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.

RSS Subscribe By Mail UNC Social Media Statement

Viewing entries posted in May 2021

1830s School Workbook, 1940 Medical Diary, and Other Person County Materials Now Available

Thanks to our partner, Person County Public Library, two batches containing 1963 and 1964 Bethel Hill High School yearbooks, a 1940 medical diary, a Person County Public Library ledger, and a handmade school workbook from the 1830s is now available on our website.Pictures of two school groups (bus drivers and dramatic class). The first picture features people working on fixing a bus. The second has a group of students gathered in a classroom talking to one another.

Most interesting in this batch is the handmade school workbook from the 1830s. The workbook belonged to Thomas H. Briggs (born December 24, 1814). It contains sections on various math skills including compound multiplication, compound division, the single rule of three, inverse proportions, geometry (see how neat the geometry shapes are below!) and more. In addition to instructing the student on how to do complete problems, each section includes several problem examples.

A page dedicated to geometry problems.

Geometrical Problems

To learn more about Person County Public Library, please visit their website.

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

Materials Documenting the Life of Crystal Lee Sutton, Activist and Union Organizer, Now Online

A wallet-sized card printed in blue and red text. The title states "Boycott J.P. Stevens products". The rest of the card features a list of products to boycott.

Boycott J.P. Stevens Products Card, created by the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union, 1980.

A large batch of materials from Crystal Lee Sutton’s personal collection have been digitized and are now available to view online. These materials were donated to Alamance Community College by Sutton herself in 2007. A big thank you to our partners at Alamance Community College for sharing these historic items with us.

Crystal Lee Sutton was a union organizer and activist, recognized as the driving force behind the unionization of J.P. Stevens plant workers in Roanoke Rapids, N.C. Her story inspired the acclaimed 1979 film, Norma Rae. Items digitized in this collection give firsthand accounts leading up to that notable unionization, including a union cheer and a timeline of events recorded in several meeting recollections with J.P. Stevens management. Employed by J.P. Stevens, Sutton was fired and then rehired for her union efforts (see a handwritten discharge order here), eventually moving from job to job. Through her life, Sutton continued to promote unionizing through features in television shows, as in the documentary Woman Alive!, and speaking engagements.

Many items in this collection also speak to the film inspired by Sutton’s life, the Academy Award winning “Norma Rae”.  Records of legal action Sutton took against the film company are present, as well as a letter to Sally Field, the actress who portrayed Norma Rae.

Other notable items in this batch include: sections of a 1977 Mountain Life & Work issue on the history and union efforts of Southern textile workers; a thought-provoking program that accompanied the film Testimony: Justice vs. J.P. Stevens; several materials from Walter M. Williams High School in Burlington, N.C.; and a dictionary of teenage slang from the 1950s.

For a complete look at the materials from The Crystal Lee Sutton Collection, click here. For more information on the collection, please contact Alamance Community College by visiting their homepage, found here.

More Davidson College Yearbooks Just Added to DigitalNC

Six Davidson College yearbooks are now available to view online thanks to our partners at Davidson College. These yearbooks are recent, spanning the years 2010 to 2015.

Davidson College is a private liberal arts college located in Davidson, N.C. While the student population is small, about a quarter of the students participate in NCAA Division I sports teams. Prominently represented throughout these yearbooks are the many student athletes and sports events.

For a look at all of the many (over 100!) Davidson College yearbooks DigitalNC hosts, click here. To learn more about Davidson College, click here.

Late 19th, early 20th Century Bladen County Newspapers Added to DigitalNC

Masthead and first few paragraphs of of the October 6, 1910 issue of The Bladen JournalToday’s post announces the addition of 9 issues of Bladen County newspapers. Much of our newspaper digitization relies on newspapers microfilmed by the State Archives of North Carolina, which has a long history of preserving the state’s papers in film format. To date, only 9 Bladen County issues have been filmed, and we’re pleased to add them to the site on behalf of the Bladen County Public Library.

Bladen County is located in the southeastern part of the state. It’s county seat is Elizabethtown. The newspaper additions are as follows:



The newspapers are all a varied mix of national and local news along with ads, with the Cape Fear Lance appearing to have the most local content. 

Digitization of these issues was funded in part by the North Caroliniana Society. Visit the homepage of the Bladen County Public Library to learn more. You can also search all of our newspapers on our North Carolina Newspapers landing page or visit our Bladen County page to see other items related to that part of the state.

Black and white paragraph from the May 26, 1899 issue of the Cape Fear Lance stating they will offer newspaper subscriptions for trade

This paragraph from the May 26, 1899 issue of The Cape Fear Lance states that you could get a newspaper subscription in trade for “anything it can handle.”

Early yearbooks from Fayetteville Technical Community College now on DigitalNC

Yearbooks covering 1963 to 1969 from Fayetteville Technical Community College are now online.  Fayetteville Tech started in 1961 as the Fayetteville Area Industrial Education Center (IEC) to provide adult education and industrial training to those in Cumberland County and the surrounding area, with a particular draw for former military members, which have a large presence in that area of the state due to Fort Bragg.  In 1963 the institution joined the North Carolina Community College system and became the Fayetteville Industrial Institute, which is remained until becoming Fayetteville Tech in 1988.  

