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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Four more issues of the Highlands High School student newspaper are on DigitalNC

cover page of the 1947 June issue

More issues of the Highlands High School student newspaper, The Mountain Trail, are now online, adding issues from 1947, 1976, 1979 and 1982.  These additions help fill in gaps in our already online coverage from 1938 to 1982.  Three of the issues are specifically the graduation issues of the paper and focus on the senior graduating class.  The June 1, 1976 issue devoted a full page to each senior.  

Song list

Songs that fit each graduating senior from the June 1976 issue

class news

The lower grades had news in the paper too. This is from the September 1979 issue.

To learn more about our partner Highlands Historical Society, visit their partner page.  You can read previous posts on the Mountain Trail here and visit our North Carolina Newspapers page to view more papers from across the state.


New Materials from the United Daughters of the Confederacy Now Online at DigitalNC

1902 application for Mrs. Edgar Smith to join the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Nearly two dozen new folders and notebooks have been added to DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, the Braswell Memorial Library. Coming from the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the North Carolina Division, Bethel Heroes Chapter, this new batch contains group applications, membership petitions, and meeting minutes dating back to 1902. While most of them belong to the specific Bethel Heroes chapter in Rocky Mount, there are some applications from other states like Florida. This batch is massive, with materials stretching throughout nearly the entire twentieth century, from 1902 to 1994.

These notebooks and folders give us a good idea of what it meant to be a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy at that time. It is so important for us to archive this material so that we’re able to figure out what their members found important and noteworthy. The collection of meeting minutes can be found here, and the membership petitions are found here.

To see more from Braswell Memorial Library, you can visit their partner page, or click on their website to learn more information.


Charlotte Post is now available

front page of the February 18, 1993 Charlotte Post

Front page of the February 18, 1993 issue of the Charlotte Post, with a focus on Black History Month

Issues of the Charlotte Post, an African American newspaper out of Charlotte, are now online, thanks to partner Johnson C. Smith University.  The Charlotte Post was founded in 1878 and is a weekly publication.  It still is published today, with the tagline, “The Voice of the Black Community.”  

The first issues that we are making available online on DigitalNC cover 1988-1990, 1993, and 1996.  Issues affecting the black community in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the wider nation are all discussed in the 30 plus pages of each issue of the paper, from politics, including the runs of several black politicians in local and state government, as well as Jesse Jackson’s run for president in 1988, issues with the Charlotte Mecklenburg school district, especially for black students, and a multitude of other topics, many of which will seem not so different from the topics of today.

To view more materials from Johnson C. Smith University, go here.  To view more of our newspapers, visit here.


New Issues of The Barker from Walter Williams High School Now Up

Students dream of a star-studded faculty in the 1958 April Fools’ issue.

Six Issues of The Barker, the student paper from Walter Williams High School, are now available on DigitalNC. Walter Williams High School is located in Burlington, North Carolina, and The Barker is still published by the school’s journalism class during the spring semester.

Issues from this batch date from the 1957-1958 academic year and were published on a monthly basis. Included in each issues are news articles related to school happenings, event notices, and pictures of student life. A special April Fools’ issue lets the students’ sense of humor shine through as they take a break from their usual routine.

To learn more about our partner Alamance County Public Libraries, who provided these materials, take a look at their DigitalNC partner page, or visit their website.


Student newspapers from the Henderson Institute now on DigitalNC

Title page of the April 1943 edition of The Campus Herald

Ten issues of the student newspaper from the Henderson Institute are now on DigitalNC.  The Henderson Institute was founded in 1891 with the goal of educating the black community.  It was funded by the United Presbyterian Church.  The school closed in 1970 but maintains an active alumni group and our partner, the Henderson Institute Historical Museum stands on the original grounds of the school in Henderson, NC.   

Editorial in 1941 paper about US view of race relations

Editorial in the 1941 Campus Herald discussing the inconsistency of the US policy abroad and at home

The topics covered in the paper include events happening at the school, topics of study in classes at the school, as well as important events in the black community both locally and nationally.  The issues of the paper span 1937 through 1969, showing the evolution of the school in the middle of the 20th century, including some very interesting papers from the World War II era where there is discussion by the students of the juxtaposition of the United States push for liberty abroad while race relations on the home front remained fraught.  The early papers published in the 1930s were done under the direction of the English department but later issues appear to be have been produced by a specific group of the student body independently at the school.  

1969 student council

The introduction of Student Council at the Henderson Institute in 1969

To learn more about the Henderson Institute Historical Museum visit their partner page or their website.  To see more newspapers from across North Carolina, visit our newspaper page.  


Scrapbooks from New Partner, Raleigh Fire Museum, Now Available

Auxiliary Officers from a Raleigh Times clipping in 1953-1954 scrapbook

Image from the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Raleigh Fire Fighters Association Scrapbook [1951-1953]

10 scrapbooks created by the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Raleigh Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 548 are now available on DigitalNC. These scrapbooks cover the years 1951-1972 and were provided by our new partner, the Raleigh Fire Museum. The Raleigh Fire Museum houses a collection of artifacts and images representing over 150 years of firefighting in Raleigh, North Carolina.

