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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Dunbar High School Yearbooks from Rowan Public Library are now online

An exterior photo of Dunbar High School in 1965.

Nearly twenty years of yearbooks from Rowan County have now been digitized and are available on DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner Rowan Public Library. The yearbooks cover 1950 through 1969, come from Dunbar High School, the town’s black high school, making them the first yearbooks digitized from the town of East Spencer, N.C.  Originally named the East Spencer Negro School, which opened in 1900, the school changed its name to Dunbar High School in 1958.  

These yearbooks include individual portraits, class portraits, and photographs of activities, clubs the students joined, and sports played. Some of the class portraits also included “ambitions” – jobs that the students wanted to be when they grew up, like stenographer, teacher, or social worker. A few of the yearbooks also include “last wills and testaments”, where classes would “bequeath” thanks or seats to future seniors, and “class prophecies”, where students imagined and wrote about where they might be in the future.

The Hi-Y club of 1959 at Dunbar High School.

Follow the links below to browse the various yearbooks from Dunbar High School included in this batch:

These yearbooks provide a valuable source of knowledge for what segregated school life in East Spencer, N.C. were like at that time. To learn more about the Rowan Public Library, visit their contributor page, or their website. You can also visit their website for the Edith M. Clark History Room. To see more yearbooks from across North Carolina, you can click here.


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