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Hog Slaughter Photos from Johnston County Online Now

DigitalNC now has 60 images of the hog slaughter process as performed on H. W. Strickland’s farm courtesy of the Johnston County Heritage Center. Be warned, these photos show graphic, up close details!

Taken in 1976, the photos depict the various steps involved in hog killing, starting with hanging and ending with meat preparation. Scalding, evisceration, and beheading procedures are also shown. Notably, the images show the outdoor setup as well as the many hands that go into the process.

If these have piqued your interest, click here for a quick link to all hog killing information as found in the many DigitalNC collections. For more images from Johnston County Heritage Center, click here. And to learn more about Johnston County Heritage Center, click here.

1960 Johnston County Training School Yearbook Now Available

Thanks to our partner, Johnston County Heritage Center, a batch containing the Johnston County Training School’s 1960 yearbook is now available on our website.

Three pictures of a marching band - two on the field, and one of the members posing on the steps of the school.

Johnston County Training School’s marching band

To learn more about the Johnston County Heritage Center, please visit their website.

For more North Carolina African American high school yearbooks, visit our African American high schools collection.

For more yearbooks from across North Carolina, visit our yearbook collection.

DigitalNC Hits the Road With an On-Site Scanning Project at Johnston County Heritage Center

Abhego Atkinson Family Reunion, Beulah Township, 1912

Spicy Elizabeth Hayes Barefoot (1862-1931)

This December the Digital Heritage Center team took a field trip to Johnston County Heritage Center in Smithfield, North Carolina to do a session of on-location scanning. The Heritage Center is the former home office of First Citizens Bank in downtown Smithfield and includes exhibit space as well as storage for historic artifacts and records pertaining to Johnston County history. Armed with two flatbed scanners, laptops, external hard drives, and an armful of cords and cables, team members set to work scanning and filling out metadata for over 200 photographs that are now available on DigitalNC.

These photographs are part of Johnston county’s portrait collection depicting individuals from Johnston County and beyond. Many of the portraits from the session included labels detailing names, dates, and locations describing the photo. This information was recorded on-site during the scanning process, and makes for a useful set of images for those interested in genealogy or more broadly in Johnston County history. The number of well-labeled group family portraits in this collection make it great for tracing family history, and the Digital Heritage team enjoyed tracking individuals across different times and settings as we scanned.

Reverend Jesse and Susanna Watkins Wheeler

To learn more about on-location scanning, take a look at our previous blogpost detailing the initiative. To learn more about our partner Johnston County Heritage Center, and to see more of their materials, take a look at their DigitalNC partner page or check out their website.


New Yearbooks from Johnston County Heritage Center Now Online

Several yearbooks from various high schools in Johnston County are now online at DigitalNC, provided by our partner, the Johnston County Heritage Center. Included are editions of The Pine Needle from 1952-1965 by Pine Level High School, and editions of The Senoca from 1926, 1961, and 1963 by Selma High School.

A view of Pine Level High School in 1960.

Views of Selma High School and the town of Selma in 1926.

These yearbooks contain student portraits, class portraits, and photos of school groups, sports, and activities. Several of The Pine Needle editions also have “Class Prophecies”, where the students imagined where they would be in the future. The 1926 edition of The Senoca also has a history of the town of Selma, North Carolina, and includes some details on the school’s history after its previous building burned down. These yearbooks join other previously digitized yearbooks from these schools.

To view more materials from Johnston County Heritage Center, visit their partner page, or take a look at their website.


New yearbooks from the Johnston County Heritage Center

The By-Gones [1928], page 30

The By-Gones [1928], page 30

Thanks to our partner, the Johnston County Heritage Center, 10 yearbooks have been added to the North Carolina Yearbooks Collection.

The high schools featured in this batch include Micro High School, Benson High School, and Kenly High School. Two yearbooks of particular interest are Portals [1926] and the By-Gones [1928] both from Benson High School. They both offer a unique look into the lives of youth, schools, and communities during the 1920’s. They also feature several witty superlatives and advertisements, like the one featured below.

The Portal [1926], page 69

The Portal [1926], page 69

You can see all of the new additions from Johnston County at the links below:

To learn more about the Johnston County Heritage Center, please visit the contributor page or the homepage. To see more high school yearbooks like these, please visit the North Carolina Yearbooks Collection. Perhaps you’ll find yearbooks from your high school or you community!

More yearbooks from Johnston County now Online

Senior Trip, from the 1962 Glen-Cedo

Senior Trip, from Glendale High School’s 1962 The Glen-Cedo Yearbook.

The Johnston County Heritage Center has shared more yearbooks from the 1950s and 1960s through DigitalNC. The schools represented in this latest batch are:

There are now 240 yearbooks and campus publications from Johnston County available on DigitalNC, and over 170 of those were contributed by the Johnston County Heritage Center.



