Viewing entries posted in March 2017

African American High School yearbooks from Huntersville now online

Group portrait of students in the National Honor Society from “The Trojan” 1963.

Four yearbooks from Torrence-Lytle High School, provided by Davidson College, are now available on DigitalNC. Torrence-Lytle High School opened in the fall of 1937 as Huntersville Colored High School. In 1953, the name was changed to honor two men who helped initially establish the school. Franklin Lytle was born as an enslaved person but became a prominent farmer and educational advocate, and helped acquire land for Huntersville Colored High School. Isaiah Torrence, also a farmer and a proponent of African American education, helped raise money to build Huntersville Colored High School. Torrence-Lytle High School was closed after the 1966 school year due integration mandates, and all of the students were reassigned to racially integrated schools.

Students in Advanced Biology class from “The Trojan” 1966.

The yearbooks available are from 1958, 1963, 1965, and 1966. Included are pictures of graduating seniors, class portraits, clubs and activities, sports teams, superlatives, classroom scenes, and a few candid shots of student life. These yearbooks provide an interesting look at an African American high school moments before integration. Like all of the yearbooks on DigitalNC, they are fully text-searchable.

Group portrait of Student Council members from “The Trojan” 1963.

To view these yearbooks, visit the links below:

To see more contributions from Davidson College, including other yearbooks, visit their partner page, and to learn more about Davidson College, visit their website.

Genealogy Newsletters, Cooking Related Materials Now Available Online from Braswell Memorial Library

Royal Palm Restaurant Menu, page 2

Royal Palm Restaurant Menu, page 2

Thanks to our partner, Braswell Memorial Library in Rocky Mount, DigitalNC has published a number of new materials in the North Carolina Memory Collection.

Included in this batch are several cooking related items. A vintage menu from the Royal Palms Restaurant in Rocky Mount documents the variety of prices and meals available at the local establishment. This item is a unique addition, as DigitalNC only has three published menus on the site. If you are more interested in doing some cooking of your own, check out the Kentucky Cookbook from Bygone Days. This unique item was transcribed from an 18880’s collection of recipes created by several women with connections to North Carolina. The recipes are included along with descriptions and family histories, adding some depth and context to the cookbook’s entries. Try your hand at making some nineteenth century ginger pudding or molasses pie!

Also in this batch are nearly seventy issues of “The Connector,” the newsletter of the Tar River Connections Genealogical Society. The Connector contains articles from members of the society, detailing their research in family and local history. They include many maps, rosters, names, dates, and other information that could be useful genealogy research–all aggregated in one place. These newsletters are full-text searchable, allowing researchers to easy search through the nearly 1200 pages of material. You can view all of the newsletters from Braswell Memorial Library at the following link.

To learn more about Braswell Memorial Library, please visit the contributor page or the website. To see more items like these that are digitized and available on DigitalNC, please visit the North Carolina Memory Collection.

Recipes for Ambrosia Filling, Cream Pie, and Molasses Pie-- Kentucky Cookbook, page 39

Recipes for Ambrosia Filling, Cream Pie, and Molasses Pie– Kentucky Cookbook, page 39

1964-1965 City Directories Now Available for Albemarle from the Stanly County Museum

Hill's Albemarle (Stanly County, N.C.) City Directory [1965], page 19

Hill’s Albemarle (Stanly County, N.C.) City Directory [1965], page 19

Thanks to the Stanly County Museum, two city directories for Albemarle are now available online!

The new additions bring the count of Albemarle city directories to nine, documenting the business history of the city from 1910 to 1965. These directories, as well as all of those hosted on DigitalNC, are full-text searchable across the site. This makes it easy for researchers to find the names, locations, and dates of relevant information.

City Directories are useful for more than just research. They are also full of unique, local advertisements, like the one shown below. Ads like these demonstrate the creativity and style of business owners of the time period. They can also be a lot of fun!

The two directories are linked below:

To learn more about the Stanly County Museum, please visit the contributor page or the website. To view more city directories from your area, please browse the North Carolina City Directories Collection.

