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 Lulu Zilinskas


New Photos from Chapel Hill Historical Society Now Online

Nineteen new photos and one newspaper clipping are now available to view on DigitalNC courtesy of our partners at the Chapel Hill Historical Society. All images focus on Baum Jewelry Craftsmen, a Chapel Hill jewelry store that was located where I Love N.Y. Pizza currently resides.

Two images show the exterior of Baum Jewelry Craftsmen while three others document the staff, Walter Baum, and an award granted by The Chapel Hill Newspaper to the store for their brick architecture. The rest of the photos in this batch are various angles of West Franklin Street in the 1990s. Each photo meticulously documents the outside of I Love N.Y. Pizza, prompting a comparison of how the storefront used to look when Baum Jewelry Craftsmen occupied the space. Not only that, but these photos also show the various stores that used to line Frankin of yesteryear, such as TJ’s Campus Beverage and Caribou Coffee. Locals will also recognize glimpses of The Yogurt Pump in a few photos.

To see more photos as well as other materials from the Chapel Hill Historical Society, visit their contributor page and check out the material selections on the left-hand side. Or check out their website by clicking here.


New Issues of The Shoreline Now Available

Thanks to our partners at The History Committee of the Town of Pine Knoll Shores, we now have a handful of new issues of The Shoreline, covering all of 2019 and a few months of 2018. DigitalNC now has a near complete collection The Shoreline through the years, from 1973 to 2019, with the exception of 2003.

The Shoreline is the local newspaper for Pine Knoll Shores, N.C., located on the Bogue Banks barrier island in Carteret County. As the inaugural 1973 newsletter declared, this newspaper is for “giving residents and non-residents a change to fill us all in on what’s happening to them, how they feel about life down here, and just generally brining the whole group together…”. The Shoreline continues that spirit today, covering Pine Knoll Shores through articles focused on local events and organizations, like public library updates and Pine Knoll Shores Women’s Club news.

While Pine Knoll Shores may be small in population, reaching 1,339 in the 2010 census, they have a lively community. This is evidenced through the community projects laid out in The Shoreline; from watching over the seasonal sea turtle nests to planting trees after a devastating hurricane season, Pine Knoll Shores residents are active around town.

To view the entire collection of newspapers from Pine Knoll Shores, click here. You can also find more digitized content from Pine Knoll Shores by visiting the History Committee’s contributor page. To learn more about Pine Knoll Shores, visit the town website here.


Fill-In Batch of The Carolina Indian Voice Now Online

DigitalNC is happy to announce a new batch of digitized newspaper issues from The Carolina Indian Voice. This round of issues includes most of 1976, all of 1977, and fill-ins for the years 1979-1996. These additions have brought us that much closer to a complete online collection of The Voice. We would like to thank our partners at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for providing the physical issues that made this possible.

Established in 1973 and running until 2005, The Carolina Indian Voice published weekly on Thursdays. The Voice was based out of Pembroke, North Carolina, seat of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. As the majority of Pembroke and Robeson County residents are of Lumbee ancestry, The Voice focused on local issues and events that spoke to the interests of the Indigenous community. With taglines such as “Dedicated to the Best in All of Us” and “Building Communicative Bridges in a Tri-Racial Setting”, many articles from ’76 and ’77 focus on advocacy and race. Headlines include local election coverage and racially conscious endorsements for representatives as well as pointed opinion pieces from founder and editor Bruce Barton on topics such as racial injustice.

A clipping of an advertisement titled "Don't Waste Your Vote-Power: Vote For Nine" in The Carolina Indian Voice, August 12, 1976. It implores citizens to vote for representatives according to the population's demographics for the Robeson County School District Board of Education election to correct long time racial injustices; "six (6) Indians, two (2) Blacks, and one (1) White". It was paid for by the Ad Hoc Committee to Break Double Voting.

The Carolina Indian Voice, August 12, 1976. This advertisement implores citizens to vote for representatives according to the population’s demographics for the Robeson County School District Board of Education election to correct long standing racial injustices; “six (6) Indians, two (2) Blacks, and one (1) White”.

