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 Lisa Gregory


Issues of the State Port Pilot from 1950-1962 now Online Thanks to the Southport Historical Society

Top portion of the front page of the November 15, 1961 issue of the State Port Pilot.

This November 15, 1961 front page of The State Port Pilot has a picture of the catch from a local fishing trip and an image of a Kingtown Community Directory sign that lists the names of Kingtown N.C. residents.

Issues of The State Port Pilot newspaper dating from 1950-1962 have been added to DigitalNC.org thanks to funding provided by the Southport Historical Society. These join issues from 1935-1949. 

The State Port Pilot, “a good newspaper in a good community,” documents Brunswick County NC life. Agriculture (especially tobacco) and fishing are frequent front page topics during this time period, and there are “local catch” photos at least every month. Front page news often includes information about local development, such as the construction of the Sunny Point army depot. You will also find coverage of some of the county’s most devastating events of this timer period, including Hurricane Hazel in 1954, and a National Airlines plane crash that killed 34 people in 1960. 

Black and white head shot of older white man in suit jacket with very short hair next to headline "Man Who Started State Port Pilot Passes Saturday"On the front page of issues from through April 1957 you’ll find a regular column entitled “Our Roving Reporter.” This column was written by W. B. Keziah, also known as Bill Keziah, and it was published right up until his death. According to his obituary Keziah was the newspaper’s founder who transitioned to a local reporter known for his commentary and deep love for Brunswich County. Keziah’s columns include everything from the blooming of local camellias, to visits from state and local dignitaries, to gossip, to little-known county and town history. He was a native of Waxhaw and, as a deaf individual, had attended the NC School for the Deaf in Morganton. Numerous comments about his contributions to the county can be found in issues of the Pilot published around the time of his passing.

You can view all of the issues of the State Port Pilot on the newspaper title page


Scanners and Content Management Systems in North Carolina Cultural Heritage Organizations

three adults sitting around a table; one with white gloves sits behind a laptop near an open scanner while the other two look on

An NCDHC staff member works with two individuals during an on-site scanning event.

  • This post shares information about scanners and content management or online platforms used by some North Carolina cultural heritage organizations.
  • The lists are current as of this post and they are not exhaustive.
  • For more information, get in touch with us.

People frequently ask us to recomend digitization equipment as well as content management systems* or ways to display their files online.  To help connect more people to their peers, we sent our partners a survey asking them the following:

  • List the make and model of any equipment you have that scans print materials, photographs, slides, and/or negatives.
  • What local or remotely hosted software does your organization use to keep track of and/or share your digital images?

Thanks to the 45 institutions who responded, we now have a great list on hand. If you contact us we can connect you directly with those who said they’d be happy to share experiences and information. 

Keep reading for lists of all of the equipment and software mentioned listed in alphabetical order. If you work in a cultural heritage organization in NC and don’t see your digitization equipment and/or system mentioned below, leave a comment and we will add it.

*A content management system is software that will store and organize files, usually with functionality that helps people make use of the files like search, online display, etc.


Here’s the list of platforms mentioned:

Content Management Systems / Online Platforms

  • Alma Digital/ Primo VE
  • CONTENTdm
  • Cumulus
  • DigitalNC (which uses TIND, WordPress, and Open ONI)
  • DSpace**
  • Drupal
  • Ex Libris Alma Digital
  • Fedora + Hyrax**
  • Flickr
  • Internet Archive
  • Islandora
  • JSTOR Forum
  • KeepThinking Qi**
  • Laserfishe
  • LibGuides
  • Omeka
  • Pass It Down
  • Past Perfect
  • PTFS Knowvation
  • Quartex**
  • Re:discovery Proficio
  • WordPress

** Not represented in the survey responses but we know folks who use these.

Comments: Some of these are hosted by vendors; others are hosted by the organization. There are also sites listed here that might not be considered content management systems but that organizations use for online sharing. This list does not include social media sites where files might be shared, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. It also doesn’t get into details for those who have built their own systems (typically very well-resourced institutions). If you’d like some more guidance about choosing, check out this post: What Should You Do With Your Scanned Photos?


Here’s the list of equipment mentioned. 

Flatbed Scanners

  • Epson 10000XL, 11000XL, 12000XL
  • Epson DS-50000
  • Epson Perfection V19, V39, V370, V550
  • Epson Perfection V600, V700, V800
  • HP Scanjet G4050
  • HP ScanJetPro 2500 f1

Large Format Sheet-fed Scanners

  • HP DesignJet T2500

Overhead Scanners / Book Scanners

  • Bookeye 3, 5
  • Czur ET18 Pro
  • Fujitsu ScanSnap 600
  • ST600 Book Scanner
  • Zeutschel OS 12000 A1, Q1

Overhead Camera Systems

  • Phase One iXH 100MP camera + digital back
  • Sony A7R IV camera with mount

Negative and Slide Scanners

  • Hasselblad Flextight X5
  • Nikon Super CoolScan 9000 ED
  • PowerSlide 5000
  • ZONOZ FS-3 22MP All-in-1 Film & Slide Converter Scanner w/Speed-Load Adapters for 35mm