Hill's Albemarle (Stanly County, N.C.) City Directory [1965], page 73

Hill’s Albemarle (Stanly County, N.C.) City Directory [1965], page 73

A variety of new High Point newspapers now online


The cover of the first issue of Elm Leaves, dated October 31, 1938

A new batch newspapers and serial publications from the High Point Museum are now up on DigitalNC. These include new issues of the High Point High School’s school newspaper, The Pointer, as well as the Junior Pointer from High Point Junior High. Also included are issues of an elementary school newspaper called Elm Leaves from the Elm Street School in High Point, issues of The High Point Scout, and issues of The Young American.

Elm Leaves, an elementary school newspaper, offers many treats including coloring pages, stories, book reviews, jokes, and poems by students.

The Young American, published in High Point, also offers stories, poems, and book reviews, but is geared towards a slightly older audience. The purpose of The Young American, as stated in its first issue, is “to entertain, direct, and express the young American,” and the magazine is dedicated, “primarily to the young man and young lady of sixteen and nineteen years.” The publishers further state that at the time of publication, a variety of magazines for younger teens and adults existed, but they found a lack of available magazines aimed at teens aged 16 to 19, and believed The Young American could fill this gap.

To look through issues of these publications, click the links below:

To see other materials from the High Point Museum, visit their partner page or website.

We Run on IMLS: Who and What Supports NCDHC

We Run on IMLS BadgeDigitization is faceless work – you rarely see the hands that carefully place fragile scrapbooks under the camera and click capture, or hear the voices debating the best description of that great photograph a partner sent us. And we don’t stick a price tag on each item, parsing out how much our funders contributed to get that item online. 

So today’s post is about two things I think don’t get noticed often enough. The first thing is money. All of the accomplishments of the Center have been supported in very large part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, through Library Services and Technology Act funding disbursed by the State Library of North Carolina. In other words, we run on IMLS. Digital libraries often include funders in footers or on “About” pages, but I decided to take this opportunity to bring it up front. Together, IMLS, UNC-Chapel Hill, and the State Library of North Carolina are the why, how, and whether DigitalNC exists. The power of this funding partnership is in its efficiency, its statewide view, and the way our work boosts what’s being done by counties and towns in their local institutions. It’s how our partners supercharge their collections, moving them beyond shelves to your screen. And we really hope it sticks around

A Wayne County scrapbook page that includes the gloved hand of the student scanner.

A rare shot that includes the gloved hand of a student worker as they gently lift up a document to capture the letter underneath.

The second thing is people. Behind each of the hundreds of thousands of images on are multiple individuals from multiple communities, who want YOU to see, share, build upon, question, and participate in North Carolina’s culture, wherever you are. These are the caring librarians, archivists, curators, or history-minded individuals with a passion not only for preserving their community’s history but also for giving that history legs. These are the full-time NCDHC staff who answer questions, juggle schedules, write code, and try to best serve users. These are the 20 student workers who have scanned, and scanned, and scanned over the last six years, whose professional development we have fostered and who were exposed to information-rich, quirky, poignant, and various special collections from all over the state.

Our goal is to make the materials front and center so you don’t see us or think about us.  But next time you find that great article on your hometown’s history, we hope you’ll think about who helped get it there and the funding it took to make it happen.

High Point scrapbooks featuring articles from Piedmont Triad newspapers

5 scrapbooks from the Heritage Research Center at High Point Public Library are now available. These intricately constructed scrapbooks are packed full of articles from newspapers published in the Piedmont Triad (the areas in and surrounding Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point). These scrapbooks hold articles from 1955-1959 and recount local news stories. Each page contains a matrix of carefully placed news clippings that are often overlapping or folded. Multiple images of each page were digitized to capture the full text of as many articles as possible. These scrapbooks were hand-indexed by the compiler and are now fully text searchable as well. Some of the newspapers represented in these scrapbooks are the High Point Enterprise, the Greensboro Daily News, and The Beacon.

A page in volume 40 contains a variety of articles from the High Point Enterprise concerning municipal issues. Multiple images of this page were captured so more of the articles are readable.

To view these scrapbooks, visit the link below:

These scrapbooks join several previously digitized High Point scrapbooks. To view these, and other materials from the Heritage Research Center at High Point Public Library, view their partner page, and take a look at their website.

Journals, Photos, and a Scrapbook from Davie County Public Library

A page from Mary Jane Heitman’s scrapbook that includes photographs and memorabilia along with a handwritten poem musing about the future.

