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.

RSS Subscribe By Mail UNC Social Media Statement

Viewing entries by Kristen Merryman

North Carolina Catholic newspaper now online

front page of a newspaper

Front page of the January 12, 1947 announcing a contest looking for NC’s “ideal Catholic family”

Front page of a newspaper featuring two images; one of a child looking in a trash can and the other of a mother and child sitting looking worn

Appeal to NC Catholic’s from the Bishop, Bishop Waters, for a fundraiser for the people of post-war Europe during Lent in 1947

Thanks to our new partner, the archives at the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh, issues covering 1946-1968 of the North Carolina Catholic, a weekly publication, are now on DigitalNC. The paper, which started publication in 1946, covers news in the Diocese of Raleigh (which at the time covered the whole of the state – in 1971 the Diocese of Charlotte was started which split off the western half of the state) relating to Catholic Church matters, but other local news items as well. Baptisms, weddings and funerals across the Diocese are listed in each issue.  Local and national politics is also heavily covered.  The 1960 presidential election, in which John F. Kennedy was elected as the first President who was Catholic, is covered widely in the paper and has a note in the issue after the election “Hats off to the President!”  Topics such as the Vatican II council, views on birth control and abortion, segregation, secularism, the Cold War and the USSR are all covered in the issues now online.  

To view more North Carolina Newspapers, visit our newspapers site.



Issues from 2019-2021 of the Charlotte Jewish News are now on DigitalNC

Title page of the April 2020 issue of the Charlotte Jewish News

April 2020 issue of the Charlotte Jewish News, the first to be published after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States

The latest batch of Charlotte Jewish News issues, covering 2019-2021, show the extreme impact COVID-19 had on everyone starting in March 2020.  In particular, the issues show the impact on faith communities and how they shifted to still practice their faith while dealing with a pandemic.  The issues in 2020 are sporadic following March, with regular monthly papers not picking back up until September 2020.  Zoom services, a shift to virtual learning for schools, and community action to donate food and money to those who lost jobs are all detailed in the paper.  

View more issues of the Charlotte Jewish News, which date back to 1979 by visiting it’s newspaper page.

To learn more about our partner the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Charlotte located at the Levine-Sklut Judaic Library and Resource Center, visit their partner page.

Tobacco Road and the Final Four – Duke vs. UNC – 102 years later will there be another “jinx”?

Tonight (Saturday, April 2, 2022), for the first time ever, Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill’s storied basketball teams will meet in the NCAA Final Four.  It is being heralded as one of the most exciting games in sports…ever.  And the Governor of North Carolina, Roy Cooper, an avid basketball fan himself (and UNC grad), has declared North Carolina to be the center of the college basketball universe.  Those of us who live and work on Tobacco Road already knew that to be true, but it’s nice to have an official proclamation.  

In light of all this, as one of the few places where Duke and UNC [materials] come together, we thought we’d take a look back at the first game between these two great basketball programs as described by the teams’ fellow students on the newspaper and yearbook staffs.  On January 24, 1920, Duke (then Trinity College), took on UNC at Trinity in Durham and UNC won, 36-25.

The Daily Tar Heel  and the Chronicle both published articles detailing the game (and both note a game that may have happened in 1898 but we can’t find any articles about it – it was in 1898 that UNC introduced features of a new game known as basketball to their gym)

"Carolina Defeats Trinity by a Score Thirty-Six to Twenty-five" headline

Trinity College’s Chronicle staff had a bit of a different take on that particular game; the staff felt very strongly that it was a result of a “jinx” that Carolina won, not a better team.  After all, they then went on to beat State College (NCSU).

Trinity College headline about their basketball games

The yearbooks from each school also comment on the first matchup in their basketball features. Trinity’s yearbook added a note that will sound a bit too familiar to 2022 ears – their season was almost ended before it started due to the flu epidemic.  

Trinity’s Chanticleer staff felt it was a surprise to everyone – even UNC! – that UNC beat them:

Description of Trinity College's 1919-1920 basketball season

UNC takes a different tack, describing their win not as a surprise versus Trinity but as the result of a lot of hard work at the gym:

UNC's description of the effort they put in to beat Trinity College in basketball.

