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"


Even more additions to the R. Kelly Bryant Obituary Collection Now Online

New additions to the R. Kelly Bryant Obituary Collection, provided by our partner, Durham County Library, are now online at DigitalNC. This collection of funeral programs and obituaries of African American residents of Durham was compiled by R. Kelly Bryant (1917-2015), a historian with an extensive knowledge of Durham, North Carolina.

The collection is arranged alphabetically by the last names of individuals. Names included in the newest addition cover the surnames Mabry through Quiett. The funeral programs and obituaries are an excellent genealogical source and often include biographical details like birth and death dates, names of family members, locations lived, and aspects of an individual’s life story. We will continue to digitize this collection, so please check back for more entries in the coming months.

To take a look at what we have digitized so far of the R. Kelly Bryant Obituary Collection, please visit the collection’s exhibit page. Information about the collection is also available in the finding aid on Durham County Library’s website.

To see more materials from Durham County Library, visit their DigitalNC partner page, or take a look at their website.


New Yearbooks and More from Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Now Online

Several new high school yearbooks from Mecklenburg County are now online on DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner institution, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. Included are copies of various yearbooks around the county, all from 1967. The yearbooks contain individual school portraits, group portraits, and photographs of sports, activities, and their school groups.

To view the yearbooks, visit the links below:

Also new to our collection is a program from the 2017 Theresea C. Elder Trailblazer Awards Brunch, held in Charlotte. Created by Mrs. Elder in 2005, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Black Heritage Committee was formed to “research, collect and disseminate” historical information about the African-American community in the Charlotte Mecklenburg community. The 2017 brunch honored the Charlotte Post Publishing Company, the minority owned and operated news organization in North Carolina and South Carolina. The 2017 keynote speaker at the event was Mary C. Curtis, a columnist, journalist, national politics correspondent and speaker.

To see more from the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, click on their partner page or visit their website to learn more.


Brookford NC Celebrated in Newly Digitized Book

The author at age 10 on page 22 of Brookford Memories

Brookford Memories, a book contributed by Hickory Public Library, celebrates life in Brookford, NC, a small town in Catawba County. Brookford Memories was written in 2003 by Brookford native Dyke Little, born in 1935. This book contains the chapters “Childhood Memories”, “Brookford Places”, “Brookford Mills”, “Brookford People”, “Brookford Lives”, “Brookford Photos”, “Rosa Clinard’s Album”, “Grandview School”, “Mill Property”, “Church Brochures”, “Myrtle Hunt Scrapbook”, and “More Brookford Photos.”

Through a series of vignettes, interviews, biographies, and historical documents, Little paints a portrait of Brookford as it was during it’s heyday as a mill town. In the introduction, he reflects his childhood during the late 1930s and 1940s saying, “the Depression was over but World War II was starting. This was a time when we all felt closer to each other… Back then the pace of life was slower and people had more time for each other.”

Although Little’s focus is on Brookford, delving into family histories and specific childhood memories, the book touches on themes common to towns all around North Carolina and beyond.

To see more materials from Hickory Public Library, take a look at their DigitalNC partner page, or view their website.


Pamphlets, Booklets, Reports, and More from Gaston County Public Library Now Online

 

Photo from the advertising pamphlet “Gastonia, Your Convention City”

Back in February, some of the NCDHC staff travelled down to our partner Gaston County Public Library and set up to do two days of on site scanning.  The materials we scanned during that visit, as well as materials we brought back with us to scan in Chapel Hill, are now online.  

While on site, we scanned a chattel mortgage book from 1915, documents relating to a distillery in the area in the 1890s, and several local history books put together by students in the local schools in the 1950s and 1960s.  

Dozens of new reports, documents, and programs from Gaston County are also now available after we scanned those back in Chapel Hill.  Over 50 items in total, these documents, pamphlets, and booklets paint a greater picture of what it meant to live in Gaston County in the beginning and middle of the 20th century.

The 1976-1977 annual report from the Gastonia Housing Authority. The report includes stats on the types of houses and apartments under their management.

Many of these items are informational booklets, some published by the Gastonia Chamber of Commerce, telling readers about the population, GDP, schools, and industries throughout Gastonia. Others are specific booklets or programs from certain events. One program is from the 1974 dedication and recognition of Zoe Kincaid Brockman, a former editor of the Gastonia Gazette. There are other programs, including church programs from First Baptist and First Presbyterian in Gastonia. A few of the other booklets included in this collection also detail the towns outside Gastonia, like Mount Holly, Cherryville, Ranlo, and Lowell. These collections can be viewed here, and here.