New materials from Davie County Public Library are now up on DigitalNC, including a set of 6 journals by James McGuire Jr., a collection of photographs of Arden Farms in Forsyth County, and a scrapbook compiled by Mary Jane Heitman.

James McGuire Junior’s journals take the form of Gude’s Pepto-Mangan Physician’s Memorandum books. Each page corresponds to a day of the year, and includes a short medical fact, often related to Gude’s Pepto-Mangan medicine, along with a space to write. James McGuire Jr., a prominent business man in Mocksville, North Carolina, wrote many short entries recounting topics such as the weather, travel, social engagements, shopping lists, and finances. The memorandum books themselves most likely originated from James’ father, Dr. James McGuire, a physician.

Mary Jane Heitman’s scrapbook tells the story of her life in photographs, news articles, postcards, handwritten musings, and illustrations from 1891-1927. Mary Jane Heitman was a teacher and historian from Mocksville, North Carolina, and her scrapbook recounts with fondness both her time as a student and a teacher. Each page is poetically constructed, and photographs and descriptions of friends and relatives are distributed throughout. The last page of the scrapbook includes a written tribute by one of her students from Salem Academy that was added after her death in 1962.

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

James McGuire Junior’s entry from February 20, 1902 that describes the weather as cloudy with sleet at night.


Detailed 1904 map of Anson County now online from new partner, Anson County Historical Society


DigitalNC is happy to welcome a new partner– the Anson County Historical Society!

The Anson County Historical society is an organization devoted to providing access to Anson County’s rich history through educational, cultural, and recreational resources. This includes the preservation of physical items, like this map from 1904. An excellent resource for genealogists or local historians, this map documents family names and property locations in addition the other intricate details, like schools, cemeteries, businesses, railroads, and homesteads. Maps with this much detail are rare and serve as excellent research tools.

For more information about the Anson County Historical Society, please visit the contributor page or the website. For maps of North Carolina on DigitalNC, please search the Images of North Carolina Collection and limit by “maps.”

Telephone directories highlighting areas from around eastern North Carolina now online

Brawell Memorial Library (Rocky Mount, N.C.), covers

Braswell Memorial Library (Rocky Mount, N.C.), covers

14 phone directories are now available for search and use on DigitalNC!

Phone directories, like city directories, offer a wealth of information for researchers and genealogists. Each contains pages dedicated to using the directory and even using a phone. Some of the younger users of this site may have never used a physical phone book, made a collect call, or utilized a phone booth. While that may be shocking to some, resources like these could serve as excellent teaching tools to help younger users and students understand the differences in how people have communicated over the past few decades.

You can see all of the newly digitized directories at the links below:

Telephone Directory for Rocky Mount, Enfield, Nashville, Spring Hope, Tarboro, and Whitakers [1937], page 4

Telephone Directory for Rocky Mount, Enfield, Nashville, Spring Hope, Tarboro, and Whitakers [1937], page 4

To learn more about Rocky Mount, N.C. and the surrounding areas, check all of the materials that Braswell Memorial Library has contributed to DigitalNC. To learn more about the library, please visit the website or the contributor page.

New yearbooks from Benson Museum of Local History are full of character


The Tatler [1964], page 1

Our partner, Benson Museum of Local History, has contributed two more yearbooks that are now available online.

These yearbooks detail the lives and activities of students from Benson High School in Johnston County. This high school has regularly demonstrated creativity and character in its yearbooks and these do not disappoint. Resources like these are great tools for genealogical research and lesson planning. They could also serve as vintage look books for those interested in the fashion and hairstyles of the 1960’s.

The new yearbooks are linked below:

Another interesting feature of these yearbooks is their

The Tatler [1964], page 71

The Tatler [1964], page 71

condition. Both of these editions of the Tatler are well used and contain the many handwritten notes by the original owner and friends. The 1964 copy contains notes on nearly every page! Many of the yearbooks that our partners contribute are in pristine condition, serving as excellent original documents; however, these copies from the Benson Museum contain the life and character of their owners– a unique aspect for digitized archival collections. The image pictured at the top is an example.

You can learn more about Benson High School and the Benson Museum of Local History by viewing the contributor page or the website. To see more high school yearbooks, perhaps from your community, please browse the North Carolina Yearbooks Collection and limit your search by High School Yearbooks.

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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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