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 "underrepresented"


Massey Hill Heritage Discovery Project Materials Tell The Story of One Fayetteville Neighborhood

A partial map of the Mill Villages found in Massey Hill.

Over 120 new photos, news clippings, artifacts, and oral interviews have been digitized and added to DigitalNC, courtesy of the Arts Council of Fayetteville, as part of the Massey Hill Heritage Discovery Project. This project was designed to trace the history of the Massey Hill neighborhood in Fayetteville dating back into the 19th century. Located between Camden Road and Gillespie Street along Southern Avenue, Massey Hill is a neighborhood that grew up alongside the three local textile mills and inspired feelings of family and community among its long-time residents, many of whom lived their whole lives in Massey Hill.

Exterior photo of the Massey Hill Hardware Store

A photo of the Tolar-Hart Mill Water Tower in Fayetteville.

 

There is a ton of variety in this batch, giving us a vibrant image of what it was like to live and grow up in Massey Hill. Dozens of photos are included, with many highlighting life in the mills, events and celebrations that were held for holidays, and pictures of local schools and schoolchildren. A number of newspaper clippings are also found in this batch, detailing many different parts of life in Massey Hill, including interviews with local residents. One resident, Ida Belle Dallas Parker, also wrote several short stories reminiscing on her childhood and family history in Massey Hill. Finally, a number of oral histories from Massey Hill residents are included – they also discuss their personal histories growing up in Massey Hill, how they feel about the neighborhood, and what it meant to them.

Having these materials on DigitalNC is an important reminder of how we build communities in our lives and what they mean to the people who live there. To browse through other materials from the Arts Council of Fayetteville, check out their partner page or take a look at their website.


Hmong Keeb Kwm: Hmong Heritage Project Materials Now Online at DigitalNC

Ten individuals in uniform standing in a group facing forward

A photo of Hmong soldiers graduating from pilot training in November 1973

two individuals in military uniform looking at the camera

Nao Chao Lo and Nhia Thong Yang in their military uniforms, circa 2018

Over a hundred photographs, documents, artifacts, oral histories, and other materials from Hmong Keeb Kwm: The Hmong Heritage Project are now online, courtesy of the Catawba County Library. This new batch represents the first materials on DigitalNC to come from the Catawba County Library. This collection also has the honor of being the first to represent the Hmong people of North Carolina on our website.

There is a huge amount of variety in the materials in this batch. It contains dozens of photographs of physical objects to DigitalNC, including colorful embroidered material, Laotian and Thai currency, bracelets and jewelry, and more. Text materials, like personal records, newspaper clippings, and program certificates are also included. A number of photographs of Hmong individuals, their family members, and their personal lives are also found in this collection. Finally, several oral histories are also included in this collection, allowing people to tell about their experience of coming to the United States. These oral histories are both available as audio files and as written transcripts.

Having these materials on DigitalNC represents an important addition to our understanding of Catawba County, and allows us to continue in our mission to digitize materials from all communities throughout the state. To see other materials from the Catawba County Library, visit their partner page or check out their website.


Newly Digitized Materials from Winston Salem’s African-American Community Now Online

 

Vacation Bible School Group Photo

A group photograph taken at Shiloh Baptist Church’s Vacation Bible School. June 1958.

We have added materials that capture some of Winston Salem’s rich African-American history from 1930 to 1990, courtesy of the Winston Salem African American Archive.

Included in this batch are several editions of The Columbian, the student newspaper for Columbian Heights High School, and articles from other local papers highlighting notable community members and events.

One such community member, Joseph Bradshaw was a veteran, social worker, educator and local historian, committed to preserving Black history in the city and beyond. Other articles detail firsts in Winston Salem’s African-American community: William Samel Scales opened the first black-owned bonding agency and later served as the president of Forsyth Savings and Trust. Naomi McLean opened the first black business and stenographer school in Winston Salem. Carl Matthews began the Winston-Salem sit-in on February 8, 1960. Other articles detail the 1947 Local 22 Tobacco Workers strike at the R.J. Reynolds Factory.

Color portraits of Mary Hairston and Dr. Rufus Hairston

Color portraits of Mrs. Mary Hairston and Dr. Rufus S. Hairston. Dr. Hairston was Winston Salem’s first African-American pharmacist.

