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 "yearbooks"


Caswell County Yearbooks Now Available!

Thanks to our partner, Caswell County Public Library, we now have several issues of yearbooks from Caswell County on our website. The yearbooks are from Bartlett Yancey High School in Yanceyville, N.C. and Cobb Memorial High School in Ruffin, N.C. and cover the years 1947-1969.

Cover of the 1953 yearbook for Bartlett Yancey High School in Yanceyville, N.C.

 

Cover of the 1957 yearbook for Cobb Memorial High School in Ruffin, N.C.

To view more North Carolina Yearbooks, visit our exhibit page here and for more about Caswell County Public Library, visit their website.


Swain High School yearbooks now online

Thanks to our new partner, Marianna Black Library, we now have the 1949-1969 issues of The Ridge Runner from Swain High School in Bryson City, N.C.

Cover of the 1966 edition of the yearbook for Swain High School in Bryson City, N.C.

Not only is Marianna Black Library a new partner of the NCDHC, but this partnership is also our first with an institution in Swain County, N.C., bringing more coverage for the western part of the state to DigitalNC. 

Part of the senior class of 1954 from Swain High School in Bryson City, N.C.

To view more North Carolina Yearbooks visit our exhibit page here and for more information about the Marianna Black Library, visit their website.


1947 Edition of The Hickory Stick from Bethel High School now online

Thanks to our partner, The Ward House: Bethel Heritage Center, we now have a 1947 edition of The Hickory Stick yearbook on our site. This yearbook is from Bethel High School in Bethel, North Carolina.  The yearbook joins 20 others from Bethel High School, bringing the coverage of the school from 1947 up to 1970.

Cover of the 1947 edition of The Hickory Stick yearbook from Bethel High School in Bethel, N.C

To view more North Carolina yearbooks visit our yearbooks page here.


List of Public North Carolina African American High Schools Enhances Efforts at Preserving Their History

Red and beige yearbook cover with title The Hawk 62

Cover of the 1962 Johnston County Training School yearbook.

Beginning in the early 1900s, North Carolina citizens segregated their schools. African American and Native American children were forced to attend separate schools from their white counterparts. Sometimes within the students’ own towns, sometimes a county away, these segregated schools often operated with fewer resources and poor infrastructure. 

We help cultural heritage institutions scan high school yearbooks. To date we’ve added over 8,200 to DigitalNC. Less than 5% come from African American high schools*. There are a lot of reasons for this – sometimes African American schools couldn’t afford to create a yearbook, or few members of their student population could purchase one. There were a lot fewer African American schools compared to white schools, too. Many cultural heritage institutions, due to implicit or explicit bias, haven’t collected them over the years. In addition, families may be less likely to give them up to a predominantly white collecting institution. We’re always so glad to see them come through our doors, with an awareness of the fact that they represent vibrant communities flourishing within a repressive social structure.

To highlight the rarity of these yearbooks and to possibly help locate more, we’ve created a list of the names and locations of all of the public African American high schools compiled from the North Carolina Educational Directory around the time that the schools were desegregated.

five line excerpt from the full list of african american high schools

You can see from the image above that the list includes

  • the school’s name along with any variants we’ve uncovered,
  • city,
  • county,
  • whether or not we have any yearbooks on DigitalNC.org,
  • a link to a known alumni association’s website, and
  • links to the Educational Directories where the school’s name was located.

The Educational Directory series was compiled and produced by the State Department of Public Instruction. These directories are incredibly useful for researching public school history. They list the names of schools along with locations and statistics. In the years leading up to 1964, “negro” schools were listed separately from white schools for each county, as shown in the excerpt below.

Printed black and white text in several columns. See caption for more information.

This excerpt comes from page 95 of the 1963 North Carolina Educational Directory. It notes the White and “Negro” schools of Rocky Mount, NC.

Beginning in the 1964-1965 Educational Directory – a full 10 years after the federal abolition of school segregation – schools were no longer designated as “negro” or white. Full integration in North Carolina took even longer, only completing in 1971. 

In addition to the list of schools, we’ve created a North Carolina African American High Schools exhibit page through which you can more easily browse or search the African American high school yearbooks currently available on DigitalNC.

We hope that both the exhibit page and the list are useful for those who may not know the name of the African American high school that used to exist in their county or community, or who may be looking for yearbooks from a particular school or area of the state. Both will be updated if our partners are able to locate more yearbooks for digitization. If you have questions, check our Yearbook Digitization page for more information or contact us.

____

* During segregation Native Americans were a significantly smaller portion of the population compared to African Americans. Native American children were not allowed to attend white schools. In a few cases they had their own schools; in many they were sent to the “negro” schools. We use the term “African American high schools” for brevity, acknowledging that these institutions educated students with many identities. 


Recent Yearbooks from Campbell University Now Available Online

Thanks to our partner, Campbell University, we now have yearbooks from 2017-2019 on our website.

