Viewing entries by Lisa Gregory

The State’s Voice, Harnett County Newspaper with A Strong Editorial Voice, Added to DigitalNC

Black and white masthead of the February 15, 1933 issue of The State's Voice

Issues of The State’s Voice, published in Dunn, NC from 1933-1935, have been added to DigitalNC. Published by O. J. (Oscar J.) Peterson, this paper is much more of an editorial vehicle than many other papers at the time. The entire front page is devoted to his thoughts on one or more news items or topics of the day. His other interest was in writing informational essays about various parts of the state, like the one in this issue about Orange County and Hillsboro(ugh).

Over the years, Peterson managed a number of newspapers besides The State’s Voice including the Chatham Record, the Sampson Democrat, and the Lumberton Argus. Aligning with the Democratic platform of the time, Peterson expresses strong opinions in his paper about prohibition, public education, and economics. His editorials are so pointed that they are alternatively lauded or criticized in other papers.

In the final issue of the paper, Peterson says: “The publication of the State’s Voice has been an interesting experience, or experiment, in several respects.” The paper was intended to be read statewide, and was launched upon a “highly intellectual basis with a confessed non-public appeal.” He seems to attribute the demise of the paper in part to a lack of intellectuality amongst his subscribers, despite many of them being prominent in the state.

This paper was added on behalf of the Harnett County Public Library. You can view all of the materials contributed to DigitalNC from Harnett County Public Library on their contributor page.

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.

Fill-In Newspaper Issues from 37 Titles Dating from Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries Added To DigitalNC

Black and white newspaper with The Edenton Transcript masthead in serif text

We’ve just added newspaper issues from 37 titles, dating from 1819-1968, with the majority dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. From a variety of cities, most of these additions are only 1-5 issues per title. Thanks to the State Archives of North Carolina and its preservation of newspapers, we’re pleased to include these fill-in issues. The State Archives provided them to us as part of their newspaper microfilming workflow.

Below is a list of titles, their cities of publication, and the years from which the issues date.

The State Archives has an exhibit of Early North Carolina Newspapers here. Their microfilming efforts are behind almost all of the digitized microfilmed papers available through DigitalNC. Search or browse all of our newspapers on the newspaper landing page.

Wilson Library Improvement Project – Impact to NCDHC

Color photo of front elevation of a domed stone building with columned portico and text "Wilson Library Improvement Project"

Today UNC Chapel Hill Libraries announced that Wilson Library, where we are located, will be closed to the public and staff for a few years. A phased closure is expected to begin in August 2024 and last approximately three years. During this time, critical updates will be made to the building including extending sprinkler coverage, creating emergency egress stairs, and upgrading the fire alarm system. NCDHC staff and the equipment we use will be relocated during much of this time.

We wanted to make sure you know that our services will continue, though we may have to make some adjustments regarding capacity. We’ll be back in touch with updates as plans develop.

If you have questions related to NCDHC operations, feel free to contact us. You can also visit the project’s official Library page for details and updates.

Moore County Papers from 1923-1940 Feature Golf News and … Screen Beans?

Masthead with the title Pinehurst Outlook and black and white illustrations of people playing sports or and socializing
Masthead from the April 12, 1940 issue of The Pinehurst Outlook

Thanks to funding from the Moore County Genealogical Society a variety of Moore County newspapers dating from 1923-1939 have just been added to DigitalNC. The titles include:

The Pinehurst Outlook is more like a magazine. It almost exclusively covers golf and news from other sports. It’s a handsome paper with custom mastheads and covers and a lot of photos, all reflective of the wealth brought to Pinehurst as a renowned golf destination and resort town. The Pinehurst Daily Press (which continues as the Sandhills News-Press) also heavily features sports news. Articles about PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association) tournaments, a listing of daily golf tee times, and updates on local golfers’ careers are some of the news items frequently included. The Moore County News is a paper covering broader local topics and a lot of syndicated content. There’s agriculture news like the “Annual Dewberry Special” issue. (A dewberry is similar to a blackberry.) Social and business news from Aberdeen, Carthage, and Cameron can be found as well.

