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 "newspapers"

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.

Murphy Public Library Offers 20 Years of the Cherokee Scout

The Cherokee Scout, January 26, 1923, page 1

The Cherokee Scout, January 26, 1923, page 1

20 years of the Cherokee Scout, from Murphy, N.C., are now available online. Murphy Public Library, located in Cherokee County, is a new partner on DigitalNC and the first from the county. 

Cherokee Scout, July 27, 1923, page 4

Cherokee Scout, July 27, 1923, page 4

Like many community newspapers, the Scout contains many stories of national importance, as well as local events and activities. The Scout documents and reflects stories of importance to the community, especially crop reports, sermons, humor, poetry, and serial stories. Newspapers like these are useful for researchers of all types as they are full of names, dates, and cultural data.

Murphy’s proximity to the Georgia border also offers information about that region– making this newspaper a unique resource for researchers interested in the economic and social links between North Carolina and Georgia mountain communities.

The Cherokee Scout is still an active newspaper with 9,600 readers. You can learn more about the history of this newspaper, it’s owners, and the happenings of this Western NC community by visiting the landing page.

To learn more about Murphy Public Library, please visit the contributor page or the website. Learn more about community newspaper and find information from your community by visiting the North Carolina Newspapers Collection.

Cherokee Scout, May 29, 1931, page 2

Cherokee Scout, May 29, 1931, page 2

The Future Outlook: Documenting African American Communities in Greensboro from WWII-1970’s

The Future Outlook, July 14, 1967, page 1

The Future Outlook, July 14, 1967, page 1

The Future Outlook, a community newspaper from Greensboro, NC, is now available on DigitalNC. Thanks to our partner, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, nearly 25 years of the paper are now online and full-text searchable. The nearly 450 editions range from 1941-1947, 1949, 1952, and 1958-1972.

The Future Outlook served an African American community in Greensboro and documents major events from their perspective. Like community newspapers throughout North Carolina, the paper documented births, deaths, and events of its readership. Economic and business activities received a lot ink over the years, highlighting prominent black leaders in Guilford County, as well as, members of clubs and professional organizations. Elections and voting related activities are also well documented. Before each election, including smaller city and county elections, the paper published extensive district maps and voting information.

The Future Outlook, June 13, 1942, page 6

The Future Outlook, June 13, 1942, page 6

Another area that might be of interest for researchers is the paper’s coverage of local educational institutions. Greensboro is home to several historically black colleges and universities, including North Carolina A&T and Bennett College. Scholars and students at these universities are heavily covered, especially in during the 1960’s. Students on the Dean’s List, scholars who received grants (like the image above), fraternities and sororities,  and university conferences cover many front pages and serve as a record of university activities.

Also included in this batch are issues dating from 1941-1947, documenting the entirety of World War II and community reactions to it. Stories, advertisements, and political messages cover the pages during this period. The paper featured stories about locals who were working for the war effort, like Margaret Lanier. Lanier was a secretary in the Press Division of the Office of Facts and Figures. The Future Outlook published the photo on the left of her posing with seven new poster designs to be distributed for Flag Day in June 1942. In addition, there are many of the iconic war advertisements, posters and cartoons, featuring African American men and women.


The Future Outlook, September 12, 1942, page 4

The Future Outlook, September 12, 1942, page 4

The Future Outlook, September 26, 1942, page 4

The Future Outlook, September 26, 1942, page 4


To view all of the issues of the Future Outlook, please visit the following link. To view more community newspapers like this one, please visit the North Carolina Newspapers Collection and limit by “Community Papers.” You can also learn more about this partner, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, by visiting the contributor page or visiting the website.

New Partner! The State Port Pilot from Margaret & James Harper, Jr. Library in Brunswick County

The State Port Pilot, January 8, 1936, page 6

The State Port Pilot, January 8, 1936, page 6


DigitalNC is happy to welcome a new partner, the Margaret and James Harper, Jr. Library. Located in Southport, Brunswick County,  this partner adds to our growing list of contributors representing coastal communities.

This partner’s first contribution is a decade of editions of a community newspaper. The State Port Pilot documents community life in Southport and the surrounding areas from 1935-1945. The paper could be an excellent resource for those interested in agriculture at the coast, with many of the stories, advertisements, and images dealing with tobacco farming in that part of the state. This resources is also full-text searchable, allowing for quick research by name and location.

The Pilot also is unique in its advertising techniques, especially during the 1930’s. Full page ads address readers directly with clean simple statements that changed each week. 

To learn more about the Margaret and James Harper, Jr. Library, please visit the contributor page or the website. To find a digitized newspaper from your community, browse the North Carolina Newspapers Collection.


The State Port Pilot, May 8, 1935, page 4

The State Port Pilot, May 8, 1935, page 4

Over 100 issues of The Franklin Times now available

A column in the Feb 11, 1910 issue urging boys from Franklin County to enter an upcoming corn growing competition.

Over 100 issues of The Franklin Times, provided by our partner, Louisburg College, are now up on DigitalNC. These issues are from 1909-1911, and were published on a weekly basis. Louisburg is the seat of Franklin county, and The Franklin Times reports on news taking place in Louisburg, Franklin County, North Carolina, and the United States. In fact, the tagline printed at the top of the paper reads “the County, the State, the Union.” Although some large national news stories are covered, many of the issues focus primarily on Louisburg and Franklin County. For example, one weekly column, “The Moving People,” tracks “those who have visited Louisburg the past week” and “those who have gone elsewhere for business or pleasure.” The column lists individuals who returned from trips and those who visited from afar. This is indicative of the paper’s local interest. Local meetings, contests, municipal issues, social events, and more are recounted each week.

Part of the “Moving People” column from the February 11, 1910 issue.

The Franklin Times was established in 1870, but still runs weekly with a print and online version. The Franklin Times website states, “it is the only newspaper published in the county and its content is focused on local government, local schools, the communities and the people who call this rapidly growing area home.” Although many years have passed, the focus of the paper remains the same.

To see more materials from Louisburg College, visit their partner page, or website.

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.