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 "maps"


Posters From Durham County Library Celebrate Festival of the Eno

An artistic print of large green trees alongside a green river

As residents of Durham, nature fans and music listeners may already know, the annual Festival for the Eno is quickly approaching. And while the Eno River Association has several past and present posters available, our latest batch of materials from our partner, the Durham County Library, includes some of the older vintages.

An artist's print of a river otter standing up on it's back legs

This poster, from the 1982 festival, features an alert river otter, a species found across the state of North Carolina. While sightings of otters are usually rare (they tend to be secretive and their total population is somewhat low), they are playful animals.

In the 1990s, according to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, there was an effort to re-expand the territory of river otters into the western part of the state, where they were seen in the 1930s. To do this, the NC Wildlife Resource Commission trapped and relocated several to western river systems. They also brought several otters to West Virginia, which was trying to restore its otter population.

In exchange for otters, the West Virginia gave North Carolina wild turkeys, which brings us to the 1985 poster:An artist's print of a wild turkey against a blue background

The wild turkey is also a native North Carolinian, but the population declined quickly in the early 1900s due to overhunting and habitat loss. In 1985 (during restoration efforts), the total population was estimated at 14,000; in 2020, it was estimated that our state was home to 270,000 turkeys. Today, turkeys are classified as “Big Game,” and their hunting season is strictly limited.

Other posters from the earlier years of the Festival for the Eno feature fish, people in costumes, and other landscapes. Some of the informational posters have lists of performers and activities as well. 

You can see the full batch of maps and posters from the Durham County Library here. To find out more about them, you can visit their partner page or their website. The 43rd Annual Festival for the Eno will be held on July 2 and 4, 2022 in Durham, N.C. 


New Maps from Person County now on Digital NC!

MapPerson

Map of Cluster Springs, Virginia in Halifax County (1968)

MapPerson

Map of Ridgeville, North Carolina in Person County (1968)

Thanks to our partner, Person County Public Library, Digital NC has now digitized maps from several counties and communities in North Carolina and Virginia. Several maps in the collection include the Ridgeville Quadrangle taken in 1968 of the small community of Ridgeville in Person County, the Cluster Springs Quadrangle from 1968 representing the community of Cluster Springs, Virginia, located in Halifax County, and the Hurdle Mills Quadrangle map from 1980 representing the small community of Hurdle Mills in Person County. Along with these maps, the collection includes maps from the 1970s and 1980s of communities in Person County.

Special thanks again to our partner Person County Public Library for the chance to digitize these maps. If you want to see more items from Person County Public Library, visit their collection.

Visit here to see more items in our Images of North Carolina collection.


Mapping Durham’s History

A new set of maps, posters, and architectural plans from our partner, the Durham County Library, has been added to our site. They range in time from the late 1880s to the present, and many provide local insight to the culture of Durham.

Map of Durham, N.C. from 1966

Map of Durham, N.C., c. 1957

One of the most exciting maps that we’ve added is this mid-century Western States Publishing Co. Mapperhaps one of the last versions that documents Durham before I-85 (1958) and N.C. 147 highway were built (1967-1970). Comparing it to the city today, you can tell what was disrupted during construction.

Detail from a 1920 map of Durham

Detail from the 1920 map of Durham County

Similarly, this map of Durham from 1920 notes the schools in the area and whether they served Black or White students. According to this map, many of the schools closest to the city center only served White students, while many of the Black schools are further out in the county.

Part of an illustrated map of Durham with drawings of buildings

Another neat item in this batch is this Historic Durham County Poster created by John B. Tomlinson. Around the drawn map of Durham County are illustrations of some of Durham’s famous and historic landmarks, including Duke University’s West Campus, NC Central University, and the County Courthouse. These and other annotations help identify some of the big moments in Durham’s history, such as the surrender of J.E. Johnston at Bennett Place.

An architectural drawing of a house

House for Mrs. L.L. Morehead (c. 1900)

Another item that illuminates a part of Durham’s history is this set of architectural plans for the house of Mrs. L.L. Morehead. The house was built for Eugene Morehead, son of former North Carolina Governor John Motley Morehead, and Eugene’s wife, Lucy Lathrop Morehead. The house was torn down in 1961, but photos and illustrations of the final product are still around. Other building plans for the house, including some of the interior, were also uploaded in this batch. 

