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 Neil Byers


New student newspaper issues from Granville County Public Library now online at DigitalNC!

OHS Owl September 1946

The Oxford High School Owl, September 1946

Issues from 8 NC student newspapers are now online at DigitalNC! The issues come from several schools in Granville County and cover news topics like sports, facility renovations, and school events, as well as creative works by students and advertisements for local businesses. The recent batch includes the following newspapers:

  • The Spectator – J.F. Webb High School – Oxford, NC – 26 issues – 1965-1972
  • The Tattler – Oxford High School – Oxford, NC – 1 issue – 1921
  • The Owl – Oxford High School – Oxford, NC – 22 issues – 1946-1962
  • Senior Bulletin – Oxford College – Oxford, NC – 1 issue – 1922
  • The D. N. Hix Happening – D. N. Hix Middle School – Oxford, NC – 1 issue – 1971
  • Viking Press – South Granville High School – Creedmoor, NC – 1 issue – 1963
  • The Early Bird – Orange Street Graded School – Oxford, NC – 3 issues – 1952-1955
  • The Mary Potter Gazette – Mary Potter High School – Oxford, NC – 5 issues – 1957-1965
JFWHS Spectator February 1965

The J.F. Webb High School Spectator, February 26, 1965

The newspapers listed above constitute a new addition to the significant number of Granville County Public Library materials already online at DigitalNC. Visit their DigitalNC partner page here or head to the Granville County Library System website for more information.


New materials from McDowell County Public Library’s Greenlee Collection of Scrapbooks now online at DigitalNC!

two individuals next to a small mill powered by two mules

Cutout from the McDowell County Agriculture Scrapbook

21 new scrapbooks and 10 new yearbooks from the McDowell County Public Library are now online at DigitalNC. The scrapbooks, all of which make up part of MCPL’s Greenlee Collection of Scrapbooks, date roughly from the 1910s to the early 1990s and document various aspects of life in McDowell County. From health and safety, to forest conservation, to arts and crafts, each scrapbook focuses on one of a wide range of topics. The scrapbooks’ pages consist largely of newspaper clippings from various local papers, such as the McDowell News, and a few more regional publications like the the Charlotte Observer. The materials provide a wealth of information for anyone interested in learning about topics of interest to citizens of communities such as Marion and Old Fort over the course of the 20th century. The scrapbooks are neatly organized and generally present their information in chronological order.

"Now Let's ALL buy defense bonds" ad with large american flag

Cutout from the McDowell County military scrapbook, 1941-1945

The recent batch also features 10 more yearbooks from MCPL. These include four from Glenwood High School (1951, 1952. 1954, and 1957), two from North Cove High School (1941 and 1942). and one each from Clevenger College (1959), Old Fort High School (1968), Nebo High School (1968), and Marion High School (1968). Together the two sets of materials represent a treasure trove of resources for researchers of local history in North Carolina.

The new additions join a handful of other MCPL scrapbooks and yearbooks already online at DigitalNC. For more information, please visit the MCPL’s DigitalNC page or follow this link to their website.


New items from the Grand Lodge of North Carolina now online at DigitalNC

Chorazin Chapter Royal Arch Masons 1914

A page from the Book of Marks of the Chorazin Chapter no. 13 of the Royal Arch Masons of Greensboro, NC, 1914

A new batch of items from The Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina are now available online. The recently digitized materials consist largely of minute books, account ledgers, and membership rolls from the Grand Lodge and various other Masonic lodges in North Carolina. Also included is a selection of twentieth-century scrapbooks, bylaws, historical sketches, and programs from several different lodges. The textual materials originate mainly from lodges  in the Raleigh and Greensboro areas and date from the early 19th century to the 1960s.

 

Colonial Masters Royal White Hart Lodge

Officers of the Order of Colonial Masters at the Royal White Hart Lodge no. 2, 1911

Accompanying the textual materials are two groups of photographs, the first detailing various activities and features of the the Royal White Hart Lodge No. 2 of Halifax, NC in 1911. The second group of photographs documents a ball held on April 18, 1962 which celebrated the installation of Charles Carpenter Ricker as Grand Master of Phoenix Lodge No. 2 in Raleigh, NC. A single photo, taken circa. 1915, which details a gathering of Oasis Shriners in Charlotte, NC, accompanies the two larger sets.

To see more materials from The Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina, visit their partner page or take a look at their website.


