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 "newspapers"

Saint Mary’s Student School Newspaper now online

The Saint Mary’s School student newspaper, The Belles, is now online, from its origins as “The Grapevine” in 1936 through 1995.  The Belles continues to be published in an electronic form to this day.   The paper gives a good look into the viewpoint of North Carolina teen women over a 60 year period.
The paper reflect the changing times over almost 60 years of the school, chronicling everything from changing dress codes and fashions, the latest entertainment, and more internal changes such as post-high school aspirations and political engagement.  Perhaps the most interesting part of the papers are the editorials – both from the writers of the paper and the student body itself.  Browsing through the editorials alone give a sense of what social and political issues of the time affected the student body the most.  
A brief trip through some interesting editorials in the Belles is a small trip through 20th century American history.  In 1939, a brief article was posted titled “Coffee, America, and Hitler,” reflecting on a conversation the author had with a Russian woman on a train.  
An editorial published in 1965 on the response in the United States by college students in particular to Vietnam seemed to both scold their fellow young Americans but also was a call to action to participation in civic life for the student body.
Amidst the strife of 1968, the editors of the Belles were put off by an editorial in the local paper that claims the women of Saint Mary’s didn’t care to participate in the political process or make their voice heard.
And an editorial in 1983 in response to the new DUI and drinking age laws passed show just how against these laws many teenagers and young adults in the country were.  

To learn more about the Saint Mary’s School, please visit the contributor page or the homepage. To see more newsletters like these, please visit the North Carolina Newspapers.

Newspaper serving Lumbee Tribe members in Robeson County, The Carolina Indian Voice, is now available

Headline from the September 24, 1998 issue of The Carolina Indian Voice.

Almost ten years of The Carolina Indian Voice, a newspaper out of Pembroke, North Carolina, are now up on DigitalNC thanks to our partner the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Carolina Indian Voice was established in 1973 and was published on a weekly basis until 2005. Issues from 1996-2005 are now available digitally. The paper primarily served the interests of members of the Lumbee Tribe living in Robeson County, who make up more than a third of the population of Robeson County and almost 90% of the town of Pembroke.

The paper includes articles and editorials concerning local issues such as politics, social events, civic projects, and more. Although there is a strong focus specifically on issues relevant to members of the Lumbee Tribe, the paper also covers news and events pertaining to American Indians throughout the state of North Carolina and nationally.

Image from the 1998 First Annual Fall Pow Wow in Hoke County as seen in the November 11, 1998 issue of The North Carolina Indian Voice.

Headline from the February 25, 1999 issue of The North Carolina Indian Voice.

The paper also focuses on advocacy with many articles covering struggles against the discrimination American Indians face regarding employment, education, and housing in the United States.

To browse through issues of The North Carolina Indian Voice click here. To see more materials from our partner, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, visit their partner page.

Over 1000 issues of The Farmville Enterprise digitized

Issues of The Farmville Enterprise, provided by our partner the Farmville Public Library, are now on DigitalNC. The Farmville Enterprise is a weekly paper that was established in 1910, and continues to serve the Farmville, North Carolina community to this day. Farmville is a town located in Pitt County, just west of Greenville, that currently has just over 5,000 residents. The digitized portions now available cover 1914-1941.

The headline of the special November 11, 1918 issue of The Farmville Enterprise announcing the end of WWI. Usually the paper was published on Fridays, but for this date there was an exception.

An advertisement in the March 19, 1915 issue of the Farmville Enterprise for a screening of The Battle of Gettysburg, a silent film that has no surviving copies.

The Farmville Enterprise carried items of local interest such as local news stories, birth and death notices, event coverage, and advertisements, as well as national and international stories. The newly digitized selections contains news stories about many profound events ranging from coverage of WWI to effects of the Great Depression and the start of WWII. These stories are placed next to stories concerning the everyday goings on within the Farmville community.

Click here to browse through issues of The Farmville Enterprise. To see more digitized materials from the Farmville Public Library, visit their partner page. To learn more about the Farmville Public Library, take a look at their website.

Mapping the path of eclipses of the past through NC newspapers

This afternoon, the western portion of North Carolina will experience a total solar eclipse and the rest of the state will experience almost a total eclipse.  A peak into the newspapers on our site show that the rhetoric around eclipses has not changed too much over the years.  

Danger to one’s eyes is still the number one warning about watching the eclipse.  The front page of the March 5, 1970 Warren Record in Warrenton shouts “Danger!” about looking directly at the eclipse that was happening on March 7.