Also included in these materials are color portraits of Dr. and Mrs. Rufus S. Hairston and a scrapbook of materials collected by Mrs. Hairston. The Hairstons were both alumni of Slater Industrial Academy, now known as Winston Salem State University, and active members of their community. Dr. Hairston was Winston Salem’s first African-American pharmacist, an alumnus of Shaw University, president of the National Pharmaceutical Association, and was appointed WSSU’s first alumni board of trustee member. Mrs. Hairston served as one of the first presidents of the Winston Salem Chapter of Moles, a national professional organization of women of color, and was a founding member of the Winston Salem Chapter of The Links, Inc. She was also involved in the development of Winston Salem’s first library for African-Americans and later worked in the WSSU library.

To learn more about the Winston Salem African American Archive, visit their website or partner page.


New Yearbooks From Rowan County High Schools

We have added nearly 50 yearbooks to our collection thanks to our partner Rowan Public Library. These yearbooks are from two Rowan County schools — Price High School in Salisbury N.C. and China Grove High School — and are especially unique in that they capture student life at two schools that existed only for a few decades.

Campus Photo

Price High School’s main building from the 1960 edition of the Pricean.

Ruth E. Miller

The 1943 Pricean Yearbook was dedicated to two teachers who joined the U.S. military.

Price High School was Salisbury’s African-American high school from 1932 until 1969, when integration led to the closing of the school and the opening of today’s Salisbury High School. Included in this batch of yearbooks are seventeen editions of The Pricean, the annual from Price High School.  These yearbooks include the usual contents of high school yearbooks — superlatives, group photos, class poems — but also notable graduates and the final class’ words of farewell and gratitude to the school. They also encapsulate notable events that occurred between 1943 and 1969.

One such historic event was World War Two, which was emphasized by the 1943 Pricean’s dedication. The yearbook was dedicated to Auxillary Ruth E. Miller and Seargeant James C. Simpson, both of whom were graduates of and teachers at Price High School before joining the U.S. Army. Ruth E. Miller was the first black member of Salisbury’s Women’s Army Auxillary Corps while James C. Simpson was the first teacher from Price High School to join the U.S. army.

China Grove High School’s yearbook, The Parrot, captures some of the early years of the merging of the Rowan County Farm Life School with the city’s main high school that took place in the summer of 1921. According to the Eura Jones, a member of China Grove High’s 1924 class, China Grove High School “was the largest rural high school in the state” in 1921, and only continued to grow. She goes on to detail the school’s continued growth, boasting “two music departments, a teacher training department, glee clubs, four societies, a dramatic club, ball teams, a home economics club, athletics, agriculture, and most of all, the construction of a new three story building to house the growing school.” The yearbooks added to our digital collection span the years from 1923 to 1961.

China Grove High Architectural Drawing

Plans for China Grove High School’s Expanding Campus, completed by Architect Charles C. Hook.

These yearbooks are only a fraction of the materials we have digitized for the Rowan Public Library. To learn more about the Rowan Public Library, check out their partner page or their website.

Student Life From the 1956 Pricean.

Price High’s Driver’s Education Class, Cheering Squad, and First Year Industrial Arts Class from the 1956 Pricean.

Price High School – Salisbury, N.C.  
The Pricean [1943]
The Pricean [1947]
The Pricean [1949]
The Pricean [1952]
The Pricean [1954]
The Pricean [1955]
The Pricean [1956]
The Pricean [1957]
The Pricean [1958]
The Pricean [1959]
The Pricean [1960]
The Pricean [1961]
The Pricean [1962]
The Pricean [1965]
The Pricean [1966]
The Pricean [1967]
The Pricean [1968]
The Pricean [1969]