New school records from Central Piedmont Community College now online at DigitalNC

 

Mecklenburg College

Mecklenburg College master plan, circa 1961-1963

A new batch of materials from Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) is now available online. The documents, stored in vertical files at CPCC’s archives, consist of school administrative documents and yearbooks from the 1950s and 1960s. The materials document the operation and administration of the predominantly black Carver College (later renamed Mecklenburg College) and the Central Industrial Education Center before their merger to form CPCC in 1963. The batch contains the entirety of both the Carver College Collection and the Central Industrial Education Center Collection from CPCC’s archives. For detailed finding aids on either collection, please follow the links.

The new materials are an addition to the CPCC memorabilia and yearbooks already hosted online at DigitalNC. Please visit their partner page or website for more information.


New student newspapers from Queens University of Charlotte now online at DigitalNC

Queens Blues 1941

Front page of Queens Blues, 12/12/1941 – Queens students grapple with war

A new batch of newspapers from Queens University of Charlotte is now online. The batch covers a 20 year span (1931-1951) of Queens Blues, the student newspaper for Charlotte’s Queens College. An all female liberal arts institution, Queens College began admitting male students after the Second World War and later became Queens University of Charlotte. The issues provide interesting insights into the world of young, educated women during a crucial period in American history – The Great Depression and World War II. The contents largely concern themselves with goings-on at the school itself, but touch upon wider events as well. The front page shown above, for example, illustrates how college students reacted to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and America’s entry into World War II.

The newly digitized materials are an addition to the considerable amount of Queens University materials already online at DigitalNC. Visit their DigitalNC partner page here or head to the QUC Library website for more information.


Cary, NC historical materials from the Page-Walker Arts & History Center now online at DigitalNC

Cary 1970s

Heading east on Chatham St. in downtown Cary (Rexall, now Ashworth, Drugs on the right), 1970s

A new batch of materials from the Page-Walker Arts & History Center is now online at DigitalNC. The batch consists of research notes compiled by author Thomas M. Byrd for his 1994 book, Around and About Cary, which describes the history of Cary, NC. The notes include pages of draft edits, copies of primary and secondary sources, correspondence, census information, and various planning documents. Byrd’s notes are a great resource for those interested in the history of Cary or, more generally, the planning and composition of local history works and the overall growth of the Wake County and Triangle area of North Carolina.  

Byrd’s notes are another addition to the existing Page-Walker Arts & History Center materials hosted online at DigitalNC. Please visit their website or DigitalNC partner page for more information.


Over 150 photos from the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History now online at DigitalNC

NC Granite workers

Workers atop a large piece of granite at the North Carolina Granite Corporation

A new batch of over 150 photos from the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History is now online at DigitalNC. The photos document the operations of the North Carolina Granite Corporation of Mount Airy, NC roughly between 1900 and 1970. The NCGC, which operates what has been recognized as the largest open-faced granite quarry in the world, was founded over 125 years ago. Most of the photos originate in the period during which John Davis Sargent served as the superintendent and later president of the company (1910-1945). He is present in many of the depicted scenes.

 

The newly digitized images fall into four major categories: quarry operations, aerial views, quarry personnel, and building projects. Perhaps the most striking of the four are the aerial photos, which give one a sense of the scale of operations at the NCGC.

NC Granite Aerial

Aerial view of the North Carolina Granite Corporation, circa 1915-1945

The personnel and operations photographs are fascinating as well, for they allow one a glimpse into the backbreaking and dusty world of stonework during early 20th century.

NC Granite workers

Quarry workers at the North Carolina Granite Corporation

The NCGC constituted an important source of white granite in the Eastern US throughout the 20th century and the stone produced at the Mount Airy quarry can be seen in countless buildings and monuments in the area. Some prominent examples include Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kill Devil Hills, NC (pictured below), the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and the Arlington Memorial Bridge, which bridges the Potomac River between Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia. Many houses, churches, monuments, and municipal buildings across North Carolina also feature Mount Airy granite, photos of which constitute a major portion of those now online at DigitalNC.

Wright Brothers National Memorial

The Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kill Devil Hills, N.C.

For more information, please see the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History website or visit their contributor page here at DigitalNC. 


Nike Missile Program materials from Alamance County Public Libraries now available online at DigitalNC

Nike Missile Pamphlet

Nike Missile Program pamphlet

Interested in Cold War history?

