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 July 2022


70 Newspaper Titles Added to DigitalNC

Headmast of July 28, 1916 issue of The Advance from Elizabeth City

This week we have another 70 titles up on DigitalNC including over 1,000 issues of The Robesonian, 1,000 issues of The Western Sentinel, 3,000 issues of The Reidsville Review, 4,000 issues of The News and Observer, and almost 4,000 issues of the Salisbury Evening Post!

In the March 8th, 1914 issue of The News and Observers we have an article detailing a practice game played by the Baltimore Orioles while in Fayetteville. This happens to be the game where a 19 year old George Herman “Babe” Ruth hit his first home run as a professional baseball player. Ruth was also given his iconic nickname “Babe” while in Fayetteville on this trip.

Article from March 8, 1914 issue of The News and Observer where Babe Ruth hit his first home run as a player for the Baltimore Orioles

The News and Observer, March 8th, 1914

Three people standing in front of the sign commemorating Babe Ruth's first home run

Image via The Fayetteville Observer

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:

Asheboro

Asheville

Belhaven

Brevard

Charlotte

Cherryville

Clayton

Concord

Cooleemee

Creedmoor

Durham

East Bend

Elizabeth City

Forest City

Gastonia

Goldsboro

Greenville

Kenly

Leaksville

Lenoir

Lincolnton

Lumberton

Mocksville

Mooresville

Moravian Falls

New Bern

Raleigh

Red Springs

Reidsville

Rocky Mount

Rutherfordton

Salisbury

Selma

Shelby

Smithfield

Spruce Pines & Burnsville

Statesville

Taylorsville

Washington

Waynesville

Wilmington

Windsor

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.


More News From Brevard College Available

A few more issues of Brevard College‘s The Clarion have been added to our North Carolina Newspapers collection:

A political cartoon titled, "The rise and fall of man." On the left is an ape, then a caveman, then Albert Einstein (standing in front of an atomic bomb) and then, on the far right, President Bill Clinton playing the saxophone.

A cartoon from the April 19, 1993 issue

These issues cover several serious and political topics in addition to opinion pieces on student life and culture. Most notably, these newspapers cover the student views on former President Bill Clinton, who was elected in 1992.

In the November 10, 1992 edition, then-Assistant Editor Lorrin Wolf commented, “I want to move out of the United States because I feel that Clinton’s term will be a repeat of the Carter years.” Many of the students quoted in these issues expressed a similar sentiment.

You can see all available issues of The Clarion here. You can also browse all of our student newspapers by school name and location in our North Carolina Newspapers collection. To learn more about Brevard College, you can visit their partner page and their website.


Nag’s Head News (From At Least One Side) Now Available

A new title has been added to our Newspapers of North Carolina Collection thanks to the Outer Banks History Center. These issues of The Nags Tale, a cleverly-named paper from Nags Head, N.C., contain coverage from July and August 1938.

On of the first major news stories on the front page of this paper is a review of the local rendition of Paul Green’s The Lost Colony, first performed about a year earlier. The play is based on the true story of the lost colony of Roanoke Island in Dare County, N.C. (neighboring Nags Head).

An illustration of a tall monument standing on a sand dune in front of a cloudy sky.

The Wright Monument, or what the caption writer calls, “the foremost wooing ground in North Carolina.”

The reviewer notes, first and foremost, the incredibly large cast of the production, commenting, “There are 186 people in the company of ‘The Lost Colony,’ and when Sir Walter’s colony passed through an inlet that cut the banks between Nags Head and the Wright Memorial, there were only 108 people in the expedition come to lay the foundation of an empire.”

Despite the unusually large cast (which doesn’t include the crew members, the reviewer points out), the production seemed to be a hit among the residents of the island.

You can see all available issues of The Nags Head here or browse our Newspapers of North Carolina Collection by location, type, and date. To see more materials from the Outer Banks History Center, you can visit their partner page and their website.


Business and Professional Women’s Club Scrapbooks Hold Evidence of Mid-Century Advocacy

A black-and-white photo of a group of white women standing side by side

From the 1958 Goldsboro Business and Professional Women’s Club Scrapbook

Thanks to our partner, Wayne County Public Library, we’ve got several additional scrapbooks from the Wayne County Business and Professional Women’s Club. The scrapbooks range from 1948 to 1974-75 and document many of the club’s leaders, events, and impacts in the area.

A black-and-white photo of a group of white women in formal wear

From the 1950 Goldsboro Business and Professional Women’s Club Scrapbook

The Business and Professional Women’s Clubs of North Carolina (BPW/NC) began in 1919 with representatives from Asheville, Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, Salisbury, and Winston-Salem. It grew to encompass several more chapters, including one in Goldsboro. The clubs advocated for women’s interests in the state, like money for a women’s dormitory at UNC-CH and the ratification of the 19th Amendment, and they protested against discrimination, such as that against unaccompanied women in hotels. Today, the BPW/NC still works to “promote the general advancement of working women in North Carolina.”