Also included in this collection is a dozen booklets about the Gastonia Debutante Club, from 1976 to 1987. These booklets celebrate the Debutante Club and honor the individuals who helped put it on. Certain editions also include a list of members, the by-laws of the Debutante Club, a list of past Presidents, the history of the organization, and the debutantes of various years.

To see more materials and learn more about the Gaston County Public Library, you can visit their partner page or take a look at their website.


19th century papers from Davidson College trustees are now online

A bond certificate addressed to Jonathan D. Johnson, who purchased $100 Confederate dollars in March 1864.

Over three dozen 19th century and early 20th century Presbyterian Church sermons delivered by Robert Zenas Johnston are now digitized and available on DigitalNC. Also included are reports from 19th century Presbyterian Churches, documents from Rufus Johnston, and correspondence from Mary Gibson, both citizens of Mecklenburg County. All of these documents come to DigitalNC courtesy of our partner, Davidson College as part of their Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded “Justice, Equality, Community: Reimagining Humanities Curricula” project, which is a three-year, campus-wide initiative. All materials digitized for the project by DigitalNC can be found on the exhibit page Nineteenth Century Family Papers and Plantation Records of Davidson College Trustees.

The cover of one of the notebooks used by the Presbyterian Churches of Mecklenburg County, made in roughly 1876.

Johnston’s sermons (over 550!) stretch from 1859 to 1907, until just before his death in 1908. He delivered them all across the state, from Asheville to Shelby, in different cities around Mecklenburg County, and even at the Unity Church in South Carolina. Approximately 61 of those sermons are undated, but they most likely date from the 1800s as well. In many of the earlier sermons, he discussed the Civil War on the local towns. We also have several of his student notebooks, a contract for a teaching position and pastoral position that Johnston was offered, and more.

Also included in this new collection of documents are financial records of Rufus Johnston, including receipts, bonds, and bills of payment. We also received correspondence and letters from Mary Gibson, one of which tells her brother Robert what she would like done with her property towards the end of the Civil War.

Another folder contains a few documents about Davidson College itself. One document was written by Reverend Jethro Rumple, reminiscing about life at the college in the 1840’s. Included is a small handwritten biography by Reverend Rumple about Reverend John Bunyan Shearer, the eighth president of Davidson College from 1888 to 1901. These documents help give us all a greater idea of what living as a student in those times was like. Also included in this batch is a letter written by Rumple to Brother McLaughlin about an 1878 Concord Presbytery Meeting in Statesville, North Carolina.

This collection also includes various reports to and about Presbyterian Churches across the state. A few letters are addressed to synods, while others are reports on new developments within the church. There are also several notebooks, copybooks, and ledgers used by the church.

An 1855 receipt from Rural Hill Plantation promising payment of $50.12 due the next day.

Finally, DigitalNC also received folders of papers and documents about several Mecklenburg County plantations. Stretching from the 1820s to the 1860s, many of the folders contain financial records and receipts from Rural Hill, a plantation in Huntersville that was built in 1788 by Major John Davidson. There are also documents from his grandson, Adam Brevard Davidson, who later became a Trustee of Davidson College, and financial records, ledgers and booklets from the Mt. Tirzah Plantation in Lincoln County.

To browse through these materials, feel free to visit Davidson College’s partner page, or check out their website.


New series of manuscripts from Edgecombe County Memorial Library dates back to 1777

The receipt for a tuition payment from the Eason Thomas Papers.

The beginning of the letter to James Johnson regarding the death of his son in 1861.

A collection of manuscripts provided by Edgecombe County Memorial Library is now available on DigitalNC. This collection is comprised primarily of personal financial papers from Edgecombe County residents dating back as far as 1777, with the most recent documents dating to 1917. The manuscripts are separated out by the name of the individual or family to which the documents pertain. Items like land deeds, receipts of payment, and court documents concerning the transfer of money and debt are frequently found in these collections. Additionally, some letters of personal correspondence are included. One striking letter was written from Redding W. Thomas and J. W. Gardner to James Johnson informing him about the death of his son Charles during the the Civil War.

These manuscripts are useful for tracking family history as well as land use and the economic activities of Edgecombe County during the last 1700s through the 1800s. Families represented include the Long, Woodard, Barnes, Thomas, Horn, Johnston, Johnson, Batts, Farmer, and Price families of Edgecombe County.

Make sure to browse through these new manuscripts on DigitalNC  and learn more about the papers on the Hugh Johnston Collection exhibit page. To see more materials from Edgecombe County Memorial Library, please check out their DigitalNC partner page and take a look a their website.