This group of scrapbooks contains images, correspondence, programs, news clippings, and more documenting both firefighting and social events organized by the Ladies’ Auxiliary. These scrapbooks are organized chronologically and according to type of materials contained within. From the scrapbooks, you get a sense of the social culture surrounding firefighting from the perspective of the spouses and families of firefighters.

To learn more about our partner, the Raleigh Fire Museum, visit their DigitalNC partner page or take a look at their website!


New Photographs, Documents, Scrapbooks, and More from Kings Mountain Historical Museum

A photograph of the World War II Memorial Honor Roll in Kings Mountain, NC. Established by LIONS International.

Over a dozen new documents, photographs, scrapbooks, and artifacts have been digitized and added to DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, the Kings Mountain Historical Museum.

One scrapbook celebrates the centennial celebration of Kings Mountain in 1974. Including photos of people dressed in vintage costumes, newspaper clippings, event flyers, and other items, this scrapbook serves as a permanent commemoration. There is also a series of scrapbooks about the family of Jacob S. Mauney, one of the pioneers of Kings Mountain. These scrapbooks were compiled between the 1950s and 1990s, with the family bringing together their history through newspaper clippings, papers, photographs, and other ephemera.

A postcard from France in 1919. The photo is of the 1st Division Band playing at the Argonne Cemetery.

One box we received contains photographs from 1917-1943 of all kinds. One collection has a series of photographic postcards from the Argonne Cemetery in France in 1919, while there are other individual photographs, including a photo of the World War II Memorial Honor Roll in Kings Mountain. There are photographs of Schofield Barracks in Hawaii, a photo of the Central Graded School in Kings Mountain, and more.

We also received a number of books and booklets, the majority from the first half of the 20th century. One booklet is a soldier’s account of traveling in battle during World War I throughout France and Germany, while another is his record ledger of soldiers, his meals, and more recorded from 1923-1925. Another booklet is a history of the Battle of Kings Mountain fought in 1780, and there is a booklet celebrating the 50th anniversary of the First National Bank of Kings Mountain.

The entire list of items can be found below:

To see more materials from the Kings Mountain Historical Museum, you can visit their partner page, or click on their website to learn more.


Even more additions to the R. Kelly Bryant Obituary Collection Now Online

New additions to the R. Kelly Bryant Obituary Collection, provided by our partner, Durham County Library, are now online at DigitalNC. This collection of funeral programs and obituaries of African American residents of Durham was compiled by R. Kelly Bryant (1917-2015), a historian with an extensive knowledge of Durham, North Carolina.

The collection is arranged alphabetically by the last names of individuals. Names included in the newest addition cover the surnames Mabry through Quiett. The funeral programs and obituaries are an excellent genealogical source and often include biographical details like birth and death dates, names of family members, locations lived, and aspects of an individual’s life story. We will continue to digitize this collection, so please check back for more entries in the coming months.

To take a look at what we have digitized so far of the R. Kelly Bryant Obituary Collection, please visit the collection’s exhibit page. Information about the collection is also available in the finding aid on Durham County Library’s website.

To see more materials from Durham County Library, visit their DigitalNC partner page, or take a look at their website.


New Yearbooks and More from Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Now Online

Several new high school yearbooks from Mecklenburg County are now online on DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner institution, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. Included are copies of various yearbooks around the county, all from 1967. The yearbooks contain individual school portraits, group portraits, and photographs of sports, activities, and their school groups.

To view the yearbooks, visit the links below:

Also new to our collection is a program from the 2017 Theresea C. Elder Trailblazer Awards Brunch, held in Charlotte. Created by Mrs. Elder in 2005, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Black Heritage Committee was formed to “research, collect and disseminate” historical information about the African-American community in the Charlotte Mecklenburg community. The 2017 brunch honored the Charlotte Post Publishing Company, the minority owned and operated news organization in North Carolina and South Carolina. The 2017 keynote speaker at the event was Mary C. Curtis, a columnist, journalist, national politics correspondent and speaker.

To see more from the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, click on their partner page or visit their website to learn more.


Brookford NC Celebrated in Newly Digitized Book

The author at age 10 on page 22 of Brookford Memories

Brookford Memories, a book contributed by Hickory Public Library, celebrates life in Brookford, NC, a small town in Catawba County. Brookford Memories was written in 2003 by Brookford native Dyke Little, born in 1935. This book contains the chapters “Childhood Memories”, “Brookford Places”, “Brookford Mills”, “Brookford People”, “Brookford Lives”, “Brookford Photos”, “Rosa Clinard’s Album”, “Grandview School”, “Mill Property”, “Church Brochures”, “Myrtle Hunt Scrapbook”, and “More Brookford Photos.”

Through a series of vignettes, interviews, biographies, and historical documents, Little paints a portrait of Brookford as it was during it’s heyday as a mill town. In the introduction, he reflects his childhood during the late 1930s and 1940s saying, “the Depression was over but World War II was starting. This was a time when we all felt closer to each other… Back then the pace of life was slower and people had more time for each other.”

Although Little’s focus is on Brookford, delving into family histories and specific childhood memories, the book touches on themes common to towns all around North Carolina and beyond.

To see more materials from Hickory Public Library, take a look at their DigitalNC partner page, or view their website.