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 2021


New First Baptist Church Materials Now Available

Print of the First Baptist Church steeple.

First Baptist Church, M. Williams.

Thanks to our partner, New Bern-Craven County Public Library, several materials from First Baptist Church including five new minute books, “A” building classroom renovation plans, and a beautiful print featuring the church’s steeple are now available on our website.

These minute books cover almost 50 years of church history from 1948 to 1988. A majority of the content present in the books are financial reports, budget proposals, meeting notes, and letters. Renovations for the church’s “A” building classroom were completed by MBF Architects PA in 2014. The print was created by artist M. Williams and depicts the First Baptist Church steeple.

To learn more about the New Bern-Craven County Public Library, please click here.

To view more First Baptist Church materials, please click here.

 


Additional Materials from the Crystal Lee Sutton Collection at Alamance Community College Now Online

photograph of woman with long hair and a serious face behind a podium with sign that says Real vs ReelAlamance Community College houses and cares for a wide variety of materials and artifacts documenting the career of Crystal Lee Sutton, a labor activist who came to national prominence when her story was fictionalized in the movie Norma Rae. Before her passing, Sutton donated the collection to the College and we have helped digitize another batch to share on DigitalNC. You can read about the first batch we worked on in this blog post written in May 2021.

black and white cartoon of large angry person with knife standing over people with lowered heads

“No matter how thin you slice it … It’s still baloney.” Pro-union booklet with J. P. Stevens as the antagonist.

This batch contains ephemera related to Sutton’s part in the strike at J. P. Stevens, Inc. and the fame she received in the wake of Norma Rae.  You’ll find materials about the Stevens strike as well as about unionizing efforts at other companies. There is also pro- and anti-union propoaganda, like the booklet featured at right. 

Of particular note is Sutton’s handwritten description of her treatment at Stevens and the organizing activities that took place at the plant. This first-hand account includes a transcript at the end. 

Sutton spent her career advocating for unionization, frequently speaking about the impact of her efforts and of the movie at schools, festivals, and union chapter meetings. She diligently clipped newspaper articles about union activity around the country.  

There are additional items within the collection that could not be shared online due to copyright and/or privacy concerns. This list gives an inventory of these items, which can be viewed in person at the Alamance Community College Library. In the list you’ll find research papers students wrote about Sutton, correspondence written to Sutton (including correspondence from Sally Field and Gloria Steinem), documents related to lawsuits Sutton was involved in, and a script and publicity shots related to Norma Rae.

To see everything we’ve digitized in this collection, visit the Alamance Community College contributor page on DigitalNC. More information about the Alamance Community College Library can be found on the Library’s home page.


New Issues of the Kings Mountain Herald Newspaper Available Thanks to Mauney Memorial Library

Black and white image of front page of English language newspaper, with photo of school children in uniforms standing on outdoor steps

May 2, 1936 front page of the Kings Mountain Herald.

Today we’re pleased to share that additional issues of the Kings Mountain Herald newspaper have been added to DigitalNC. Issues online now date from 1914-2015 (with some years missing in the 20s and early 30s). It’s one of the most complete runs of community papers available on our site.

Some of the new issues were digitized from microfilm thanks to funding from Mauney Memorial Library. When a partner would like more newspapers digitized than we can provide at no cost, they are welcome to provide funding to subsidize getting them online. The new issues from microfilm span 1918-1919, 1935-1937, 1955-1957, 1959-1965 and 1967. 

In addition to the microfilmed issues, we worked on some extremely fragile issues from 1914-1919. The Library received these as a gift in 2020 and contacted us asking about digitization. We’ve seen a lot of crumbling newspapers in our time, but these may win the prize. Take a look at the image below which shows how they looked as we gently laid them out for scanning.

Stack of yellowed English language newspapers with pieces of broken off paper on the table around the edges

The December 24, 1914 front page of the Kings Mountain Herald.

Like most of the print newspapers we scan, these were shot from above. We attempted to piece back together larger fragments. Each page was carefully turned, but there was quite a bit of “chaff.”  It’s impossible to digitize an item like this without flaking page edges but the staff at Mauney Memorial Library gave us permission to proceed for the sake of making this physical object useful. These may be the only known extant issues from those years, which document World War I and its immediate aftermath, and they are now broadly available.

You can view all of the issues of the Kings Mountain Herald, and also see all of the items digitized for Mauney Memorial Library on the Library’s contributor page.

