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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Band, Ten Hut! Granville County Store Ledgers and Six New Yearbooks Now Available on DigitalNC

Thanks to our partner, Granville County Public Library, we now have ledgers from Granville County’s Woodworth Store and Townesville Store available on our website as well as six new yearbooks added to our North Carolina High School Yearbooks collection! These yearbooks are from Vance County High School (1970 and 1971), Franklinton High School (1971), J.F. Webb High School (1971), and Henderson High School (1964 and 1971). 

With the start of the fall semester and football season here in North Carolina, marching bands are officially back on the field and in the stands supporting their teams and entertaining audiences with favorites such as Fight SongHey Baby, and You Can Call Me Al. While we all appreciate what marching bands adds to these sporting events, no school has shown as much appreciation for their marching band than Henderson High School.

In the school’s 1964 yearbook, an overwhelming amount of page space is given to the school’s band. Some of these photographs show the students rehearsing in the band room with band director W. T. Hearne, but a majority of them show the students in their full marching band and majorette uniforms. The photographs included in this post from the 1964 Pep Pac showcase the amazing size of their band as well as their snazzy uniforms.

To learn more about the Granville County Public Library, visit their website here.

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

 

 


New Issues of The Sandhill Citizen now available on DigitalNC

Newspaper

Front Page of “The Sandhill Citizen”, January 7th, 1954

Digital NC now has new issues of The Sandhill Citizen thanks to our partners, the Moore County Library and the Moore County Genealogical Society. Published on Fridays, the newspaper covered news in Southern Pines (1919 – 1925) and Aberdeen (1949 – 1954).

Local stories included stories about small organizations such as events for the March of Dimes, which took on the initiative of helping citizens affected by Polio. In January of 1954, the organization raised $1,000 to help with its initiatives.

To see other issues of  The Southern Pines, visit here.

Special thanks to the Moore County Public Library and the Genealogical Society for their support in helping to digitize these newspapers.

Be sure to check out DigitialNC’s extensive North Carolina newspaper collection here.


Montreat College 1972 Yearbook now on DigitalNC

Just in time for their 50th! reunion, the 1972 Montreat College (then known as Montreat-Anderson College) yearbook, the 1972 Walrus Figleaf, is now on DigitalNC, joining many other past yearbooks, student newspapers, and other materials from the school.  The yearbook is a work of art, both photography and drawing, and fun to look through even if you’re not celebrating your 50th reunion this year.

Collage of black and white photographs of students at Montreat College

Black background with white outlines of drawn faces

A reminder to all partners – even if we haven’t worked with you in a while, we at DigitalNC are always happy to fill in materials gaps when more are found!  To view more yearbooks from around North Carolina, visit our North Carolina Yearbooks section of our site.  To learn more about Montreat College, visit their website here


New Yearbooks now Online from Tyrrell County Public Library

Thanks to our partner Tyrrell County Public Library, a 1949 yearbook from Tyrrell County Training School and 4 yearbooks covering 1975-1978 from Columbia High School are now online.  The 1949 yearbook is the first online from Tyrrell County Training School, which served the African American community of Tyrrell County during segregation. 

Multiple black and white head shots of adults

The staff at Tyrrell County Training School in 1949

Multiple black and white group photographs of students, the top one is of a men's basketball team, the next down is of a woman's basketball team, the next image is of the student council, and the last image is of the dramatic club.

Student organizations at Tyrrell County Training School in 1949

To view more yearbooks from across North Carolina, visit our North Carolina Yearbooks section.  To learn more about Tyrrell County Public Library, visit their website here.


Winston-Salem’s African-American Heritage Initiative Materials Now on DigitalNC

Smiling woman sitting in front of a sign that says City of Winston-Salem African-American Heritage Initiative

Screenshot from the Evelyn Abrams Terry Oral History Interview [June 18, 2022]

The City of Winston-Salem has started a project called the Winston-Salem African-American Heritage Initiative to address the shortcomings of how the city has historically acknowledged the role of African-Americans in its’ history.  The goal of the initiative is to build a digital archive of materials that aims to preserve and provide access to the history of Winston-Salem during segregation as well as the efforts of desegregation.  Working in partnership with the city on this, DigitalNC is serving as the digital access portal for the submitted materials.  So far those materials have included oral histories taken at the city’s Juneteenth events with members of the African-American community, as well as old campaign materials, funeral programs and other items documenting Winston-Salem’s African-American community.