A new batch of materials from Alamance County Public Libraries (ACPL) is now online at DigitalNC. The materials, which include several publicity scrapbooks, three photo albums, and a collection of loose photographs, detail the Western Electric Company’s involvement in the US Army’s Nike Missile Program during the 1950s and 1960s. Throughout that period, the Western Electric Company manufactured guidance equipment for the Nike missiles, which were part of a large anti-ICBM defense network then under development by the US Military. The company operated a major manufacturing facility in Burlington, NC, a plant that features heavily in the ACPL materials. In 2016, the old plant was officially listed as part of the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service.

White Sands 1952

WE equipment at White Sands Missile Range, NM, 1952

The scrapbooks were donated to ACPL by longtime Western Electric employee Raymond Donnell (1921-2002) and include a wealth of press clippings, memos, and photographs concerning the Tarheel Army Missile Plant in Burlington, NC and Western Electric’s missile-related activities in general.  Many of the clippings relate to the political battles surrounding the Nike Program and the program’s effects on Burlington and the surrounding area.

BTN Headline January 30 1954

Burlington Times News, January 30, 1954

The photographic materials relate both to Western Electric’s production of missile guidance equipment and the US Military’s use of it. Many of the photographs provide views of the working environment at the Tarheel Army Missile Plant during 1953, while the three albums detail various tests at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico and facilities at the Kwajalein Pacific Missile Test Range.

We Workers 1953 Tarheel

Workers at the Tarheel Army Missile Plant, 1953

The newly digitized materials are an addition to the considerable amount of ACPL materials already online at DigitalNC. Visit ACPL’s DigitalNC partner page here or head to their website for more information.

 

19th Century Business Ledgers and Scrapbook from the Cumberland County Public Library now online at DigitalNC

Cumberland Ledger 1873

Cover of a ledger/scrapbook from the Cumberland County Public Library, 1873-1875

A trio of nineteenth-century business ledgers from the Cumberland County Public Library are now online at DigitalNC. The ledgers date from the 1830s, the 1850s, and the 1870s, respectively, and can help teach us more about the daily lives of North Carolinians during the nineteenth century. Particularly interesting is the first ledger, which dates from 1832-1834 and documents the business dealings of the merchants Womack and Goodwin in Pittsboro. Operating as general merchants, the firm served the local community with wares ranging from lace, to nails, to sugar, and everything in between.

Pittsboro Ledger 1832

Page From the Womack and Goodwin Business Ledger, 1832

The second ledger dates from 1852 to 1854 and documents the transactions of an unidentified merchant who conducted business in Cumberland County, Randolph County, and elsewhere. It includes transactions with several prominent Randolph County personalities, including Isaac Holt Faust (1818-1864), a wealthy slaveholder and estate owner, and Pinckney Davenport II (1811-1867), a local moonshine distiller. A selection of papers from the family of Foust’s daughter can be found in the Harris and Foust Family Papers, part of the Southern Historical collection at UNC’s Wilson Library.

Isaac Holt Foust Account 1853

Isaac Holt Foust Account in the 1852-1856 Ledger

The third ledger includes more account information, attributable either to one JB Hockaday or one NA Stedman Jr. of Fayetteville, and dates from 1873-1875. The first 21 pages of this ledge are pasted over with unidentified drawings and newspaper clippings, mainly consisting of prose and poetry.

For more materials from the Cumberland County Public Library, please visit their website or their contributor page here at DigitalNC.


Chowan Female Collegiate Institute student literary magazine now online at DigitalNC

Chowan The Casket March 1854

Chowan Female Collegiate Institute, The Casket, March 1854

A single issue of The Casket, the student literary magazine of the Chowan Female Collegiate Institute (later Chowan University) is now online at DigitalNC. The issue, which dates from March 1854, is an interesting window into the minds of young, educated women during the mid-Nineteenth Century.

The writings within explore topics like religion and the home, but are especially remarkable for supporting views that seem decidedly modern about women.  For example, a piece written by one E. Lee attacks the viewpoint that women are incapable of mathematical thinking and closes with the following proclamation: “Henceforth, then, let it be acknowledged not only that Woman has a fibre more in the heart than man, but that she has also as many cells in the brain” (page 6). Another column by the same author criticizes the existing historical and literary canon for ignoring the achievements of women in both fact and fiction. “The world’s history, from the most remote period, furnishes a record of the noble deeds and attainments of man [emphasis in original]…,” she writes, then asking, “But whither shall we look for an account of woman’s deeds? As a sword in its sheath, they are concealed” (page 7-8).

This issue of The Casket is held by UNC Libraries as part of the North Carolina Collection. Click here to learn more about the other UNC materials hosted online at DigitalNC.