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 "memorabilia"

Bertie County materials now on DigitalNC, including W.S. Etheridge HS yearbook and Hope Plantation materials

black and white brochure with a drawing of a plantation style home on it

Our second partner in Bertie County is Historic Hope Plantation, which is a foundation that runs the Hope Plantation historic site in Windsor, NC.  The Foundation was established in 1965 by Bertie County citizens concerned about the fate of the decaying Hope Mansion. According to their website, the site’s “mission is to provide educational, cultural and recreational benefits for the public by the preservation, maintenance and the administration of Historic Hope Plantation as an element of the heritage of the Roanoke-Chowan Region and as an illustration and interpretation of agrarian life in Eastern North Carolina from 1760 to 1840.”Brochure with a color picture of a table with 4 chairs around it

The majority of materials in our first batch from Historic Hope are materials relating to the running of the site, including a very large collection of brochures and programs detailing fundraisers for the museum, as well as visitor pamphlets.  The brochures tell a story themselves, showing how historic house museum interpretation has evolved over time, since the earliest one in 1956 to present day 21st century interpretation that is less decorative arts focused and more focused on telling the story of all those who lived and worked at the plantation, particularly enslaved people.  Some of the staff’s research is also included in the batch, including the court documents of those newly freed men and women who attested their cohabitation before the Civil War ended in order to gain recognition of marriage from the state, as well as research papers written by those affiliated with the site. 

Other related Bertie County materials are also included, particularly a 1954 yearbook from W.S. Etheridge High School which served the Black community of Bertie County before integration.

To learn more about Historic Hope Plantation, visit their partner page.

Additional Materials from the Crystal Lee Sutton Collection at Alamance Community College Now Online

photograph of woman with long hair and a serious face behind a podium with sign that says Real vs ReelAlamance Community College houses and cares for a wide variety of materials and artifacts documenting the career of Crystal Lee Sutton, a labor activist who came to national prominence when her story was fictionalized in the movie Norma Rae. Before her passing, Sutton donated the collection to the College and we have helped digitize another batch to share on DigitalNC. You can read about the first batch we worked on in this blog post written in May 2021.

black and white cartoon of large angry person with knife standing over people with lowered heads

“No matter how thin you slice it … It’s still baloney.” Pro-union booklet with J. P. Stevens as the antagonist.

This batch contains ephemera related to Sutton’s part in the strike at J. P. Stevens, Inc. and the fame she received in the wake of Norma Rae.  You’ll find materials about the Stevens strike as well as about unionizing efforts at other companies. There is also pro- and anti-union propoaganda, like the booklet featured at right. 

Of particular note is Sutton’s handwritten description of her treatment at Stevens and the organizing activities that took place at the plant. This first-hand account includes a transcript at the end. 

Sutton spent her career advocating for unionization, frequently speaking about the impact of her efforts and of the movie at schools, festivals, and union chapter meetings. She diligently clipped newspaper articles about union activity around the country.  

There are additional items within the collection that could not be shared online due to copyright and/or privacy concerns. This list gives an inventory of these items, which can be viewed in person at the Alamance Community College Library. In the list you’ll find research papers students wrote about Sutton, correspondence written to Sutton (including correspondence from Sally Field and Gloria Steinem), documents related to lawsuits Sutton was involved in, and a script and publicity shots related to Norma Rae.

To see everything we’ve digitized in this collection, visit the Alamance Community College contributor page on DigitalNC. More information about the Alamance Community College Library can be found on the Library’s home page.

Three Scrapbooks From Johnston Community College Are Now Available

Thanks to our partners at Johnston Community College, DigitalNC is proud to have three scrapbooks from the mid-1970s available online. These scrapbooks add more memorabilia to our robust collection of Johnston Community College materials.

Covering the mid-1970s, these scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings on all matter of events and happenings at Johnston Community College, including added classes, the musician-in-residence, and new constructions.

