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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Call for Nominations – Newspaper Digitization 2021-2022

Black and white front page of an English language newspaper with photo of one-story building

It’s time for our annual round of microfilmed newspaper digitization! As in previous years, we’re asking cultural heritage institutions in North Carolina to nominate papers from their communities to be digitized. We’re especially interested in:

  • newspapers covering underrepresented regions or communities, and
  • newspapers that are not currently available in digital form elsewhere online.

If you’re interested in nominating a paper and you work at a cultural heritage institution that qualifies as a partner, here’s what to do:

  • Check out our criteria for selecting newspapers, listed below.
  • Verify that the newspaper you’d like to see digitized exists on microfilm*. Email us (digitalnc@unc.edu) if you’re not sure.
  • Be prepared to talk with the rights holder(s) to gain written permission to digitize the paper and share it online. We can give you advice on this part, if needed.
  • Review the Criteria for Selecting Newspapers to Digitize from Microfilm listed below.
  • Fill out the nomination form

Nominations will be taken on an ongoing basis, however don’t wait! We typically get many more requests than we can accommodate. Please contact us at digitalnc@unc.edu with questions. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

Criteria for Selecting Newspapers to Digitize from Microfilm

Titles to be digitized will be selected using the following criteria:

  • Does the newspaper document traditionally underrepresented regions or communities?
  • Does the newspaper include significant coverage of the local community or largely syndicated content?
  • Does the newspaper come from an area of the state that has little representation on DigitalNC? (Titles that have not previously been digitized will be given priority. Here’s a title list and a map showing coverage.)
  • Are the images on microfilm legible, or is it difficult to read the text?
  • Is the institution willing to obtain permission from the current publisher or rights holder(s) to digitize issues and make them freely available online?

* What about print newspapers? These are much more costly to scan – we only work with a very limited number. Please get in touch (digitalnc@unc.edu) if you’d like to talk through options for digitizing print newspapers.


Issues from 1951 of the Carolina Times are now on DigitalNC

Thanks to funding from an IDEA grant from UNC Libraries, the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center is pleased to now have the full run of 1951 issues of the Carolina Times digitized.  The issues from 1951 were never microfilmed, so they were not included in previous projects to digitize the newspaper which were done from film.

Front Page of July 21, 1951 Carolina Times

 The Carolina Times, edited by Louis Austin from 1927 to 1971, was a paper of national significance. Targeted primarily to the African American community in Durham, the Times covered the long struggle for equal rights for all Americans. The newspaper’s motto was “The Truth Unbridled,” an accurate description of Austin’s honest and forthright depiction of racial injustice in North Carolina and beyond.  It ceased publication in 2020, after just over a century of being the voice of the African American community in Durham and the wider state and South.  

Front page of June 9, 1951 Carolina Times reads "UNC MUST ADMIT NEGROES"

1951 was an pivotal year in many ways for the Civil Rights movement.  It was in June 1951 that UNC finally allowed Black students admission to the school, with admission of Harvey Beech, J. Kenneth Lee, and Floyd McKissick into the law school.  Headlines from the paper throughout the year speak to other efforts to integrate other institutions of higher education, the fight for better funding for Black educational institutions, and early efforts at integration of primary education institutions.  Other topics, including the presence of the Ku Klux Klan across North Carolina and the violence of white supremacy, Jim Crow’s impact on all aspects of Black life, and the work of so many Black North Carolinians to fight the system are all covered throughout the year.  Regular columns on education, religion, and other topics are also included in the paper, as well as Society pages, and regular news about the children of Durham that shows the moments of Black joy to be found in the community as well. 

To view more Black newspapers on DigitalNC, visit our African American Newspapers exhibit.  To learn more about the IDEA grant that funds diversity, equity, and inclusion work at UNC Libraries, visit here


Trees of Wilson 1992 to 2017 Newsletters Now Available

Trees of Wilson January 2017 header. Volume 26, Number 1.

Scenes from "A Visit to Hart's Square" Trees of Wilson, November 1999. Above the words is a picture of three adults sitting. One is holding a banjo, a second a guitar. The third has no instrument.

Scenes from A Visit to Hart’s Square, November 1999.

Thanks to our new partner, Wilson County Genealogical Society (WCGS), a batch containing issues from 1992 to 2017 of the WCGS newsletter, Trees of Wilson, is now available on our website.

The primary mission of the WCGS is to preserve the records, heritage, history, and genealogy of the families who settled in Wilson while also promoting genealogy through education and fostering collaboration in research. These newsletters from 1992 to 2017 include information on society officers and events, meetings, member research reports, research tips, and more.