Article clipping from a newspaper. Photograph campaign flyer with a man in a bowtie pictured.

William R. Crawford 1964 NC Legislature Campaign Materials.

All of the materials collected so far can be viewed on the Initiative’s DigitalNC page here.  If you are interested in submitting materials to the Initiative, check out the city’s website.  


Seashore News Issues Tell of Bygone Beach Days

The masthead of The Seashore News

Another newspaper title from the eastern part of our state has been added to our digital collections thanks to our partner, the Outer Banks History Center. These issues of The Seashore News were published for the Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills, and Kitty Hawk beach communities in 1939.

One article from the June 8, 1939 issue describes a different beach scene than many of us are used to today. 

Head line reading, "Grass, Flowers, Trees Grow Well on Beach Since Cattle Removed."

“Dare County is being reborn,” it begins. “Where only a year or two ago the eye was greeted with vast stretches of bare sand and course beach grass, upon which herds of stunted cattle eked out a miserable existance [sic], today is springing to life lush vegetation, acres of wild flowers and trees and flowering shrubs of a hundred varieties.”

The article goes on to describe how the “Stock Law” passed in 1937 by the State Legislature helped eliminate the cattle, wild horses, and “scuttling flocks of mangy sheep” from the beaches. The author also claims that the beaches were a “veritable paradise of verdure” when colonists first arrived and that it was due to the livestock that the beaches became “a territory that was fast taking on the arid aspects of a desert.”

An illustration of three horses trotting over sand dunes

Whether the introduction of vegetation to the area would be considered “conservation” by today’s standards isn’t totally clear, though the NC Wildlife Resources Commission doesn’t exactly describe costal habitats as a “‘delicate garden abounding with all kinds of odiferous flowers.'”

You can see all issues of The Seashore News here, and you can browse all of our digital newspapers by location, type, and date in our North Carolina Newspapers collection. To learn more about the Outer Banks History Center, you can visit their partner page and their website.


Issues of The Dare County Times from 1939 now on DigitalNC

Headmast for the July 21, 1939 issue of The Dare County Times from Manteo, N.C.

Thanks to our partner, The Outer Banks History Center, we now have every issue of The Dare County Times from 1935-1945 up on DigitalNC! In these papers we have stories about the smallest school in North Carolina (only seven students!), the 100th performance of Paul Green’s The Lost Colony, and the fire that devastated much of Manteo on September 11th, 1939.

Clipping from February 17, 1939 issue showing the smallest school in North Carolina. A young female teacher and her seven students Photo from the September 15th issue. An aerial view showing a large mass of smoke covering most of the town

The Manteo fire broke out in the early hours of that September morning and destroyed 21 buildings in just three hours. Since the town had limited supplies to fight the fire, trucks from neighboring communities had to be called in to help contain the flames and one even came down from Norfolk, Virginia to offer aid. Miraculously, not a single person was injured amidst the chaos.

If you would like to see the rest of the available issues of The Dare County Times, you can find them here. You can also browse our entire collection of North Carolina newspapers and visit our contributing partners page.


35 Newspaper Titles, NC Aviation History on DigitalNC

Headmast for March, 1904 issue of Bower, NC's The Olive Leaf

This week we have the final 35 newspaper titles for this project up on DigitalNC! Over the past 11 months we have uploaded over 2.4 million pages of North Carolina newspapers – bringing our total number of newspaper pages on DigitalNC to 4,175,076 and our total number of titles on DigitalNC to 1,161 – all freely available to anyone! In this closing batch we have our first paper from Bower, North Carolina (which you may know as Clemmons today) and an article in the Union Republican about Stokes County’s would be Wright brother: Jacob A. Hill.