Microfilm Scanners

  • ST ViewScan 3, 4

Multi-Function Devices

  • Epson-WF-3540
  • Hewlett Packard Color LaserJet M476 copier with scanner
  • HP Officejet Pro X576dw
  • Konica Minolta bizhub 227 copier/scanner
  • Kyocera Taskalfa 4053ci
  • Savin IM 2500, MP 2004ex
  • Sharp MX-4071, MX-C304W
  • TASKalfa 3051ci
  • Xerox Documate 3220 desktop scanner
  • Xerox Workcentre 6655i, 7535

Comments: Some of these are staff use, some are available to the public, and some serve both groups. If you’re interested in what we use, take a look at this page: What We Use to Digitize Materials


Additional Issues of the Chowan Herald, 1983-2001, now on DigitalNC

Black and white clipping of masthead and article about Y2K glitches from January 5, 2000 Chowan Herald front page

Shepard-Pruden Memorial Library in Edenton has funded digitization of an additional 19 years of the Chowan Herald. This new content means that you can now search the entire run from the first issue in 1934 through June 2001. 

The new issues from 1983-2001 cover local political and town government news, tourism, business and residential development in the area, local events and community organizations, crime and local disasters. One of the larger construction projects represented in this timespan is the replacement Albemarle Sound Bridge. You can see news about the conception, construction, and dedication of the bridge (including an article on the partial collapse during construction which delayed its completion). (Here’s an article about the original bridge, which you can read about through earlier issues of the Herald.)

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.


Issues of The Front Page 1979-1986, “Newspaper for North Carolina’s Gay Community,” Now Online

The Front Page first page with masthead, headline Historic March Peaks Gay Pride Week, and photo of adults holding banner "Triangle Lesbian & Gay Pride"The first 8 years of The Front Page newspaper, from 1979-1986, are now on DigitalNC. The Front Page was published in Raleigh for twenty-six years covering “news and happenings of interest to gay people.”  The paper covered national and local news impacting and of interest to the LGBTQ+ community. There are ads for local businesses that were safe spaces for LGBTQ+ individuals, and a community calendar listed events. There’s also a Q&A column where letters from readers all over the state wrote in with problems or questions to recieve a broad spectrum of personal advice. 

Q-Notes, a prominent Charlotte area LGBTQ+ newspaper and the one Front Page merged with in 2006, published a retrospective of The Front Page and an interview with the Page‘s publisher Jim Baxter in the July 29, 2006 issue. Baxter penned an article in IndyWeek shortly after the paper’s final issue, and it describes parts of his career and the history of Front Page

The paper has been added with kind permission from the publishers and thanks to efforts by staff at the libraries at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Duke University. Digitization of this paper was funded by an IDEA Action Grant from UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries. Archived issues of Q-notes are available from our site, and you can view more current content at their site.


Introducing our New Satellite Location at Elizabeth City State University

White state of NC outline on blue background with the words North Carolina Digital Heritage Center EastSince 1751, North Carolina newspapers have been one of the most valuable resources for researching our state’s history. They are also one of the most prolific, and demand for newspaper digitization is an area where we struggle even making a dent.

Thanks to funding from the State Library of North Carolina and a new partnership with G. R. Little Library at Elizabeth City State University, that dent just got a little bigger. ECSU is now home to our first satellite location, and the staff there are focused on print newspaper digitization.

In addition to meeting demand, setting up a satellite location in the eastern part of the state will diminish travel time for eastern partners interested in getting papers from their collections online. All materials will be scanned on a new large format scanner by the digitization technicians at ECSU. Then, after the images have metadata, they’ll be sent to Chapel Hill where they’ll be uploaded to the newspaper site on our page.

Our ECSU colleagues are currently working on papers from Northampton and Bertie counties. We’ll be working with our easternmost partners for more materials to scan in the coming months.

Three adults in face masks look at computer screen near very large scanner, with several other adults in the background.

Zaina Goggins, Vicky Tillett, and Barry Ward work with a new scanner at ECSU Libraries.


New Materials Added to the Crystal Lee Sutton Collection from Alamance Community College

Color photograph of two smiling individuals with raised fists facing camera, Lenin's tomb with line of visitors in the background

Crystal Lee Sutton and Richard Koritz in Red Square, 1984

Crystal Lee Sutton was a union activist whose story rose to prominence after she was fired from her position at a Roanoke Rapids, N.C. textile plant, J. P. Stevens, because she supported the establishment of a union and advocated for better working conditions and pay. Her story was documented in the movie Norma Rae, and Sutton’s life changed greatly due to the fame that followed the movie’s success. She went on to support unionization efforts in a variety of industries during the rest of her life. Sutton passed away in 2009. 

On behalf of Alamance Community College we have digitized additional materials from the Crystal Lee Sutton collection, which was donated directly to the College’s Library before her death.

This batch of materials contains some of Sutton’s school report cards, correspondence to various supporters, newspaper clippings about her activism and the movie, unionization booklets, and a few photos of Sutton. There are also quite a few of her speeches, both handwritten and typewritten, including those she lists as the first speeches she gave after being fired in 1973

Due to copyright or privacy concerns, not all of the materials from the Sutton collection are online. If you are interested in those items, take a look at this list. You can contact the Alamance Community College Library for access to the items listed there.