More Johnston County High School Yearbooks Now Available on DigitalNC

Yearbook staff from the Johnston County Training School, 1947.

Yearbook staff from the Johnston County Training School, 1947.

We’ve just completed digitizing a new batch of materials from the Johnston County Heritage Center in Smithfield. Among the new materials are:

These yearbooks, combined with contributions from the Benson Museum of Local History and the Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library in Clayton, add up to more than 200 yearbooks from Johnston County alone. The yearbooks span more than four decades and come from 18 different schools.

146 Johnston County high school yearbooks now online

Students at Richard B. Harrison High School on their way to class in 1966.

Students at Richard B. Harrison High School on their way to class in 1966.

Thanks to our new partner, the Johnston County Heritage Center, 146 Johnston County yearbooks from 16 different high schools are now on DigitalNC.  Many of the high schools were closed when Johnston County consolidated and integrated the school system in the 1960s, including three African American schools.

Planning the cover of Smithfield High School's newspaper, 1964

Planning the cover of Smithfield High School’s newspaper, 1964

The high schools include:

1925 Selma High School girls basketball team

1925 Selma High School girls basketball team

To view more high school yearbooks from across North Carolina, visit the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center’s North Carolina Yearbooks collection.

70 Newspaper Titles Added to DigitalNC

Headmast of July 28, 1916 issue of The Advance from Elizabeth City

This week we have another 70 titles up on DigitalNC including over 1,000 issues of The Robesonian, 1,000 issues of The Western Sentinel, 3,000 issues of The Reidsville Review, 4,000 issues of The News and Observer, and almost 4,000 issues of the Salisbury Evening Post!

In the March 8th, 1914 issue of The News and Observers we have an article detailing a practice game played by the Baltimore Orioles while in Fayetteville. This happens to be the game where a 19 year old George Herman “Babe” Ruth hit his first home run as a professional baseball player. Ruth was also given his iconic nickname “Babe” while in Fayetteville on this trip.

Article from March 8, 1914 issue of The News and Observer where Babe Ruth hit his first home run as a player for the Baltimore Orioles

The News and Observer, March 8th, 1914

Three people standing in front of the sign commemorating Babe Ruth's first home run

Image via The Fayetteville Observer

Over the next year, we’ll be adding millions of newspaper images to DigitalNC. These images were originally digitized a number of years ago in a partnership with That project focused on scanning microfilmed papers published before 1923 held by the North Carolina Collection in Wilson Special Collections Library. While you can currently search all of those pre-1923 issues on, over the next year we will also make them available in our newspaper database as well. This will allow you to search that content alongside the 2 million pages already on our site – all completely open access and free to use.

This week’s additions include:












East Bend

Elizabeth City

Forest City











Moravian Falls

New Bern


Red Springs


Rocky Mount






Spruce Pines & Burnsville








If you want to see all of the newspapers we have available on DigitalNC, you can find them here. Thanks to UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries for permission to and support for adding all of this content as well as the content to come. We also thank the North Caroliniana Society for providing funding to support staff working on this project.

Additional Smithfield Herald Issues Now Available

The Smithfield Herald header. The subtitle reads: Smithfield, N.C., Friday, January 6, 1911.

Thanks to funding from the State Library of North Carolina’s LSTA Grant and our partner, Johnston County Heritage Center, over five hundred issues from 1911 to 1925 of The Smithfield Herald are now available on our website. These issues expand DigitalNC’s previously digitized issues from 1901 all the way to 1925.

The paper was first published weekly in Smithfield, North Carolina in 1882 under the name The Weekly Herald. In the late 1880s, the paper was renamed a second and final time to The Smithfield Herald. Articles in the paper focus on local as well as national news. Over one hundred years later, The Smithfield Herald continues to be published in Smithfield, North Carolina.

A special Sunday edition of the paper was printed when William B. Cole, a rich mill owner in Rockingham, North Carolina, was acquitted of the charge of murder. According to the paper, Cole was on trial for the murder of his daughter’s lover and former serviceman—William B. Ormond. The paper is unclear about what motive Cole had to murder Ormond.

After several hours of deliberation and pressuring one of their fellow jurors, the jury concluded that the mill owner was not guilty of the murder of Ormond. The writer’s mention of the defendant as a wealthy man in the article points to the suspicion that he may have been acquitted thanks to his money.

Although found not guilty, the judge would not release the defendant until he proved that he was sane. A day after the verdict was read, Cole attended a hearing in Wilkesboro to determine whether or not he should be sent to the State Hospital for the Insane in Raleigh. It is not mentioned in the two articles about this story if Cole was released or sent to the hospital. 

To read more about the William B. Cole case,  click here and here.

To learn more about the Johnston County Heritage Center, please visit their website.

To view more newspapers from across North Carolina, please click here.

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