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 September 2020


10 for 10: Celebrating NCDHC’s Birthday with Stakeholder Stories – Erin Allsop

Headshot of smiling archivist with long straight hair and bright green clothing

Erin Allsop, Archivist, Central Piedmont Community College

This year marks the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center’s 10th anniversary, and to celebrate we’ll be posting 10 stories from 10 stakeholders about how NCDHC has impacted their organizations.

Today’s 10 for 10 Q&A is from Erin Allsop, Archivist at Central Piedmont Community College. Since 2014, we’ve partnered with CPCC’s Library (Library home page | NCDHC contributor page) digitizing yearbooks, catalogs, scrapbooks and photographs. Erin has also been involved with the North Carolina Community College Archives Association since its beginning in 2018. Read below for more about our partnership with CPCC

What impact has NCDHC had on your institution and/or on a particular audience that means a lot to you?

I am the archivist for Central Piedmont Community College, and cofounder of the NC Community College Archives Association. Community College history, and their archival collections, are often over-looked or discarded. Thanks to the NCDHC and their assistance, most of the Community College materials are being made accessible for future generations over time.

Central Piedmont Archives collections could not be made publicly available without the support of the Digital Heritage Center and their staff. While they provide a literal platform (database) to share our institutional heritage materials with the world, they also provide a figurative platform to advocate for greater support of community college history, and efforts of community college archivists, throughout North Carolina. NCDHC has provided a wealth of knowledge and support for these initiatives, without judgement. This means more to me than I can describe.

What item or group of items on DigitalNC.org do you think everyone should know about?

The Central Piedmont History Scrapbooks and Dental Hygiene yearbooks!!

If you were asked to “describe what makes NCDHC great” in a few words, what would they be?

The NCDHC is tantamount to the success of most (if not all) smaller institutional archives throughout our state. While their resources are a wonderful tool for us to use, contribute to, and share with a wider audience, the kindness and consideration of the staff I have interacted with makes working with NCDHC even more enjoyable. They are a team of dedicated information professionals, who genuinely want to make a difference in the world by providing the platform to those without a voice. Thank you, a million times over. I cannot wait to see what the next 10 years has in store!

Celebrating 10 years NC Digital Heritage Center, with confetti background


The Black Mountain News Now Online

DigitalNC has added a new title to our newspaper collection: The Black Mountain News. Covering the initial five years of publication, from 1945 to 1950, 272 issues of The Black Mountain News are now available to view online. We would like to thank our partners at Swannanoa Valley Museum and History Center for contributing the microfilm that made this possible.

Located on the western side of North Carolina, Black Mountain is settled in the mountains of Buncombe County, not far from Asheville. As stated previously, The Black Mountain News was a new periodical in 1945.  Marketed as the first newspaper created specifically for the Black Mountain and Swannanoa communities, the newspaper initially divided space by township. Different nearby towns occupied specific sections of the newspaper, such as the Swannanoa Section and the Old Fort News. Interestingly, the size of these town sections visibly decreased as time went on, moving to shorter news letters, and room was made for general weeklies such as This Week’s Editorial.

Notably, the date range of these additions also covers the period immediately after World War II ended, with the first printed issue dating September 6th, 1945. Victory bond advertisements can be found in these early issues.

For a look at all of the front pages of The Black Mountain News we have so far, click here. For more information on Swannanoa Valley Museum and History Center, click here.


10 for 10: Celebrating NCDHC’s Birthday with Stakeholder Stories – Mike Legeros

Smiling individual seated on rear of fire truck with multiple cameras in hand

Mike Legeros. Photo credit: News and Observer

This year marks the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center’s 10th anniversary, and to celebrate we’ll be posting 10 stories from 10 stakeholders about how NCDHC has impacted their organizations.

Today’s 10 for 10 post is from Mike Legeros, historian and president of Raleigh’s Fire Museum (Museum home page | NCDHC contributor page). You can find a lot of research and additional documents at Mike’s history page as well. Since 2018, we’ve partnered with the Museum to digitize scrapbooks and history books.  Read below for more about our partnership with the Fire History Museum.

What impact has NCDHC had on your institution and/or on a particular audience that means a lot to you?

The NC Digital Heritage Center has been instrumental is helping the Raleigh Fire Museum add digital content to our archives and web site. And, in this era of COVID, they’re valuable additions to our virtual museum experience (e.g., web site), as our physical facility has remained closed. They digitized several scrapbooks of the Raleigh Fire Department’s Ladies Auxiliary, which operated from the 1950s to the 1970s. The scrapbooks offer an intimate and personal view of the department’s activities and members as well as their spouses. The NCDHC also digitized a pair of RFD history books, from 1984 and 2002, another fabulous addition. At a higher level, they’ve helped our staff think ahead to other future digital projects, and ways that we can help other fire museums and similar organizations preserve and present their history.