In addition to photographs, the scrapbooks hold a selection of newspaper clippings, financial records, organizational literature, event programs, and ephemera. You can see the full batch of scrapbooks and club minutes here. To see more materials from the Wayne County Public Library, visit their partner page or their website


Yearbooks From Our New Partner, Riverside Union High School Alumni Association, Now Available

A photo of five cheerleaders; three are standing, and three are seated in front.

Cheerleaders from The Riviera, 1967.

Thanks to the work of our new partner, the Riverside Union High School Alumni Association, we’ve added several new yearbooks from the Franklin County Training School/Riverside Union High School from 1943-1967. We’ve also included a 1955 graduation program with photos of the graduates.

A group of many students gathered closely together. Most are standing in a semi-circle around a table; six are seated at the table.

Riverside High School student council (from The Riviera, 1967).

Franklin County Training School began as one of many “Rosenwald schools” in North Carolina⁠—which erected 813 buildings through the project by 1932, more than any other state in the country, according to the North Carolina Museum of History. For background, “Rosenwald schools” were developed by Booker T. Washington and the Tuskegee Institute as a way to improve formal education for Black children in the South. The project soon received funding from Julius Rosenwald, then-President of Sears, Roebuck and Company, resulting in over 5,300 buildings in 15 states.

Although Rosenwald provided significant financial backing, much of the money for these schools came from grassroots contributions by community members. The terms of Rosenwald’s fund stipulated that communities had to raise enough money themselves to match the gift, so George E. Davis, the supervisor of Rosenwald buildings in N.C., often held dinners and events to encourage local farmers to contribute. By 1932, Black residents had contributed more than $666,000 to the project.

Though many schools built in part with Rosenwald Fund grants were designed to be small (typically one to seven teachers per school), Franklin County Training School was once the only Black public high school in the county. As a result, the student body expanded; many students lived nearby, and others were bused from farther away (102). In 1960, the original building burned down, and the school was rebuilt as Riverside Union School and then Riverside High School (103).

A yearbook photo of a young man in a graduation cap and gown

James Harris, The Riviera, 1967

“I’d say very jovial, it’s a family type atmosphere. I felt very safe,” James A. Harris, who attended the school from 1955 to 1967, recounted in 2004. “Teachers were very caring and provided not only just classroom instruction, but a lot of values. Teachers were held to a higher standard. If you look at people in the community that people looked up to, [teachers] were right behind the minister. They were held in high esteem.” (From John Hadley Cubbage, 2005.)

When North Carolina racially desegregated schools in 1969, Riverside High School was converted to Louisburg Elementary School. Today, it’s the central office for Franklin County Schools. The building itself is on the National Register of Historic Places (Reference Number: 11001011). 

To see all of the materials from the Riverside Union High School Alumni Association, you can visit their partner page or click here to go directly to the yearbooks. You can also browse our entire collection of North Carolina yearbooks by school name and year.


More Examples of A+ Student Comedy from Grimsley’s “High Life”

By now, you’re probably convinced of the charm and hilarity unique to high school student newspapers⁠—but if you aren’t, it’s time for you to take a look at our latest batch of the Grimsley High School Student Newspaper, High Life from our partner the Greensboro History Museum

One of the things that makes this newspaper unique is the annual April Fools’ Day issue, often called Low LifeLow Life’s pages are filled with scandalous, outrageous, and non-sensical stories—all of which, presumably, are untrue. Take this article from the 2000 issue, for example:

A newspaper article with a photoshopped photo of Macauley Culkin sitting at a picnic table with Grimsley High School students

In case it’s unclear, that’s a photo of young Macauley Culkin Photoshopped to be sitting at a table of Grimsley students.

This article describes actor Macauley Culkin’s transfer to Grimsley High (he would have been 20 years old in 2000). In addition to Culkin’s fabricated quotes and bon mots, what shines through here is the caption under the doctored photo: “Junior Adam Berman agreed to be Macauley Culkin’s guide during his first day on campus. Culkin requested a guide because of his fear of being left alone.”

The general trend, it seems, is that the issues become even less tethered to reality in recent years. Here’s one article from 2012 that really turned up the free association dial (from the “.74 ferrets” section, of course):

A newspaper article written in complete nonsense

Another great thing about Low Life is the staff’s attention to detail. On most issues, the section headings and dates have been changed (mostly to nonsense), and even the author bylines are jokes. The staff box from the April 1, 2000 issue is a punny example:

A newspaper clipping of a staff box

“The High Life functions, but we’re not exactly sure how.”

Some of the highlights embedded in here are “Back to the Feature, Part II,” “Stairway to Kevin,” and the request to receive any inquiries or complaints by carrier pigeon. The staff is also divided into the Sharks and Jets (West Side Story-style), featuring Sir Mix-a-Locke, Kate “Get the tea, the water’s” Boylan, and Dahlia “What the heck rhymes with Dahlia?” Halpern. 

Something that really captures the spirit of Low Life (especially its more recent iterations) is this crossword from 2005. At least it gives you a fair warning about what it is. 

