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 tagged "local histories"


Rockingham County Materials Now Available

Picture of teacher Ruth Wiley. Under the photo is written: Mrs. Ruth Wiley retires from teaching, "but not from life."

Mrs. Ruth Wiley, June 19, 1985.

Thanks to our partner, Rockingham County Public Library, batches containing various materials including Madison-Mayodan High School yearbooks, newspaper clippings of school classes, a hand-written history of The Black Community Heritage of Madison, and 14 issues spanning 1947 to 1997 of Rockingham County’s magazine The Advisor are now available on our website.

One highlight from this batch is the hand-written history of The Black Community Heritage of Madison. Although the material includes history of Black individuals in Madison from around the first recorded migration (~June of 1775), it focuses more heavily on after the Civil War. The work is split up into major topics such as churches, businesses, education, and civic organizations. 

In the education section, the document traces the beginning of the Madison Public School System to Mary Black Franklin. Franklin began teaching members of the community in her home and in other various places in the community that would allow her to use the space. The number of students she taught continued to grow until the first public school was founded in a two room building. Eventually, a larger building later named the “Old Hall” was purchased to give the school more space. The school was only in operation six months out of the year. Students were allowed to attend the first three months of school for free, but parents would have to pay a tax for their children to finish the final three months. This system led to the creation of the Madison Public School System.

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

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

To view more content from Rockingham County Public Library, please visit here.


Record Books from Clayton, NC Now Online

DigitalNC is happy to announce that 9 new records books from the town of Clayton, N.C. have been digitized. We would like to thank our partners at Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library (Clayton, N.C.) for making this possible.

The 9 materials are as follows:

Partial school record for one student named Eugene Hinton. It shows Eugene's grades and demographic information for the school year 1924.

Partial school record for Eugene Hinton, Clayton City Schools Pupils Record [1923-1924].

Several of these materials list the names of registered voters in Clayton. The registration books also list information such as race (but with only two columns, white or colored), age, residence, place of birth, and changes in registration (such as deceased).

One other material of note is the Clayton City Schools Pupils Record book, which lists close to 600 students who attended, for however short or long a time, Clayton City Schools for the 1923-1924 school year. This book covers students from primary to high school, noting their name, year, date of birth, age, physical defects, the day they entered school, left school, the reason why they left school, parent, parent’s occupation, local address, and, of course, their grades for the year and if they moved on to the next grade level.

To view all these records in a list, click here. To learn more about Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library (Clayton, N.C.), you can visit their homepage, here.


Newspapers, Posters, and More Now Available from Davidson County Public Library System

Thanks to our partner, Davidson County Public Library System, three batches of various materials are now available on our website. The first batch features eleven issues of the Erlanger Community paper from 1919 to 1922; a Robbins Elementary School 1931-1932 report card; Bylaws of Hopewell Council No. 1758 Royal Arcanum; and four new brightly colored Lexington Barbeque Festival posters. Batch two includes six new issues of the South Davidson High School yearbook covering from 1948 to 1952. The final batch contains 73 issues of the Thomasville Times, as well as student newspapers from Reeds High School, Denton High School, and Lexington High School.

The Lexhipep. Published by the students of Lexington High School.

36th Annual Lexington Barbeque Festival poster. The poster features three pigs on handcar.

36th Annual Lexington Barbeque Festival Poster

35th Annual Lexington Barbeque Festival poster. The poster features two pigs dressed up as a waiter and waitress dancing. The text on the image reads: Lexington Barbeque Festival 35th Anniversary. October 27, 2018.

35th Annual Lexington Barbeque Festival Poster

The Phoenix 1953. Published by the senior class of Denton High School in Denton, NC. Included on the page is a torch and an open book with blank pages.

To learn more about the Davidson County Public Library System, please visit their website.

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

To view more newspapers on DigitalNC, visit our North Carolina Newspapers collection. 


Montgomery Community College 50 Years of Success and Catalogs Now Available

Thanks to our new partner, Montgomery Community College, nine catalogs covering years from 1969 to 1992 and a publication that details the college’s 50 year history (1967-2017) are now available on our website.

Montgomery Community College: 50 years of Success cover. There is an image of the older campus in black and white with the newer building pictured on the bottom.

Montgomery Community College (originally the Montgomery Technical Institute) was established on September 7, 1967 in Troy, North Carolina. Due to the Montgomery County’s status of one of the most rural, least populated, and isolated counties in North Carolina the college faced tremendous challenges to get started and chartered. According to Montgomery Community College: 50 Years of Success there was a delay of several years to have the college established due to state leaders thinking it would not succeed. The citizens of Montgomery County proved them wrong. The campus currently includes facilities of approximately 134,400 square feet on 153 acres of land and over 400 enrolled students. 