One notable article was published in the March 2016 newsletter titled: “Black Wide-Awake: The Roots of Wilson’s African-American Community.” The article recounts a presentation given by Lisa Y. Henderson—a Wilson County native, WCGS member, researcher, and writer. In her lecture, she talks about the local history and heritage of Wilson County’s early African American community, including information on the earliest recorded account of African Americans in Wilson County. In addition, Henderson discusses the difficulties of researching African American family history, early communities, and provides links to places where she has gathered her information so that others may also use the resources.  Her blog was highlighted here last year as a great example of how DigitalNC is used on the web.  

To learn more about the Wilson County Genealogical Society, please visit their website.

To view more materials from Wilson County, please click here.


1950 State Port Pilot Issues Now Available

The State Port Pilot header. Under it reads, A Good Newspaper In A Good Community.

Thanks to support from the North Caroliniana Society and to our partner, Margaret & James Harper, Jr. Library, all 1950 issues of The State Port Pilot are now available on our website. With this batch, our current collection of The State Port Pilot totals 819 issues and spans 1935 to 1950.

Barning tobacco. Image shows two adults at a table with tobacco.

The State Port Pilot, August 9, 1950.

Published in Southport, North Carolina, the paper focuses on local and North Carolina news topics such as tobacco farming, the growing Southport community, everyday life in Southport, and local politics. Interesting articles and images from the 1950 issues include the winner of the Carolinas Yam Festival’s Yam Queen title, barning tobacco (picture from the article above), and the early budding of azaleas in Southport.

To learn more about the Margaret & James Harper, Jr. Library, please visit their website.

To view all issues of The State Port Pilot, please click here.

To view read more newspapers from around North Carolina, please click here.


Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Catalogs Now Available

Thanks to our partner, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, a batch containing course catalogs from 1961 to 2005 and Evening School Bulletins from 1970 to 1980 from Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College are now available on our website. These catalogs include information on the college’s history, faculty/staff and administrations, campus maps, course descriptions, and programs. 

Image is a sketch of A-B Tech's campus as of 2003.

A-B Tech Main Campus

Over the years the college has gone through several name changes. A-B Tech was established in 1959 and was originally named the Asheville Industrial Education Center. After the creation of the North Carolina System of Community Colleges, the school’s name changed in early 1964 to Asheville-Buncombe Technical Institute. Fifteen years later, in 1979, the name changed again to Asheville-Buncombe Technical College. The final name change for the college occurred in 1987 when it was renamed to the Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.

Image is a sketch of A-B Tech's Enka campus as of 2003.

A-B Tech Enka Campus

The college has enjoyed strong community support as well as funding from the North Carolina General Assembly over the last 60 years. These funds have been used to expand A-B Tech’s physical campus as well as programs, staff, faculty, and services to the community. At one time, the college had four units that were located throughout Western North Carolina, but eventually these units gained independent status and became fully accredited community colleges. The first programs to be offered at the college after its establishment in 1959 were Practical Nursing, Electronics Engineering Technology, and a Machinist program. Today, the college has over 125 programs to study which includes a Brewing, Distillation, and Fermentation program.

To learn more about Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, please visit their website.

To view more materials from Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, visit here.

To view more of our materials from North Carolina community colleges, visit here.


New Issues of The Farmville Enterprise Now Available

 

The Farmville Enterprise

Front page of The Farmville Enterprise from 1948.

Digital NC is happy to announce that another four years of The Farmville Enterprise are now available. Provided by our partner, Farmville Public Library, the new issues include the years 1948 – 1952. Established in 1910, The Farmville Enterprise is a local town newspaper located in Pitt County, NC, that published weekly for the community members of Farmville, North Carolina.

About People Section

The “About Farmville People” section of the Farmville Enterprise started in 1951.

The new issues to DigitalNC discuss a wide range of local topics that included segments such as news from the state capital, Raleigh, as well as a short section called “About Farmville People” that discussed the lives of the local community.  The collection joins previous additions from 1914 – 1947.

To learn more about the Farmville Public Library, please visit their website.

You can also browse our entire North Carolina newspaper collection here. 

 


Watts Hospital School of Nursing Yearbooks Now Available

Watts Hospital School of Nursing 1937 yearbook border. In the center of the border is the insignia of Watts Hospital which reads: "Watts Hospital. Durham, NC. Heal the Sick."