The yearbooks also feature team portraits – with UNC already sporting their familiar logo in 1920.

Portrait of white men posed with a basketball all wearing white uniforms with UNC's logo

UNC’s 1920 Basketball Team

Group of white men posed with a basketball with a "T" logo on their shirts

Trinity College’s (now Duke University) 1920 Basketball team

We’ll see what the matchup looks like tonight and inevitably, the resulting hot takes, 102 years later!  

If you want to check out more UNC and Duke content on DigitalNC, check out their partner pages.  UNC is here and Duke’s is here

Oral histories from the Mount Airy Black community now online from Mount Airy Museum of Regional History

Screenshot of an adult using a spoon with a pot on a stove

Screenshot from the video “Preparing Foods that were Eaten by our Ancestors” which included women discussing their cooking.

29 oral histories collected in the early 2000s by the African American Historical and Genealogical Association of Surry County are now online thanks to our partner the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History. Thanks also to our colleagues in the Southern Folklife Collection, these audiovisual materials were digitized utilizing funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  The interviews are mostly on video and discuss many topics about being Black and growing up in Mount Airy and Surry County area during the first half of the 20th century.  

Blue print showing the fa├žade of a two story office building

We also scanned many maps and architectural drawings for the museum in this batch and those are available here.  The drawings include a lot of buildings around Mount Airy.  

To learn more about our partner Mount Airy Museum of Regional History visit their partner page here.

To hear more oral histories on DigitalNC, go here.

The Wallace Enterprise now on DigitalNC Thanks to New Partner Thelma Dingus Bryant Library

Wallace Enterprise newspaper front page

Front page of the June 17, 1937 issue of the Wallace Enterprise covering both Eleanor Roosevelt’s visit to the town and a better than ever Strawberry Festival that year.


Thanks to our new partner, the Thelma Dingus Bryant Library in Wallace, NC (Duplin County), twenty years of the local paper The Wallace Enterprise is now online.  Over 1,000 issues covering 1931 to 1955 were digitized from microfilm.  The paper covers many local topics of the day in Duplin County and wider eastern North Carolina and had the tagline “Devoted to the Best Interests of the People of Wallace and Duplin County.”  The local strawberry festival which brought in crowds from all over the state to “the largest strawberry market in North Carolina” was covered yearly, as were local elections, school board discussions and lots of coverage of agriculture topics, including crop control measures, which directly affected the largely agricultural workforce in the area.  Eleanor Roosevelt visited in 1937 and gained a lot of glowing coverage when she came.  

To view all the issues of the paper, visit here.  To look at all our newspapers, visit our North Carolina Newspaper Collection.  

Contributions of Vance County People of Color now available on DigitalNC

The book Contributions of Vance County People of Color by Ruth Anita Hawkins Hughes is now available on DigitalNC.  Thanks to a request from a community member, the folks at Granville County Public Library, and UNC Libraries, we were able to digitize this book.  

Four black and white photographs, top left is a woman in a large white dress who is sitting posed, top right is a child in a white dress standing posed, bottom left is a woman on the phone and the bottom right is a woman in a white nursing outfit holding a dog

Photographs of people discussed in the book are included

Written in 1988, the book contains vignettes about many Black residents of Vance County during the 20th century.  The book is broken up into chapters about farm families, and town families, and then by different occupations in the county.  An amazing resource particularly for genealogists, Contributions… is full text searchable, making it easy to search names quickly!  

To view more materials about the Black community in North Carolina, visit our African American newspapers collection and our general collection here.

The Star of Zion newspaper now on DigitalNC

Thanks to funding from the North Caroliniana Society and from the UNC Libraries IDEA grants, one of the oldest African American newspapers in North Carolina, and the longest continuously published, is now online.  The Star of Zion, which is still published today, began publication in 1876 by the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Zion Church.  Issues covering 1884 through 1926 are now on DigitalNC, digitized from microfilm.  The earliest years we digitized are published in a few different places, including Petersburg, Va. and Salisbury, NC.  Beginning in 1896, the paper moved publication to Charlotte, NC where it is still published today.  

