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 June 2022


35 Titles added to DigitalNC

Headmast from August 3, 1886 issue of Statesville American Tobacco Journal

This week we have another 35 newspaper titles up on DigitalNC including thousands of issues from the Greensboro Daily News and Charlotte Daily Observer!

In the January 7th, 1898 issue of the Charlotte Daily Observer, we have a story about a little girl who had swallowed a thimble and was saved by a new invention: the x-ray machine. Dr. Henry Louis Smith, a physics professor at Davidson College, was an early pioneer in x-ray technology. Smith’s machine was used in some of the first clinical applications, such as this, and allowed doctors to safely find and remove the foreign object from the ailing girl’s body.

Clipping from January 7, 1898 issue of Charlotte Daily Observer describing how the x-ray machine of Dr. Henry Louis Smith was able to locate a thimble that a young girl had swalloed

Charlotte Daily Observer, January 7, 1898

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:

Asheville

Burlington

Charlotte

Durham

Graham

Greensboro

Highlands

Milton

Salem

Southport

Spencer

Statesville

Tarboro

Thomasville

Wadesboro

Waynesville

Wilson

Windsor

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.


Student Handbooks & Catalogs Available from Roanoke-Chowan Community College

We’re excited to introduce one of our newest partners: Roanoke-Chowan Community College! Our first batch of materials from them is a selection of student handbooks, course catalogs, and Learning Resource Center (LRC) guides representing 50 years of the school’s history. The items range from 1968-2018 and offer a glimpse into the ways that the school has supported students over the years.

The school was founded in 1967 as Roanoke-Chowan Technical Institute. Since then, it has gone through two re-namings and has grown to offer about 20 curricular programs, including visual arts, business, nursing, and cosmetology. One notable landmark for the school was in 2001, when the Board appointed Mary C. Wyatt as President, making her the first Black woman to be a community college president in North Carolina. 

Perhaps one of the most entertaining items in this batch is a handbook called An Introduction to the LRC at Roanoke-Chowan Technical Institute. While the material covers all of the questions that you might expect students to have about the library, AV center and Learning Laboratory, what you might not expect is the absolutely delightful tour guide that walks you through those resources.

A cartoon of a cat holding up one finger   A cartoon of a cat looking around quickly   A seated cartoon cat writing with a pencil on a stack of paper

Another one of the items⁠—perhaps notable for its quaintness⁠—is a guide to using the Dynix Public Access Catalog at the library. (Note: there are actually a couple of Dynix guides in this batch). The handbook explains how to conduct searches and gives examples of how related search topics might also appear in results. There is also a sort of meta illustration of someone using a computer, which gives the handbook some extra personality.

Illustration of a person typing at a computer. Another set of hands typing at a computer is superimposed over their body.

You can see the full batch of handbooks and catalogs here. To learn more about Roanoke-Chowan Community College, visit their partner page or their website. 


Three More Years of the Roanoke-Chowan Times Available

The masthead of the Roanoke-Chowan Times

Thanks to our partner the Northampton County Museum, we now have three additional years of The Roanoke-Chowan Times. These issues, from 1926-1928, feature local news from Rich Square, Roxobel, Seaboard, Potecasi, and Kelford, N.C., as well as other nearby towns. 

The hyper-local news sections from these issues is a big part of their charm. Often, the front page is divided into columns with the name of the town at the top. The news items range from newsworthy (as we would think of that term today) to the intimate. Here are three examples from the September 2, 1926 issue:

A newspaper clipping A newspaper clipping A newspaper clipping listing personal items

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although the personal items are fun to read in retrospect, it’s probably a relief that this kind of journalism is less common today.

Another interesting characteristic of this paper is it’s adoption of the first line of the North Carolina state song in its masthead: “Carolina, Carolina, heaven’s blessings attend her.” The paper speaks to the song’s widespread popularity in the state; the lyrics were written by North Carolina Supreme Court Judge William Gaston in 1835, but the song wasn’t officially adopted until 1927. The first instance in our records where the first line appears is in the April 23, 1903 issue—more than 20 years before it was made official.

This batch of papers is particularly exciting for us because it’s the first set of papers scanned on the new equipment at our satellite location, NCDHC East at Elizabeth City State University. 

You can see all of our issues of The Roanoke-Chowan Times here and our entire collection of digitized newspapers in our North Carolina Newspapers collection. To learn more about the Northampton County Museum, you can visit their partner page or their website


New Scrapbooks from McDowell County now on Digital NC

newspaper clipping

Newspaper Clippings of Volunteer Efforts in McDowell County

New scrapbooks from McDowell County Public Library are now available on Digital NC. The new scrapbooks include a wide variety of pictures, newspaper articles, and information about community members who have served in various wars such as the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and even World War II.  Most notable is the newspaper clipping of the many volunteer community efforts within McDowell County, showing how the community can come together to help others. 