One fun find was an article about a Moore County pastor named Rev. Wade C. Smith who created simple comics to illustrate Christian principles to his pupils. Dubbed “Litte Jetts,” the figures in the comics look a lot like Screen Beans, ubiquitous stick figures found in Microsoft clip art from the mid 1990s to around 2014. This article from the March 12, 1931 issue of The Moore County News talks about Smith’s work and its popularity, and includes the comic below.

Black and white stick figures acting out Biblical story of Cain and Abel under headline "Those Famous 'Little Jetts'"
The Moore County News March 12, 1931

Here’s another comic I could locate, from March 19, 1931. I’ve added a Screen Bean to the right for comparison.

Black and white stick figures acting out carrying a heavy bag under title "Another Little Jett" with additional running black and white stick figure to the right
The Moore County News March 19, 1931

To view more Moore County newspapers as well as other materials documenting that area visit the county page.

Issues of The Star of Zion, 1926-1928, now Online

Black and white top 1/3 of a newspaper with Star of Zion masthead and front elevation sketch of a two-story building with many windows and columns
The Star of Zion June 14, 1928

We have added additional issues to our online run of one of the oldest African American newspapers in North Carolina, the Star of Zion. Started in 1876 by the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Zion Church the paper is still published today. These 151 new issues date from 1926-1928.

Published out of Charlotte, the paper includes national and international news about the Church. There are articles of religious instruction and exhortation, and brief snippets of local news related to members of the Church. Those interested in the history of Livingstone College in Salisbury, which was founded by the A.M.E. Zion Church, will find many articles about the College’s growth like the one shown on the front page above.

These issues of The Star of Zion, which are now out of copyright, were selected by NCDHC staff from the collections at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. To view more North Carolina African American newspapers, visit our exhibit.  You can see the entire run of the Star of Zion available on our site through this link.

The Sampson Independent – Issues from 1924-1928 – Are Now Online

Black and white drawing of a floor plan with three wings, each room and area labeled.
Sampson Independent February 26, 1925 page 1

Issues of The Sampson Independent newspaper from 1924-1928 are now on DigitalNC. This joins several other earlier titles from Sampson County but these are the first from this time period. The Independent was published in Clinton, N.C.

Issues from early 1925 include a sketch and proposed floor plan for a new county home. County homes were places paid for by the local government. People could or were often forced to live in county homes when they did not have enough money to support themselves, were unable to care for themselves, had severe illnesses, or were otherwise judged to need supervised housing. The floor plan, above, shows a building segregated by race, with separate hospital wards, bathrooms, kitchens, and dining rooms. Not featured in the plan are “tubercular wards” for tuberculosis patients, which the article beneath the sketch said would be built nearby. I couldn’t find an announcement of the opening of the county home but an article on the front page from December 10, 1925 talks about furnishings being purchased and says “it is thought that they [residents] will occupy their new quarters within a few days.”

black and white article about a dog, Ponto, returning to its family from the 7/8/1924 issue of the Sampson Independent
Sampson Independent July 8, 1924 page 8

The Independent issues include a good mix of syndicated and local content. Local and personal pages like this one, found towards the middle and back of the paper, are particularly long. They list families hosting visitors, residents traveling abroad, and even news about found pets like the article at right. There are separate columns for news particular to Autryville, Boykins Bridge, Keener, Lower Johnston, Mary’s Chapel, Mingo, Mt. Vernon, Owen Grove, Roseboro, Rosin Hill, Spell Town, and illiams Mill.

You can view all of the issues we have online for The Sampson Independent here, and find links to all of our Sampson County newspapers on this page.

Call for Nominations – Microfilmed Newspaper Digitization 2023-2024

Black and white front page of the State Port Pilot 08-22-1962

It’s time for our annual round of microfilmed newspaper digitization! As in previous years, we’re asking cultural heritage institutions in North Carolina to nominate papers from their communities to be digitized. We’re especially interested in:

  • newspapers covering underrepresented regions or communities, and
  • newspapers that are not currently available in digital form elsewhere online.