The cover of the 2019 edition of Pine Burr, the yearbook for Campbell University.

James Archibald Campbell founded the Buies Creek Academy in 1887 in Buies Creek, North Carolina. In 1926, the school became Campbell Junior College. In 1961, it was renamed Campbell College, and in 1979, it became Campbell University, as it is known today.

The cover of the 2018 edition of Pine Burr, the yearbook for Campbell University.

For more information about Campbell University, please visit their website.


Yearbooks from new partner Friends of Wakelon now on DigitalNC

Thanks to our new partner, the Friends of Wakelon, we now have several yearbooks from Wakelon High School on our website. These yearbooks are from the years 1949-1970.

The cover of the 1960 edition of the Wak-igh-an yearbook, from Wakelon High School in Zebulon, N.C.

Wakelon School was built over one hundred years ago between the towns of Wakefield and Zebulon in Wake County. The school building was recently converted into a town hall for Zebulon. The school existed until the 1980s when pharmaceutical company Glaxo bought the structure. The town of Zebulon repurchased it in 2007 for $5 million.

The cover of the 1957 edition of the Wak-igh-an yearbook, from Wakelon High School in Zebulon, N.C.

For more information about the Friends of Wakelon, visit their website.


Goldsboro and Wayne County promotional materials and more yearbooks now on DigitalNC

Thanks to our partner Wayne County Public Library, we have added several items covering Goldsboro and Wayne County history to DigitalNC this past fall.  Promotional items encouraging folks to “Come to Goldsboro” published by the Chamber of Commerce and city itself in the 1910s are included, as are a yearbook and history of the First Presbyterian Church, city ordinances from 1885 and speeches given by prominent citizens of the town.  

Cover of a booklet that says "Come to Goldsboro"

Booklet published by the Goldsboro Chamber of Commerce encouraging business in the city in 1913

We also now have yearbooks online from local Wayne County High Schools spanning the period of 1959-1968. The yearbooks are from Central High School, New Hope High School, Charles B. Aycock High School, and Dillard High School.

The cover of the 1960 issue of Nohosca, the yearbook for New Hope High School in Goldsboro, N.C.

For more information about the Wayne County Public Library, visit their website.


More Yearbooks from John Graham High School in Warrenton, NC now online

Thanks to our partners at the Warren County Memorial Library, we’ve added 13 new John Graham High School yearbooks to DigitalNC, bringing our total from this school to 22. We now hold each yearbook from 1947 until 1969, enabling digital access to resources on student life in Warrenton, North Carolina. The school integrated in 1966, so these recent earlier additions show the school when it’s population was all white students.  

Our holdings of John Graham High School yearbooks were created by the school after it had become a coeducational, public high school. The original school, named Warrenton Male Academy, was founded in 1786 and was one of the first high schools in the state. John Graham High School of the 1900s was the white high school in town until integration with John R. Hawkins High School in the mid-1960s. The class of 1981 was the last graduating class of John Graham High School, which then became a middle school. Local teenagers moved to the new Warren County High School building. The building is now the John Graham Center for Warren County Family Services.

To learn more about Warren County Memorial Library, visit their partner page here or visit their website here. To see these and other high school yearbooks, visit our North Carolina Yearbooks collection.


More yearbooks from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library now online

Thanks to our partner the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library, we now have yearbooks from local Charlotte high schools on our website up to 1969. The yearbooks are from several Charlotte, NC high schools, including Independence Senior High School, Garinger High School, Central High School, Harding High School, West Charlotte High School, East Mecklenburg High School, Myers Park High School, Charlotte Country Day School, and West Mecklenburg High School.  These yearbooks are in addition to an already large collection of yearbooks from Charlotte on DigitalNC, which can be viewed here and span 1909 to 1969.

The cover for the 1969 edition of The Tomahawk, the yearbook from West Mecklenburg High School, in Charlotte, NC.

For more information about the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library, check out their website and their partner page.


New High School Yearbooks from Bethel in Pitt County Just Added

Thanks to our partnership with The Ward House: Bethel Heritage Center in Bethel, North Carolina, DigitalNC recently added fifteen yearbooks from Bethel High School (1949-1970). These yearbooks shed insight into the lives and activities of white students in northern Pitt County in the mid-twentieth century, particularly before the school was integrated with Bethel Union High School in the late 1960s. The class of 1970 was the final graduating class from Bethel High School. The following fall, North Pitt High School opened for students of Bethel, Belvoir, Pactolus, Stokes, and Staton House. Click here to browse all of the yearbooks from Pitt County on DigitalNC.

Click this link to see all fifteen yearbooks added in this batch. To learn more about The Ward House: Bethel Heritage Center, visit their contributor page here. To view more high school yearbooks from throughout North Carolina, check out our list here.