China Grove High School – China Grove, N.C.
The Parrot [1923]
The Parrot [1924]
The Parrot [1930]
The Parrot [1931]
The Parrot [1932]
The Parrot [1933]
The Parrot [1935]
The Parrot [1936]
The Parrot [1937]
The Parrot [1938]
The Parrot [1939]
The Parrot [1940]
The Parrot [1941]
The Parrot [1942]
The Parrot [1943]
The Parrot [1944]
The Parrot [1945]
The Parrot [1947]
The Parrot [1948]
The Parrot [1949]
The Parrot [1950]
The Parrot [1951]
The Parrot [1952]
The Parrot [1953]
The Parrot [1954]
The Parrot [1955]
The Parrot [1956]
The Parrot [1957]
The Parrot [1958]
The Parrot [1959]
The Parrot [1960]
The Parrot [1961]


Newly Digitized Materials About the Junaluska Community from Watauga County Public Library

A January 2014 article in WNC Magazine detailing the Junaluska community

Dozens of new documents, photos, and artifacts have been newly digitized at DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, the Watauga County Public Library. They all detail the Junaluska community, a neighborhood where a large number of longtime African-American families of Boone live. Many families also belong to the Mennonite Brethren Church, making it the only Mennonite Brethren church with the majority of members being African-American. Click here to view the newly digitized files.

A 2012 article in the Watauga Democrat celebrating the inaugural Junaluska Jubilee

Included in the new batch of digitized artifacts are several journal articles about the Mennonite Church in Boone, local documents, ancestral generation charts, and newspaper articles about the local community and local figures, including the pastor for the Mennonite Brethren Church. Also included are photos and advertisements for the Junaluska Jubilee, a celebration of the Junaluska community. Finally, there is also an audio clip included about the Junaluska community, including segments on segregation, the civil rights movement, and school integration, narrated by local residents.  

You can learn more about the Watauga County Public Library by visiting the contributor page on DigitalNC or by visiting the homepage. This collection is part of our effort to digitize materials related to underrepresented communities.  To learn more about our underrepresented initiative, go here.  


New Photographs and Documents from Randolph County Now Online

Outside view of the Strieby Congregational Church in Asheboro, N.C.

A new batch of photographs from Randolph County have been digitized and are now online at DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner Randolph County Public Library. Included is nearly a dozen photos from various people and places in Randolph County, including Strieby and Asheboro.  The materials are part of our effort to highlight underrepresented groups in North Carolina.  

A 2013 newspaper article announcing a plaque to memorialize the sit-ins in Randolph County

There are also several documents that have been digitized, including interviews and newspaper articles that stretch from the 1950s to 2013. They primarily cover the civil rights movement in Randolph County, including sit-ins at the Walgreens, Hop’s Bar-B-Que and a theatre in Asheboro.

Several of the articles are about the commemoration of a plaque in Asheboro to memorialize the sit-in campaigns throughout Randolph County. Reading these articles help give us perspective on the long lasting change and impact of the civil rights movement in North Carolina.

Articles about the growing Latino community in Asheboro and Randolph county are also included and can be seen here.

The photos from Randolph County are available here, and the articles are available here. To view more photos and documents from Randolph County Public Library, click here to view their partner page, or take a look at their website.

 


New Batch of Q-notes Traces LGBT Issues from 1997-2004

Youngsters at Charlotte Pride 2002 as seen in the May 25, 2002 issue of Q-notes

More issues of the newspaper Q-notes, provided by our partner the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, are now up on DigitalNC. These new issues cover the years 1997-2004 and join previously digitized issues from 1986-1996.

Q-notes is a newspaper that serves the LGBT community of Charlotte as well as the greater LGBT community in the state of North Carolina. Over the years that have been digitized, Q-notes grew as a publication from an 8 page newspaper published once a month to a 40 page paper published every two weeks. Currently Q-notes is published both online and in print form.

With the expansion of the publication, Q-notes was able to tackle more content ranging from coverage of local events, news stories, and advertisements to national and international news stories and features. The late ’90s and early ’00s was a time of many changes for the United Sates LGBT community, and Q-notes articles reported on the changing attitudes and experiences surrounding LGBT culture.

Headline from the January 20, 2001 issue of Q-notes

Q-notes was able to report many firsts. The first legal same-sex wedding in Canada was held in 2001, followed by the first legal same-sex wedding in the United states in 2004. In 2001, the first openly gay soldier completed his term of service in the United States Army Reserves despite facing potential discharge. LGBT centers opened up throughout the state of North Carolina and there were many pride festivals, marches, and demonstrations on both local and national levels.

