrs. Ethel Mae Clegg

The first page of the funeral program for John William Bailey

Hundreds of funeral programs and obituaries from the R. Kelly Bryant Obituary Collection, physically housed at the Durham County Library North Carolina Collection, are now up on DigitalNC. R. Kelly Bryant (1917-2015) was a historian with an extensive knowledge of Durham, North Carolina. In addition to being an active community leader with involvement in many organizations, he also collected the stories of thousands of African American residents told through funeral programs and obituaries.

This collection consists of digitized photocopies of the obituaries and funeral service programs that R. Kelly Bryant assembled over the course of his 70-odd years as a Durham resident. They are grouped together alphabetically according to surname of the deceased. The surnames “Adams,” through “Coachman” are now available, but we will continue to add more names to the digitized collection.

These materials are text searchable, and often contain genealogical information on their subjects including birth and death dates, maiden names, names of relatives, past residences, and places of burial. They cover funerals held from 1934-2013, and provide rich documentation of the African American community in Durham during this time. To learn more about Mr. Bryant and view his archival collection at Durham County Library, visit the finding aid. To see all of the digitally available programs, visit the  R. Kelly Bryant Obituary Collection exhibit page.

Also please take a look at other materials from the Durham County Library that are up on DigitalNC by visiting their partner page.

A page of photographs from the funeral program of Edward Beckford “Pe Wee” Boyd

World War I materials on DigitalNC


Company H, WWI, 1st North Carolina Infantry of the National Guard, departed Waynesville’s train depot on June 26, 1916. They guarded the Mexican border and returned to Waynesville in February 1917. In July 1917 they then were sent to France during WWI.  Courtesy of Haywood County Public Library.

Last Thursday, April 6, 2017, marked the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I.  Over the next year, many cultural heritage institutions around the country are highlighting the materials they hold related to the “Great War.”  We wanted to highlight some of the fantastic local North Carolina materials we have digitized for our partners that document the World War I perspective from North Carolinians’ eyes.


Service records, photographs, news clippings and letters back home from communities across the state are digitized here on DigitalNC.  From Wilson County, we have a set of records from 70 men that served in the war that the United Daughters of the Confederacy collected and a scrapbook that includes letters from a Robert Anderson before he was wounded in action and died in France. From Stanly County, we have an enlistment record that includes the amount Harvey Jarvis Underwood was paid to serve, and a history of the service records of Stanly County men who served in the war.  From the Grand Lodge of the Ancient, Free, and Accepted Masons of North Carolina, the NCDHC digitized a list of all the North Carolina masons who died in World War I.

Several scrapbooks from Elon University detail the students’ view of the war as well as what college life during World War I looked like here in North Carolina.  

Headline from Page 2 of the April 12, 1917 edition of the Roanoke News









The richest source of information on World War I and North Carolina on DigitalNC may very well be the many local newspapers we’ve digitized that contain the local perspective on the war, including some quite subdued headlines announcing the US’s entry.  DigitalNC also hosts several World War I camp and hospital newspapers including the Trench and Camp from Camp Greene and the Caduceus, the paper of the Base Hospital at Camp Greene.  Both are from Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

To view more materials from World War I, check out a search of our collections here.  And to learn more about World War I materials from across the state, visit the institutions highlighted in this blog post from our colleagues over at the State Archives of North Carolina.

New Batch of Materials from the American Society of Furniture Designers

Newspaper, Magazine Clippings Concerning the American Society of Furniture Designers [2016], page 10

Newspaper, Magazine Clippings Concerning the American Society of Furniture Designers [2016], page 10

Newspaper, Magazine Clippings Concerning the American Society of Furniture Designers [2016], page 2

Newspaper, Magazine Clippings Concerning the American Society of Furniture Designers [2016], page 2

The newest batch from the American Society of Furniture Designers is now avaible on DigitalNC!

ASFD is an international, non-profit professional organization dedicated to supporting furniture designers and their positive impact on the market. Physically located in High Point, NC, ASFD’s library holds many types of interesting records and memorabilia relating to the furniture industry in North Carolina and internationally. ASFD’s collection of materials on DigitalNC documents the majority of its existence and is a useful tool for those interested in the furniture industry and its impact on North Carolina.

This batch contains newspaper, magazine, and web publications about the society’s activities during 2016. These focus on the Pinnacle Awards for exceptional furniture designs, the Luminary Awards, and other mentions of the organization in the media.

To learn more about the American Society of Furniture Designers, please visit the partner page or the website. To see more documents and memorabilia from other organizations in North Carolina, please browse the North Caroline Memory Collection.

Genealogy Newsletters, Cooking Related Materials Now Available Online from Braswell Memorial Library

Royal Palm Restaurant Menu, page 2

Royal Palm Restaurant Menu, page 2

Thanks to our partner, Braswell Memorial Library in Rocky Mount, DigitalNC has published a number of new materials in the North Carolina Memory Collection.

Included in this batch are several cooking related items. A vintage menu from the Royal Palms Restaurant in Rocky Mount documents the variety of prices and meals available at the local establishment. This item is a unique addition, as DigitalNC only has three published menus on the site. If you are more interested in doing some cooking of your own, check out the Kentucky Cookbook from Bygone Days. This unique item was transcribed from an 18880’s collection of recipes created by several women with connections to North Carolina. The recipes are included along with descriptions and family histories, adding some depth and context to the cookbook’s entries. Try your hand at making some nineteenth century ginger pudding or molasses pie!

Also in this batch are nearly seventy issues of “The Connector,” the newsletter of the Tar River Connections Genealogical Society. The Connector contains articles from members of the society, detailing their research in family and local history. They include many maps, rosters, names, dates, and other information that could be useful genealogy research–all aggregated in one place. These newsletters are full-text searchable, allowing researchers to easy search through the nearly 1200 pages of material. You can view all of the newsletters from Braswell Memorial Library at the following link.

To learn more about Braswell Memorial Library, please visit the contributor page or the website. To see more items like these that are digitized and available on DigitalNC, please visit the North Carolina Memory Collection.

Recipes for Ambrosia Filling, Cream Pie, and Molasses Pie-- Kentucky Cookbook, page 39

Recipes for Ambrosia Filling, Cream Pie, and Molasses Pie– Kentucky Cookbook, page 39