3 black and white photographs of students in a shop, students in a classroom, and students putting up an air duct

Photographs from the Air Conditioning Technology program in the 1963 yearbook

To view more materials from Fayetteville Technical Community College, visit their partner page.  To view more materials from North Carolina community colleges, visit our NC Community College collection here

Yearbooks and alumni materials from Clear Run High School on DigitalNC

3 yearbooks and materials from several alumni reunions, including the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the final graduating class in 2019, are now online from our partner Clear Run High School Alumni Association.  Clear Run High School served the Black community in Garland, North Carolina and the surrounding area in Sampson County until 1969, when it closed due to integration.  The alumni association remains quite active to this day, with annual reunions celebrating everyone who attended the school.  

Graduation portrait in black and white, with type of congratulations to the Class of 1969 celebrating their 50th anniversary

Page from the 1969 50th reunion program

Four students standing on stairs in business clothing

Class of 1969 senior class officers

To view more materials from Clear Run High School Association, visit their partner page.  To view more high school yearbooks from across North Carolina, visit our North Carolina High School yearbooks collection.  

Jones County Newspaper from 1949-1971 added to DigitalNC

Top half of the October 23, 1958 issue of The Jones Journal with headshots of four adultsThanks to a nomination from the Neuse Regional Library, we’ve added 1,098 issues of the Jones County Journal, a newspaper published out of Trenton, N.C. This is one of only two newspaper titles we have for Jones County. Issues date from volume one, number one, published in 1949 through April 1971. Because the Journal was digitized from microfilm shot with high contrast, many of the photographs are not very clear but the text is quite sharp.

The tagline for the paper when it began through 1954 was “A Better County Through Improved Farm Practices” and much of the news in the earlier years revolves around agricultural methods and needs. There are also editorials,  personal news columns, and coverage of local events from election results to church picnics and barbecues. There’s quite a bit of coverage of the more populous Lenior County, perhaps in part due to the fact that the paper was published by The Lenoir County News Company. 

The Journal is focused on local news, from the front page on. For a number of years Maysville and Trenton have their own sections. Reporters describe national and international events through their impact on Jones County residents. For example, following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the front page headline reads “Trenton Area Shares Nation’s Shock on President’s Murder.” Coverage of the Vietnam War is shared in the same way, like the Jones County veteran given half of the newspaper’s front page to describe his experience. Papers full of this kind of unique local reporting, with little to no syndicated content (content that a publisher paid for and was reused in newspapers throughout the world), are especially vital for research.

Digitization of the Jones Journal was possible thanks to generous funding from the North Caroliniana Society. You can find more materials we’ve scanned on behalf of the Neuse Regional Library on their contributor page. You can search thousands of issues of North Carolina newsppaers from all over the state using our  Newspapers landing page.

Cullowhee High School Yearbooks Now Available

Thanks to our partner, Western Carolina University, fourteen issues of Cullowhee High School’s yearbooks are now available on our website. This batch covers the years 1955-1957, 1960-1967, and 1969-1971. 

The front cover image of the book shows the various images for the twelve Western zodiacs (e.g. for Aquarius there is a man pouting water out of a container; Gemini has two twins sitting back to back).The front cover image of the book shows the various images for the twelve Western zodiacs (e.g. for Scorpio there is a scorpion).

The 1970 Cullowhee High School yearbook from this batch is particularly interesting. The theme for the yearbook was astrology. In the first pages of the book there are two circles. The first informs the reader which of the zodiac they belong to. The second circle serves as a table of contents where each section of the book is represented by a different zodiac. For each zodiac, the contents of the section are laid out for the reader to easily navigate the yearbook. For example, in the “Virgo” section you will find the most school spirited, student council, and elementary school (seen in the picture below).  After each zodiac section is introduced there is a page which contains pictures of students along with quotes that describe that zodiac’s traits. The yearbook also features front and back inside covers with a beautiful colored illustration of the various Western zodiacs which can be seen in the pictures above.

A circle split into twelve sections. Each section represents one of the twelve Western zodiacs and the month they represent.The yearbook's table of contents. A circle split into twelve sections for the Western zodiacs. Each section of the zodiac tells you where you can find certain content in the book.

To learn more about Western Carolina University, please visit their website.

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

South Piedmont and Anson Community College Catalogs Now Available

Thanks to our partner, South Piedmont Community College, a batch containing catalogs from South Piedmont Community College and Anson Community College covering the years from 1991 to 2000 and 2018 to 2021 are now available on our website. The catalogs include information on academic policies, student support services, student life, community organizations, administrators, faculty, various programs of study, and course descriptions.

South Piedmont Community College Catalog 2020-2021 cover.

Anson Community College began as the Ansonville Industrial Education Center in 1962. After the appointment of a Board of Trustees by the Board of Education and Anson County Commissioners in 1967, the Center became the Anson Technical Institute. Twelve years later in 1979, the name was again changed to Anson Technical College in order to better reflect the offerings of the school. The name of the college was changed for the last time to Anson Community College in 1987 before consolidating with the Union Technical Education Center. 

On August 3, 1999 the South Piedmont Community College was created from the consolidation of Anson Community College and Union Technical Education Center to better serve Anson as well as Union County residents. The college today continues to grow and expand its operations, but still strives to maintain providing hands-on experience as well as one-on-one instruction to its students.

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

To view more South Piedmont and Anson Community College catalogs on our website, click here.