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"

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.

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

New Materials from the Lawndale Historical Society Document Early 20th Century Cleveland County

Beginning of list of ordinance for the city of Lawndale from 1907

A partial view of a list of ordinances for the city of Lawndale, NC, enacted in 1907.

Today we’re pleased to share a new batch of materials from the Lawndale Historical Society, located in Cleveland County North Carolina. Included are a variety of business records and ephemera related to the Cleveland Mill and Power Company, a hotel register, some town government records, and early twentieth century yearbooks/catalogs from Piedmont High School.

The Cleveland Mill and Power Company was founded around 1873 in Lawndale. The records in this most recent batch include the following:

Black and white head shot of John F. Schenck Sr. and article title and header

Clipping from an article written by John F. Schenck entitled “The Menace of Washington to American Industry,” published in a 1936 issue of Carolina Magazine.

John F. Schenck Sr. ran the Cleveland Mill and Power Company, was Mayor of Lawndale, and an all around influential white figure in the community. Textiles were in his blood, so to speak. His great-grandfather and grandfather both founded cotton mills. The scrapbook in this most recent batch is part diary and part manifesto – it contains many typewritten pages of his personal views on the current state of the textile industry, particularly in relation to what he saw as overreaching government regulations from the time period before, during, and after the U. S. Great Depression. There are also clippings and other ephemera.

There are a few other volumes related to town history from the same time period. The Lawndale Hotel Register has signatures dated from 1901-1910. The hotel guest’s place of origin is also included. The Town of Lawndale Minutes and Records from 1903-1925 includes town council minutes, election results, and copies of ordinances like the one at right.

There are also early volumes from Piedmont High School, dating 1905-1926. They’re a bit of a hybrid between catalogs and yearbooks, like many schools published in that time period, and they show both information about the classes offered and the students who attended. 

Black and white group portrait of high school students holding a pennant that reads Emersonian

The Piedmont High School Emersonian Literary Society, pictured in the 1925-1926 catalog.

You can view other items related to Lawndale and the Cleveland Mill on the Lawndale Historical Society’s contributor page. These materials have been shared in part thanks to a partnership with the State Archives of North Carolina sponsored by the State Historical Records Advisory Board. 

Materials from New Bern’s J.T. Barber Alumni Association are now available on DigitalNC

West Street High School, class of 1954

West Street High School, class of 1954

Thanks to our new partner, the J. T. Barber Alumni Association, DigitalNC is proud to host a variety of materials documenting the history of J. T. Barber High School (formerly West Street High School) and its alumni in New Bern, North Carolina.  The Alumni Association just celebrated the class of 1970’s 50th anniversary this past weekend (via Zoom)!  

The batch includes class portraits, the commencement program from 1954’s graduation ceremony, a photo of the 1954 marching band, and a 1969 student newspaper, all from while the school was still operating. From the alumni association, we have digitized a photo of the class of 1970’s reunion in 2007, several editions of the “Warrior News Bulletin,” the alumni association’s membership roster from 2008, and various annual meeting programs. Additionally, DigitalNC now hosts yearbooks from the school from 1948 to 1971.

J. T. Barber High School, class of 1970

J. T. Barber High School, class of 1970

Click here to see all of our new materials from the J. T. Barber Alumni Association.

R. B. Paschal Diary Transcript Now Available

Thanks to our partner, Chatham County Public Library, a transcript of R.B. Paschal’s diary entries dating from 1860-1861 and 1863-1864 are now available on our website.

In 1854, R.B. Paschal was elected the Chatham County Sheriff and served six consecutive terms.  In addition to his career as sheriff, Paschal served in the House of Delegates in 1865 and North Carolina Senate in 1866. Entries are brief and focus mainly on the weather, daily activities mostly related to farming, and sometimes news of the war.  The diary as a whole gives a window into how the Civil War affected Chatham County directly, with accounts of local men who were arriving back from fighting or taken prisoner of war.  It also includes accounts of Paschal overseeing the trade of enslaved people in Chatham County, a reminder of the duties assigned to the position of sheriff.  Place names and people’s names, white and black, are included in the diary.   

A page of R.B. Paschal's diary entries from late August to early October.

A page from the R.B. Pashcal diary transcript.


























For more information about the Chatham County Public Library, please visit their website

More information about the diary and R. B. Paschal can be found here.

High Point Museum Scrapbooks and Ephemera Now Online!

Thanks to our partner, High Point Museum, scrapbooks and other memorabilia from the High Point area are now on our website. This batch includes audio files, scrapbooks, a city planning document, local histories, and business reports.

The cover of the Junior Order United American Mechanics History of the Western Section in North Carolina from 1929.

The audio files in this batch are from a 1965 tobacco auction in High Point. There are also histories and reports from businesses such as Slane Hosiery Mills, Stehli Silks Corporation, Burlington Mills, and Thomasville Furniture Industries. This batch also includes a history of the Western section of the Junior Order of United American Mechanics from 1929. Also included is a 1958 city plan from the Department of Planning for the City of High Point. The three scrapbooks in this batch include two from High Point High School related to school news and extracurriculars, and a 1987-1988 scrapbook from the Furniture City Women’s Club.

The cover of a 1946 history of industrial production in Burlington Mills, North Carolina.

This batch also includes several editions of The Messenger, a newsletter published by Harriss and Covington Hosiery Mills, Inc. in High Point, and the Amco News, which is published by the Adams-Millis Corporation.

The cover page of the April 1977 edition of the Amco News.

For more information about the High Point Museum, visit their website.