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 "photos"

Oral histories and photos from Edgecombe County now available

The cover of the Agriculture in Edgecombe County event program

New materials from Edgecombe County Memorial Library are now online and include additions to the M.S. Brown Photography Collection as well as sound clips, transcripts, and photographs from the Oral History of Agriculture in Edgecombe County project.

The Oral History of Agriculture in Edgecombe County project was completed in 1987 and is comprised of interviews from farmers and those who worked in farm-related industries in Edgecombe County. This project culminated in a live event held at the Edgecombe Community College Auditorium on October 11, 1987 that included a lecture and discussion about topics covered in the oral history interviews. The event program reads, “the interviews vividly tell the story of how the country’s farmers, farm women, merchants, manufacturers, and extension agents helped shape farm life during a period of time characterized by involvement of the federal government, mechanization, the growth in size of farms, the decline of tenancy, and the loss of farm-related jobs.” The original cassette tapes containing the interviews have been digitized and transcripts are available for many of the interviews. These oral histories give a wonderful glimpse into the daily life of farmers in Edgecombe County, and speak to how farm life changed from the Depression-era through the late 1980’s.

Additions to the M.S. Brown Collection include more images of school life, events and parades, and houses and businesses in Edgecombe County, all taken by Tarboro citizen M.S. Brown.

To view these materials visit the links below:

To see more materials from Edgecombe County Memorial Library, visit their partner page or take a look at their website.

A photograph from the M.S. Brown collection showing people at the Tarboro tobacco market.

Central Carolina Community College’s latest batch of photos features images from the Nursing, Paralegal, Secretarial Science, Telephony and Associate Arts and Science Programs.

Another batch of photos from Central Carolina Community College is now available on DigitalNC. This new batch brings the exhibit, A Pictorial History of Central Carolina Community College, to just over 2,400 photos.

Photo of first graduating class from CCCC's Licensed Practical Nursing program

First graduates of the CCCC’s Nursing degree program

This batch documents the Nursing, Paralegal, Secretarial Science, Telephony, Associate in Arts and University Transfer Associate in Science programs.

Featuring photos from as early as their first graduating class in Lee County on March 25, 1964 and on into the 1990’s, the images from the Practical Licensed Nursing degree program demonstrates the evolving student body, curriculum, technology and, of course, nursing uniforms.

Secretarial Science student using a floppy drive

Likewise, the Secretarial Science program gives viewers a glimpse into how this profession evolved as technology did. In particular, these collection of images capture the exciting transition from typewriters to early desktops.

Telephony students training on telephone pole, 1966

In contrast to these programs, the Central Carolina Technical Institute Telephony and Electrical Linemen program’s set of photos display the waning profession of telephone linemen and women. These set of photos present the hands-on training students received as they worked with lines, wires, circuits and telephone poles.

Hands-on training is further demonstrated in many other class photos. One of interesting example, comes from a Psychology class that appears to be engaging in some kind of simulation activity that included persons in costume and law enforcement officers. While it is unclear exactly what the activity entails, it is clear that the students were having fun participating.

Pyschology class exercise



To learn more about Central Carolina Community College, please visit their contributor page or their website. To see more photos like this, check out the Images of North Carolina Collection.

New photographs and a yearbook from Benson Museum now online

From left to right: George Hamilton IV, Monzelle Phillips, Hayden Ivey, James Thorton, and Gerald Young at a music performance

A new batch of photographs from the Benson Museum of Local History are now up on DigitalNC. These photos show a glimpse into life in Benson, North Carolina during the past century. Included are photographs of Benson citizens, businesses, schools, farms, and documentation of the State Annual Singing Convention, which was started in 1921 at a Benson tobacco warehouse, and carries on yearly to this day.

A group of men posing with fish

Future Farmers of America from page 26 of the 1967 Tatler

1967 yearbook from Benson High School is also now available. The 1967 Tatler shows student life at the high school with photographs of the Glee Club, the Library Club, and the Future Farmers of America. Also included are student portraits, athletic team photos, and ads for local businesses.

To browse yearbooks provided by the Benson Museum of Local History click here, or click here to view their photographs. To learn more about the Benson Museum of Local History visit their partner page, or take a look at their website.

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:

Updates added to Transylvania County Architectural Survey

Transylvania County Courthouse, Letter from the NC Department of Cultural Resources

Transylvania County Courthouse, Letter from the NC Department of Cultural Resources

 Duckworth Mill Data Sheet

Duckworth Mill Data Sheet













The nearly 500 objects in Transylvania County Library‘s architectural survey have been updated with more detailed information and are now available on DigitalNC.

Lydia Morrow Raines House

Lydia Morrow Raines House

Added over the summer of 2016, the Architectural History of a Mountain County exhibit contains nearly 1500 photographs of structures in the county, including homes, farms, cemeteries, churches, and businesses. This update adds even more information, such as maps, data sheets, historical building registrations, newspaper articles, and official communications between the State of North Carolina and property owners.

These documents add context and usability to the photographs. The hand drawn maps, property records, and legal documents build a model of Transylvania County through documents. These could be excellent resources for genealogists interested in family and property records of those from Brevard, Cedar Mountain, Rosman, Lake Toxaway, and Pisgah Forest communities. Most objects include a data sheet with the official survey records, a write up about the property, a hand drawn map, and notes.

To learn more about Transylvania County Library, please visit the contributor page or the website. To see more images of historic North Carolina, please visit the Images of North Carolina Collection.