If you’re interested in nominating a paper and you work at a cultural heritage institution that qualifies as a partner, here’s what to do:

  • Check out our criteria for selecting newspapers, listed below.
  • Verify that the newspaper you’d like to see digitized exists on microfilm*. Email us ( if you’re not sure.
  • Be prepared to talk with the rights holder(s) to gain written permission to digitize the paper and share it online. We can give you advice on this part, if needed.
  • Review the Criteria for Selecting Newspapers to Digitize from Microfilm listed below.
  • Fill out the nomination form

Nominations will be taken on an ongoing basis, however don’t wait! We typically get many more requests than we can accommodate. Please contact us at with questions. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

Criteria for Selecting Newspapers to Digitize from Microfilm

Titles to be digitized will be selected using the following criteria:

  • Does the newspaper document traditionally underrepresented regions or communities?
  • Does the newspaper include significant coverage of the local community or largely syndicated content?
  • Does the newspaper come from an area of the state that has little representation on DigitalNC? (Titles that have not previously been digitized will be given priority. Here’s a title list and a map showing coverage.)
  • Is the institution willing to obtain permission from the current publisher or rights holder(s) to digitize issues and make them freely available online?

* What about print newspapers? These are much more costly to scan – we only work with a very limited number. Please get in touch ( if you’d like to talk through options for digitizing print newspapers.

Additional Years of the Chowan Herald (Edenton, NC) Document 2003-2014

Black and white front page of the Chowan Herald from July 16 2003 with photos and articles

Shepard-Pruden Memorial Library in Edenton has funded digitization of an additional 12 years of the Chowan Herald. This new content means that you can now search the entire run from the first issue in 1934 through December 2014. 

The new issues cover 2003-2014. The Herald is published in Edenton, one of North Carolina’s oldest historic cities. There are articles that describe moving the 1886 Roanoke River Lighthouse and the renovation and re-opening of the historic Chowan County Courthouse which was originally built in 1767. There’s also an article declaring a home on East Queen Street to be the oldest in the state after dating the wood timbers to 1718.

This area in particular felt the push and pull of development opportunities during this time. The paper covers pushback by residents as retailers like Wal-mart and Lowe’s scope out sites for stores. Many issues cover the potential development of an outlying landing field or OLF by the Navy, which drew criticism for its potential impact on the Pocosin Lake Wildlife Refuge. In the end the Navy withdrew plans for an OLF in North Carolina.

You can search and browse the entire run of The Chowan Herald on its landing page.  Other materials related to Chowan County that are available on our site, including newspapers, city directories, and more, can be searched and browsed on the county landing page.

Recent Issues of the Martin County Enterprise & Weekly Herald, the Bertie Ledger-Advance Now Online

Top portion of the color front page of the Martin County Enterprise & Weekly Herald from March 31, 2020 with photographs of residents and buildings as well as article about COVID-19 executive order

We have added issues of the Martin County Enterprise & Weekly Herald and the Bertie Ledger-Advance thanks to Martin Community College and the Bertie County Public Library. Coverage includes December 2019-December 2020 issues of the Enterprise & Weekly Herald and January 2022-November 2022 issues plus a special edition issue from March 15, 2000 of the Ledger-Advance.

The majority of newspapers on our site date from the early to mid-19th century, so we’re always interested in adding more recent issues when possible. In the Enterprise & Weekly Herald issues shared today you can read about the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and how a more rural county navigated national, state, and local regulations and concerns.

The issues of the Ledger-Advance cover a later date and talk about the lingering effects of COVID-19. The last issue in this batch mentions Bertie County’s Tricentennial celebrations in November 2022. Bertie County, originally part of Chowan County, was one of the first formed in the state as larger counties were split into smaller portions. Also included in this batch is a special edition from March 15, 2000 that offers reflections on recovery from Hurricane Floyd.

Click on these links to view all issues we have available online of the Martin County Enterprise & Weekly Herald and the Bertie Ledger-Advance.

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