The New Bern Mirror noted about the same eclipse that the safest place to watch it would be on your television.

The Mirror was not the only paper in 1970 to discuss watching on TV.  It was a topic in the Raeford News-Journal as well.

In 1923, many of the papers on DigitalNC ran a feature about the ability to watch the eclipse that year at the movie theater – a big innovation for the day.

Perhaps our favorite find – and what may be of particular interest to those out in the western portion of the state – is an article found in the January 29, 1925 issue of the Brevard News, which noted a partial eclipse visible the weekend before.  It also stated at the end that “Scientists tell us that not for 300 years will North Carolinians be able to see another one in their own state.”  So either it was a misprint or scientists have had to do some recalculations!

Wherever you watch today’s eclipse from – be careful of those eyes!  And to read more eclipse stories in DigitalNC’s newspapers, visit here.

Students help bring new light to the Wilmington riots of 1898

In July, the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center was pleased to welcome a group of middle school students from Williston Middle School and Friends School Of Wilmington. With them were writers Joel Finsel and John Jeremiah Sullivan and staff from the Cape Fear Museum, all of whom worked with the students over the past semester.  This visit was the culmination of a project for the students who had studied the Wilmington riots of 1898 and worked specifically with original copies of the Daily Record, held by the Cape Fear Museum. 

Original issues of the Record, which was the black-owned newspaper in Wilmington in the late 1890s, are incredibly hard to find: their offices were destroyed during the riots.  (Learn more about the riots on NCpedia.)  The museum staff brought along their copies of the paper, as well as original copies of the reaction to the riots as found in both black-owned and white-owned papers across the country.  We scanned all of the materials on site with help from UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries’ Digital Production Center staff. Students watched and got to learn more about our work.  Now all of those materials are online not only for future students to work with, but for anyone from the general public to access.  

To learn more about the students’ work, read this great article from the Wilmington Star News . As the article states: “The project is still looking for any more copies of the Record that might turn up… Anyone who finds one is urged to email”

And to view more newspapers on our site, visit our newspaper site here

Issues of The Wilson Advance from 1876 now online

Part of The Wilson Advance header from the March 24, 1876 issue.

The Local Briefs section detailing happenings of the week as seen on the first page of the March 30, 1876 issue.

Two more issues of The Wilson Advance from March of 1876 are now up on DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner Wilson County Public Library. These issues join many previously digitized issues from 1874-1899 and give a glimpse into daily life in Wilson N.C. during the late 1800s. The Wilson advance was published every Friday, and included local and national news stories as well as obituaries, marriage announcements, events, and advertisements.

To view the new issues, click the links below:

To view more issues of The Wilson Advance on DigitalNC, click here. To see more materials from Wilson County Public Library, take a look at their partner page, or visit their website.

An advertisement for Leibig’s Liquid Extract of Beef from page 2 of the March 24, 1876 issue.

Student newspaper from Johnson C Smith University is now online

The University Student, Johnson C. Smith University’s student newspaper, is now available on DigitalNC with issues from 1926-1930.  Johnson C Smith University, a historically black university in Charlotte, NC was founded in 1867 as the Biddle Memorial Institute.  The name was changed to Johnson C Smith University in 1923 after a benefactress’ husband, shortly before the available run of papers were published.  The school became co-ed in 1932.    

The student newspaper was published monthly in the 1920s and not only had news about the university and Charlotte, but also news about the wider African-American academic world, with a lot of very thought provoking articles about the issues of the time, with articles discussing topics varying from “Social Hereditary” to “Is Smith the Potential Yale of the South?”

To view more resources from Johnson C Smith University, visit their partner page here.  And to view more student newspapers from across the state, visit our newspapers here.

10 years of LGBT newspaper Q-Notes now online!

Issues of Q-Notes from 1986-1996 are now available on DigitalNC. These newspapers were shared by our partner, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, in response to our call for materials documenting voices underrepresented on Q-notes focuses primarily on Gay and Lesbian issues both in Charlotte and nationally. At a time when LGBT communities were facing persecution and backlash against increased visibility and demands for rights, Q-Notes provided a venue for individuals to affirm their identities.

A headline from a July 1987 article.

An interview with RuPaul was featured in the December 1st 1992 issue of Q-Notes.

