Two of the ledgers are from St. John’s Lodge in Wilmington, NC and include meeting minutes, member lists, and other correspondence over the period of 1907-1919. Repairs and other work done to the building the lodge resided in at the time is a common topic of conversation, among many other things. Some interesting items covered both in the St. John’s ledgers as well as one from Zion Lodge No. 81 in Trenton, NC are the payments made out of widows of deceased Masons, showing a way that the Masons provided an avenue of financial and other support when few social safety nets existed for women in particular.
To view more materials we have digitized for the Grand Lodge, visit their partner page here. And to learn more about the North Carolina Masons today, you can visit their website.
To celebrate 14 years of NCDHC (on May 12, 2009 our first blog post went live with our first scanned collection), the staff of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center have all picked a favorite item from the collection to share. Check them out below – and then we invite you to visit digitalnc.org and find some favorite NC items yourself!
Lisa Gregory, Program Coordinator for the NCDHC
When pressed to pick one item (!) I have to go with the September 26, 1874 issue of the Fayetteville Educator. The Educator ran for a single year and was published by W. C. Smith who went on to publish a later title, the Charlotte Messenger. A few years ago while researching Black newspapers in North Carolina, I happened to run across a reference to the Educator as the earliest known Black newspaper in the state. Other sources generally cite the Star of Zion, which began a short time later and is still published today. With the help of some of our partners we were able to locate and add the Fayetteville Educator to DigitalNC. I picked this item because many 19th and 20th century newspapers written by and documenting the Black community are no longer extant or are extremely rare. For me, the fact that we can now share this online on behalf of our partners really encapsulates why we do what we do at NCDHC.
Stephanie Williams, NCDHC Programmer
Movies of Local People (H. Lee Waters): Wadesboro, 1938
H. Lee Waters traveled around the state in the 1930s and 1940s setting up a camera on streetcorners and filming townspeople. There are a handful of these films available on DigitalNC, and one of my favorites is from Wadesboro in 1938. Waters captured people just going about their daily business, which is fun for so many reasons–but my favorite part is seeing peoples’ personalities, and realizing that the way we react when we realize we’re on camera hasn’t changed in 85 years.
Kristen Merryman, Digital Projects Librarian
“Adult feeding bear by Fontana Lake”
This is a photograph in our collection I always come back to because it really pulls together many things I love – bears, the gorgeous lakes of the NC mountains, and a good cookout in a park. This obviously portrays something many a park ranger would shun but I love the NC Variety Vacationland vibes it gives off! We digitized this photograph as part of a larger batch from the Graham County Public Library in Robbinsville, NC when we were there for an onsite scanning visit in 2018 and ourselves got to enjoy many lovely views of Fontana Lake and the surrounding mountains.
One of the things I love about our site is how many yearbooks, student handbooks, and students newspapers we have—I love seeing family and friends’ photos from when they were in school. These materials are where I see my own life reflected the most because they capture so many familiar places and people. It’s interesting to see how our schools have changed over the last century but also how so many things are apparently inherent to being a teenager. While I think all of our student publications are fantastic, this handbook is special to me for a few reasons. Not only is it a glimpse at my alma mater (go Deacs!), but it also features an excellent photo of one of my favorite professors in his early years of teaching.
Geoff Schilling, Newspaper Technician
Cat’s Cradle The DigitalNC item I chose is of a Chapel Hill location that means a great deal to me. The first four photos in this set are of the Cat’s Cradle’s early to late ‘80s location at 320 W. Franklin St. (now The Crunkleton), but the last three images are the reason I’m sharing it. Down this alley is their previous location at 405 1/2 W. Rosemary St., which they started occupying around 1971. In 1983, after the Cradle moved out, it became a venue called Rhythm Alley and they stuck around until 1987. At the end of that year the Skylight Exchange took over the space and in 2003 the one-and-only Nightlight came into existence. The Nightlight is an experimental music oasis where you can see everything from outsider folk legend Michael Hurley to Detroit techno heavyweight DJ Psycho. In addition to being my favorite venue in the world, it’s also the preferred stop of touring musicians from all over the country. The landscape of this “Rhythm Alley” has barely changed over the last half-century (save for a healthy amount of graffiti), but its legacy has grown with each new chapter.
Last year I had the opportunity to digitize some amazing slide images that were taken during several Chapel Hill Boy Scout Troop 835 and Girl Scout Troop 59 trips over the years courtesy of our partner Chapel Hill Historical Society. Many of the slides from these trips feature beautiful scenery and fun, but this particular photograph from the August 1973 Quebec trip is one of my favorite items on our site. In addition to being a great candid, I think it’s the individual’s sense of jollity and peacefulness portrayed in this moment of the trip that really makes it a top-pick of mine.
Just in time for their 50th! reunion, the 1972 Montreat College (then known as Montreat-Anderson College) yearbook, the 1972 Walrus Figleaf, is now on DigitalNC, joining many other past yearbooks, student newspapers, and other materials from the school. The yearbook is a work of art, both photography and drawing, and fun to look through even if you’re not celebrating your 50th reunion this year.
A reminder to all partners – even if we haven’t worked with you in a while, we at DigitalNC are always happy to fill in materials gaps when more are found! To view more yearbooks from around North Carolina, visit our North Carolina Yearbooks section of our site. To learn more about Montreat College, visit their website here.
Screenshot from the Evelyn Abrams Terry Oral History Interview [June 18, 2022]
The City of Winston-Salem has started a project called the Winston-Salem African-American Heritage Initiative to address the shortcomings of how the city has historically acknowledged the role of African-Americans in its’ history. The goal of the initiative is to build a digital archive of materials that aims to preserve and provide access to the history of Winston-Salem during segregation as well as the efforts of desegregation. Working in partnership with the city on this, DigitalNC is serving as the digital access portal for the submitted materials. So far those materials have included oral histories taken at the city’s Juneteenth events with members of the African-American community, as well as old campaign materials, funeral programs and other items documenting Winston-Salem’s African-American community.
William R. Crawford 1964 NC Legislature Campaign Materials.
Front page of the January 12, 1947 announcing a contest looking for NC’s “ideal Catholic family”
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.
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.
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.
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).
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:
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:
The yearbooks also feature team portraits – with UNC already sporting their familiar logo in 1920.
UNC’s 1920 Basketball Team
Trinity College’s (now Duke University) 1920 Basketball team
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.