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 March 2022


Governor Stone Ball Programs, Photograph of Hope Mansion, and More Now Available on DigitalNC

Thanks to our partner, Historic Hope Plantation, a batch containing Governor Stone Ball programs, a photograph of Hope Mansion pre-renovation, issues of Written in Stone: Historic Hope, a book on Bertie County heritage, and more are now available on our website.

This batch provides those interested in Hope Plantation with numerous materials to learn the site’s history from its completion to modern day. The Governor Stone Ball souvenir programs alone contain a wealth of knowledge for those curious about the early history of the Hope Mansion as well as information on renovations and excavations that have been conducted on site. One of these projects, an archaeological excavation, mentioned in the The Governor Stone Bicentennial Ball Souvenir Program [May 3, 2003] stands out as particularly fascinating.

From December 2001 to April 2002, an archaeological excavation was conducted at Hope Mansion. The archaeological excavation revealed evidence of an enslaved community living close to what is called the Hobson-Stone house. This evidence included a high percentage of colonoware, kitchen artifacts, and holloware vessel fragments. The story mentions that the Historic Hope Foundation planned to have additional excavations to enhance their “interpretation of plantation life at Hope in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.” 

To read “Archaeological Excavations Reveal Eighteenth Century Life at Hope” in its entirety, please click here.

To learn more about Historic Hope Plantation’s archaeological efforts, please click here.

To learn more about the Historic Hope Plantation, please visit their website.


1963 Issues of The Chapel Hill Conscience Now Available on Digital NC

The Chapel Hill Conscience header.

Thanks to our partner, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, two issues of The Chapel Hill Conscience from 1963 are now available on our website.

The paper was published biweekly with special issues sometimes appearing more frequently. The Chapel Hill Conscience provided updates on the progress of groups that were working towards desegregation and ending racial discrimination in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. In addition, the paper included articles which discussed psychological studies on integration, common sense positives for integration (for businessmen in particular), and establishments that practiced racial discrimination.

This clipping, taken from the August 24, 1963 issue, provided a comprehensive list of establishments in Chapel Hill to boycott due to their continued practice of racial discrimination. The establishments included Colonial Drug Store, Tar Heel Sandwich Shop, Allen’s Lunch Counter, Carolina Grill, and more. 

To learn more about the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, please visit their website.

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


Assorted Maps & Yearbooks From Granville County Public Library Now Available

A map of North Carolina noting wildlife

This map advertises some of the parks and wildlife of North Carolina

Thanks to our partner Granville County Public Library, we’ve added several yearbooks from Oxford, N.C. and Mebane, N.C., as well as a few maps, to our digital collection.

This map of North Carolina, called “An Outdoor and Tourist Guide to North Carolina,” was probably created to lure visitors to our brand-new parks; the text alongside it reads, “State Parks in North Carolina are still under development, and at present accommodations and facilities are not completed, except at Fort Macon State Park, Carteret County.” It also lists R. Bruce Etheridge as the director of the Department of Conservation and Development (he served from 1933-1949).

A map of an army plot in Granville County

A map of an army plot in Granville County from 1943

Another notable addition is this army map, supposedly used to train troops to read French maps during World War II. Although it shows an area of Granville County near Mountain Creek Church, most of the text is in French.

The other maps show different versions of Henderson, N.C. (one from 1882). They also note the major roads and land owners.

The yearbooks from this batch are primarily from Black High Schools in Oxford, N.C., including Mary Potter High School (1947 and 1953) and Toler High School (1966 and 1967). The yearbooks feature slices of student life, including a personal inscription on the inside cover of the 1953 edition of “The Ram.”