A Q-notes interview with drag queen and musician RuPaul, who hails from Georgia and often performed in Charlotte during the 1990’s, embodies a tone taken in many Q-Notes articles. In a 1992 interview, when asked to explain her drag persona, she says “RuPaul is a universal concept. She’s about self-love and self-acceptance, being who you are and being proud of who you are.” This interview occurred right before RuPaul’s music and modeling career took off nationally, and her current success as a pop-culture star in many ways mirrors the increasing acceptance of LGBT culture within the US. Other articles in Q-Notes provided explanations for why pride festivals matter, and offered personal stories of individuals dealing with issues of self-acceptance. This decade of Q-Notes sought to connect LGBT readers to a greater community that shared their struggles and  supported their identity.

In addition to interviews and articles, Q-Notes included event calendars, flyers, and ads that often use subversive imagery. These features mark Q-Notes as a proudly “underground” publication that gave voice to different subcultures. Ads especially explored many aesthetics from punk to glam, and were not afraid of irreverence.

An ad for Repo Records with a punk aesthetic in the January 1996 issue of Q-Notes.

An article in the November 1989 issue of Q-Notes features Reverend Steve Pieters speaking about his experience living with AIDS.

Q-Notes also tackled serious issues. During the 1980’s and 1990’s, the AIDS epidemic was devastating LGBT communities. Stigma, misinformation, and fear surrounding AIDS was rampant, and Q-Notes published articles spreading awareness and calling on readers to advocate for organizations and federal programs fighting the epidemic. Personal stories of those living with AIDS and caring for friends and family members with AIDS joined articles analyzing different policies and treatments that could possibly curb the epidemic.

The fight for equal rights and protections is also documented in Q-Notes. Q-Notes covered large national events, such as the Second National March on Washington in 1987, which pushed for legal recognition of lesbian and gay relationships, and a presidential order banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. Articles also focused on local issues of assault and harassment. One issue included a feature by the North Carolina Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality that urges readers to report instances of harassment based on sexual orientation.

The Second March on Washington was covered in the November 1987 issue of Q-Notes. The caption declares it “the largest demonstration in Washington history.”

Part of a feature decrying harassment in the April 1st issue of Q-Notes.

Q-Notes has undergone many changes throughout the years, as have issues concerning LGBT communities. Q-Notes exists currently as qnotes and has a print and online version that continues to focus on LGBT issues in North Carolina.

To view issues of Q-Notes click here. To see more materials from University of North Carolina at Charlotte, take a look at their partner page, or learn more about them by visiting their website.

The Roxboro Courier from our newest partner, the Person County Public Library

An announcement from the September 28, 1927 issue, urging Roxboro farmers to attend a meeting about plans to grow many varieties of soybeans side by side to help determine which variety grows best.

More than 200 issues of The Roxboro Courier are now available from our newest partner, the Person County Public Library.  These issues, dating from 1922-1927 were published on a weekly basis. They contain stories pertaining to life in Roxboro, North Carolina, the county seat of Person County, as well as national news. In fact, the newspaper’s tagline “home first, abroad next” indicates interest in both local and national stories. Local news includes birth and death announcements, descriptions and predictions of the economic climate in and around Pearson County, information on local elections and legislation, event announcements, and more. National news stories recount all sorts of national happenings, large and small, from statements by President Coolidge, to a story about a New England champion turkey raiser.

An image from a November 23, 1927 news story about a New England champion turkey raiser.

Although the issues up on DigitalNC are from a 6 year span, The Roxboro Courier has a long history. The paper changed it’s name three times, starting out as The Courier in 1896. In 1910 it changed to The Roxboro Courier, then in 1929 to Pearson County Times, and again in 1943 to The Courier-Times, which is still running today with both an online and print version.

To learn more about the Person County Public Library, visit their website, or take a look that their DigitalNC partner page.

Six years of Washington Daily News now online

A front page headline from September 2, 1909 celebrates Frederick A. Cook’s trip to the North Pole and subsequent return to Lervik, Norway.

Issues of the Washington Daily News, contributed by the George H. and Laura E. Brown Library, are now available on DigitalNC. The Washington Daily News is a newspaper published six days a week, that started in 1909. The 1,441 issues now available digitally, span 1909-1914. The paper focuses on news from Washington, a small city located in Beaufort County, North Carolina, but also includes news as from the nation as a whole. While front-page headlines tend to tackle breaking stories from the American South, the United States, and beyond, shorter pieces recount municipal issues, meetings, social gatherings, and more.

A brief update on the repair of a local school in the September 3, 1909 issue.

The Washington Daily News still exists in both print and online form, and in 1990 the paper won a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for a series of articles exploring and exposing water contamination in Washington, North Carolina.

To learn more about the George H. and Laura E. Brown Library, visit their partner page, or take a look at their website.