 


Over 100 videos from UNC-Pembroke now on DigitalNC

Over 100 videos from UNC-Pembroke, transferred primarily from U-Matic and VHS, are now available on DigitalNC. Thanks to our colleagues in the Southern Folklife Collection, these audiovisual materials were digitized utilizing funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

screenshot from WPSU-TV promo showing a graphic of the main UNCP building

Screenshot from a WPSU-TV promo that aired in 1995

The films cover a range of topics, from promotional films about degree programs at the school, to graduation videos from the 1980s and 1990s.  Some of the films document a trip to Georgia to do a cemetery cleanup at the Croatan Indian Memorial Cemetery.

A substantial portion of the videos are from student produced programming including the Pembroke Forum, and Crosscurrents.

There are also several shows produced by students at Robeson Community College, including RCC Today and Robeson Watch.

To view all materials on DigitalNC from UNC-Pembroke, visit their partner page here.  To view more films and other audio-visual materials from around NC, visit our Sights and Sounds collection.


Call for Nominations – Newspaper Digitization 2021-2022

Black and white front page of an English language newspaper with photo of one-story building

It’s time for our annual round of microfilmed newspaper digitization! As in previous years, we’re asking cultural heritage institutions in North Carolina to nominate papers from their communities to be digitized. We’re especially interested in:

  • newspapers covering underrepresented regions or communities, and
  • newspapers that are not currently available in digital form elsewhere online.

If you’re interested in nominating a paper and you work at a cultural heritage institution that qualifies as a partner, here’s what to do:

  • Check out our criteria for selecting newspapers, listed below.
  • Verify that the newspaper you’d like to see digitized exists on microfilm*. Email us (digitalnc@unc.edu) if you’re not sure.
  • Be prepared to talk with the rights holder(s) to gain written permission to digitize the paper and share it online. We can give you advice on this part, if needed.
  • Review the Criteria for Selecting Newspapers to Digitize from Microfilm listed below.
  • Fill out the nomination form

Nominations will be taken on an ongoing basis, however don’t wait! We typically get many more requests than we can accommodate. Please contact us at digitalnc@unc.edu with questions. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

Criteria for Selecting Newspapers to Digitize from Microfilm

Titles to be digitized will be selected using the following criteria:

  • Does the newspaper document traditionally underrepresented regions or communities?
  • Does the newspaper include significant coverage of the local community or largely syndicated content?
  • Does the newspaper come from an area of the state that has little representation on DigitalNC? (Titles that have not previously been digitized will be given priority. Here’s a title list and a map showing coverage.)
  • Are the images on microfilm legible, or is it difficult to read the text?
  • Is the institution willing to obtain permission from the current publisher or rights holder(s) to digitize issues and make them freely available online?

* What about print newspapers? These are much more costly to scan – we only work with a very limited number. Please get in touch (digitalnc@unc.edu) if you’d like to talk through options for digitizing print newspapers.


Issues from 1951 of the Carolina Times are now on DigitalNC

Thanks to funding from an IDEA grant from UNC Libraries, the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center is pleased to now have the full run of 1951 issues of the Carolina Times digitized.  The issues from 1951 were never microfilmed, so they were not included in previous projects to digitize the newspaper which were done from film.

Front Page of July 21, 1951 Carolina Times

 The Carolina Times, edited by Louis Austin from 1927 to 1971, was a paper of national significance. Targeted primarily to the African American community in Durham, the Times covered the long struggle for equal rights for all Americans. The newspaper’s motto was “The Truth Unbridled,” an accurate description of Austin’s honest and forthright depiction of racial injustice in North Carolina and beyond.  It ceased publication in 2020, after just over a century of being the voice of the African American community in Durham and the wider state and South.  

Front page of June 9, 1951 Carolina Times reads "UNC MUST ADMIT NEGROES"

1951 was an pivotal year in many ways for the Civil Rights movement.  It was in June 1951 that UNC finally allowed Black students admission to the school, with admission of Harvey Beech, J. Kenneth Lee, and Floyd McKissick into the law school.  Headlines from the paper throughout the year speak to other efforts to integrate other institutions of higher education, the fight for better funding for Black educational institutions, and early efforts at integration of primary education institutions.  Other topics, including the presence of the Ku Klux Klan across North Carolina and the violence of white supremacy, Jim Crow’s impact on all aspects of Black life, and the work of so many Black North Carolinians to fight the system are all covered throughout the year.  Regular columns on education, religion, and other topics are also included in the paper, as well as Society pages, and regular news about the children of Durham that shows the moments of Black joy to be found in the community as well. 

To view more Black newspapers on DigitalNC, visit our African American Newspapers exhibit.  To learn more about the IDEA grant that funds diversity, equity, and inclusion work at UNC Libraries, visit here


Trees of Wilson 1992 to 2017 Newsletters Now Available

Trees of Wilson January 2017 header. Volume 26, Number 1.