To see all three scrapbooks, click here. To take a look at all the JCC materials we have available and to learn more about Johnston Community College, please visit their partner page and website.

Photographs, Ephemera, and Dortch Family Bible From Wayne County Now Online

DigitalNC is happy to announce that a new batch of 100+ photographs and ephemera from Wayne County plus selections of William T. Dortch’s personal bible are all available to view online. We would like to thank our partners at Wayne County Public Library for making this possible.

Two of the digitized photos are large photographs from around the time of World War I, depicting soldiers in Fort Bragg, N.C. and La Bazoge, France. The other photographs and ephemera in the collection speak to everyday life in mid to late 20th century Wayne County. Much of the material comes from Goldsboro High School, such as photos of cheerleaders and a resolution from the City of Goldsboro congratulating the Cougarettes on winning the state 4-A Girls’ Tennis Championship. Other photos include youth sports teams and many school portraits from New Hope School.

The portions of the personal bible of William T. Dortch contain primary information on the Dortch family tree. The fastidious documentation of marriages, births, and deaths stretches from the 18th century all the way to the turn of the 21st century.

To view all digital content from Wayne County Public Library, click here. And to learn more about the Wayne County Public Library, please visit their contributor page or website.

Yearbooks, Newspapers, Furniture Catalogs, and more from High Point Now Online

DigitalNC is happy to announce several batches of materials from High Point, NC are now available to view online. These materials include 6 yearbooks, 4 individual newspaper issues, and 19 miscellaneous items. These batches were made available thanks to our two partners; the yearbooks are from the Heritage Research Center at High Point Public Library while the newspapers and miscellaneous items are from the High Point Museum.

The 6 yearbooks, the Pemican, all come from High Point Central High School, spanning the years 1966-1971.

The 4 newspapers are comprised of half school publications, half company publications. The four newspapers are:

Tomlinson News was published by the Tomlinson Manufacturing Company, a furniture manufacturer. Amco News was published by the Adams-Millis Corporation, a textile company.

The batch of miscellaneous items contains interesting memorabilia, such as a 1941 alumni record from Baptist Orphanage of North Carolina, an early 1900s reed organ instruction book, a booklet on the history of the Springfield Monthly Meeting of Friends, a Quaker group, and a pamphlet titled But Everybody’s Doing It!: High Point’s Joint Code of Social Behavior for Parents and Young People. Notably, there are many early to mid 1900s furniture catalogs from Burton, Dalton, The Continental Furniture Company, and High Point Furniture Company. From the late 1880s, High Point has been known for its furniture industry. After World War II, about 60% of all furniture made in the United States was produced within a 150-mile radius of High Point (High Point Museum, paragraph 2).

To view all the digitized materials from our two High Point partners, click here and here. For all the High Point newspapers, click here. For more information on our partners, click here to visit the Heritage Research Center at High Point Public Library’s website and click here to visit the High Point Museum’s website.


High Point Museum. Furniture History: High Point & Furniture.

Mid-1800s Chatham County Superior Court Minute Docket Now Online

DigitalNC is proud to host the entire contents of a Chatham County Superior Court Minute Docket that spans from October 10, 1839 to December 3, 1866. This minute docket was provided by our partners at Chatham County Historical Association.

This minute docket is a primary source of legal cases from Chatham County, N.C. in the mid-1800s, including names of those who were called to court and what the disputes covered. Notably, this record was saved from the Chatham County Courthouse fire that occurred on March 25, 2010.

Also, you may be wondering what the object at the left corner of the docket image is; it’s a bone folder! We use bone folders to assist with digitization. In this case, you’ll find it gently holds back the pages that wouldn’t stay flat. You’ll also find weighted strings doing the same work on several other pages.

To look at the entire Chatham County Superior Court Minute Docket, click here. To learn more about the Chatham County Historical Association, you can view their homepage here.

