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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Freedman High School yearbooks now on DigitalNC

Thanks to our new partner, the Freedman Cultural Center of Caldwell County, 13 yearbooks from Freedman High School are now online. The yearbooks cover 1951-1965.  Freedman High School was located in Lenoir, NC and was an important center of the community. Freedman was a community of African Americans that was started just north of Lenoir in the late 1860s or early 1870s.  The school was started in 1932 and was the first high school for Black children in Caldwell County.  

Picture collage in the shape of 57

Collage from the 1957 yearbook

To learn more about the Freedman Cultural Center of Catawba County, visit their partner page.  To view more yearbooks from across North Carolina, visit the North Carolina Yearbooks page.  

More Issues of The Roanoke Beacon and Washington County News Now Available

Title heading for the Roanoke Beacon January 3, 1930 issue.

The Roanoke Beacon, January 3, 1930.

Thanks to our partners, Washington County Library and Pettigrew Regional Library, 760 issues of The Roanoke Beacon and Washington County News are now available on our website. This batch covers from January 3, 1930 to December 28, 1944. These issues highlight local and national news stories such as the United States entrance into World World II, a list of residents stationed in Hawaii during the Attack on Pearl Harbor, and birthday party celebrations in the community.

Excerpt from the December 11, 1941 issue of the paper discussing America's entrance into World War II.

The Roanoke Beacon and Washington County News, December 11, 1941.

Excerpt from the paper's December 11, 1941 issue discussing the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

The Roanoke Beacon and Washington County News, December 11, 1941.

The newspaper was first published in 1889 under the title The Roanoke Beacon. In 1929, the paper consolidated with The Washington County News and the name was changed to The Roanoke Beacon and Washington County News. Thirty years later in 1959, the paper reverted back to its original title, The Roanoke Beacon. The paper continues to publish under this name today. 

Excerpt from the June 17, 1932 issue of the newspaper detailing the 80th birthday of a town resident.

The Roanoke Beacon and Washington County Newspaper, June 17, 1932.

To view more issues of The Roanoke Beacon and Washington County News, please visit here.
To learn more about the Washington County Library, please visit their website.
To learn more about the Pettigrew Regional Library, please visit their website.

1949 Farmville High School yearbook now online

Thanks to our partner East Carolina University, the 1949 Farmville High School yearbook, Archway, has joined volumes covering 1960-1971 on DigitalNC.  To view all the Farmville High School yearbooks, click here and visit North Carolina Yearbooks to view all the yearbooks on our site.

yearbook spread showing two large group portraits

Future Farmers of America and Future Homemakers of America chapters at Farmville High School, 1949

To view other materials from East Carolina University, visit their partner page.  

Recent Issues of the Brevard College Student Newspaper Added to DigitalNC

Over 250 issues of The Clarion, the student newspaper of Brevard College located in Brevard, N.C., are now available on DigitalNC thanks to our partners at Brevard College.  These additions span eight years, from June 2012 to May 2020. All of these issues are web editions and were distributed electronically.

Serving Brevard College since 1935, The Clarion speaks to the students on campus with articles focused on topics such as sports, clubs, events, commencement, and finals. Opinion pieces on popular news stories are also prominently featured. Injecting some fun into the routine, April Fool’s Day issues take on a satirical tone, changing their title to The Hilarion. Similarly, Halloween issues are retitled The Scarion.

As this upload includes issues from the beginning of 2020, present day readers might be interested in tracking the early articles on Covid-19 leading to the move to online instruction. Also of note is the tribute to the 2020 graduating class in the May 21, 2020 issue.

To see all of DigitalNC’s digitized content of Brevard College Student Newspapers going back to the first issues of The Clarion in 1935, click here. And to visit Brevard College’s homepage, click here.

More Yearbooks from Washington High School Added to DigitalNC

Snippet of a two-page spread in a yearbook. It features a full color photo of students on a beach against a bright blue background. Underneath the photo, in white text, it reads: The charm of the student at play.

Cover pages, Packromak, 1964.

Thanks to our partners at George H. and Laura E. Brown Library, we now have 24 new yearbooks available on our website. They are from Washington High School and span the years 1945-1969, giving substance to what was previously only one yearbook from Washington High.

Located in Washington, N.C., the seat of Beaufort County, Washington High titled their yearbooks Packromak. They replicate many typical features of U.S yearbooks, including photos of students, faculty, dances, and clubs as well as the traditional senior class last will and testament and superlatives.

Two pages from the senior superlatives page. Clockwise from top left: Best Personalities, Carol Adams and Mike Willis, the black and white photo shows them reading Life magazine with their faces on the cover; Best Dancers, Linda Jarvis and Tommy White, the edited black and white photo shows them dancing on a turntable; Biggest Flirts, Phyllis Warner and Oden Latham, the edited black and white photo shows Phyllis in a fishbowl while Oden fishes them out; Cutest, Kathie Salle and Skipper Hudson, the edited black and white photo shows Kathie riding a stuffed dog toy and Skipper poised to shoot with a basketball in his hand.

Senior superlatives, Packromak, 1960.

For a look at all 25 Packromak yearbooks, click here. For more information about the George H. and Laura E. Brown Library, visit their landing page here.

