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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Viewing entries posted in August 2017

Boy Scout Memories Saved in Scrapbook from Wilson County

A scout making a fire in 1925 as seen on page 17

Boy Scout troop on page 78

A scrapbook provided by the Wilson County Public Library documents the adventures of Boy Scouts in Wilson County from 1925-1932. This scrapbook contains images of swimming, hiking, tent life, boating, troop portraits, and more. Many images contain handwritten identifications noting the date, activity, location, or individuals in the images.

The Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1910, so this scrapbook documents early BSA groups in Wilson County. Boys of all ages seem to have taken part, with many activities looking similar to Scouting that takes place today. One image from 1929 shows boys swimming using the “buddy system” where each camper is in charge of monitoring the swimming of their buddy. This system is a safety protocol still advocated by the Boy Scouts today.

To take a look at the scrapbook click here. To see more materials from Wilson County Public Library visit their partner page, or take a look at their website.

Scouts swimming using the “buddy system” in 1929 as seen on page 76

Amazing panoramic WWI images from Randolph County Public Library now available!

North Carolina Brigade at Camp Stewart, El Paso, Texas

Panoramic photos of Company K and the 120th Infantry, provided by Randolph County Public Library, are now online at DigitalNC. These photos, taken from 1914-1919, show Company K, which was comprised of men from Asheboro, and the larger North Carolina Brigade in a variety of locations.

Company K, 120th Infantry 30th (Old Hickory) Division at Camp Jackson, S.C.

The locations of the photos include Camp Sevier and Camp Jackson, both located in South Carolina, and Camp Stewart in El Paso, Texas. One photo of Camp Sevier shows an aerial shot of soldiers in formation along with camp structures and buildings. Many of these photos include some identifying information including names of soldiers or commanding officers in the photo. The panoramic nature of these photos gives the viewer a unique sense of these camps and required us to use special photo equipment reserved for digitizing large materials!

120th Infantry at Camp Sevier, S.C.

Click here to browse the photos. To see more materials from Randolph County Public Library visit their partner page or take a look at their website.

Company K, 120th Infantry 30th Division at Camp Sevier, S.C.

New additions to the R. Kelly Bryant Obituary Collection

An image from the funeral program of Margaret Rozzetta Stephens Fuller

More funeral programs and obituaries from Durham County Library are now online. These are part of the R. Kelly Bryant Obituary Collection and cover funerals in and around Durham County from 1934-2013. R. Kelly Bryant (1917-2015) was a Durham historian and active community member who collected the stories of African-American Durham residents via obituaries and funeral programs.

The newly digitized additions cover the last names Cobb through Furtick. These join the first batch from this collection which cover the names Adams through Coachman. The obituaries and funeral programs are fully text searchable, and are a great source of genealogical information. Birth and death dates, names of family members, and biographical information are often included.

You can browse or search the digitized items in the collection by visiting the R. Kelly Bryant Obituary Collection exhibit page on DigitalNC. More information is also available through the collection’s finding aid on the Durham County Library’s website.

To learn more about Durham County Library, visit their DigitalNC partner page or take a look at their website.

Two decades of yearbooks from newest partner Johnston Community College

The Practical Nurse Club in the 1972 edition of Retrospect

Yearbooks from Johnston Community College are now available on DigitalNC. These yearbooks date from 1972-1992 and follow the school’s shift in focus from a technical institute to a community college. Johnston Community College, first called Johnston County Technical Institute, was established in 1969 and became a community college in 1987.  JCC is located 30 miles east of Raleigh and offers a range of degrees and certificates in fields such as health science, business, and education.

Image from the 1992 edition of Retrospect

The Retrospect yearbooks give a glimpse of student life at the school and document clubs, activities, events, and academic programs. The earlier yearbooks feature sports like basketball and cheerleading, and clubs like the Practical Nurse Club and the Business Club. Later yearbooks feature a greater range of activities including Floriculture Design Club, Art Club, and many more. This change reflects an increase in student body and growth in programmatic offerings through the years.

To browse these yearbooks, click here. To learn more about Johnston Community College take a look at their partner page, or visit their website.

2017 yearbook from UNC Pembroke now online

The 2017 edition of The Indianhead, University of North Carolina at Pembroke’s yearbook, is now available on DigitalNC. This edition joins many previously digitized UNC Pembroke yearbooks dating as far back as 1942.

The 2017 edition of The Indianhead documents many important moments from the academic year including graduation, sports games, performances, and more. This recent edition also contains a two-page spread documenting the effects of Hurricane Matthew, which struck North Carolina in October 2016,  on the UNC Pembroke community. The yearbook states, “UNCP campus [was] submerged in up to almost 2 feet of water in some areas… this collage includes pictures of the damage dealt, the community response to the aftermath, and reactions from students who were directly affected by the storm.”

Part of a collage documenting Hurricane Matthew’s effects on the UNCP campus.

To learn more about UNC Pembroke, visit their partner page, or take a look at their website.

Mapping the path of eclipses of the past through NC newspapers

This afternoon, the western portion of North Carolina will experience a total solar eclipse and the rest of the state will experience almost a total eclipse.  A peak into the newspapers on our site show that the rhetoric around eclipses has not changed too much over the years.  

Danger to one’s eyes is still the number one warning about watching the eclipse.  The front page of the March 5, 1970 Warren Record in Warrenton shouts “Danger!” about looking directly at the eclipse that was happening on March 7.


The New Bern Mirror noted about the same eclipse that the safest place to watch it would be on your television.

The Mirror was not the only paper in 1970 to discuss watching on TV.  It was a topic in the Raeford News-Journal as well.

In 1923, many of the papers on DigitalNC ran a feature about the ability to watch the eclipse that year at the movie theater – a big innovation for the day.

