Viewing entries posted in December 2023

Latest Durham Section of the National Council of Negro Women Batch Fills In Recent Years

Thanks to our partner, the Durham Section of the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. (NCNW), a batch containing a plethora of meeting minutes, photographs, programs, a scrapbook, and much more are now available on DigitalNC. The majority of these materials in this batch expands our holdings of NCNW materials primarily from the 1980s-2000s to encompass the 2010s.

Always fun are the photographs from events attended and held by the NCNW Durham Section such as the 2016 Harambee Old School Gala! The Gala pictures feature members along with their friends and families dressed up and having a great time.

Two people smiling big. One person is standing on the left is dressed in a gray shirt and long sleeve cardigan. The second person, sitting, has on a black hat, white shirt, and red blazer.
Harambee Old School Gala [2016]

To learn more about the Durham Section of the National Council of Negro Women, Inc., please visit their website linked here.

To view more materials from the Durham Section of the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. please click here.

Community Connections, LGBTQ+ Publication from the 1980s-2000s, Encouraged and Mobilized Community

Front page of October 1996 Community Connections newspaper with black and white photo of smiling African American man behind microphone and smiling crowds with campaign signs

Issues of CLOSER and it’s successor, Community Connections, have been shared online thanks to Buncombe County Public Libraries and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The issues date from 1987-2002.

CLOSER is the acronymn for Community Liaison Organization for Support, Education and Reform. According to a newspaper article from April 2020 published in the Mountain Xpress, this organization’s mission was “to serve as a liaison organization between the gay/lesbian community and the larger population, to provide mutual support, education and information regarding problems and concerns of the gay/lesbian community, to work for reform of social prejudices and discrimination practices and attitudes, and to foster for individuals and the community a sense of gay/lesbian identity.”

The paper, particularly in the earlier issues, includes very heartfelt reflections over the accomplishments of those involved in CLOSER. There are always announcements about events, and even lists of birthdays for that month. Coverage of the community members grappling with and documenting discrimination and hate speech is unfortunately a thread. However the paper shows local efforts to mobilize and provide mutual support. Through the 90s and early 2000s, the paper covers even more statewide and national news of impact to those in the community.

Many issues were scanned by the Pack Library in Asheville, which houses the organization’s archives. Some additional issues from the early 90s were added from the collections at UNC-Chapel Hill. You can view other newspapers on our newspaper landing page. Additional materials from the Pack Library can be found on our site as well as in their own digital collections.

Decades of Ocracoke Marriages, Deaths, and News Now Available!

Thanks to our partners at the Ocracoke Preservation Society, DigitalNC is proud to announce decades worth of Ocracoke history are now available online! This upload is a collection in multiple parts and includes The Mullet Wrapper newsletter, a compilation of marriage records, half a century’s worth of obituaries and funeral programs, books detailing Ocracoke’s cemeteries, and a detailed list of historic sites from the National Register of Historic Places. Almost every aspect of island life is represented within these records: from parades and exhibits, to local nuptials and obituaries, to the discovery, exploration, and conservation of historic sites.

The front page of The Mullet Wrapper, with the headline "Fort Ocracoke Is Explored"

One of the best ways to become acquainted with the history of Ocracoke Island is to read through The Mullet Wrapper, Ocracoke Preservation Society’s biannual newsletter. Named after the practice of wrapping freshly bought fish in newspapers, The Mullet Wrapper provides a detailed glimpse into the myriad efforts made to preserve Ocracoke history. Within its pages are articles teaching historic home preservation, profiles on notable locals, and news on upcoming educational talks and events. Our collection spans from The Mullet Wrapper’s inception in 1997 to 2017, and even includes two years of newsletters published before The Mullet Wrapper received its name! A highlight of this period is seeing the development of historians understanding of Fort Ocracoke, a sunken structure resting underneath Ocracoke’s bay. The Mullet Wrapper’s publication begins around the fort’s discovery, and as the issues progress more and more articles are released detailing information, eventually ending in the construction of a Civil War memorial near the site.

The front of a prayer card with a color photo of the beach and the words "In Memory" written in cursive.

Additional context is provided for Ocracoke’s history in the form of an extensive report from the National Register of Historic Places. This report details every single historic building, landmark, or structure within Ocracoke’s Historic District, a neighborhood nestled around the bay’s shores. Two maps (one highlighted and one untouched) provide an essential key for understanding the layout of the island, and are themselves a part of preservation history. If you desire additional context, we’ve also uploaded two books containing records of the island’s over eighty historic cemeteries. Each book includes records of the interred, maps of cemetery layouts, and additional context for family or particular sites.