A map with graphics about bike safety

1991 Bike Map

Map of downtown Durham with attractions listed and bike safety information

2010 Bike Map

In terms of more modern materials, take a look at these two bike maps: one from 1991, and one from 2010. The entire back side of the 1991 version is covered in safety information, like how to wear a helmet and 10 tips for “frustrating” a bike thief (No.8 is to “Engrave your social security number on expensive parts,” which doesn’t seem like common advice today.). Meanwhile, the back of the 2010 map is more like a typical city map, with directories of things in downtown Durham. 

One bonus of these maps is that they are catalogued and finable through the Durham Public Library’s website. You can see all the maps we digitized in this batch here, and you can see all materials from Durham County Library here. For more information about the library and their holdings, visit their website.


New Batch of CHHS Materials Spans Many Areas of Chapel Hill & Carrboro History

Our latest batch of materials from the Chapel Hill Historical Society has a little something for everyone! Whether you’re interested in the histories of local churches, municipal records, or Carrboro’s Centennial (in 2011), we’ve got materials for you to see.

A typed piece of paper unfolded over two pages of a composition notebook

A typed note inviting community members to visit the Carrboro Library

One exciting piece of local history appears in the scrapbook from the Carrboro Civic Club, which formed a committee to build a public library in Carrboro. The scrapbook contains notes from committee members about the financial aspects and personnel of the project, as well as an early draft of library rules. “Practice good citizenship regarding books,” it warns.

An architectural drawing of Carrboro Elementary School

Carrboro Elementary School as imagined by Croft and Hammond in 1957

Another cool addition is this book of architectural drawings and specifications for the Carrboro Elementary School. The plans were made in a partnership between the Board of Education; Dr. W. E. Rosenstengel, a professor of education at UNC Chapel Hill; and Croft & Hammond Architects from Asheboro, N.C. The introduction indicates that they planned to enroll 480 students and eventually grow to 720 (with 30 students per classroom). For comparison, Carrboro Elementary has 540 enrolled students for the 2021-22 school year.

Part of a typed letter and a few cartoons depicting ways that litter is spread in a community

Some of the ways that litter is spread, according to the National Council of State Gardening Clubs

Finally, if you’re interested in how anti-littering campaigns were waged in the 1970s, there’s this letter from the National Council of State Gardening Clubs, Inc. As part of the “Keep America Beautiful” project, the Council’s leaders identified the seven main ways that litter appears in communities and illustrated some changes that needed to happen to reduce them. 

“There is every likelihood that this marriage of behavioral science and techniques will produce offspring reaching into all facets of community life and improving the whole climate in which human beings live as neighbors,” editor Christopher C. Gilson writes.

These three items barely encompass the variety of materials that’s been added, so you can do even more exploring yourself by looking through the whole batch. To see more materials from the Chapel Hill Historical society, you can visit their partner page or their website. The run of Chapel Hill News Leader newspaper issues from 1958-59 that was uploaded with this batch is also available.


Early 20th Century Winston-Salem Maps Now Available

Title page for the 1912 Sanborn insurance map of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Thanks to our partner, Forsyth County Public Library, a batch containing five Sanborn insurance maps of Winston-Salem, N.C. from 1907 to 1928 are now available on our website. These beautifully colored and meticulously marked maps are a fantastic resource for those looking to research the urban development of Winston-Salem.

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

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


Assorted Maps & Yearbooks From Granville County Public Library Now Available

A map of North Carolina noting wildlife

This map advertises some of the parks and wildlife of North Carolina

Thanks to our partner Granville County Public Library, we’ve added several yearbooks from Oxford, N.C. and Mebane, N.C., as well as a few maps, to our digital collection.

This map of North Carolina, called “An Outdoor and Tourist Guide to North Carolina,” was probably created to lure visitors to our brand-new parks; the text alongside it reads, “State Parks in North Carolina are still under development, and at present accommodations and facilities are not completed, except at Fort Macon State Park, Carteret County.” It also lists R. Bruce Etheridge as the director of the Department of Conservation and Development (he served from 1933-1949).

