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 February 2022


80 Newspaper titles added to DigitalNC this week!

Header for April 1891 issue of Raleigh, N.C. newspaper The Golden Visitor

This week we have an astounding 80 titles up on DigitalNC! These papers span all across the state, covering 22 of North Carolina’s 100 counties! We have papers from smaller communities, like The Free Press from the town of Forest City (Fun fact: Forest City was originally named “Burnt Chimney” after a house that burned own in the area, leaving only a charred chimney behind). We also have well-established papers from Raleigh, such as The Raleigh Times and Evening Visitor, giving us a cross section of the entire state.

Header for the September 3, 1857 issue of Raleigh paper The Live Giraffe

Over the next year, we’ll be adding millions of newspaper images to DigitalNC. These images were originally digitized a number of years ago in a partnership with Newspapers.com. That project focused on scanning microfilmed papers published before 1923 held by the North Carolina Collection in Wilson Special Collections Library. While you can currently search all of those pre-1923 issues on Newspapers.com, over the next year we will also make them available in our newspaper database as well. This will allow you to search that content alongside the 2 million pages already on our site – all completely open access and free to use.

This week’s additions include:

If you want to see all of the newspapers we have available on DigitalNC, you can find them here. Thanks to UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries for permission to and support for adding all of this content as well as the content to come. We also thank the North Caroliniana Society for providing funding to support staff working on this project.


Various Alamance County Materials including a Copy of The Credit Guide Now Available on DigitalNC

Thanks to our partner, Alamance County Public Libraries, batches containing various materials such as the 1938 Eli Whitney High School yearbook, Walter M. Crabtree daybook, and a 1922-1924 copy of The Credit Guide are now available on our website here and here.

The Credit Guide was originally a resource used by loaners to check if an individual was trustworthy enough to pay them back. Essentially, the guide functioned as a physical credit history checker, but instead of having credit score numbers individuals received labels such as prompt pay, fair pay, slow pay, and considered honest but unfortunate circumstances prevented paying me. Today, the guide is a gold mine for those looking for information on people in cities located in or near Alamance County. The Credit Guide not only includes an indication of how likely someone is to pay back their loan, but also an individual’s name, occupation, and address.

To learn more about Alamance County Public Libraries, please visit their website.

To view more materials from the Alamance County Public Libraries, please click here.


Additional Massey Family Materials Now Available on DigitalNC

Thanks to our partner Matthews Heritage Museum and funding from a North Carolina State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) grant, additional Massey family letters, papers, and photographs from the late 1800s and early 1900s are now available on our website.

The photographs in this batch are of several Massey family members at different ages including Daisy Massey, Edgar Herbert Massey, Mary E. Renfrow Massey, and Dr. Henry V. Massey. One interesting photograph shows what is believed to be Edgar Herbert Massey and Mary Renfrow Massey in a horse drawn carriage.

Two individuals sitting in a horse drawn cart.

The letters, spanning from 1863 to 1904, are mainly addressed to Daisy and Mary Massey from other family members and friends. One letter in this batch stood out as particularly interesting (pages two and three of the letter are below).

On December 18, 1902, an individual named Jeb wrote a letter to Daisy Massey. From the letter, it appears that the two were courting or in a relationship. In the letter, Jeb begs Daisy to consider moving to Washington and becoming mistress of his house. He writes, “[…] I believe I could persuade you to come over here and be mistress of my house. Really I do believe I could keep you from getting home sick and fancy you would like Washington far better than the Sunny South. Will you please do give this subject your honest and careful thought and prayer. I can make no big promises for I have nor riches to boast of, but can promise you the very best and true happiness and peace. On my part for you should never hear a cross or unkind word from my lips.” In the final section of the letter, Jeb points out that they are approaching a crossroads where Daisy will have to decide whether they get married or end the relationship. Daisy Massey’s response to the letter is unknown.

To read the letter in its entirety, please click here.

To learn more about the Matthews Heritage Museum, please visit their website.

To view more materials from the Matthews Heritage Museum, please click here.