Perhaps our favorite find – and what may be of particular interest to those out in the western portion of the state – is an article found in the January 29, 1925 issue of the Brevard News, which noted a partial eclipse visible the weekend before.  It also stated at the end that “Scientists tell us that not for 300 years will North Carolinians be able to see another one in their own state.”  So either it was a misprint or scientists have had to do some recalculations!

Wherever you watch today’s eclipse from – be careful of those eyes!  And to read more eclipse stories in DigitalNC’s newspapers, visit here.

UNC School of the Arts Bulletins Now Available

A ballet class shown in the 1980-1981 catalog.

School bulletins and catalogs for the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) dating from 1965-2002 are now available on DigitalNC. UNCSA, located in Winston-Salem, serves high school and college students around North Carolina and offers programs in areas such as dance, visual art, drama, and music. The bulletins and catalogs include descriptions of course offering and requirements for each area of study, faculty bios, entrance requirements, a section on the school’s history and purpose, and different rules and regulations of the institution.

Student smoking regulations in the 1965/1966 bulletin.

Looking back through the bulletins gives an interesting peek into life at UNCSA through the years. The 1965/1966 bulletin includes detailed information about aspects of student life such as how often students could leave campus, when high school students were expected to be in their dormitories, and who could smoke on campus and where. Later bulletins focus more on course offerings, with the scope and number of courses offered growing throughout the years with the growth of the school.

To check out all of the new and previously digitized bulletins, catalogs, and yearbooks from University of North Carolina School of the Arts, click here. To learn more about UNCSA visit their partner page or take a look at their website.

A Local History of the Civil War from Mauney Memorial Library

The latest from the genealogy shelves of our partner institution Mauney Memorial Library can be found online at DigitalNC.  In his book, White Plains Goes to War: The Civil War Saga of Edward and Benjamin F. Dixon, David C. Neisler chronicles the Civil War experiences of his ancestors, brothers Edward and Benjamin F. Dixon.

Letter written by Edward Dixon

The first half of the book focuses upon the lives and experiences of the Dixon brothers as Confederate soldiers in the Civil War. Neisler’s research is based upon personal correspondence and a few other documents found in a relative’s attic. Copies of these materials and photos of the Dixon brothers are provided in the book.


The second part of the book looks at Company D of the Fourteenth Regiment of the North Carolina Troops, or the Cleveland Blues as they were known. Lead by Edward Dixon, the Cleveland Blues were primarily from White Plains, N.C. Following a brief historical sketch about the Cleveland Blues, Neisler provides an annotated roster of all 68 volunteers who enlisted at the White Plains Post Office on April 26, 1861.

Oral histories and photos from Edgecombe County now available

The cover of the Agriculture in Edgecombe County event program

New materials from Edgecombe County Memorial Library are now online and include additions to the M.S. Brown Photography Collection as well as sound clips, transcripts, and photographs from the Oral History of Agriculture in Edgecombe County project.

The Oral History of Agriculture in Edgecombe County project was completed in 1987 and is comprised of interviews from farmers and those who worked in farm-related industries in Edgecombe County. This project culminated in a live event held at the Edgecombe Community College Auditorium on October 11, 1987 that included a lecture and discussion about topics covered in the oral history interviews. The event program reads, “the interviews vividly tell the story of how the country’s farmers, farm women, merchants, manufacturers, and extension agents helped shape farm life during a period of time characterized by involvement of the federal government, mechanization, the growth in size of farms, the decline of tenancy, and the loss of farm-related jobs.” The original cassette tapes containing the interviews have been digitized and transcripts are available for many of the interviews. These oral histories give a wonderful glimpse into the daily life of farmers in Edgecombe County, and speak to how farm life changed from the Depression-era through the late 1980’s.

Additions to the M.S. Brown Collection include more images of school life, events and parades, and houses and businesses in Edgecombe County, all taken by Tarboro citizen M.S. Brown.

To view these materials visit the links below:

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

A photograph from the M.S. Brown collection showing people at the Tarboro tobacco market.

Central Carolina Community College’s latest batch of photos features images from the Nursing, Paralegal, Secretarial Science, Telephony and Associate Arts and Science Programs.

Another batch of photos from Central Carolina Community College is now available on DigitalNC. This new batch brings the exhibit, A Pictorial History of Central Carolina Community College, to just over 2,400 photos.

Photo of first graduating class from CCCC's Licensed Practical Nursing program

First graduates of the CCCC’s Nursing degree program

This batch documents the Nursing, Paralegal, Secretarial Science, Telephony, Associate in Arts and University Transfer Associate in Science programs.

Featuring photos from as early as their first graduating class in Lee County on March 25, 1964 and on into the 1990’s, the images from the Practical Licensed Nursing degree program demonstrates the evolving student body, curriculum, technology and, of course, nursing uniforms.

Secretarial Science student using a floppy drive

Likewise, the Secretarial Science program gives viewers a glimpse into how this profession evolved as technology did. In particular, these collection of images capture the exciting transition from typewriters to early desktops.

Telephony students training on telephone pole, 1966

In contrast to these programs, the Central Carolina Technical Institute Telephony and Electrical Linemen program’s set of photos display the waning profession of telephone linemen and women. These set of photos present the hands-on training students received as they worked with lines, wires, circuits and telephone poles.

Hands-on training is further demonstrated in many other class photos. One of interesting example, comes from a Psychology class that appears to be engaging in some kind of simulation activity that included persons in costume and law enforcement officers. While it is unclear exactly what the activity entails, it is clear that the students were having fun participating.

Pyschology class exercise



To learn more about Central Carolina Community College, please visit their contributor page or their website. To see more photos like this, check out the Images of North Carolina Collection.