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60 Newspaper Titles on DigitalNC!

Headmast for the January 30, 1836 issue of Salem, N.C.'s Farmers' Reporter

This week we have another 60 titles up on DigitalNC! While these papers cover all of North Carolina, almost one third are from Statesville alone!

In the October 3rd, 1902 issue of Elizabeth City’s Tar Heel, there is an interview with Reginald Aubrey Fessenden’s assistant, Professor Saint Marie. Fessenden was a pioneer in early radio, or “wireless telegraphy,” and was conducting experiments at Manteo on Roanoke Island. In the interview, Prof. Saint Marie seems somewhat pessimistic about the process and its possibilities, which might be due to Fessenden abruptly ending their contract with the Weather Bureau the previous month after conflict arose over ownership of the patent.

October 3, 1902 interview with Reginald Fessenden's assistant, Professor Saint Marie

Tar Heel, October 3, 1902

However, less than two months later The News and Observer reported that Fessenden’s invention had greatly improved and could now send transmissions to Washington, D.C. On Christmas Eve, 1906, he conducted the first radio broadcast by reading a bible verse and then playing ‘O Holy Night’ on his violin for the ships off the coast of Massachusetts. By 1909, according the the Charlotte Evening Observer, he had perfected the process for which he laid the foundation on the Carolina coast.

Article from The News and Observer describing Fessenden's success with radio experiments

News and Observer, November 23, 1902

Article from Charlotte Evening Chronicle stating that Fessenden had perfected his radio process

Evening Chronicle, April 14, 1909

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:

Elizabeth City

Moravian Falls

North Wilkesboro








Siler City











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.

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This blog is maintained by the staff of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center and features the latest news and highlights from the collections at DigitalNC, an online library of primary sources from organizations across North Carolina.

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