The society’s records also include almost four decades of deaths in or around Ocracoke Island. Funeral programs, obituaries, and hand-written eulogies have been collected and collated for every Ocracoke native’s death, including those occurring hundreds of miles away. Beginning in 1973 and ending in 2021, each year contains a list of every recorded death alongside any related written material. This includes articles published outside of Ocracoke (in the instance of former state senator George Warner), prayer cards for the deceased, and a massive collection of eulogies written by local pastor Jimmy Creech. Reading through these records imparts the sense of just how interconnected community becomes on an island.

An old marriage certificate from 1912.

Whenever you need a break from the weight of death, refresh with a wedding! Our uploads include a log of local marriages in and around Ocracoke Island that extends as far back as 1735, featuring an extensive list of nuptials, dates, and locations. More recent marriages also include copies of individual marriage certificates from the deed of registers, dating back to the middle of the twentieth century. A personal highlight of the collection are a pair of authentic marriage records from a ceremony taking place in 1912: one between E. Spencer and N. Gaskill, and the other between Albert Stephen and Marnie Spencer.

You can access this absolute bumper crop of history online at DigitalNC here. Still not satisfied? Read more about Ocracoke’s history and preservation at our partners website here, or look through more Ocracoke material on their partner page.

Learn about the people and places of Alamance County with city directories

DigitalNC is happy to announce a new batch of city directories from Alamance County, North Carolina is now available on our website thanks to our partner Alamance County Public Library.

A blue page from the city directory listing the contains of a city directory.
A page from Hill’s Burlington and Graham City Directory [1957]

These directories are a great primary source for learning about the folks living Alamance County, North Carolina during the mid 1930’s through the ’60s. These directories provide the names, addresses and phone numbers for residents and businesses in Burlington and Graham City. City directories are a fantastic genealogical resource for researchers. All directories are text-searchable.

To view the directories, follow the links below

An advertisement from the 1957 directory for Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Inc.
An advertisement for Burling Coca-Cola Bottling Company Inc.

To learn more about Alamance County Public Library visit their website linked here. To see other materials from them go to their partner page linked here. If you want to explore directories for different cities across the state, check out The North Carolina City Directories collection linked here.

From Fires to Finances, New Reports Now Available from the Raleigh Fire Museum

Thanks to our partners at the Raleigh Fire Museum, we’re proud to announce that a new collection of fire records are now available on DigitalNC! This batch contains annual financial reports, fire protection reports, and even a booklet detailing the rules and regulations of Raleigh’s fire department. Ranging from as early as 1948 to as late as 1984, these documents capture the development and growth of Raleigh through the eyes of its firefighters.

A vehicle identification card for an emergency vehicle.

Perhaps the most interesting document in the batch is a collection of internal receipts, forms, and records collected over thirty years from Raleigh’s Emergency Rescue Squad. This collection of ephemera reflects the various needs and duties of the rescue squad: fire engine upkeep and maintenance, flyers for events show public outreach, and preserved news reports highlight the pride in a job well done. Many of these documents have handwritten notes on them, giving the reader a closer connection to the firefighters handling the documents.

You can look at more documents from our partners at the Raleigh Fire Museum here. You can also visit their website and learn more about Raleigh’s history with fire here.

Haywood County Scrapbooks Discuss Homemaking, Mental Health, and State Fairs

The cover of Haywood County's 1963 scrapbook.

In collaboration with our partners at the Museum of Haywood County, we are pleased to announce that four new scrapbooks from Haywood County are now available on our website! Set in Western North Carolina, these books combine newspaper clippings, photographs, booklets, and other assorted materials into one cohesive work. All of these different materials form a gestalt that allow the reader to glimpse into the author’s lived experience. What could be better than dozens of primary sources wrapped up into one?

Two of these scrapbooks are massive, leather-bound books that collect a comprehensive record of Haywood County’s home management clubs. These societies were formed and managed by local women, and would meet to raise funds for local organizations, provide education for new homeowners, and host dinners and functions for the entire community. Both of these scrapbooks were created in the sixties and reflect the traditional expectations for women during the period, including newspaper columns on attracting potential husbands and raising a family. Near the back of each book are sections on state and national events, including advertisements for polio drives, plans for the North Carolina state fair, and detailed programs on a convention for mental health.

A page from Haywood County's 1963 scrapbook including newspaper clippings, a photograph, and a pamphlet from NC State.

Another scrapbook in the new batch was written by a Haywood local during his time at UNC Chapel Hill. Penned by Mr. Hanna, the book encompasses his time at the university from 1916 to 1919. Hanna, like many freshman college students, focuses his book on the many football games and parties he attends (while including a written report for accruing too many absences). Also found in this book are freshman resources including the Carolina Handbook, a train and class schedule, and a carefully notated map of the campus. Throughout these resources, Hanna writes opinionated notes on his experience in college.