A group of students posing for the Library Club photo

Students in the Library Club at Mary Potter High School, 1953

The other two yearbooks are from Bingham School (Mebane, N.C.) from 1908 and Oxford College, 1921. To see our full collection of North Carolina yearbooks, click here. To see all materials from the Granville County Public library, visit their partner page


Issues of The Front Page 1979-1986, “Newspaper for North Carolina’s Gay Community,” Now Online

The Front Page first page with masthead, headline Historic March Peaks Gay Pride Week, and photo of adults holding banner "Triangle Lesbian & Gay Pride"The first 8 years of The Front Page newspaper, from 1979-1986, are now on DigitalNC. The Front Page was published in Raleigh for twenty-six years covering “news and happenings of interest to gay people.”  The paper covered national and local news impacting and of interest to the LGBTQ+ community. There are ads for local businesses that were safe spaces for LGBTQ+ individuals, and a community calendar listed events. There’s also a Q&A column where letters from readers all over the state wrote in with problems or questions to recieve a broad spectrum of personal advice. 

Q-Notes, a prominent Charlotte area LGBTQ+ newspaper and the one Front Page merged with in 2006, published a retrospective of The Front Page and an interview with the Page‘s publisher Jim Baxter in the July 29, 2006 issue. Baxter penned an article in IndyWeek shortly after the paper’s final issue, and it describes parts of his career and the history of Front Page

The paper has been added with kind permission from the publishers and thanks to efforts by staff at the libraries at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Duke University. Digitization of this paper was funded by an IDEA Action Grant from UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries. Archived issues of Q-notes are available from our site, and you can view more current content at their site.


34 Newspaper titles from Goldsboro, Greensboro, Hendersonville, and more!

Header from August 18, 1869 issue of Greensboro Union Register

This week we have another 34 titles up on DigitalNC! While this batch focuses heavily on newspapers from Hendersonville, Goldsboro, and Greensboro, it also includes Fayetteville, Henderson, Albemarle, Clinton, Burlington, and our first addition from Bush Hill. Bush Hill (renamed Archdale in 1886) was home to the Annie Florence Petty, who was the first professionally educated and trained librarian in the state of North Carolina. Petty (born 1871) was a founding member of the North Carolina Library Association and, in keeping with her Quaker upbringing, she was also the first secretary of the North Carolina Friends Historical Society. After her prosperous, four-decade long career building the library at the North Carolina State Normal and Industrial School (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro) and other libraries across the state, she retired in 1933 and moved into the family home she shared with her equally successful, chemist sister, Mary Petty.

Mary Petty sitting, reading a book, and Annie Petty standing, reading over her shoulder

Mary (left) and Annie Petty in 1952. Image via uncghistory.blogspot.com

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.


More Durham Technical Community College Profiles & Handbooks Now Available

Thanks to our partner Durham Technical Community College, we’ve updated our collection of college catalog and student handbooks through the 2021-2022 school year and college profiles through the 2019-2020 school year.

A photo collage of students and activities from the Durham Technical Community College student handbook

A photo collage from the front page of the 2020-2021 Durham Technical Community College student handbook

The college catalog and student handbooks include admissions information, important dates for students, tuition information, and other financial details. They also include letters from the President of the college (William G. Ingram from 2018-2020 and J.B. Buxton from 2020-2022). The handbook portion of the documents includes information about student responsibilities, community standards, the code of conduct, and career readiness. 

The college profiles have quantitative data about enrollment and student demographics, including sex, age group, and ethnicity.  They also have information on course selection, degrees, finances, and faculty. 

To see the full collection of Durham Tech handbooks and college profiles, click here. To learn more about Durham Technical Community College, take a look at their partner page or visit their website.


Washington High School Homecoming Queens Rule on in Added Yearbooks

Four students standing side by side with flowers

 Washington High School Homecoming Queens, 1945

Two yearbooks from Washington High School in Raleigh, N.C. have been added to our site thanks to our partner, the Olivia Raney Local History Library. One is a standard edition of The Echo from 1943; the other is a special edition, The Echo Nostalgic Reflections, from 1977

Among the pages of Nostalgic Reflections are a few spreads of Washington High School royalty: homecoming queens throughout the years. Some of the listed winners are Margaret Smith Cooper (1941), Daisy Debnam (Miss Washington High 1946), Ressie Curry (Miss Washington High 1947), Juanita Freeman (1948), Lula Poe (1949), Sarah Frances Sewell (1950), Mary E. Williams (1951), and Mildred McKay (1952). 