World War II Scrapbooks and More from Randolph County Public Library Now Online at DigitalNC

A flyer celebrating the service of North Carolinians in the war effort, as well as information war bonds

Four new World War II era scrapbooks have now been digitized and are now available on DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, the Randolph County Public Library. Stretching from 1943 to 1945, three of the scrapbooks are made up of documents, programs and news clippings about Randolph County service members in the Army and the Navy.

A 1952 advertisement supporting a local vote to construct new buildings for Randolph County schools

Many of the news clippings found in these scrapbooks are of service members being stationed overseas, where they are deployed, soldiers being labeled missing or killed in action, awards given, and more. Looking through these scrapbooks reminds us of the sacrifice that these soldiers gave in support of our state and our country.

The fourth is a scrapbook from 1952 consisting of documents and photos of buildings located throughout Asheboro. Created by Toby Samet, an art student at Asheboro High School, this scrapbook contains photos and other important papers, like a report from the city Asheboro’s 1952 campaign to clean up the city. It is a fascinating look into the past to see what Asheboro was like at that time, and what was considered important by the city.

To see more of their materials and learn about the Randolph County Public Library, visit their partner page or take a look at their website.


General Store Accounting Ledgers and More Now Online at DigitalNC

A snapshot from the 1929 Malachi Bissette General Store ledger

A new batch of materials from Braswell Memorial Library in Rocky Mount, N.C. is now online and available on DigitalNC. This collection contains several day books and ledgers, as well as a school yearbook and a school assignment dating back to 1913.

The four day books are all accounting ledgers from the Malachi Bissette General Store run by I. H. Eatman in Bailey, N.C. in Nash County. Looking through them, it is easy to see regular customers visiting the store for the things they need, giving us a glimpse of what life was like in Nash County at that time. Dating from 1928 to 1932, these ledgers were extremely well kept and exact. They include information about who came into the store, what they purchased, and how much items cost. For example, in 1929, a notebook and paper cost 15 cents, and a shirt cost 2 dollars.

The other documents in this batch include a school assignment from 1913. Completed by Leonard Morton, he wrote about where he lived, the date, and the weather. Also included is Morton’s yearbook for the year 1919-1920 from Rocky Mount High School, as well as assorted documents, like copies of dues payments to local organizations. These present a very interesting look at what schooling was like around a hundred years ago.

Follow the links below to browse the items included in this batch:

To learn more about the Braswell Memorial Library, check out their partner page or take a look at their website.


New Yearbooks and More from Alamance County Public Libraries Now Available on DigitalNC

An exterior shot of Walter Williams High School in 1968.

A new batch of yearbooks from Alamance County is now available on DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, the Alamance County Public Libraries. Included are nearly 20 yearbooks from schools across Alamance County during the middle of the 20th century. This batch also includes a 2002 booklet to commemorate and reminisce about the Class of 1944 at Aycock High School, assembled by Rachel Hawkins Cole.

These yearbooks contain individual and class portraits, class histories, honorifics and photographs of school activities, class clubs, and athletic teams. Some of the yearbooks also include important or notable events throughout the school year, poems or songs dedicated to the class, and pages dedicated to certain classes.

The booklet dedicated to the Aycock High School Class of 1944 is also included. It details the history of Aycock High School, honors various teachers and administrative figures present at the school at that time, and includes photographs of classmembers taken from that time period. It also included a program taken from a commemorative service in 2002 where classmates were invited to come together to remember their classmates and time spent at Aycock High School.

Follow the links below to browse the yearbooks from the schools included in this batch:

To see more from the Alamance County Public Libraries, visit their partner page, or check out their website.


New Materials from Rockingham County Public Library, Including Yearbooks, Films, and More

The James J. Dallas home in Rockingham County.

The newest batch of materials from our partner, Rockingham County Public Library, includes two yearbooks, three books, a vertical file, several newspaper issues, and two short films. The yearbooks, from 1967 and 1968, were created by Madison-Mayodan Junior High School. The books cover the stories of Rockingham county notables John D. Robertson and James J. Dallas, as well as the Greensboro Telephone Exchange. The vertical file contains materials related to Smyrna Presbyterian Church’s centennial celebration, and the newspapers include more issues from the Fieldcrest Mill Whistle.

Lastly, video footage in this batch includes two films converted from 8mm format. The first shows the 1969 Madison Christmas Parade filmed in downtown Madison, NC. The second is a film created by Macfield Inc. that details their continuing education program for employees.

Serious student government officials seen in the 1968 Madison-Mayodan Junior High School yearbook.

To browse through the items in this batch, click the links below.

To see more materials from Rockingham County Public Library, check out their DigitalNC partner page, or take a look at their website.