The new collections include previous materials from McDowell County, such as the 4-H Club and McDowell Technical Community College materials.  

Special thanks to our partner, McDowell County Public Library, for the chance to scan these items. If you would like to see more materials related to NC memorabilia, visit them here.  


Another 60 Newspaper Titles on DigitalNC!

Headmast for January 20, 1900 issue of Winston-Salem's Elite

This week we’ve added another 60 titles to DigitalNC. Included in this batch is the possible origin of a classic North Carolina ghost story!

The Maco Light story tells of a train conductor name Joe Baldwin who was decapitated in a tragic railway accident near the small community of Maco, North Carolina. Legend has it that the ghost of Mr. Baldwin could be seen walking the tracks at night, carrying a lantern and searching for his misplaced head, but once the railroad was removed in the 1970s he was never seen again.

Article from January 12, 1856 issue of The Southerner detailing a train accident in which Charles Baldwin is killed after suffering head injuries

The Southerner, January 12, 1856

As is the case with most folk tales, the story is passed down and embellished over the years and the origin becomes a little fuzzy. There is no record of a “Joe” Baldwin being involved in a wreck, but the January 12th, 1856 issue of The Southerner has an article detailing a train accident that took place just outside of Wilmington a week earlier. The deceased in this incident is Charles Baldwin, who suffered a fatal head injury during the crash. Given the similarities in these stories, it seems our ghost might have actually stayed in one piece.

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:

Elizabeth City

Greensboro

Hendersonville

Oxford

Rutherfordton

Salem

Salisbury

Southern Pines

Southport

Tarboro

Taylorsville

Warrenton

Washington

Williamston

Wilson

Winston

Winston-Salem

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.


Lincoln County Historical Association Yearbooks Anticipated Some of Today’s Trends

A decorative photo collage of senior year students laughing and spending time with friends

From The Acorn, 1945

It’s easy to blame lots of things on “kids these days”—has there ever been a generation that hasn’t? But the latest batch of yearbooks from the Lincoln County Historical Association might prove that some of today’s trends are older than you think.

Photo of two teenagers standing beside each other and looking into a mirror

From The Newboldlite, 1958

Photo of two teenagers standing beside each other and looking into a mirror. In the mirror, their faces are smiling.

From Le Souvenir, 1956

For example, mirror selfies seem like they would’ve come out of an era when many teenagers have cell phones and social media accounts. Not so! According to the 1958 edition of The Newboldlite from Newbold High School and the 1956 edition of Le Souvenir from North Brook High School, mirror selfies were the way to show off your fashionable outfits. Thanks to the mirror in these two “Best Dressed” superlative shots, you can get a front and back view of four of the best looks from these teen style icons.

 

 

 

Two students posing in front of a white house

From Le Souvenir, 1957

Two students standing together in front of a brick building

From Le Souvenir, 1954

Another trend that may surprise you is the rise of influencers 50 years before the invention of Instagram. Apparently, these four students had a natural talent for influencing before it was even a formalized role. Both superlatives are from Le Souvenir; Flora Ann and Milton are from the 1954 edition, and Jimmie and Dorothy are from the 1957 edition.

 

To see more superlatives and the full batch of yearbooks, click here. You can browse our entire collection of high school and college yearbooks in our North Carolina Yearbooks collection. To learn more about the Lincoln Count Historical Association, you can visit their partner page or their website.


New Maps from Person County now on Digital NC!

MapPerson

Map of Cluster Springs, Virginia in Halifax County (1968)

MapPerson

Map of Ridgeville, North Carolina in Person County (1968)

Thanks to our partner, Person County Public Library, Digital NC has now digitized maps from several counties and communities in North Carolina and Virginia. Several maps in the collection include the Ridgeville Quadrangle taken in 1968 of the small community of Ridgeville in Person County, the Cluster Springs Quadrangle from 1968 representing the community of Cluster Springs, Virginia, located in Halifax County, and the Hurdle Mills Quadrangle map from 1980 representing the small community of Hurdle Mills in Person County. Along with these maps, the collection includes maps from the 1970s and 1980s of communities in Person County.

Special thanks again to our partner Person County Public Library for the chance to digitize these maps. If you want to see more items from Person County Public Library, visit their collection.

Visit here to see more items in our Images of North Carolina collection.

 

 

 

 


60 Newspaper Titles on DigitalNC!

Headmast for the January 30, 1836 issue of Salem, N.C.'s Farmers' Reporter

This week we have another 60 titles up on DigitalNC! While these papers cover all of North Carolina, almost one third are from Statesville alone!

In the October 3rd, 1902 issue of Elizabeth City’s Tar Heel, there is an interview with Reginald Aubrey Fessenden’s assistant, Professor Saint Marie. Fessenden was a pioneer in early radio, or “wireless telegraphy,” and was conducting experiments at Manteo on Roanoke Island. In the interview, Prof. Saint Marie seems somewhat pessimistic about the process and its possibilities, which might be due to Fessenden abruptly ending their contract with the Weather Bureau the previous month after conflict arose over ownership of the patent.