Front page of the Star of Zion paper, features several formal posed photographs

Issue highlighting the 1923 graduates of students at schools affiliated with the AME Zion Church

The topics covered by the paper are heavily focused on church activities, including reports from pastors across the country about their localities.  Other topics are also covered, including commentary on political issues of the day.  The papers in 1884 feature the full Republican ticket for the presidency and down, which the editors heartily supported.  The issues in the later years have a wider focus on both issues of the day and church news. 

Quote from Star of Zion paper

An editor’s note from the November 19, 1986 issue.

A rather interesting feature that also pops up often in the paper is a presence of a real rivalry with other denomination based African American publications in the state.  One particularly humorous note was posted by the editor in the November 26, 1896 issue of the paper, noting that the Africo-American Presbyterian was lauding the honorary degree Biddle University (now Johnson C. Smith University) had conferred on George White, elected to serve in the 2nd Congressional District from NC (and the last Black Congressman to serve before Jim Crow).  The editors of the Star noted that Livingstone College, the AME Zion affiliated school in North Carolina, had already given one to him in May of that year.  College and religious rivalries are timeless. 

Screenshot of text from a newspaper editorial.

 Note from the Editor of the Star of Zion in the November 26, 1896 issue

To view more North Carolina African American newspapers, visit our exhibit.  To view more projects supported by the UNC Libraries IDEA Action grants, visit these posts.  

1960s era yearbooks from Columbia High School now on DigitalNC

Seven yearbooks from Columbia High School in Columbia, NC are now online, thanks to our partner Tyrrell County Public Library.  The yearbooks, which cover several years in the 1960s, help to fill out the set from Columbia already on DigitalNC, with now almost a full set running from 1947 to 1972.  

Black and yellow plaid cover of a yearbook

1964 yearbook cover

Yearbook cover for 1966 Columbian with orange paw prints

1966 yearbook cover

Blue text on a gray background for the 1967 Columbian

1967 yearbook cover

To learn more about Tyrrell County Public Library, please visit their partner page.  To view more yearbooks, visit our North Carolina Yearbooks Collection.

Videos from Mitchell Community College now on DigitalNC

Over 30 videos from Mitchell Community College are now on DigitalNC.  They include fall convocations, variety shows from the 1990s, and even a set of commercials that promoted Mitchell Community College programs such as computer technology that aired in 1990.  

Two students sit at a table looking at notebooks with bookbags on the table.

Two students in the library in a clip from footage shot around Mitchell Community College’s Statesville campus.

To view more content on DigitalNC from Mitchell Community College, visit their partner page.

To view more community college content from across NC, visit our Community College exhibit here. 

Several small town North Carolina newspapers from the 19th century now online

Front page of the Enfield Times in 1873

Much of our newspaper digitization is done from microfilm reels, which typically only have one title on a reel.  However, sometimes a paper does not take up a whole reel and to maximize efficiency, when the reel was created, other small runs of papers are included.  Often those small runs are simply a few issues of very old papers where the only extant know copies number 2 or 3 issues.  This was the case with a reel we digitized this past year for the Bladen Journal.  In addition to the Journal, 13 other titles were on the same reel and all have now been added to DigitalNC!  

The full list includes:

Enfield Times 2 issues, 1873
Tar River Beacon 2 issues, 1876
Greenville Express 2 issues, 1880-1881
Cape Fear Lance  1 issue, 1899
The Beacon  2 issues, 1888
The Enfield Progress 1 issue, 1887
Old Constitution  2 issues, 1870
 Franklinton Weekly 3 issues, 1883, 1886, 1893
The Rural Visitor  7 issues, 1898-1899
 Graham Tribune 1 issue, 1900
The Greenville Index  1 issue, 1894
The Western Reporter  1 issue, 1881

Header of the Graham Tribune 1900 newspaper

The towns the papers represent cover the eastern and western portions of the state, with the oldest issue from 1873 and the most recent from 1900 – over a quarter century of coverage from across the state.

To see more newspapers, check out our North Carolina Newspapers section of the website.