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 by Erin Ryan


Jackson County Public Library Contributes Issues of Two Sylva-Area Newspapers

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Announcement in the Jackson County Journal from May 25, 1939. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was scheduled to visit Sylva for the town’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

We’re pleased to welcome a new partner, Jackson County Public Library, from Sylva, N.C.! Thanks to the library, DigitalNC has recently made available issues of two area newspapers: the Jackson County Journal (Sylva, N.C.) and The Sylva Herald and Ruralite.

Here you can find issues of the Jackson County Journal ranging from 1923-1942. The final few years in this selection are dominated by World War II-related items, such as local men enlisting as soldiers, or Sylva groups’ contributions to the war effort. Town obituaries and events also make up the mix. (For example, the front page of the Journal for November 19, 1942, includes the headlines “42 Men Left for U.S. Army First of Week” and “Mrs. Morris Passed Away Last Friday.”)

The Sylva Herald and Ruralite has been publishing weekly in Jackson County from 1926 to the present. The 385 issues of this newspaper on DigitalNC span 1943-1950, beginning with the August 4, 1943 issue, which announces the launch of a new newspaper for Jackson County and explains: “the Herald Publishing Company … has purchased the 17-year-old Ruralite and combined it with The Sylva Herald. … The publishers plan to make it as newsy, and as modern as possible.” War news continues to predominate the early issues, along with announcements about local Sylva church and society news.

Learn more about our contributor, the Jackson County Public Library, at their website or their contributor page. You can also find current information about The Sylva Herald and Ruralite at their website. Browse the North Carolina Newspapers Collection to see more newspapers from communities around the state.

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From the Sylva Herald and Ruralite, August 4, 1943.


Montreat Student Newspapers Now Online

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Front cover of The Aletheia, February 3, 1978. Photo by Bruce Parrish.

We have worked with Montreat College to digitize 529 issues of their student newspaper, now available at DigitalNC. The newspapers here range from 1937-2016, starting with The Dialette (in 1937) and ending with The Whetstone (the newspaper’s current name).

Montreat College, a Christian liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, was founded in 1916 in Montreat, N.C., in the Blue Ridge Mountains. From 1959-1995, it was known as Montreat-Anderson College. Today, along with the 43-acre main campus in Montreat, the college has an 89-acre campus in Black Mountain as well as campuses in Asheville, Black Mountain, and Charlotte, N.C.

The student newspapers on DigitalNC trace the development of Montreat from its beginnings as a women’s college for teacher training; to the admission of their first male students in 1958; and through the subsequent growth of the college. The issues offer a glimpse of campus life, discussions about the integration of faith and the college experience, and various musical and arts events taking place in the area, such as a visit from Christian rap group D.C. Talk in January 1990.

Find out more about Montreat College at their website or their contributor page; or see our previous blog posts about Montreat College yearbooks and May Day celebrations. You can also search the North Carolina Newspapers Collection to find newspapers from other N.C. schools and towns.


“Nostalgic” designs by Leonard Eisen for Pulaski Furniture Corporation

The American Society of Furniture Designers (ASFD), a DigitalNC partner based in High Point, N.C., has contributed newspaper clippings, catalogs, and brochures that document a particular trend of furniture design in the 1970s and 1980s: one driven by nostalgia. American furniture buyers were ready for something new — or, rather, something old-made-new-again — to mix up their modern interiors.

In 1976, Pulaski (then based in Pulaski, Va.) debuted the “Keepsakes” collection in its showroom at the Southern Furniture Market in High Point. The line of golden oak furniture was created for Pulaski by designer Leonard Eisen, a graduate of Syracuse University’s industrial design program. For the collection, Eisen drew on the look of country interiors from the 1890s to 1920s. “Keepsakes” turned out to be a hit, especially among buyers 25-40. “I went to the West Coast antique shops and saw kids buying that type of stuff like crazy,” he is quoted as saying in a 1976 article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, discussing his original inspiration for the “Keepsakes” line.