October 3, 1902 interview with Reginald Fessenden's assistant, Professor Saint Marie

Tar Heel, October 3, 1902

However, less than two months later The News and Observer reported that Fessenden’s invention had greatly improved and could now send transmissions to Washington, D.C. On Christmas Eve, 1906, he conducted the first radio broadcast by reading a bible verse and then playing ‘O Holy Night’ on his violin for the ships off the coast of Massachusetts. By 1909, according the the Charlotte Evening Observer, he had perfected the process for which he laid the foundation on the Carolina coast.

Article from The News and Observer describing Fessenden's success with radio experiments

News and Observer, November 23, 1902

Article from Charlotte Evening Chronicle stating that Fessenden had perfected his radio process

Evening Chronicle, April 14, 1909

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:

Elizabeth City

Moravian Falls

North Wilkesboro

Oxford

Pittsboro

Rutherfordton

Salem

Salisbury

Selma

Shelby

Siler City

Smithfield

Statesville

Stonewall

Tarboro

Taylorsville

Wadesboro

Warrenton

Washington

Wilson

Windsor

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.


40 Newspaper Titles added to DigitalNC

Headmast for August 31, 1899 issue of the Durham Daily Sun

Another 40 newspaper titles up on DigitalNC this week! In this batch are many titles from all over the state (including nine from Rutherfordton) and a little local baseball history.

Featured in the May 5, 1902 issue of the Durham Daily Sun is the very first game of the Durham Tobacconists, the baseball team that would go on to become the Durham Bulls in 1913. While they lost their inaugural match to the Charlotte team 12-2, the author is optimistic and writes that “everything may soon be going their way.” They dropped out of the season two months later.

Article from May 5, 1902 issue of the Durham Daily Sun introducing the first game of baseball team the Durham Tobacconists

Durham Daily Sun, May 5, 1902

Article from May 6, 1902 issue of the Durham Daily Sun detailing the Durham Tobacconists 12-2 loss to the Charlotte team

Durham Daily Sun, May 6, 1902

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:

Charlotte

Durham

Elizabeth City

Fayetteville

Gastonia

High Point

Kinson

Oxford

Plymouth

Raleigh

Roanoke Rapids

Rockingham

Rutherford College

Rutherfordton

Southern Pines

Southport

Troy

Wilmington

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.


Mapping Durham’s History

A new set of maps, posters, and architectural plans from our partner, the Durham County Library, has been added to our site. They range in time from the late 1880s to the present, and many provide local insight to the culture of Durham.

Map of Durham, N.C. from 1966

Map of Durham, N.C., c. 1957

One of the most exciting maps that we’ve added is this mid-century Western States Publishing Co. Mapperhaps one of the last versions that documents Durham before I-85 (1958) and N.C. 147 highway were built (1967-1970). Comparing it to the city today, you can tell what was disrupted during construction.

Detail from a 1920 map of Durham

Detail from the 1920 map of Durham County

Similarly, this map of Durham from 1920 notes the schools in the area and whether they served Black or White students. According to this map, many of the schools closest to the city center only served White students, while many of the Black schools are further out in the county.

Part of an illustrated map of Durham with drawings of buildings

Another neat item in this batch is this Historic Durham County Poster created by John B. Tomlinson. Around the drawn map of Durham County are illustrations of some of Durham’s famous and historic landmarks, including Duke University’s West Campus, NC Central University, and the County Courthouse. These and other annotations help identify some of the big moments in Durham’s history, such as the surrender of J.E. Johnston at Bennett Place.

An architectural drawing of a house

House for Mrs. L.L. Morehead (c. 1900)

Another item that illuminates a part of Durham’s history is this set of architectural plans for the house of Mrs. L.L. Morehead. The house was built for Eugene Morehead, son of former North Carolina Governor John Motley Morehead, and Eugene’s wife, Lucy Lathrop Morehead. The house was torn down in 1961, but photos and illustrations of the final product are still around. Other building plans for the house, including some of the interior, were also uploaded in this batch. 

A map with graphics about bike safety

1991 Bike Map

Map of downtown Durham with attractions listed and bike safety information

2010 Bike Map

In terms of more modern materials, take a look at these two bike maps: one from 1991, and one from 2010. The entire back side of the 1991 version is covered in safety information, like how to wear a helmet and 10 tips for “frustrating” a bike thief (No.8 is to “Engrave your social security number on expensive parts,” which doesn’t seem like common advice today.). Meanwhile, the back of the 2010 map is more like a typical city map, with directories of things in downtown Durham. 

One bonus of these maps is that they are catalogued and finable through the Durham Public Library’s website. You can see all the maps we digitized in this batch here, and you can see all materials from Durham County Library here. For more information about the library and their holdings, visit their website.