Viewing search results for ""
View All Posts

35 Newspaper titles added to DigitalNC!

Header from the 1858 Buffalo Springs, N.C. handwritten newspaper The Nation

This week we have added issues from 35 different newspaper titles! One of the titles we have is a paper from the now non-existent town of Buffalo Springs, North Carolina. According to this News & Record article, the Harnett County town ceased to exist when the turpentine industry in the area died out. But the intriguing thing about these papers isn’t the ghost of this town, it’s the man who wrote them: John McLean Harrington. Professor and author Michael Ray Smith penned this fascinating paper about Harrington and his newspapers, in which he writes: “Shortly before the Civil War, the son of an affluent Southern family began a journalism career unlike any in his community, his state, or even the nation and produced 305 handwritten newspapers, perhaps the greatest single output of handwritten newspapers by any American journalist.” Harrington had a subscription list of roughly 100 people and would painstakingly copy each individual paper by hand, even though printing presses were widely available at the time. In 1858, when Harrington was writing issues of The Nation, he was only 19 years old. The young man’s ambitions didn’t stop with just being a journalist. He also apparently worked as a bookkeeper, surveyor, educator, sheriff, and postmaster in Harnett County. While his accomplishments were quite impressive, he was also a man of contradiction. Smith writes this of the rural Renaissance man: “He talked of a partner but never revealed the colleague’s identity—if he indeed had one. He discussed the evil of drinking but died an alcoholic. He served as a member of the Confederate militia only to swear an oath that he would always remain a loyal Unionist. Perhaps Harrington tended to do or say whatever was expedient or expected at the time. Maybe he was himself just conflicted in numerous ways.”

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:

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.


DigitalNC Blog Header Image


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.

Social Media Policy

Search the Blog



Email subscribers can choose to receive a daily, weekly, or monthly email digest of news and features from the blog.

Newsletter Frequency
RSS Feed