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"

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.

Franklin Times now covering 1909-1944 and 1963-1972 online

A headline from the June 22nd, 1934 issue of The Franklin Times gives the film “Tarzan and His Mate” a rave review!

On June 29th, 1934, the 12 year old National Spelling Bee winner from Maine was featured on the front page of The Franklin Times.

More issues of The Franklin Times, provided by our partner, Louisburg College, are now available online. The issues are from the years 1912-1944 and 1963-1972, and join previously digitized issues from 1909-1911. Established in 1870, The Franklin Times covers news in Louisburg, North Carolina, as well as statewide and national news of note. The Franklin Times continues to publish issues on a weekly basis both online and in print form and is distributed throughout Franklin County.

The issues from this batch span a large period of Louisburg’s history, and the paper includes articles on municipal decisions, social and cultural events, meetings, contests, and more at the local level. Large national news stories are also covered, and the paper allows for a glimpse both at life inside and outside Franklin County through the eyes of Louisburg residents throughout much of the 20th century.

To browse through all digitized issues of The Franklin Times, click here. To see more materials from Louisburg College, take a look at their partner page or visit their website.

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.

Another batch of Q-Notes from Charlotte LGBT community takes us through 2016

The cover of the April 8-21 issue of Q-notes

The last batch of Q-notes, a newspaper provided by our partner, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, covers the years 2005-2010 and 2015-2016. These issues join previously digitized issues from 1986-2004 on DigitalNC, and digitized issues on the Q-notes website from 2008-2013. 

Q-notes is newspaper that serves the LGBT community in North Carolina with a focus on Charlotte and the surrounding areas. The currently digitized span shows the evolution of relevant  LGBT issues in the American South from the late 1980’s through the late 2010’s, which mirrors the evolution of the look and feel of Q-notes as a publication.

In the last two decades, incremental strides have been taken in terms of legal equality and acceptance of the LGBT community, much of which has been documented in the pages of Q-notes. Q-notes has captured issues such as the struggle for the legal status of same-sex marriage to the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Repeal Act to an increase in representation of LGBT individuals in the media culture. More current issues of Q-notes remind us that we have a ways to go, for example providing legal protection for and cultural inclusion of trans and non-binary individuals. 

The cover of the November 4-17 issue of Q-notes

During the past 20 years, Q-notes has also evolved from an 8 page monthly paper with an underground aesthetic to a much longer bi-weekly publication with a more polished appearance that is matched by a constantly updated website.  

To learn more about Q-Notes, visit their website. To learn more about our partner, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, visit their partner page or take a look at 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.

70 years of Mars Hill University student newspaper now online


A mosaic of The Hilltop mastheads used over the years spanning from 1927 to 1995.

A variety of Hilltop mastheads used over the years. Top to bottom: June 18, 1927; March 18, 1948; August 29, 1975; October 1, 1976; May 1, 1992. Left: February 2, 1995.

Seventy years of The Hilltop, Mars Hill University’s student newspaper, have been added to DigitalNC. The 924 issues were provided by our partner, Mars Hill University, and cover academic years from 1926-1995.

Mars Hill University is located in Mars Hill, a town in Madison County approximately 20 minutes north of Asheville in the mountains of western North Carolina. According to the university’s website, it is “the oldest institution of higher learning in western North Carolina on its original site.”

Image of the first building at Mars Hill College and Edward Carter who donated the land for the building from the October 27, 1934 issue of The Hilltop.

Image of the first building at Mars Hill College taken from the October 27, 1934 issue of The Hilltop.

The university is a private four-year liberal arts institution founded in 1856 by Baptist families to provide an education for their children based on the Baptist faith. While no longer directly associated with any religious organization, the university identifies as “an academic community rooted in the Christian faith.”

Article introducing the new Mars Hill College newspaper from September 25, 1926 issue.

An article introducing the new Mars Hill College newspaper from the first issue dated September 25, 1926.

First founded as the French Broad Baptist Institute, the name was not long after changed to Mars Hill College. In 2013, it became Mars Hill University to reflect the institution’s growth in enrollment and the variety of educational offerings. Students began publishing The Hilltop when the institution was still Mars Hill College. It is the official student newspaper created to cover campus news for the students, faculty, and staff.

Articles cover a wide variety of topics. The first issue from 1926 reports on campus beautification efforts, student enrollment, activities of campus organizations, the upcoming football season, and more. Faculty and staff news is also covered, with reports on new hires, retirements, and milestone events. To read these and thousands of other articles, visit and browse the Mars Hill University Student Newspaper page.

List of student newspaper staff members from the September 25, 1926 and March 30, 1995 issues of The Hilltop.

List of staff members for The Hilltop from the September 25, 1926 issue (left) and March 30, 1995 issue (right) who worked to bring news to the campus community.

The Mars Hill University yearbook, The Laurel, is also available on DigitalNC with editions from 1917-2016. For more information about these and other materials from Mars Hill University, check out their partner page or their official 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.

Additions to The Duplin Times out of Warsaw, North Carolina

New issues of The Duplin Times Progress Sentinel dating from 1962-1985 are now available on DigitalNC courtesy of Duplin County Library. These join previously digitized issues from 1935-1961. The Duplin Times Progress Sentinel is a weekly newspaper that serves Duplin County and surrounding areas including southern Lenoir County. Established in 1935, The Duplin Times Progress Sentinel, now called The Duplin Times, currently has offices in Kenansville, Albertson, Beulaville, Deep Run, Pink Hill and Warsaw, and continues to be available in print at these locations as well as online on a weekly basis.

The current website of The Duplin Times states “county news is our specialty, covering courthouse, commissioners, school board and general news throughout Duplin County.” This holds true for the 1962-1985 issues as well. These issues primarily cover local politics, civic issues, and events. Also included in the newly digitized issues is a weekly editorial column entitled “Son of a Gun” by Duplin local Joe Lanier. Son of a Gun colorfully covers a wide range of topics such as motel prices, advertising practices, and violence on TV.

To browse through digitized issues of  The Duplin Times Progress Sentinel, click here. You can also visit the Duplin Times current website to learn more about the paper in its current form. To see more materials from our partner, Duplin County Library, visit their DigitalNC partner page or take a look at their website.