The Carolina Indian Voice provides a necessary Indigenous perspective to life in North Carolina. To browse through all currently digitized issues of The Voice, click here. And to see more materials from our partner the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, visit their partner page here.


Hog Slaughter Photos from Johnston County Online Now

DigitalNC now has 60 images of the hog slaughter process as performed on H. W. Strickland’s farm courtesy of the Johnston County Heritage Center. Be warned, these photos show graphic, up close details!

Taken in 1976, the photos depict the various steps involved in hog killing, starting with hanging and ending with meat preparation. Scalding, evisceration, and beheading procedures are also shown. Notably, the images show the outdoor setup as well as the many hands that go into the process.

If these have piqued your interest, click here for a quick link to all hog killing information as found in the many DigitalNC collections. For more images from Johnston County Heritage Center, click here. And to learn more about Johnston County Heritage Center, click here.


Photos From Mitchell Community College of the Women of Mitchell Historical Exhibit and Event Now Online

We’re happy to share a new batch of photographs from Mitchell Community College, located in Statesville, North Carolina. This batch includes seven photos from the Women’s History Month kickoff event with Emily Herring Wilson and related Women of Mitchell historical exhibit.

Several photos are of Wilson’s talk held at the Rotary Auditorium in the J.P. and Mildred Huskins Library. Wilson spoke about her book North Carolina Women: Making History, focusing on Mitchell’s history and women’s contributions. The remaining photos are of the related exhibit consisting of memorabilia highlighting women employees of Mitchell.

Notably, Wilson’s talk was held on March 2, 2020, right before the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled campus gatherings and the rest of the in-person Women’s History Month events. Later in the year, Mitchell held a new, online event for Women’s Equality Day, The Women in Leadership Panel, which is available to view on DigitalNC.

To view all digitized materials from Mitchell Community College, click here. And to learn more about Mitchell, please visit their website here.


1988 Issues of Winston-Salem Chronicle Now Available

Clipping of a front page article from the Winston-Salem Chronicle. The article is titled "Community Upset Over NAACP Plan" and features a photo to the right of Walter Marshal at a microphone. A quote at the top of the page reads, "I have a problem with a plan that white folks bring and put in black folks hands." -- Lee Faye Mack.

The front page of the Winston-Salem Chronicle, June 23, 1988. The article title reads “Community Upset over NAACP Plan” and provides a photo of the Winston-Salem chapter NAACP President Walter Marshall.

In an effort to fill in gaps of the Winston-Salem Chronicle, DigitalNC has added the year 1988 to our digital collection. This brings us to a near completion of digitized issues running from 1974 to 2016, with only the year 2000 missing. We would like to thank our partners at Forsyth County Public Library for making these additions available.

Founded in 1974, The Chronicle serves the community of Winston-Salem, N.C. by focusing their attention on local news. Common topics covered in 1988 include People, Sports, Religion, Forum Q&As, and Letters to the Editor. Part of the African-American press, The Chronicle directs its reporting towards issues and events in and of the Black community, such as addressing company closures and job loss in terms of Black demographics as well as following NAACP disputes. Additionally, Black College Sports Review inserts can be found throughout the year.

As 1988 was an election year, there is also an issue highlighting the local effects of the election aftermath.

Clipping of front page articles from the Winston-Salem Chronicle. Article titles include "Republicans Take Lion's Share; Local Black Contenders Lose", "Results of National Elections: Who Else Won and Where", and "Candidates Say Straight Voting Hurt". There are two photos of supporters for senator candidates Vernon Robinson and Naomi Jones.

Front page of the Winston-Salem Chronicle, November 10, 1988. Headlines include “Republicans Take Lion’s Share; Local Black Contenders Lose”, “Results of National Elections: Who Else Won and Where”, and “Candidates Say Straight Voting Hurt”.