A map of an army plot in Granville County

A map of an army plot in Granville County from 1943

Another notable addition is this army map, supposedly used to train troops to read French maps during World War II. Although it shows an area of Granville County near Mountain Creek Church, most of the text is in French.

The other maps show different versions of Henderson, N.C. (one from 1882). They also note the major roads and land owners.

The yearbooks from this batch are primarily from Black High Schools in Oxford, N.C., including Mary Potter High School (1947 and 1953) and Toler High School (1966 and 1967). The yearbooks feature slices of student life, including a personal inscription on the inside cover of the 1953 edition of “The Ram.”

A group of students posing for the Library Club photo

Students in the Library Club at Mary Potter High School, 1953

The other two yearbooks are from Bingham School (Mebane, N.C.) from 1908 and Oxford College, 1921. To see our full collection of North Carolina yearbooks, click here. To see all materials from the Granville County Public library, visit their partner page


More Durham County Maps and Plans Now Available for Viewing on DigitalNC

Thanks to our partner, Durham County Library, several new maps and plans for areas and buildings in Durham County are now available on our website.

The materials in this batch include renovation and addition plans for the George W. Watts Elementary School, a combined public hearing map for a state project on Alston Avenue in Durham, Eno Park plans, and plans for Lake Michie recreation facilities. These plans and maps are a wonderful resource for individuals who are interested in the growth and change of Durham County since the 1960s. 

Designed by the landscape architects and land planners from Coulter Associates in Durham, North Carolina, the Eno Park Phase II master plan is particularly wonderful to look at thanks to its bright colors and neatly labeled areas.

To view more materials from Durham County Library, please click here.

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


Oral histories from the Mount Airy Black community now online from Mount Airy Museum of Regional History

Screenshot of an adult using a spoon with a pot on a stove

Screenshot from the video “Preparing Foods that were Eaten by our Ancestors” which included women discussing their cooking.

29 oral histories collected in the early 2000s by the African American Historical and Genealogical Association of Surry County are now online thanks to our partner the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History. Thanks also to our colleagues in the Southern Folklife Collection, these audiovisual materials were digitized utilizing funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  The interviews are mostly on video and discuss many topics about being Black and growing up in Mount Airy and Surry County area during the first half of the 20th century.  

Blue print showing the façade of a two story office building

We also scanned many maps and architectural drawings for the museum in this batch and those are available here.  The drawings include a lot of buildings around Mount Airy.  

To learn more about our partner Mount Airy Museum of Regional History visit their partner page here.

To hear more oral histories on DigitalNC, go here.


Various Alamance County Materials including a Copy of The Credit Guide Now Available on DigitalNC

Thanks to our partner, Alamance County Public Libraries, batches containing various materials such as the 1938 Eli Whitney High School yearbook, Walter M. Crabtree daybook, and a 1922-1924 copy of The Credit Guide are now available on our website here and here.

The Credit Guide was originally a resource used by loaners to check if an individual was trustworthy enough to pay them back. Essentially, the guide functioned as a physical credit history checker, but instead of having credit score numbers individuals received labels such as prompt pay, fair pay, slow pay, and considered honest but unfortunate circumstances prevented paying me. Today, the guide is a gold mine for those looking for information on people in cities located in or near Alamance County. The Credit Guide not only includes an indication of how likely someone is to pay back their loan, but also an individual’s name, occupation, and address.

To learn more about Alamance County Public Libraries, please visit their website.

To view more materials from the Alamance County Public Libraries, please click here.


Variety of Person County Materials Now Available

Thanks to our partner, Person County Public Library, a batch of materials including a variety of North Carolina maps, a video of Bill Clinton’s visit to the state in 2008, pamphlets and books about North Carolina history, and more are now available on our website.

An older Black woman sits on the porch of her home.

Morse Gardner

An interesting work from this batch is the book, Let me tell you ’bout … when I was growing up. It contains transcribed interviews with older members of the Person County community which were conducted by elementary school students using tape recorders. The recordings were later transcribed and published into this book. The interviewees in this book were quite a diverse and exciting group. The interview with Morse Gardner (pictured above) being one of the most gripping. In her interview, Morse Gardner goes into great detail about her education and family, old medicinal remedies, her thoughts on segregation, and her community growing up.

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

To listen to oral histories available on our website, please click here.