We were also pleased to include a vintage photograph in this collection, taken by Hugh Morton and depicting the Old Well in Chapel Hill. Morton was a prolific photographer, conservationist, and alumni from UNC Chapel Hill. Born and raised in North Carolina, Morton was responsible for the creation of Grandfather Mountain, a state park located in Western North Carolina. You can view this photograph, alongside all of the new scrapbooks, here. If you want more Western North Carolina history, you can visit our partners at their website.

A page from Hanna's UNC scrapbook.

Three Kittrell College Yearbooks from the 1960s and More Now Available on DigitalNC!

Thanks to our partner, Granville County Public Library, batches containing a May 1947 issue of Oxford High School’s student newspaper; several years of yearbooks from Middleburg High School and Kittrell College; two W. H. Smith account books; and one photograph of Middleburg High School’s women’s 1937 basketball team!

While we have several Kittrell College bulletins available on DigitalNC, this batch brings us our first yearbook issues for the college which are from 1960, 1968, and 1969. In addition, the yearbooks in this batch from Middleburg High School fill in previous gaps on DigitalNC with issues from 1938, 1939, 1947, 1948 and 1949.

To learn more about the Granville County Public Library, visit their website here.

To explore more yearbooks from across North Carolina, visit our North Carolina Yearbook collection.

To view more materials from Granville County, visit our Granville County page here.

Fruit of Labor World Cultural Center Shares Labor Organizing Materials

The North Carolina Digital Heritage Center is pleased to announce that materials from our new partner Fruit of Labor World Cultural Center are now available for viewing. Fruit of Labor World Cultural Center is located in Raleigh, NC but there work goes far beyond Raleigh. The digitized materials reflects the organizing efforts of national, local and sub-local chapters of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America labor union. These materials are meant to be used for educational and training purposes. You can view the materials at DigitalNC!

Beige colored cover page of the International Worker Justice Campaign Bulletin with two black and white images of a speaker standing behind a podium and a group of speakers sitting at a table. for the Mental Health Workers Bill of Rights Campaign.
Cover of International Worker Justice Campaign Bulletin, August 2008.

Materials in the collection include information about labor organizing through photographs, newsletters, bulletins, guides and selected literature. There are also Executive Orders from the State of North Carolina that were a result of the organizing efforts for example Executive Order No. 105. This act of legislation is a win for the labor union as they fight for the right to fair practices in the workplace. Inside The International Worker Justice Campaign Bulletin you will find mention of this legislation being passed and announcements about the Mental Health Workers Bill of Rights Campaign.

The United Electrical, Radio and Machine workers of America Local 150: Public Service Workers of North Carolina is rallying for many issues. The Mental Health Workers Bill of Rights Campaign is an ongoing movement fighting for better wages, attendance polices, and safe staffing to name a few, and you check out the related materials on the NCDHC website. To learn about the other campaigns and organizing efforts visit the Fruit of Labor World Cultural Center website.

Learn More About Jackson County in New Southwestern Community College Materials! 

DigitalNC is happy to announce a new set of Southwestern Community College materials have been uploaded to the site! This is our fourth batch of SWCC records since welcoming them as a partner earlier this year, and this latest addition builds substantially upon our preexisting collection of SWCC materials. Located in Sylva, N.C. in Jackson County, SWCC has been operating for over fifty years and today offers over forty academic programs. 

The college has historically been a major force in its community and has been heavily involved in the economic development of surrounding counties. As such, the bulk of this collection comprises SWCC annual reports from 1969-2000 and county development surveys from Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties dating from 1965-2002. These reports are comprehensive and incredibly informative for anyone seeking to know more about the economic and demographic situation in Western North Carolina in the twentieth century. More documents from Jackson County, including an annual report, Chamber of Commerce publication, a 1992 county study, and a genealogy book on the Richard McDowell Wilson descendants provide further insight into the region.

Additionally, this new batch includes many records relating directly to the college, including course catalogs, student handbooks, newsletters with student profiles, promotional literature, and much more. We are also excited to digitize commemorative materials for the college’s fortieth and fiftieth anniversaries, as well as a student-published literary magazine from 2023! Read more about the history of SWCC in our previous blog posts or on their website

Researchers can see the rest of our digitized materials from Southwestern Community College here. To view more materials from community colleges across North Carolina, please view our North Carolina Community College Collections exhibit here

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This blog is maintained by the staff of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center and features the latest news and highlights from the collections at DigitalNC, an online library of primary sources from organizations across North Carolina.

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