Miss Watts Hospital of '48. Miss Rachel Bland. Picture features a woman in a black dress, gloves, and hat.

Rachel Bland, Miss Watts Hospital of 1948.

Thanks to our new partner, Watts School of Nursing, 44 yearbooks spanning from 1937 to 2017 are now available on our website. These yearbooks provide a glimpse into the student’s social life, women’s fashion, campus culture, local businesses, and changes at the school.

The Watts College of Nursing was organized in 1895 as part of Watts Hospital, making it North Carolina’s oldest nursing program. Over the years, the school has continued to adapt to the changing needs of the profession and students as well as grow its curriculum, facilities, and enrollment. Today, the school continues to hold an excellent reputation for its ability to adapt and to train excellent nurses with a spirit of caring and professionalism.

To learn more about Watts Hospital School of Nursing, please visit their website.

For more yearbooks from across North Carolina, visit our yearbook collection.


Complete Collection of the Iredell Citizen Now Available

Iredell Citizen header from the paper's first issue April 15, 1998.

Photograph of a high school student playing the tuba. The caption under the photo reads, "Tuba Player Greg Davis of Lake Norman High bears down on his part during All County Honors Band practice. Photo taken by Neil Furr.

Tuba player Greg Davis.

Thanks to our partner, Iredell County Public Library, and support from the North Caroliniana Society the complete collection of the Iredell Citizen spanning from 1998 to 2008 is now available on our website. This is only one of two newspapers that we have for Iredell County.

The Iredell Citizen was first published on April 15, 1998 as a weekly newspaper for the community. The paper was focused solely on publishing articles about the individuals and happenings of the county’s community rather than national or international news stories. Popular articles topics in the Iredell Citizen include retirement, events in the community, city council updates, and obituaries. The last issue of the paper was published on June 26, 2008 after a 10 year, two month, and 11 day run.

To learn more about the Iredell County Public Library, please visit their website. To view more materials from Iredell County, please click here. To view more newspapers on DigitalNC, visit our North Carolina Newspapers collection.


Issues of The Carolinian, 1988 – 1992, Now Available on DigitalNC

jessejacksoncampaign

Coverage of the Jesse L. Jackson Presidential Campaign in 1988.

DigitalNC now has new issues of The Carolinian from 1988 to 1992. The Raleigh, NC based newspaper was a popular source of information for the African American Community in the RDU area. Each Monday and Thursday, The Carolinian informed the African American community of issues and news that affected their daily lives.

The new issues include the 1988 Presidential campaign coverage of Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, along with covering local stories from the Historical Black Colleges (HBCU) in the area, Shaw University and North Carolina Central.

shawuniversity

Coverage of the Shaw University Divinity School Heritage Event in 1988.

Still in print today, The Carolinian provides the African American community with news that takes place on the national, regional, and local levels. To see what The Carolinian looks like today, please visit their website. To view other African American community newspapers in North Carolina, visit our website here and click on African American Papers.

Special thanks to our partner the Olivia Raney Local History Library for their assistance. Visit their homepage by clicking here.

 


1956 to 1962 Issues of The Daily Record (Dunn, NC) Now Available

The Daily Record headline: Space Monkeys Are Back.

The Daily Record, May 28, 1959.

Article on the minimum age act in North Carolina passing in 1959. It states that NC was the first state below Pennsylvania to pass such a law.

Senate Passes Minimum Wage Act, May 7, 1959.

Thanks to support from the North Caroliniana Society and to our partner, Harnett County Public Library, new issues of The Daily Record are now available on our website. This batch expands our current collection of the paper to include 1956 to 1962. Published Monday through Friday, The Daily Record suppled Dunn and Harnett County with local and global news stories. Today, the paper continues to be published in Dunn, North Carolina.

Major headlines in this batch include Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to America, Russia’s announcement to send apes to the moon, the aftermath of America sending monkeys to space, and the establishment of a minimum wage in North Carolina.

Starting in 1945, citizens of North Carolina fought for the establishment of a minimum wage in the state. The article to the right, “14-Year Fight Ends; Action First In South,” highlights the establishment of a minimum wage by North Carolina’s General Assembly in 1959–the first state south of Pennsylvania to do so. The bill guaranteed that all workers in the state would be paid a minimum of 75 cents an hour, equivalent to about $6.88 an hour today. 

The Daily Record subscription and title information. This includes the publisher, subscription rates, and address.

To learn more about Harnett County Public Library, please click here.

To view all issues of The Daily Record, please click here.

To view more newspapers from North Carolina, please click here.