If you would like to browse all of the digitized editions of the Winston-Salem Chronicle available on DigitalNC, click here. To learn more about Forsyth County Public Library, click here, and to see all digitized content we have from them, you can visit their contributor page by clicking here.


“Dear Santa”: A Collection of Newspaper Holiday Wishes

Clipping from a large illustration from The Cherokee Scout. There are three children gathering around an older family member who is about to read "The Night Before X-Mas". Behind them is a scene of Santa in his sled in the sky and stockings by the fireplace.

Full-page illustration in The Cherokee Scout, December 14, 1928.

As 2020 comes to a close (hooray!), all of us are wishing for many things in the coming year, whether it’s as simple as a meal with family or as grand as international travel. In the spirit of intention setting, and for a little escapism, we thought it would be fun to search through the DigitalNC newspaper collection for accounts of wishes from years past. What was found were an abundance “Dear Santa”s, funny and touching wish lists from children (and a few adults) to the man in red, printed in local newspapers in the hopes they would be seen and granted. Some holiday wishes also snuck in, too. So, like a virtual, time-traveling wishing tree, here is a collection of entertaining messages to bring a little cheer.

 

Dear Santa,

I would like to rub Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I have never seen him. I love you and your reindeer. I would like a race car.

Please put it under my Christmas tree. My brother wood like some money left under the tree. Mom wants a ring. Dad wants three wishes.

Kevin Crisco, 1st Grade

 

Dear Santa,

I like you because you have been nice to me for six years. Look good because you may be surprised. This year, I want a typewriter and a new desk.

Love Your Friend,

Natalie (Tyner), 1st Grade

P.S. Thanks for giving toys to me, my friends, and all kids.

 

Dear Santa,

I want a bike for Christmas and a teddy bear and a little cat, too. I like your deer because they are fun to play with.

Karima Freeman, 2nd Grade

 

 

Danbury, N.C.. Dec. 16.

Dear Santa Claus:

I am a small girl, but my wants are many. I would like some flower vases, box of stationary, some candy, oranges, and nuts. Your devoted friend,

Annie Campell.

 

 

Dear Santa,

How are you? Are your reindeer and elves good? My name is Kevin Tsui. I am eight years old and I live with my mom and dad, and brother. The school that I go to is North School. I am a good boy and I am a good student in school. What I want for Christmas is a Sega CD and Mortal Combat II, a Panther hat, a Secret Sender 6000, a Dell computer and a NERF Ballzooka, a model Porche, Sega game gear, a Kasparov MK12 chess computer, and a NERF Arrowstorm.

Love, Kyle Tsui

 

 

Student opinion poll: Bellespeak

What is the ideal Christmas present?

Rose L. Coleman

First-Year

Business

Chicago, Ill.

 

“A car and my tuition paid.”

 

Amanda Henley

Junior

Political Science

Harrisburg, Pa.

 

“My ideal Christmas present would be to have my college debt paid off.”

 

 

Dear Santa,

I have been a very good boy. Please bring me a watch and all the transformers and space things and everything else you can think of.

Drew Howell

 

Dear Santa,

Please bring me five things: Fish Stick, Cabbage Patch Doll, Swing, Bicycle, Paint Brush.

Dennisha Edwards

 

 

Dear Santa Claus,

My age is seven. I weigh 55 pounds. I will leave some food out for you. I am 4 ft. 2 in. tall. My favorite TV program is a Christmas Parade. My favorite food is fruits. I want for Christmas oranges, apples and grapes and five surprises.

I love you,

Kathy Lynn Matthews

Norlina, N.C.

 

 

Dear Santa,

I’m hungry. I’ve tried to be a good girl this year, and I would have too, without this damned roach incident. Claus-man, when I put that bug on Hope’s plate in Lenoir, I though[t] she’d see it before it got to her mouth. Some folks just can’t take a joke. Anyway I haven’t eaten since Sunday, and I was hoping you’d make an early run this year to bring me some food, nothing fancy, some gruel or porridge will suffice. I’ll be waiting at the bus stop on Stadium Drive. (I’ll be the one with ribs poking through her jacket.