Forty-seven Issues of The Story Now Available on DigitalNC

Thanks to our newest partner, the North Carolina General Service Committee Archives, 47 issues of the publication The Story are now available on our websiteThe Story was published quarterly by inmates of the State Department of Correction in Raleigh, North Carolina. A majority of the entries in these issues focus on Alcoholics Anonymous in prison, the struggles of sobriety, as well as personal achievements and stories. Each issue also features several small drawings and beautiful covers.

To learn more about the North Carolina General Service Committee Archives, please visit their website.

To view more North Carolina publications, please click here.


32 Titles now up on DigitalNC!

Header from July 1, 1887 issue of Kernersville, N.C. newspaper "The Southern Home"

Another 32 newspaper titles are up on DigitalNC this week! Three of these titles are from North Carolina towns that either changed their names or just don’t exist anymore.

First, we have the North Carolina National from Company Shops, North Carolina. Company Shops was a community formed around the railroad car construction and maintenance industry in Alamance County, between Graham and Gibsonville. Due to growing anti-railroad sentiments, the community of Company Shops decided to appoint a committee to change the name of the town in 1887. This committee decided on the name ‘Burlington.’

Next up is Our Home from Beaver Dam, North Carolina. It’s hard to determine exactly where Beaver Dam would have been, but knowing that the paper is from Union County, it seems possible that it was located near Beaverdam Creek, just south of Wingate and Marshville, North Carolina.

Lastly, we have The Hokeville Express from what was once known as Hokeville, or ‘Lincoln Factory,’ North Carolina. It seems likely that the community was named after the affluent Hoke family of Lincolnton. Col. John Hoke was one of the owners of the profitable Lincoln Cotton Mills. Col. Hoke died in 1845 and passed ownership on to his son, also named John Hoke. The factory burned down in 1862, and the following year the Confederate Army began constructing a laboratory on the site to manufacture medicines, such as ether, chloroform, and opiates. Since then the community has gone by the name ‘Laboratory.’

Over the next year, we’ll be adding millions of newspaper images to DigitalNC. These images were originally digitized a number of years ago in a partnership with Newspapers.com. That project focused on scanning microfilmed papers published before 1923 held by the North Carolina Collection in Wilson Special Collections Library. While you can currently search all of those pre-1923 issues on Newspapers.com, over the next year we will also make them available in our newspaper database as well. This will allow you to search that content alongside the 2 million pages already on our site – all completely open access and free to use.

This week’s additions include:

If you want to see all of the newspapers we have available on DigitalNC, you can find them here. Thanks to UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries for permission to and support for adding all of this content as well as the content to come. We also thank the North Caroliniana Society for providing funding to support staff working on this project.

 


Chadbourn High School Materials Now on DigitalNC

A batch containing various materials related to Chadbourn High School’s Class of 1952 are now available on our website. The batch includes Chadbourn High School’s 1952 yearbook, the May 19, 1952 issue of The Purple and Gold student newspaper, a program for the 1952 commencement exercises, and photographs from two of the Class of 1952’s reunions.

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

To view more newspapers from around North Carolina, please visit our North Carolina Newspapers Collection here.

For more images from across North Carolina, visit our Images of North Carolina collection here.  


New Yearbooks from Rowan County High Schools Now on DigitalNC

Thanks to our partner, Rowan Public Library, a batch containing new Rowan County high school yearbooks spanning from 1937 to 1961 are now available on our website. This batch adds three new schools to our Rowan County high school yearbooks list—Landis High School, Rockwell High School, and Granite Quarry High School. 

Landis High School
1937, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1957, 1959, and 1961

Rockwell High School
1942, 1943, 1944, 1951, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, and 1959

Granite Quarry High School
1943, 1944, 1945, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1955, 1956, and 1957