A newspaper clipping of a crossword puzzle

The added issues of High Life (and Low Life) can all be found in our Newspapers of North Carolina collection under Grimsley High School Student Newspapers. These issues span from 1974-75 and 1990-2013. To see more from Greensboro History Museum, you can visit their partner page or their website


Additional Yearbooks—and Student Poetry—Available From Olivia Raney

A bookplate of a ship in front of a cloud with the banner "Ex Libris"

From the 1929 Oak Leaf

Did your high school graduating class have a class poem? It might’ve been borrowed from a famous poet, or it could have been written by one of your classmates. Class poems seem to be especially popular in yearbooks from the 1920-1930s, and we’ve got some good one thanks to our latest batch of yearbooks from our partner, the Olivia Raney Local History Library.

From the 1930 Latipac

The 1930 Latipac‘s poem from Raleigh High School was written by class poet Alice Beaman, who decided to focus on the bittersweet feeling of nostalgia in her poem.

“‘Tis true school days were happiest, / But they passed too quickly by,” she writes in the last stanza. Whether or not most high school students today would agree with that sentiment is up for debate.

Perhaps a feeling more relatable to graduates today appears in the first stanza: “Ah! Tho’ our hearts be sad at parting, / They will all with gladness swell, / At our victory in attaining / The goal for which we fought so well.”

From the 1929 Oak Leaf

Less concerned with rhyme scheme than Beaman was class poet Lula Belle Highsmith, who wrote the class poem for the 1929 graduating class of Hugh Morson High School (Raleigh, N.C.)

Highsmith’s poem takes a more somber tone; she writes, “And we half regret departing, / Wish we might step back a little, / But no, no, the door is closing— / We are pushed into the Future— / Let us go with lofty courage, / Ready for the work before us.”

Considering that less than 5% of students completed four years of college in 1940, these poems reflect the feelings that many young people had at the end of their formal education. The feeling of loss, or of learning yet to be had, runs parallel to the well-known poem “The School Where I Studied,” by Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai. One line reads, “All my life I have loved in vain / the things I didn’t learn.” 

To see more class poems and all the yearbooks in this batch, click here. To see all materials from the Olivia Raney Local History Library, visit their partner page or their website. All of our North Carolina Yearbooks can be found here.


45 Newspaper Titles added to DigitalNC

Headmast for July 17, 1847 issue of The Hornet's Nest from Newbern, N.C.

This week we have another 45 newspapers added to DigitalNC including our first titles from Ridgeway, North Carolina!

In the June 15th, 1920 issue of the Asheville Citizen we have an article celebrating UNC’s class of 1920 where recent graduate, and Asheville native, Thomas Wolfe reads the class poem and presents the class gift at an alumni event. It would be almost a decade until his iconic debut novel, Look Homeward, Angel, is published.

Article from Asheville Citizen where a young Thomas Wolfe participates in UNC graduation events years before becoming a published author

Asheville Citizen, June 15, 1920

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

Concord

Durham

Fayetteville

Greensboro

Highlands

Kinston

Laurinburg

Lenoir

Louisburg

Mocksville

Nashville

New Bern

Pittsboro

Polkton

Raleigh

Randleman

Reidsville

Ridgeway

Rockingham

Wadesboro

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.


Additional yearbooks from Chatham County Show Teacher Personalities

Thanks to our partner, Chatham County Public Libraries, we now have seven more yearbooks available from Chatham Central High School and Jordan-Matthews High School. Together, these yearbooks span from 1958-1971, a period when many high school yearbooks began to find their distinctive styles.

One fun thing from the 1961 Phantomaire from Jordan-Matthews is a slight twist on a yearbook feature that has lasted until the present day: senior quotes. While many yearbooks ask seniors to give a line or two of reflection on their time in school, the Phantomaire staff decided to preserve some of the famous words of their teachers. 

Two yearbook portraits of teachers.

It’s clear that these quotes were picked (mostly) out of love based on what teachers were known for. For example, there’s Mr. Poindexter, who was apparently known for starting sentences with the phrase, “Now, it seems to me…” Perhaps appropriately, Ms. Lane the librarian seemed to be more concerned about the volume of conversation.

Two yearbook portraits of two teachers.Some of the other teacher quotes are a bit more cryptic, such as the one word attributed to Ms. Brewer: “Throw!”

In contrast, P.E. teacher Mr. Charlton decided to stick with a classic.

 

The full list of yearbooks in this batch include:

Jordan-Matthews High School:

Chatham Central High School:

You can see the full batch of yearbooks here or browse all the yearbooks by school name in our North Carolina Yearbooks collection. For more materials from Chatham County Public Libraries, you can visit their partner page or their website


New Winston-Salem Chronicle Issues Now Available

Winston Salem Chronicle header. Under the newspaper name it reads: serving the Winston-Salem community since 1974.

Thanks to our partner, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, issues that fill in previous holes in our site’s holding of the Winston-Salem Chronicle from 1975 to 1982 are now available on our website.

Since 1974, the Winston-Salem Chronicle has published weekly issues that focus primarily on news about and events in Winston-Salem’s Black community.

To view all issues issues of the Winston-Salem Chronicle available on our website, please click here.

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

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