Headline from the January 22, 2000 issue of Q-notes.

Lt. Steve May, the first openly gay soldier to complete his army term of service as seen in the April 28, 2001 issue of Q-notes

From an article on Wold AIDS Day in the November 23, 2002 Q-notes

In addition to these achievements, articles from this batch of Q-notes also reported on discrimination and violence that LGBT community members continued and still continue to face. These issues often played out in the arena of politics. Q-notes kept a close eye on the 2000 US presidential election and reported on both overtures and discouraging comments made to and about the LGBT community by candidates. Local politics were also covered, with Q-notes reporting on local elections, giving endorsements to candidates, and identifying local issues that would be of interest to Q-notes readers.

During this time Q-notes also continued to report on the AIDS crisis. Although by the end of the ’90s new AIDS diagnoses were decreasing, many LGBT individuals and the LGBT community continued to be affected. Awareness campaigns were championed by Q-notes, and articles intended to reduce stigma surrounding both the disease and ideas of safe sex were published.

Though turbulent times for the LGBT community, Q-notes continued to promote spaces where LGBT individuals could feel safe, comfortable, and have fun. Monthly event calendars and coverage of community activities remained strong throughout the years. With more pages in Q-notes, a regular culture section was established. Fun advertisements continued to permeate the pages, both from business specifically catering to the LGBT community, and increasingly from larger national companies.

An advertisement from the December 7, 2002 Q-notes

To browse all of the digitized issues of Q-notes click here. To learn more about the University of North Carolina at Charlotte visit their website, or check out their partner page to see previously digitized materials. To see more recent issues of Q-notes, visit the Q-notes website.

 

 

Six Months Later and We’re Not Done: Underrepresented Voices on DigitalNC

About six months ago we asked our partners to help us increase the diversity of voices shared on DigitalNC. We had an outpouring of interest, and partners have shared a number of rich collections from the African American and LGBTQ communities. Here’s an update of what has been added to DigitalNC as a result of this call.

Excerpt of a census page that includes school house census details and student names.

This 1903 Census Report for Morton Township, Alamance County, lists names, ages, and the names of parents of African American students. 

Alamance County Public Libraries shared a wide variety of materials documenting African American communities in that county. Two groups of photographs, the Heritage of Black Highlanders and Asheville YWCA Photograph Collection, are parts of larger collections held by University of North Carolina at Asheville

Several partners added African-American newspapers to those already shared online at DigitalNC. 

We’ve also been working with University of North Carolina at Charlotte to share issues of Q-Notes, which covers updates, events, and issues of the LGBTQ community.

Diversifying DigitalNC isn’t a one-time event – it’s ongoing every day. If your institution has or will be targeting collections that document racial, ethnic, or geographic communities who are underrepresented on DigitalNC, and you’re interested in sharing these materials online, get in touch.


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.


New partner and new yearbooks – Winchester Avenue High School from Union County Public Library

Thanks to our new partner, Union County Public Library, DigitalNC now features 3 yearbooks [1956, 1958, and 1962] from Winchester Avenue High School, which was the black high school in Monroe, North Carolina.  Winchester first opened as a K-12 school serving the black community in the 1920s.  It was an important institution in Monroe’s black community, serving as a community center and point of pride for the many students who graduated from the school.  That all changed in March 1966 when a fire heavily damaged the school.  The high school students finished the year in the undamaged parts, but it was the end of Winchester as a high school.  As a result, with no other options,  the black students and faculty from Winchester all went to the all white Monroe High School for the 1966-1967 school year, making Monroe High the first fully integrated high school in the state.  

 

One of Winchester’s graduates is a trailblazer whose story has been highlighted very recently, Christine Darden. Darden is a retired engineer and executive from NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA, and her story is one of the one’s highlighted in the book “Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race.”  Darden [Christine Mann is her maiden name] attended Winchester School through sophomore year before transferring to the Allen School, a boarding school in Asheville in 1956.  She served as a sophomore class officer while at Winchester. 

To learn more about our new partner, Union County Public Library, visit their partner page here.  To see more yearbooks from across North Carolina, visit here.