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

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


35 Newspaper titles added to DigitalNC!

Header from the 1858 Buffalo Springs, N.C. handwritten newspaper The Nation

This week we have added issues from 35 different newspaper titles! One of the titles we have is a paper from the now non-existent town of Buffalo Springs, North Carolina. According to this News & Record article, the Harnett County town ceased to exist when the turpentine industry in the area died out. But the intriguing thing about these papers isn’t the ghost of this town, it’s the man who wrote them: John McLean Harrington. Professor and author Michael Ray Smith penned this fascinating paper about Harrington and his newspapers, in which he writes: “Shortly before the Civil War, the son of an affluent Southern family began a journalism career unlike any in his community, his state, or even the nation and produced 305 handwritten newspapers, perhaps the greatest single output of handwritten newspapers by any American journalist.” Harrington had a subscription list of roughly 100 people and would painstakingly copy each individual paper by hand, even though printing presses were widely available at the time. In 1858, when Harrington was writing issues of The Nation, he was only 19 years old. The young man’s ambitions didn’t stop with just being a journalist. He also apparently worked as a bookkeeper, surveyor, educator, sheriff, and postmaster in Harnett County. While his accomplishments were quite impressive, he was also a man of contradiction. Smith writes this of the rural Renaissance man: “He talked of a partner but never revealed the colleague’s identity—if he indeed had one. He discussed the evil of drinking but died an alcoholic. He served as a member of the Confederate militia only to swear an oath that he would always remain a loyal Unionist. Perhaps Harrington tended to do or say whatever was expedient or expected at the time. Maybe he was himself just conflicted in numerous ways.”

Over the next year, we’ll be adding millions of newspaper images to DigitalNC. These images were originally digitized a number of years ago in a partnership with Newspapers.com. That project focused on scanning microfilmed papers published before 1923 held by the North Carolina Collection in Wilson Special Collections Library. While you can currently search all of those pre-1923 issues on Newspapers.com, over the next year we will also make them available in our newspaper database as well. This will allow you to search that content alongside the 2 million pages already on our site – all completely open access and free to use.

This week’s additions include:

If you want to see all of the newspapers we have available on DigitalNC, you can find them here. Thanks to UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries for permission to and support for adding all of this content as well as the content to come. We also thank the North Caroliniana Society for providing funding to support staff working on this project.

 


Clear Run High School Annual Reunion Programs Now Available on DigitalNC

Thanks to our partner, Clear Run High School Alumni Association, a batch expanding our holdings of Clear Run High School’s annual reunion programs to include 2010 to 2013 are now available on our website. These programs include lists of Alumni Association officers, a schedule of events, lists of students in graduating classes, a history of Clear Run High School, and special features on alumni.

A result of consolidating two high schools that served Sampson County’s Black community, Clear Run High School opened its doors in 1957. The school’s first class included about 260 students and 11 staff members with enrollment increasing each year until the integration of North Carolina schools in 1969.  As a result of the integration, Clear Run students were moved to Union High School while the Clear Run building was converted to a middle school.  Today, the Clear Run High School Alumni Association remains active by hosting annual reunions, having quarterly and annual meetings, and awarding an annual scholarship for descendants of Clear Run graduates.

Cover from the 12th annual reunion for Clear Run High School. In elegant script, the page reads "Clear Run High School Twelfth Annual Reunion." Below the script is an image of the high school. In the top left corner there is an image of the school mascot--a green hornet with yellow wings.

To view more Clear Run High School annual reunion programs, please click here.

To learn more about the Clear Run High School Alumni Association, please visit their website.

To view more materials from African American high schools in North Carolina, please click here.


Henderson Institute School Census Cards Now Available on DigitalNC

Thanks to our partner, Henderson Institute Historical Museum, a batch containing Henderson Institute school census cards from the early 1900s are now available on our website. These cards feature various information on students including their name, grades, marriage status, address, birth dates, birthplace, and more.

Back side of a individual school census card for a student who attended Henderson Institute named E. Roy Brandon. The card includes his parent's name (Cleveland Brandon), birth date (July 28, 1919), sex (boy), race (African American), birthplace (Vance County), address, and years he attended school.

Individual school census card for Henderson Institute student E. Roy Brandon.

Established and operated by the Freedmen’s Board of the United Presbyterian Church to educate the Black community, the Henderson Institute opened its doors to students of Vance County in 1887. The school remained opened for 83 years before its operations as an official high school ceased in 1970 due to integration. During its years of operation, the school served as the only secondary school open to Black individuals in Vance County. In 1986, the Vance County Board of Education deeded the school’s Library Science Building to the Henderson Institute Alumni Association. With funding from graduates, friends, and the general assembly, the association restored and renovated the property. Today the building houses the Henderson Institute Historical Museum.

To learn more about the Henderson Institute Historical Museum, please visit their website.

To view more materials from North Carolina’s African American high schools, please view our North Carolina African American High Schools Collection.