Materials Documenting the Life of Crystal Lee Sutton, Activist and Union Organizer, Now Online

A wallet-sized card printed in blue and red text. The title states "Boycott J.P. Stevens products". The rest of the card features a list of products to boycott.

Boycott J.P. Stevens Products Card, created by the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union, 1980.

A large batch of materials from Crystal Lee Sutton’s personal collection have been digitized and are now available to view online. These materials were donated to Alamance Community College by Sutton herself in 2007. A big thank you to our partners at Alamance Community College for sharing these historic items with us.

Crystal Lee Sutton was a union organizer and activist, recognized as the driving force behind the unionization of J.P. Stevens plant workers in Roanoke Rapids, N.C. Her story inspired the acclaimed 1979 film, Norma Rae. Items digitized in this collection give firsthand accounts leading up to that notable unionization, including a union cheer and a timeline of events recorded in several meeting recollections with J.P. Stevens management. Employed by J.P. Stevens, Sutton was fired and then rehired for her union efforts (see a handwritten discharge order here), eventually moving from job to job. Through her life, Sutton continued to promote unionizing through features in television shows, as in the documentary Woman Alive!, and speaking engagements.

Many items in this collection also speak to the film inspired by Sutton’s life, the Academy Award winning “Norma Rae”.  Records of legal action Sutton took against the film company are present, as well as a letter to Sally Field, the actress who portrayed Norma Rae.

Other notable items in this batch include: sections of a 1977 Mountain Life & Work issue on the history and union efforts of Southern textile workers; a thought-provoking program that accompanied the film Testimony: Justice vs. J.P. Stevens; several materials from Walter M. Williams High School in Burlington, N.C.; and a dictionary of teenage slang from the 1950s.

For a complete look at the materials from The Crystal Lee Sutton Collection, click here. For more information on the collection, please contact Alamance Community College by visiting their homepage, found here.

Yearbooks and alumni materials from Clear Run High School on DigitalNC

3 yearbooks and materials from several alumni reunions, including the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the final graduating class in 2019, are now online from our partner Clear Run High School Alumni Association.  Clear Run High School served the Black community in Garland, North Carolina and the surrounding area in Sampson County until 1969, when it closed due to integration.  The alumni association remains quite active to this day, with annual reunions celebrating everyone who attended the school.  

Graduation portrait in black and white, with type of congratulations to the Class of 1969 celebrating their 50th anniversary

Page from the 1969 50th reunion program

Four students standing on stairs in business clothing

Class of 1969 senior class officers

To view more materials from Clear Run High School Association, visit their partner page.  To view more high school yearbooks from across North Carolina, visit our North Carolina High School yearbooks collection.  

More Scrapbooks from Transylvania County Communities Now Online

DigitalNC has recently increased the number of available Transylvania County scrapbooks by 9, building upon our already considerable online collection of over 200. Many thanks to Transylvania County Library for scanning these images and sending them over.

Three clubs were featured in this upload:

These scrapbooks share photos and ephemera documenting club meetings, members, and events. Many community service events are highlighted within their pages. Not only do they give a look into the history of these clubs, but they also reflect changes in the local community. Fastidiously organized, the scrapbooks detail events such as construction of new buildings and beautification projects.

A page from the Cedar Mountain Extension Homemakers Club Scrapbook [1966-1967]. It documents the meeting held on May 18th. Held at the community center, the club members listened to a program on landscaping in the home. The page has a newspaper clipping of the event, two color photos of the members at the club, a clipping of a magazine of trees and plants, and a small, black-and-white illustration of a gardener that reads "Suggestions from the TAR HEEL GARDENER".

Page 16 of the Cedar Mountain Extension Homemakers Club Scrapbook [1966-1967] shows photos from the home landscaping presentation they attended.

To search through all of the scrapbooks from Transylvania County, click here. And to view all other items from Transylvania County, check out our Transylvania County Library partner page.

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.