Glass plate negatives and more now online from Mitchell Community College

Group of students standing in a kitchen classroom space

A new batch of materials from our partner Mitchell Community College is now on DigitalNC.  The most exciting items in the batch were almost 20 glass plate negatives taken in February 1925, likely for that year’s yearbook.  There is no known copy of the yearbook still in existence from that year, so it’s a particularly exciting set.  The photographs feature fabulous 1920s styles on the students of Mitchell College, which was an all women’s school in the 1920s.  Group portraits, classroom photos, and staged production photographs are all included.  Black and white photograph of students outside a building

In addition to the negatives, scrapbooks from Mitchell Community College student government and the Statesville Junior Women’s Club are included, as are some issues of the student newspaper and alumni materials.

Group of students in dresses pointing at two students, one in a suit and one in a maid costume

To view more materials from Mitchell Community College, visit their partner page.  To see more materials from community colleges across North Carolina, visit our North Carolina Community College Collections page. 

New Hanover County Yearbooks Now Available

Thanks to our partner, Cape Fear Museum, a batch containing new issues of yearbooks from James Walker Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, Cape Fear Academy, Williston Senior High School, Wilmington High School, and New Hanover High School are now available on our website

Letter "M" created out of flowersHand-drawn looking face of a woman in 1940s hair and makeup. Text "Amazed Girl" below the face to the right.Letter "H" created out of flowers and cines.


Various images of students hanging out around campus.

To learn more about the Cape Fear Museum, please visit their website.

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

Photographs, Book, Documents, and Minute Books from First Baptist Church Now Available

Thanks to our partner, New Bern-Craven County Public Library, a batch containing content related to First Baptist Church (New Bern, NC) is now available on our website.

The batch features nine minute books, a book detailing the history of First Baptist Church, over forty photographs, and various other documents. Photographs include images of the interior and exterior of the church, pastors, the choir, Sunday School on Easter, and most notably, Harry Truman’s visit to the church on November 7, 1948. A more detailed description of his attendance and a copy of the invitation to the event can be found here and here

Picture of Harry Truman leaving the First Baptist Church. He is holding his hat in the air about to get into a car. There is a crowd of people around the car.

Harry Truman visits First Baptist Church

A letter sent from the headquarters of the 3rd Division, 10th Army Corps returning the church to the Deacons of First Baptist Church.

A letter sent from the headquarters of the 3rd Division, 10th Army Corps on September 1, 1865 returning the church to the Deacons of First Baptist Church after the end of the Civil War.

Four women sitting around a table talking to one another.

First Baptist Church Women’s Missionary Union [1947]

To learn more about the New Bern-Craven County Public Library, please visit their website

To view more content from the New Bern-Craven County Public Library, please visit here.

New Issues of The Tarborough Southerner Now Available

The Tarborough Southerner

The Tarborough Southerner, July 23, 1908.

Thanks to our partner, Edgecombe County Memorial Library, The Tarborough Southerner is now available on our websiteThis batch includes 47 issues, spanning from January 9, 1908 to December 24, 1908. Based in the center of Edgecombe County in Tarboro, North Carolina, The Tarborough Southerner  prided itself on providing stories covering politics, news, and literature while giving “especial attention to matters of the latest local and general interests.” 

Newspaper article discussing an eclipse of the sun.

The Tarborough Southerner, July 2, 1908.

The paper was first published under the name The Tarborough Southerner beginning in 1875, but has gone by several names since the paper’s first title, Free Press, in 1824. Following Free Press, the paper’s title has been: North-Carolina Free Press (1830-1832), N. Carolina Free Press (1832-1833), Tarborough Free Press (1833-1834), Tarboro Press (1835-1851), The Southerner (1852-1867), The Tarboro Southerner (1863-1874),  The Enquirer (1871), The Tarborough Southerner (1875-19??), and lastly in the early 1900s, Weekly Southerner (19??-19??). 

To learn more about the Edgecombe County Memorial Library, visit their website

To view all issues of The Tarborough Southerner, visit here

More Scrapbooks from Transylvania County Communities Now Online

DigitalNC has recently increased the number of available Transylvania County scrapbooks by 9, building upon our already considerable online collection of over 200. Many thanks to Transylvania County Library for scanning these images and sending them over.

Three clubs were featured in this upload:

These scrapbooks share photos and ephemera documenting club meetings, members, and events. Many community service events are highlighted within their pages. Not only do they give a look into the history of these clubs, but they also reflect changes in the local community. Fastidiously organized, the scrapbooks detail events such as construction of new buildings and beautification projects.

A page from the Cedar Mountain Extension Homemakers Club Scrapbook [1966-1967]. It documents the meeting held on May 18th. Held at the community center, the club members listened to a program on landscaping in the home. The page has a newspaper clipping of the event, two color photos of the members at the club, a clipping of a magazine of trees and plants, and a small, black-and-white illustration of a gardener that reads "Suggestions from the TAR HEEL GARDENER".

Page 16 of the Cedar Mountain Extension Homemakers Club Scrapbook [1966-1967] shows photos from the home landscaping presentation they attended.

To search through all of the scrapbooks from Transylvania County, click here. And to view all other items from Transylvania County, check out our Transylvania County Library partner page.