A car carrying the homecoming court and queen of Washington High School, 1941

Miss Margaret Smith Cooper, Queen 1941

Portrait of Mildred McKay in a crown with flowers

Mildred McKay, Queen 1942

Next to the homecoming spreads are photos from the alumni dance (1976), as well as championship game information from the school’s football program

Curiously, there doesn’t seem to be any information about who succeeded Mildred McKay as homecoming queen in 1943 in The Echo—school events seem to have been a lower priority for the yearbook’s editors than academics, clubs, and favorite poems

You can see all yearbooks from Washington High School here. To find out more about Olivia Raney Local History Library, visit their partner page or the Wake County website.


More Durham County Maps and Plans Now Available for Viewing on DigitalNC

Thanks to our partner, Durham County Library, several new maps and plans for areas and buildings in Durham County are now available on our website.

The materials in this batch include renovation and addition plans for the George W. Watts Elementary School, a combined public hearing map for a state project on Alston Avenue in Durham, Eno Park plans, and plans for Lake Michie recreation facilities. These plans and maps are a wonderful resource for individuals who are interested in the growth and change of Durham County since the 1960s. 

Designed by the landscape architects and land planners from Coulter Associates in Durham, North Carolina, the Eno Park Phase II master plan is particularly wonderful to look at thanks to its bright colors and neatly labeled areas.

To view more materials from Durham County Library, please click here.

To learn more about the Durham County Library, please visit their website.


Over 30 newspaper titles added to DigitalNC!

Header for July 17, 1867 issue of Hendersonville paper "The Pioneer"

This week we have another 34 newspaper titles up on DigitalNC, including four from Carthage, North Carolina: Former home to the Tyson & Jones Buggy Company.

The “Jones” of the Tyson & Jones Buggy Company was William T. Jones, who was born into slavery and became one of the most well-respected and wealthiest businessmen in Carthage. Born near Elizabethtown in 1833, his father was a plantation owner and his mother was an enslaved person. Prior to the Civil War, he was given his freedom and moved to Fayetteville to work as a painter for a carriage company. It was there that his work was noticed by Thomas Tyson, who convinced him to come to Carthage to work for his fledgling operation in 1857, and by 1859 Jones was made a partner in that company. In 1861, Jones joined the Confederate Army and was subsequently captured by Union forces. While imprisoned at Fort Delaware, Jones began making moonshine from potato peelings and bread crusts and selling it to the Union guards. After Sherman’s March left much of the area devastated, it was the Jones’ moonshine money that allowed the Tyson & Jones Buggy Company to restart production, employing many struggling locals and helping to restart the local economy.

Even though Jones was a captain of industry, North Carolina House of Representatives candidate, and Sunday School teacher with a legacy that lives on in Carthage, it was not widely acknowledged that he wasn’t White. It wasn’t until recently that him being a Black man was recognized as fact and his full story was told.

Tyson & Jones Buggy Company ad from the February 16, 1888 issue of the Southern Protectionist

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.

 


Old-Time Music Audio Recordings and Oral Histories Now Available on DigitalNC

Thanks to our partner, Mars Hill University, over 40 audio recordings which discuss the history of the Appalachia region and old-time music are now available on our website. These recordings include oral histories with singers and musicians such as Dellie Norton; solo and group performances from the Lunsford Festival as well as the Mountain Dance and Folk Festivals in the 1960s and 1970s; jam sessions; and a university talk about the history of old-time music from the Appalachia region.

To learn more about Mars Hill University, visit their website.

To listen to more oral histories and audio recordings, please visit our North Carolina Sights and Sounds Collection.