Jacob Hill, Winston-Salem Journal, March 9, 1902

Before Orville and Wilbur’s iconic first flight in 1903, the race to create a manned flying machine was fiercely competitive. One of the contenders was a man from Vade Mecum Springs named Jacob Hill. Hill was born 1862 in Davie County and had been fascinated by the flight of birds ever since he was a child. In 1901 he decided to take that curiosity a little further and solve “the problem of aerial navigation” by building his own dirigible.

Mr. Hill’s machine could have been the first piloted aircraft, but we’ll never know for sure if it could actually fly and be controlled. Momentum ran out when Hill couldn’t secure funding for his invention. According to Thomas Parramore’s First to Fly, witnesses claimed the craft could get off the ground, but couldn’t do much more than hover in place. Even though Hill’s airship became something of a local joke for a time, the legacy of his wild aspirations continues to live on in North Carolina history.

Over the past year, we’ve added millions of newspaper images to DigitalNC. These images were originally digitized a number of years ago in a partnership with Newspapers.com. 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 Newspapers.com, we have made 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:

Belhaven

Bower

Charlotte

Greensboro

Kings Mountain

Kinston

Lenoir

Monroe

Mt. Airy

New Bern

Salem

Salisbury

Shelby

Statesville

Swan Quarter

Taylorsville

Warrenton

Winston

Winston-Salem

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.


Issues of Northampton County Times-News Cover School Desegregation

Top portion of June 26 1969 issue of the Northampton Times-News showing photo of school construction

Front page of the June 26, 1969 issue of The Northampton Times-News.

Thanks to our partner, Northampton County Museum, issues spanning 1967 to 1969 of The Northampton County Times-News are now available on our website.

Published squarely in the middle of the desegregation of North Carolina schools, these issues detail county officials’ efforts at maintaining segregation through a policy entitled “Freedom of Choice.” Though this push back against desegregation mirrors the history of many other counties in the state, the Times-News has really detailed local reporting on the topic and doesn’t shy away from talking about race-related tensions.

In 1967, the U.S. Attorney General brought a lawsuit against Northampton County schools claiming the county failed to desegregate them as required. The lawsuit cited the continuing separation into all white and all Black schools, the latter of which were inferior in resources and infrastructure.  This front page from August 1, 1968 announces the resulting court order that mandated desegregation. With an enrollment of 74.5% Black and 25.5% white students, Northampton County Schools were required to assign students to schools based on geography. Faculty were also desegregated, and the local Black high school, Willis Hare, was closed. After the partial integration of the high schools, a plan for lower grades followed in June 1969 (above).

To view all issues issues of the Northampton County Times-News available on our website, please click here.

To view more newspapers from around North Carolina, please visit our North Carolina Newspapers Collection here.

To learn more about the Northampton County Museum, please visit their website.


News From Washington Enlivens Our Latest Title From Maxton, N.C.

The masthead of The Scottish Chief

Another newspaper title has been added to our Newspapers of North Carolina collection courtesy of our partner, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This batch of The Scottish Chief, presumably named for the part of Maxton, N.C., that lies in Scotland County, contains issues from 1915 to 1956.

A cartoon of the Capitol building with stars on either sideOne of the ongoing columns in the paper is “This Week in Washington,” which recaps national news from the Capitol. Some of the articles are all business, like the April 5, 1933 column describing President Roosevelt’s efforts to aid farmers. Others are more light-hearted; the one from December 24, 1934 that begins:

“Lest the reader of this column get the impression that nothing but serious matters of weighty moment are talked about in Washington, here are a few paragraphs of casual gossip heard in the corridors of public buildings and on the street corners.”

The gossip edition also has a section called “Interesting Women” that lists some of the jobs women in Washington were doing, such as advocating for uniform labor laws across states, increasing job opportunities for women, and selecting the supply of books sent to sea with the Navy. 

To see more of “This Week in Washington” and other news from Maxton, you can look at all digitized issues of The Scottish Chief here. You can also browse our entire Newspapers of North Carolina collection by location, type, and date. To learn more about UNC Chapel Hill and its collections, visit the UNC Libraries website and their partner page.