See ya soon, (tonight?), Annice

 

Holiday wishes:

I want a half inch of snow on Christmas morning and sunshine in the afternoon.

-Dr. Rebecca Duncan

 

I want a basket full of kittens and unlimited Starbucks coffee.

-Jessica Feltner

 

If you’re interested in looking for some more “Dear Santa”s, try searching “dear santa” or “Christmas wish” in the quick search bar on our newspaper collection page. Try the advanced search if you’re looking for specific years. In addition, The Kings Mountain Herald has a gigantic collection of “Dear Santa” messages. From 1981 onwards, you can find them in the last issue of the year.


Photographs from Johnston Community College in the 1990s Now Online

A clipping of a photo of an icey lake in winter at Johnston Community College. The photo features snow, trees, deer, and geese on the lake.

A clipping of a photo of animals and an icy pond at Johnston Community College in 1996.

Approximately 130 photographs from Johnston Community College have been digitized and are now available online, adding to our vast collection of Johnston Community College photos. This batch is from the mid-1990s, highlighting Johnston Community College’s campus, staff, educational programs, and various events.

Annual events, such as Week of the Young Child, were especially prevalent in this upload. Most frequent were the Christmas open houses. While each Christmas open house showcases festivities and decorations, a common thread through the years are the extravagant quilting displays. In several shots, people demonstrate their quilting techniques for onlookers.

This batch also includes photos of retirement parties, the nursing department, and the truck driver training program as they go for test drives around the community. Construction of both the softball field and health building are documented. Additionally, there are photos of the open house for the new Cleveland Campus.

Photo of a bagpipe player with kilt on playing the bagpipe. The musician is walking to the right while three children walk behind the musician, covering their ears.

Bagpipe player Reit McPherson at the Johnston Community College 1996 Christmas Open House.

To see all of the photographs in this batch, click here. To learn more about Johnston Community College, visit their partner page here or their website here.


DigitalNC from Home: Oral History Transcription

As all of us at the Digital Heritage Center carry on our work from home, we are continuing to utilize the time outside of our regular duties to enhance DigitalNC. One such project is adding transcriptions to our collection of North Carolina Oral Histories.

Transcriptions are the written text of audio files, which are, in our case, recordings of oral histories. The oral histories on DigitalNC vary in length, ranging from two minutes, to two hours, and beyond. Typing out transcriptions from scratch takes time- a lot of time. To help us out, we use the transcription software, Sonix. Once an audio file has been uploaded to Sonix, the software “listens” to and creates text of what it heard.

Screenshot of a Sonix transcript without edits. The text reads "(speaker): Okay, actually, I'd rather you sit there cuz that swings squeak squeaks. I want to show you so you got to cut off. No, it's running and we'll look at that when we finished. I will okay. (speaker): Okay, do you cook collard? Yes, I do. I want you to sit there soon. It's Queen this you tell me from start to finish exactly how you cook your collards. Okay. I'll get my put my meat in the pot. Yes, but if I got a smoked meat I put that in there and then I put a little Lord in them. Then I put a little sugar and salt and red pepper."

An example of a Sonix transcript before editing. This transcript came out relatively coherent, but needs speakers and will be assessed for faithful translation. For example, did the narrator say “Lord” or could it be “lard”?

Unfortunately, audio transcription software does not produce a faultless transcript. After Sonix creates the new text, we listen to the original audio and edit the errors. Edits include replacing or removing incorrectly heard words, adding in missed punctuation and paragraph spacing, and attributing the various speakers. We also remove speech fillers (think “um” and “er”) and note when speech is unclear with a bracketed question mark ([?]).

Editing also requires consistency. Here are some of the guidelines we follow to create dependable transcripts:

  • If the speaker does not stick to formal standards of grammar throughout the conversation, we do not correct it, but non-standard contractions are written fully (as in, goin’ becomes going)
  • If one speaker talks over another, we try to put them in order as it makes sense in the conversation
  • If a speaker expresses laughter, we enter that into the text using brackets ([laughs]).