You can view the most recent batch along with all of the items we have been able to share online on the Crystal Lee Sutton exhibit page


Issues of the Elkin Tribune from the first half of the 20th Century Added to DigitalNC

Black and white image of the May 8 1945 issue of the Elkin Tribune with bold, large text headline V-E- DAY IS HERE!We’re pleased to share that you can now search more issues of the Elkin Tribune on DigitalNC, thanks to a nomination from the Elkin Public Library. The years added span 1916-1949, but the majority of the issues are from 1942-1949, with only a few scattered issues from the earlier years.

In the issues added from 1931 you’ll see a lot of coverage of the new Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital, which still operates in Elkin today. The issues from 1942-1949 cover World War II and its immediate aftermath. There are lists of individuals who served from both Surry and Yadkin counties in the May 8, 1945 issue linked at the beginning of this post. 

You can view all of the issues we’ve published from The Elkin Tribune on the newspaper’s landing page. To view all of the items we’ve worked on relating to Surry County, check out the county’s landing page


Newspapers, Maps Added to DigitalNC from the Chapel Hill Historical Society

Top half of the February 11, 1957 issue of the News Leader with a blurry black and white photo of a mule in front of a house.

The front page of the February 11, 1957 issue of the Chapel Hill News Leader features a snapshot of a mule that kept straying onto the property of the local mayor.

We’ve worked with the Chapel Hill Historical Society to share additional materials from their collections. This batch includes more issues of the following newspapers:

The issues of the News Leader discuss town and county news, as well as a hefty amount of news related to UNC-Chapel Hill. Items related to politics and education frequently take center stage on the front page.

In addition to these newspaper issues the Historical Society shared a variety of maps and plans related to Carrboro and Chapel Hill. Included are plans for a sewer project and plans for a local development called “Laketree Center.”

To view all of the items the Chapel Hill Historical Society has shared head to their contributor page


100 Counties! New Materials from the Camden County Museum Heritage Museum Now Online

Table with scanners and a laptop inside a brightly lit museum space with one person seated and scanning and two people standing and looking at a book

L-R Ashlie Brewer (NCDHC) scans while Lisa Gregory (NCDHC) looks at materials with Brian Forehand (Camden County Heritage Museum)

We have an exciting milestone to announce – with the addition of the Camden County Heritage Museum  and the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center we have now worked with at least one partner organization in all of North Carolina’s 100 counties. NCDHC staff received a warm welcome in Camden County at the end of August when we traveled there to scan materials for both of these organizations.

Black English text on beige paper advertisin typhoid fever and diptheria vaccines in Camden CountyOur post today shares the materials we scanned from the Museum (stay tuned for a future post about the Welcome Center’s materials). From photos to maps to brochures to handwritten research notes, the Museum selected a variety of items that document important aspects of the county’s history. Some of the longer and more detailed items are mentioned below:

We were especially interested to read the typhoid fever and diptheria vaccine announcement shown to the right, which seems especially timely during the current pandemic. Note that the author called out the races separately and that people had to go to a specific location based on their assigned race.

You can view all of the items from the Camden County Heritage Museum on the Museum’s contributor page, or all of the materials we have related to Camden County on the Camden County page on our site.


Microfilmed Newspaper Nominations Selected for Digitization, 2021-2022

Back in August, we announced our annual call for microfilmed newspaper digitization. We asked institutions throughout North Carolina to nominate papers they’d like to see added to DigitalNC. As it is every year, it was an incredibly tough choice – we are typically able to choose between 40-60 reels out of over 300+ nominated. This year we’ve chosen the following titles and years.

Title Years Nominating Institution
The Alleghany Times / News / Star-Times (Sparta, N.C.) 1933-1947 Alleghany County Public Library
The Charlotte Labor Journal and Dixie Farm News (Charlotte, N.C.) 1939-1953 UNC Charlotte
The Daily Record (Dunn, N.C.) 1963-1965 Campbell University
The Eagle (Cherryville, N.C.) 1942-1954 Cherryville Historical Museum
The Highlander (Highlands, N.C.) 1937-1978 Highlands Historical Society
The Kings Mountain Herald (Kings Mountain, N.C.) 1958 Mauney Memorial Library
North Carolina Catholic (Nazareth, N.C.) 1946-1968 Catholic Diocese of Raleigh
The Roanoke News (Weldon, N.C.) 1923-1944 Halifax County Library System
The Valdese News (Valdese, N.C.) 1938-1950 Burke County Public Library
The Yadkin Ripple (Fort Bend, N.C.) 1893-1944 Yadkin County Public Library

For our selection criteria, we prioritize newspapers that document underrepresented communities, new titles, papers that come from a county that currently has little representation on DigitalNC, and papers nominated by new partners. After selection, we ask the partners to secure permission for digitization and, if that’s successful, they make it into the final list above.

We hope to have these titles coming online in the first half of 2022.