Pictures of the early machine shop class with instructor Frank Lemonds and early industrial sewing class in the annex building.

To learn more about Montgomery Community College, please visit their website.


1830s School Workbook, 1940 Medical Diary, and Other Person County Materials Now Available

Thanks to our partner, Person County Public Library, two batches containing 1963 and 1964 Bethel Hill High School yearbooks, a 1940 medical diary, a Person County Public Library ledger, and a handmade school workbook from the 1830s is now available on our website.Pictures of two school groups (bus drivers and dramatic class). The first picture features people working on fixing a bus. The second has a group of students gathered in a classroom talking to one another.

Most interesting in this batch is the handmade school workbook from the 1830s. The workbook belonged to Thomas H. Briggs (born December 24, 1814). It contains sections on various math skills including compound multiplication, compound division, the single rule of three, inverse proportions, geometry (see how neat the geometry shapes are below!) and more. In addition to instructing the student on how to do complete problems, each section includes several problem examples.

A page dedicated to geometry problems.

Geometrical Problems

To learn more about Person County Public Library, please visit their website.

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


Photographs, Book, Documents, and Minute Books from First Baptist Church Now Available

Thanks to our partner, New Bern-Craven County Public Library, a batch containing content related to First Baptist Church (New Bern, NC) is now available on our website.

The batch features nine minute books, a book detailing the history of First Baptist Church, over forty photographs, and various other documents. Photographs include images of the interior and exterior of the church, pastors, the choir, Sunday School on Easter, and most notably, Harry Truman’s visit to the church on November 7, 1948. A more detailed description of his attendance and a copy of the invitation to the event can be found here and here

Picture of Harry Truman leaving the First Baptist Church. He is holding his hat in the air about to get into a car. There is a crowd of people around the car.

Harry Truman visits First Baptist Church

A letter sent from the headquarters of the 3rd Division, 10th Army Corps returning the church to the Deacons of First Baptist Church.

A letter sent from the headquarters of the 3rd Division, 10th Army Corps on September 1, 1865 returning the church to the Deacons of First Baptist Church after the end of the Civil War.

Four women sitting around a table talking to one another.

First Baptist Church Women’s Missionary Union [1947]

To learn more about the New Bern-Craven County Public Library, please visit their website

To view more content from the New Bern-Craven County Public Library, please visit here.


More architecture research materials from Edgecombe County now on DigitalNC

Thanks to our partner Edgecombe County Memorial Library, another batch of architecture research materials for structures in the county are on DigitalNC.  This batch covers 58 buildings in Edgecombe County, including Norfleet Plantation, the supposed oldest house in Tarboro, and the African American Masonic Lodge in Tarboro.  Photographs, research notes, maps, and other materials are included for many of the buildings.  

Two color photographs of the same building, a white clapboard two story structure

Photographs of the African American Masonic Lodge in Tarboro

To view more architecture research from Edgecombe County, view previous posts here.  To view more architecture materials on DigitalNC, go here


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.


Grand Lodge Minute Books and Scrapbooks Now Available

Thanks to our partner, The Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina, a batch of minute books and scrapbooks are now available on our website. The minute books, spanning from 1870 to 1935, come from various lodges including St. John’s Lodge No. 1, Numa F. Reid Lodge No. 344, Relief Lodge No. 431, and Yadkin Falls Lodge No. 637. They feature records of lodge meetings, finances, and references to life outside the lodge including mention of the 1898 Wilmington Massacre. 

Three men posing for a picture,

Three men from the Numa F. Reid Lodge No. 344 posing for a picture.

To learn more about The Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina, please visit their website

To view more Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina materials on our website, please click here


Book about the History of Wake County Now Online

Thanks to our partner, the Olivia Raney Local History Library, we now have volume 1 of Wake, Capital County of North Carolina on our website.

The title page of Wake, Capital County of North Carolina, Volume 1: Prehistory through Centennial.

This volume of Wake, Capital County of North Carolina focuses on the history of the region from the prehistoric era through the late 19th-century celebration of the centennial of the county’s founding. However, the bulk of the book starts with the history of eighteenth-century Wake County history. The work discusses Wake County’s role and experiences through its own history and in the context of major national and international events such as the Revolutionary War and the Civil War and Reconstruction periods.

Image from Wake, Capital Country of North Carolina, Volume 1: Prehistory through Centennial.

The Olivia Raney Local History Library is a branch of the Wake County Public Library system. It houses a host of research materials on a variety of historical and genealogical topics related to Wake County. Interested parties can also purchase volumes I and II of Wake, Capital County of North Carolina and The Historic Architecture of Wake County, North Carolina here. For more information about the Olivia Raney Local History Library, please visit their website.