Scenes from "A Visit to Hart's Square" Trees of Wilson, November 1999. Above the words is a picture of three adults sitting. One is holding a banjo, a second a guitar. The third has no instrument.

Scenes from A Visit to Hart’s Square, November 1999.

Thanks to our new partner, Wilson County Genealogical Society (WCGS), a batch containing issues from 1992 to 2017 of the WCGS newsletter, Trees of Wilson, is now available on our website.

The primary mission of the WCGS is to preserve the records, heritage, history, and genealogy of the families who settled in Wilson while also promoting genealogy through education and fostering collaboration in research. These newsletters from 1992 to 2017 include information on society officers and events, meetings, member research reports, research tips, and more.

One notable article was published in the March 2016 newsletter titled: “Black Wide-Awake: The Roots of Wilson’s African-American Community.” The article recounts a presentation given by Lisa Y. Henderson—a Wilson County native, WCGS member, researcher, and writer. In her lecture, she talks about the local history and heritage of Wilson County’s early African American community, including information on the earliest recorded account of African Americans in Wilson County. In addition, Henderson discusses the difficulties of researching African American family history, early communities, and provides links to places where she has gathered her information so that others may also use the resources.  Her blog was highlighted here last year as a great example of how DigitalNC is used on the web.  

To learn more about the Wilson County Genealogical Society, please visit their website.

To view more materials from Wilson County, please click here.


1950 State Port Pilot Issues Now Available

The State Port Pilot header. Under it reads, A Good Newspaper In A Good Community.

Thanks to support from the North Caroliniana Society and to our partner, Margaret & James Harper, Jr. Library, all 1950 issues of The State Port Pilot are now available on our website. With this batch, our current collection of The State Port Pilot totals 819 issues and spans 1935 to 1950.

Barning tobacco. Image shows two adults at a table with tobacco.

The State Port Pilot, August 9, 1950.

Published in Southport, North Carolina, the paper focuses on local and North Carolina news topics such as tobacco farming, the growing Southport community, everyday life in Southport, and local politics. Interesting articles and images from the 1950 issues include the winner of the Carolinas Yam Festival’s Yam Queen title, barning tobacco (picture from the article above), and the early budding of azaleas in Southport.

To learn more about the Margaret & James Harper, Jr. Library, please visit their website.

To view all issues of The State Port Pilot, please click here.

To view read more newspapers from around North Carolina, please click here.


Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Catalogs Now Available

Thanks to our partner, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, a batch containing course catalogs from 1961 to 2005 and Evening School Bulletins from 1970 to 1980 from Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College are now available on our website. These catalogs include information on the college’s history, faculty/staff and administrations, campus maps, course descriptions, and programs. 

Image is a sketch of A-B Tech's campus as of 2003.

A-B Tech Main Campus

Over the years the college has gone through several name changes. A-B Tech was established in 1959 and was originally named the Asheville Industrial Education Center. After the creation of the North Carolina System of Community Colleges, the school’s name changed in early 1964 to Asheville-Buncombe Technical Institute. Fifteen years later, in 1979, the name changed again to Asheville-Buncombe Technical College. The final name change for the college occurred in 1987 when it was renamed to the Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.

Image is a sketch of A-B Tech's Enka campus as of 2003.

A-B Tech Enka Campus

The college has enjoyed strong community support as well as funding from the North Carolina General Assembly over the last 60 years. These funds have been used to expand A-B Tech’s physical campus as well as programs, staff, faculty, and services to the community. At one time, the college had four units that were located throughout Western North Carolina, but eventually these units gained independent status and became fully accredited community colleges. The first programs to be offered at the college after its establishment in 1959 were Practical Nursing, Electronics Engineering Technology, and a Machinist program. Today, the college has over 125 programs to study which includes a Brewing, Distillation, and Fermentation program.

To learn more about Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, please visit their website.

To view more materials from Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, visit here.

To view more of our materials from North Carolina community colleges, visit here.


New Issues of The Farmville Enterprise Now Available

 

The Farmville Enterprise

Front page of The Farmville Enterprise from 1948.

Digital NC is happy to announce that another four years of The Farmville Enterprise are now available. Provided by our partner, Farmville Public Library, the new issues include the years 1948 – 1952. Established in 1910, The Farmville Enterprise is a local town newspaper located in Pitt County, NC, that published weekly for the community members of Farmville, North Carolina.

About People Section

The “About Farmville People” section of the Farmville Enterprise started in 1951.

The new issues to DigitalNC discuss a wide range of local topics that included segments such as news from the state capital, Raleigh, as well as a short section called “About Farmville People” that discussed the lives of the local community.  The collection joins previous additions from 1914 – 1947.

To learn more about the Farmville Public Library, please visit their website.

You can also browse our entire North Carolina newspaper collection here.