Help Us Identify Students, Instructors in a New Batch of Photos from Sampson Community College

DigitalNC now hosts more great photographs from Sampson Community College.  Those photographs can all be seen here.

Unfortunately, there is very little information about any of the images, other than that they were taken at the school.  So we’d like to throw this out to our wide audience: know anything about this latest batch of photographs?  We’d love to update them with more specific information.  If you have any dates, names, or places you can identify in the photographs, send us an email at, link to the image you have information about and let us know what you know.  Both the Digital Heritage Center and Sampson Community College will greatly appreciate any input!

Fourth Batch of Central Carolina Community College Photos Now Online: Heavy Machinery, Adult Ed. Classes Featured

Machining tool and die student.

Machining tool and die student.

Machining student, 1965

Machining student, 1965


A fourth batch of photos from Central Carolina Community College are now available on DigitalNC. The overarching exhibit, A Pictorial History of Central Carolina Community College, now holds nearly 2,000 photos.

This batch documents the Machine Tool & Die program, the Motorcycle Mechanics program, the English-as-Second-Language program, the Industrial Maintenance program, Fire Fighter training program, Laser Optics program, and the Extension Courses.

Of particular interest in this set of photos are the amount of women who trained and studied in many heavy industry programs, like Machine Tool & Die and Motorcycle Mechanic courses. The photos above are just two of many women who broke into traditionally male-dominated fields.

In addition, the extension course photos document Central Carolina Community College’s important role in the city of Sanford and the surrounding areas. Students, both young and old, participated in a variety of classes– from pottery and other crafts to cooking and calligraphy. These photos demonstrate the far reaching benefits of community colleges with continuing education. They also often a window into hobbies and trends during the 1970’s and 1980’s. It’s hard to find classes in macrame and doll making today!

Student in a doll making class

Student in a doll making class

Motorcycle Mechanics Students

Motorcycle Mechanics Students


To learn more about Central Carolina Community College, visit the contributor page or the website. To view the entire collection of digitized photos from CCCC, please view the exhibit. To view more images from community colleges in North Carolina, browse the Images of North Carolina Collection.


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.

Scrapbooks from our new partner, Nash Community College

A page in the 2012-2013 scrapbook dedicated to the annual hot do eating contest

Three scrapbooks and three photo albums from Nash Community College are now available on DigitalNC. Nash Community College was originally established as Nash Technical Institute in 1967. In 1987, Nash was given the authority to convert to a community college, enabling the college to offer a college transfer program, and to change the name to Nash Community College. From there, Nash Community College has continued to grow in size and program offerings.

Nash Community College has an active student life as depicted in three recent scrapbooks. Each scrapbook documents one academic year; one collecting images from 2012-2013, one from 2013-2014, and the last from 2014-2015. These scrapbooks were created by the Nash Community College Student Government Association to be entered in the North Carolina Comprehensive Community College Student Government Association (N4CSGA) scrapbook contest held at the N4CSGA annual conference. The three scrapbooks are bright and colorful, and are filled with depictions of social and community events from throughout the year. One annual event that seems to be a favorite is the college-wide hot dog eating contest, complete with students in hot dog costumes. Other events shown in the scrapbooks include talent shows, holiday celebrations, athletic events, club activities, and community service projects. These scrapbooks capture fun memories at Nash Community College with glitter and flair.

A glittery page in the 2014-2015 scrapbook showing the NCC holiday Fashion Show

A portrait of Dr. Geneva Chavis in the 1978 Nash Community College Employee Photo Album

Three older photo albums give a glimpse into life at Nash while it was still a Technical Institute. An album from 1978 collects photographs of Nash Tech employees, and is replete with wonderful 1970s style. Two other photo albums, which cover the years 1978-1981, show photos of student life, including graduation celebrations, holiday parties, and photos of the annual kite flying contest.

To take a looks at items in this collection, click the links below:

To learn More about Nash Community College, take a look at their partner page, or visit their website.


Students and faculty members flying kites during the 1980 kite flying contest

Journals, Photos, and a Scrapbook from Davie County Public Library

A page from Mary Jane Heitman’s scrapbook that includes photographs and memorabilia along with a handwritten poem musing about the future.

New materials from Davie County Public Library are now up on DigitalNC, including a set of 6 journals by James McGuire Jr., a collection of photographs of Arden Farms in Forsyth County, and a scrapbook compiled by Mary Jane Heitman.

James McGuire Junior’s journals take the form of Gude’s Pepto-Mangan Physician’s Memorandum books. Each page corresponds to a day of the year, and includes a short medical fact, often related to Gude’s Pepto-Mangan medicine, along with a space to write. James McGuire Jr., a prominent business man in Mocksville, North Carolina, wrote many short entries recounting topics such as the weather, travel, social engagements, shopping lists, and finances. The memorandum books themselves most likely originated from James’ father, Dr. James McGuire, a physician.

Mary Jane Heitman’s scrapbook tells the story of her life in photographs, news articles, postcards, handwritten musings, and illustrations from 1891-1927. Mary Jane Heitman was a teacher and historian from Mocksville, North Carolina, and her scrapbook recounts with fondness both her time as a student and a teacher. Each page is poetically constructed, and photographs and descriptions of friends and relatives are distributed throughout. The last page of the scrapbook includes a written tribute by one of her students from Salem Academy that was added after her death in 1962.

To see more materials from Davie County Public Library, visit their partner page, or take a look at their website.

James McGuire Junior’s entry from February 20, 1902 that describes the weather as cloudy with sleet at night.