Celebrating 10 years NC Digital Heritage Center, with confetti background


10 for 10: Celebrating NCDHC’s Birthday with Stakeholder Stories – Marcy Thompson

Smiling individual behind a desk within a sunlit libraryThis year marks the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center’s 10th anniversary, and to celebrate we’ll be posting 10 stories from 10 stakeholders about how NCDHC has impacted their organizations.

Today’s 10 for 10 Q&A is from Marcy Thompson, Librarian in the Local History Room at Transylvania County Library. Since 2010, we’ve partnered with Transylvania County Library (Library home page | NCDHC contributor page) digitizing scrapbooks, newspapers, photos, architectural histories, and more. Over the last few years, Marcy has expanded relationships in communities throughout Transylvania County in order to document community groups. Read below for more about our partnership with Transylvania County Library.

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The Local History Room at the Transylvania County Library serves as the archives for Transylvania County. We are charged with collecting and preserving materials pertaining to Transylvania families, businesses, organizations and history including documents, photographs, manuscripts, newspapers, scrapbooks and more. The Local History Room is staffed by one full-time position responsible for the service desk, a small part-time staff and a team of volunteers, along with outreach and programming. By working with the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center we have been able to make materials accessible online through DigitalNC to people in our community and far beyond. This simply that would not have been possible without the platform, technical expertise and man-hours provided by NCDHC.

The Transylvania County Library signed an agreement with NCDHC in late 2010. Initially this was a collection of just over 200 images of downtown Brevard. The immediate benefit to our Local History Room was added publicity for the collection. Since that time we have added additional images, local newspapers, local high school yearbooks, architectural survey photos and documents, and most recently a large collection of community scrapbooks. Having all of these resources available online to the public is a huge achievement for a small rural library.

The newspaper collection, which covers 1903 through June 1940, is the material group that has had the largest impact on both library staff and users in the general public. These newspapers are available in our collection on microfilm, however they are not indexed. Through DigitalNC not only are they now available to a broader audience but they are searchable! It makes our jobs easier by being able to quickly locate information.

One example of this occurred while conducting research for a local program, display and series of articles in conjunction with the Suffrage Movement and 100th anniversary of the signing of the 19th Amendment. Rather than spending countless hours scouring microfilm we conducted searches to learn about local suffrage events, who supported and opposed suffrage, and changes brought about as a result of women gaining the right to vote.

DigitalNC has changed the way we provide service and benefited our library by opening access to resources that would otherwise be limited to only those who visit the Local History Room at the Transylvania County Library in Brevard, NC. What truly makes NCDHC great is what they make possible every day to a world of users!

Celebrating 10 years NC Digital Heritage Center, with confetti background


Materials from New Bern’s J.T. Barber Alumni Association are now available on DigitalNC

West Street High School, class of 1954

West Street High School, class of 1954

Thanks to our new partner, the J. T. Barber Alumni Association, DigitalNC is proud to host a variety of materials documenting the history of J. T. Barber High School (formerly West Street High School) and its alumni in New Bern, North Carolina.  The Alumni Association just celebrated the class of 1970’s 50th anniversary this past weekend (via Zoom)!  

The batch includes class portraits, the commencement program from 1954’s graduation ceremony, a photo of the 1954 marching band, and a 1969 student newspaper, all from while the school was still operating. From the alumni association, we have digitized a photo of the class of 1970’s reunion in 2007, several editions of the “Warrior News Bulletin,” the alumni association’s membership roster from 2008, and various annual meeting programs. Additionally, DigitalNC now hosts yearbooks from the school from 1948 to 1971.

J. T. Barber High School, class of 1970

J. T. Barber High School, class of 1970

Click here to see all of our new materials from the J. T. Barber Alumni Association.


Pamlico Community College Documents and Photographs Now Available

Thanks to our partner, Pamlico Community College, documents and photographs chronicling the history of Pamlico Community College are now available on our website.  This batch includes meeting minutes for the first organizational meeting of the Pamlico County Technical Institute Unit, a facility dedication and open house program for the college’s new permanent location, 1973-1975 course catalog, and photos from the college’s early years. 

President of Pamlico Technical Institute, now Pamlico Community College, Paul Johnson wields a shovel at the groundbreaking for the college's permanent location.

President of the college wields a shovel at the groundbreaking for the college’s permanent location.

Students and faculty standing on the lawn at the new Pamlico Technical College building representing various areas of study.

Students and faculty on the lawn of the new building.

To learn more about Pamlico Community College, please visit their website.

For more information on other North Carolina community colleges, please visit our community college collections


Wake County Public Libraries: A Souvenir Centennial History: 1901-2001 Now Available

Thanks to our partner, Olivia Raney Local History Library, the Wake County Public Libraries: A Souvenir Centennial History: 1901-2001 is now available on our website.  In this book, Roy C. Dicks outlines the one hundred year history of the Olivia Raney Library and establishing of the Wake County Public Libraries. 

Family and their dog looking at books in the library's bookmobile.

To learn more about the Olivia Raney Local Historical Library, visit their site here