This is where transcription work gets tricky. These guidelines may prompt questions during the editing process such as, How much laughter is enough to allow for [laughs]? or, What if the speaker has a regional accent that represents much of their personality and culture as expressed in the recording and I would like to point to it through non-standard contractions? There are no hard and fast answers to either question. Both rely on what the transcriptionist feels is most appropriate to faithfully represent the narrator’s story. This makes the transcription a participatory product, not just an automatic copy.

Respect for both the narrator’s speech and intent is the primary focus for a transcriptionist. In a perfect world, the interviewer would ask the narrator to look over the final document to approve of the content. However, because the Digital Heritage Center obtains all of our oral histories through our partners, plus the fact they are often recorded over 20 years ago, we are not able to consult either the interviewer or the narrator.

This leaves us to follow best practices, making sure to keep in mind our biases. Respecting the intersectionality of the narrator is an important dimension to this work. Many of the narrators in our Oral History Collection are Black and use African-American Vernacular English. Others speak with strong regional Southern dialects. As we draw up the final transcript, we have to take into consideration our own positionality and watch for editorializing and over-interpreting.

Screenshot of an edited Sonix transcription. The text reads Mary Lewis Deans: Tell me how you heard about it. Kermit Paris: I was working in the bakery in [?]. I don't know, just before Carolina Theater opened up [?], once before I used to live right there. We was on the railroad tracks when I heard it. And, sure enough, I reckon ten or fifteen minutes after then, some artillery had come down the train, I remember that, going north. Artillery and some tanks was going down. They had guards on the flat cars, I'd seen some soldiers on the flat cars at that time. I do remember that.

An example of a Sonix transcript after editing.

Why are we transcribing oral histories? Not only does adding text to the audio make the record accessible, but researchers are now able to scroll through interviews for relevant information without having to listen to the entire recording. The text within the transcripts is fully searchable when doing a full text search on DigitalNC, which makes them appear in many more searches than they would have with just a basic description. That being said, accessibility is a first step and we are looking forward to continually refining our transcripts and supplemental description work with an eye to equitability and transparency.

To take a look at all of the oral histories we have online, click here. And if you’re interested in glancing through the many oral histories with either original or newly made transcripts, click here.


Recent Issues of Elon University Student Newspapers Now Online

177 new issues between 2012-2018 of Elon University student newspapers The Pendulum and The Edge are now available for online browsing. These new resources are available on DigitalNC thanks our partners at Elon University.

Elon University is a private university located in Elon, Alamance County, North Carolina. Originally founded in 1889 as Elon College, Elon University obtained it’s current name in 2001. Elon University’s first student-run newspaper, Maroon and Gold, began publication in 1919 but was discontinued in 1970. The campus news outlet was eventually reinstated in 1974 as The Pendulum. In addition to the many audio and visual news shows Elon University now provides, The Pendulum continues weekly publications to this day. As it is a student-run newspaper, they follow the academic calendar year, which means issues fall off during the winter, spring, and summer breaks.

Holding multiple awards from the Associated Collegiate Press, The Pendulum informs both the campus and local community of news within and beyond the university. Besides updates on sports and campus initiatives, students actively use this space to voice opinions on topics ranging from politics to religion to activism. These recent uploads cover the before, during, and after effects of the 2016 U.S. presidential election on Elon University’s student population, highlighting the many intersections of student experience.

The Edgeformerly known as Elon Edge, is a supplemental magazine affiliated with The PendulumMuch of the content covered in the Edge is focused on entertainment, such as music, fashion, local events, and interest pieces.

To view all issues of The Pendulum, click here. To focus on the issues of The Edge, click here. And to take a look at the entire collection of Elon University student newspapers from years 1910 to 2018 by front page, click here. For more information about Elon University, you can visit their homepage here.