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Article from the Akron Beacon Journal, October 6, 1977.

Next, Eisen designed a new line for Pulaski called “Apothecary,” this time basing his designs on what promotional materials described as the “romance” of the Edwardian era (1901-1910). “Apothecary” debuted at the High Point Southern Furniture Market in 1977. The 1980s continued to be a time of growth for Pulaski, and Eisen developed more lines of traditional-style furniture for the company.

The newly digitized materials from ASFD includes 10 articles and ads clipped from various newspapers around the United States between 1975-1977, mostly reviewing the “Keepsakes” and “Apothecary” lines and featuring interviews with Eisen about his design ideas — and the appeal of “nostalgic” pieces among 1970s consumers. (In one article, “Eisen Has the Last Laugh,” he notes that while his parents found his furniture unremarkable, “The kids think its funky.”) The materials on DigitalNC also include undated catalogs, brochures, and other promotional materials for a number of different Pulaski Furniture collections.

To learn more about the American Society of Furniture Designers, visit their website. To see all their items available on DigitalNC, take a look at their contributor page.

 


Rex Healthcare Library Newsletters

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Cross-section of the base of a human skull, from a Rex Messenger cover article introducing Rex Hospital’s new CT scanner, January 1982

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From an article on the benefits of breastfeeding (Nursing Perspectives, September 1992)

A newly digitized collection of newsletters from Rex Healthcare Library in Raleigh, N.C., are now available on DigitalNC. The six newsletters range from 1977-2008. The Rex Healthcare Library collection reflects major changes in the life of a hospital over the the past four decades, from attitudes toward smoking, holiday celebrations, recycling, and childcare; to the advent of computers and new medical technology.

Rex Hospital opened in Raleigh in 1894. After relocating to different Raleigh sites in 1909 and 1937, it moved to its current location at  Lake Boone Trail, Raleigh, in 1980. In 1995, Rex Hospital changed its corporate name to Rex Healthcare to reflect the variety of care facilities it provides. Today, the private, not-for-profit Rex is part of the UNC Healthcare system. It is one of the largest employers in Wake County, N.C.  You can learn more about the history of Rex by looking at materials the NCDHC has digitized from them, including this history published in 1957.

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Stanza from a poem in the August 1995 issue of Nursing Perspectives

Admitting control board 1981 cropThree of the newsletters — the Rex Messenger, the Rex Hotline, and Pulse — focus on general hospital staff, employees, and friends. The Messenger is the oldest newsletter in the collection, spanning 1977-1998. It includes extensive pieces on the history of the hospital and covers the hospital’s centennial celebration in 1994. Two other newsletters, Nursing Perspectives and CaREXpress, center on the patient care division of the hospital; while RCare  specifically treats the hospital’s move to electronic record-keeping. The newsletters also ran employee profiles, gave updates on hospital procedures, printed poetry and fiction by hospital workers, and published letters from patients; and they report on activities Rex Hospital sponsored in the surrounding Raleigh community.

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One feature in the January 1987 issue of the Messenger asked reporters to imagine what life would be like for Mandy Foster — the first child born at Rex Hospital in the new year — when she became a teenager in the year 2000. Several people suggested Mandy might work in the space program. Others speculated on how technologically savvy she would be. An RN reflected, “I’m not sure what the year 2000 will bring to the new baby, but I surely hope it will include the ‘human’ touch and won’t be all ‘machine-to-machine’ conversations or fetch-and-carry robots or ‘push-button everythings.’ ” (Read the full feature here .)

To learn more about Rex Healthcare Library, please visit their contributor page or the website. To see all of the newsletters available from the NC Digital Heritage Center, please visit here.

 

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A Rex Hospital Data Control worker stands next to a horoscope bulletin board she designed (Rex Messenger, February 1979)

 

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From the Rex Hotline (March 2, 2001)