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 April 2021


New Tyrrell and Columbia High School Materials Now Available

Thanks to our partner, Tyrrell County Public Library, two batches of materials from Tyrrell and Columbia High School are now available on our website. The first batch features Tyrrell High School’s 1961 yearbook as well as the 1977 edition of Columbia High School’s Swamproots. Filling in gaps from our website, five new Columbia High School yearbooks from the years 1959, 1960, 1965, 1968, and 1972 are included in the second batch.

Photographs of Tyrrell High School's music groups, the Melowtones and Elowettes. Included with the photos are the names of the group members.

The Melowtones and Elowettes

The athletics pages featuring two children playing football.

Homecoming queens Vicki Jones and Janet Walker standing next to each other with flowers in their arms.

Homecoming Queens Vicki Jones and Janet Walker

For more information about the Tyrrell County Pubic Library, please visit their website.

To view our North Carolina African American high school yearbooks, visit our African American high schools collection.

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


New Chapel Hill High School Student Newspaper and More Yearbooks Now Online

DigitalNC is happy to announce that we now host 29 issues of the Chapel Hill High School student newspaper, Proconian, from the years 1944 and 1945. Along with the newspapers, this upload includes 3 Chapel Hill High School yearbooks, Hillife, from the years 1969, 1970, and 1971. This brings our collection of Hillife yearbooks to 42. We would like to thank our partners at the Chapel Hill Historical Society for making these additions possible.

The Proconian issues focus on high school life, often with attention to the Chapel Hill High School Wildcats sports events and highlights. Other school events and faculty are frequently spotlighted. As the issues encompass the end of World War II, there are brief mentions of wartime activities, such as students entering the armed forces and chemical warfare demonstrations.

Covering a completely different generation of Chapel Hill High School students, the Hillife yearbooks depict the usual fare, including photos of the graduating class, clubs, sports, and popular yearly events.

To view all the Hillife yearbooks, from 1925 to 1971, click here. To take a look at the Proconian issues by front page, click here. And to learn more about the Chapel Hill Historical Society, you can visit their home page here.


Horton School and Jordan-Matthews yearbooks now online

Two yearbooks from Chatham County Historical Association are now online, the 1970 Creations yearbook from Horton Public School, the Pittsboro school for the Black community  and the 1963 Phantomaire, from Jordan-Matthews High School in Siler City. 

Page of a yearbook, featuring a picture of a hallway and a picture of students running

1970 was the last year that Horton High School graduated a class.  It became Horton Middle School the following year, in light of integration that was merging several white and Black student populations in Chatham County.  Horton is named for George Moses Horton, an enslaved man from Chapel Hill who taught himself to read and was the first Black man published in the south, with a book of poetry he composed. 

To view more materials from Chatham County Historical Association, visit their partner page.  To view more yearbooks, visit our North Carolina Yearbooks collection.


The Jones County Journal, 1949-1961, Added to DigitalNC

The Jones County Journal masthead, Number 20, Trenton, N.C., Thursday, October 8, 1959, Volume XI

We’re pleased to have added to DigitalNC over 600 issues of the Jones County Journal, dating from the first issue in 1949 through 1961. This paper has been digitized on behalf of the Neuse Regional Library System which serves Greene, Lenoir, and Jones Counties. Due to the quality of the microfilm from which these scans were completed, most of the photographs in the newspaper are of poor quality or completely dark, however the text has rendered clear.

The Journal was published in Trenton, N.C. by the Lenoir County News Company. The first issue lists Mrs. Rachel Cox as editor and women are prevalent as news gatherers in that issue’s “Opening Remarks,” though this changes in later issues. 

The Journal features a lot of news and advertisements from the more populous nearby Lenoir County, but Jones County residents get more coverage as the paper matures. The paper covers tobacco farming and agriculture, local government, and personal news like weddings, obituaries, and social events. Many of the earlier issues discuss traffic and accidents as more and more residents purchased automobiles. 

Below is the front page of the Journal published right after Hurricane Hazel made landfall in the state in mid-October, 1954. Hazel caused casualties, severe flooding, and heavy property damage. In the United States, coastal and other eastern counties in the Carolinas suffered the most.  The front page below shows some of the worst hit Kinston homes and business after the storm.

front page of the October 21, 1954 issue of the Jones Journal with headline Hurricane Hazel was No Lady

Jones County is only lightly represented on DigitalNC, so we’re glad to add this newspaper for researchers. If you’d like to view other items we’ve digitized for that area, head over to the Counties page. You can also look at all of the work we’ve completed for Neuse Regional Library


Recent course catalogs from Cape Fear Community College now on DigitalNC

cover of the 2019-2020 Cape Fear Community College course catalog featuring a picture of a building lit up at night

Course catalogs covering the 2017 through 2020 school years are now online from our partner Cape Fear Community College, joining catalogs and yearbooks dating back to 1967 already on DigitalNC.

To view more materials from Cape Fear Community College, visit their partner page or their website here.  To view more community college materials on DigitalNC, visit our NC Community College Collections.


The Commonwealth, a newspaper from Scotland Neck, now on DigitalNC

Over 2000 issues of The Commonwealth, a paper published in Scotland Neck, are now on DigitalNC.  The issues span 40 years, from 1882 to 1922, adding a lot of coverage in our newspaper collection from the coastal region of the state. The very first issue, published August 24, 1882, is included in this batch, stating it was an “uncompromising Democratic journal.” The paper had a definite editorial stance supporting the Democrats both statewide and nationally and attacking the Republican party, which was the party of Black and white in North Carolina, while the Democrats were against any efforts at integration.  This editorial stance continues into the 20th century, with an interesting gap in publication the week of the coup in Wilmington in 1898, but the following week had an editorial in support of the actions taken by the white supremists in the city.  By the 1920s, more of a focus on news and less of an editorial bent seems evident, with their tagline being “All the News in a Nutshell.” Front page of the Commonwealth newspaper

To view more newspapers on DigitalNC, visit our North Carolina Newspapers collection.  

Digitization of this newspaper is made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.


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.