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.

RSS Subscribe By Mail UNC Social Media Statement


Viewing entries tagged "newspapers"


Issues of “The Shore Line” Offer a Taste of NC Wildlife

Human residents of North Carolina probably know that our state is also home to a variety of exciting wildlife, from rare butterflies, “secretive” otters, and occasional alligators (if you want to see flora and fauna by county, the NC Wildlife Resources Commission has shaded maps). And now, thanks to our partners at the History Committee of the town of Pine Knoll Shores, we have some issues of The Shore Line that profile some of our animal neighbors. 

Photo of a juvenile Great Horned owl perched on a wound-up garden hose with its feathers ruffled. Its facial feathers give the impression of human eyebrows, creating a striking resemblance to the actor Al Pacino.

Owl Pacino (The Shore Line, May 2021)

In May 2021, Pine Knoll Shores residents got a visit from a special guest: a juvenile great horned owl with a striking resemblance to actor Al Pacino. These birds are actually common throughout the state, and though most people have never seen one, you’ve almost definitely heard their call

The author of this piece, John Clarke—who aptly named the bird “Owl Pacino”—reached out to the local aquarium’s owl expert, Amanda Goble, for more information about his feathered friend. Goble said that great horned owls tend to have a long period of dependence on their parents, so it’s likely that Owl Pacino’s mother and father are nearby as well.

The NC Wildlife Resources Commission also notes that while it is a myth that owls can turn their heads in a complete circle, they can in fact turn them 180 degrees.

Another pair of special guests on the pages of the June 2021 issue of The Shore Line are these two shelled friends:

A photo of a terrapin with a pretty shell. The shell has dark hexagon shapes with bright outlines.

North Carolina is home to 21 species of turtles, including sea turtles and our state turtle, the box turtle (Terrapene carolina, for the Latin-inclined). This article ran as a way to remind people how to handle turtles when they come across them. The short answer: leave them alone.

A photo of a turtle crossing a road

About half of the turtle species in NC (11/21) are either federally listed as threatened or endangered and/or listed by the state as an animal of “special concern.” The author of the article, Frederick Boyce, is the staff herpetologist at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores; he clarifies that the common advice, “Put them off the road in the direction they were heading,” really only applies to our beloved representative the box turtle. Most of the time, the best course of action is to do nothing.

One more animal neighbor that appears in the February 2021 issue is the “sexy speedo,” more formally known as the six-lined racerunner lizard.

A photo of a small lizard standing as if ready to run. The lizard has dark coloring and stripes along its body.

The six-lined racerunner is native to NC (The Shore Line, February 2021)

There are several whiptail lizards native to North America, but the only one east of the Mississippi is this little friend (according to Boyce, who also wrote this article). Interestingly, many species of whiptails native to the U.S. reproduce by parthenogenesis, meaning that all members of the species are female and are born from a single parent. Our North Carolina whiptails, though, have both male and female members and do not reproduce by parthenogenesis. 

“I have always thought, however, that Jurassic Park would have been more convincing if Michael Crichton’s fictional scientists used lizard rather than frog DNA to fill in the gaps of their ancient dinosaur strands,” Boyce adds.

The full 2021 run of The Shore Line can be found here; all of our digitized issues of The Shore Line can be found in our North Carolina Newspapers collection. For more information about and materials from the History Committee of the Town of Pine Knoll Shores, you can visit their partner page or their website


35 Titles added to DigitalNC

Headmast from August 3, 1886 issue of Statesville American Tobacco Journal

This week we have another 35 newspaper titles up on DigitalNC including thousands of issues from the Greensboro Daily News and Charlotte Daily Observer!

In the January 7th, 1898 issue of the Charlotte Daily Observer, we have a story about a little girl who had swallowed a thimble and was saved by a new invention: the x-ray machine. Dr. Henry Louis Smith, a physics professor at Davidson College, was an early pioneer in x-ray technology. Smith’s machine was used in some of the first clinical applications, such as this, and allowed doctors to safely find and remove the foreign object from the ailing girl’s body.

Clipping from January 7, 1898 issue of Charlotte Daily Observer describing how the x-ray machine of Dr. Henry Louis Smith was able to locate a thimble that a young girl had swalloed

Charlotte Daily Observer, January 7, 1898

Over the next year, we’ll be adding millions of newspaper images to DigitalNC. These images were originally digitized a number of years ago in a partnership with Newspapers.com. That project focused on scanning microfilmed papers published before 1923 held by the North Carolina Collection in Wilson Special Collections Library. While you can currently search all of those pre-1923 issues on Newspapers.com, over the next year we will also make them available in our newspaper database as well. This will allow you to search that content alongside the 2 million pages already on our site – all completely open access and free to use.

This week’s additions include:

Asheville

Burlington

Charlotte

Durham

Graham

Greensboro

Highlands

Milton

Salem

Southport

Spencer

Statesville

Tarboro

Thomasville

Wadesboro

Waynesville

Wilson

Windsor

If you want to see all of the newspapers we have available on DigitalNC, you can find them here. Thanks to UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries for permission to and support for adding all of this content as well as the content to come. We also thank the North Caroliniana Society for providing funding to support staff working on this project.


Three More Years of the Roanoke-Chowan Times Available

The masthead of the Roanoke-Chowan Times

Thanks to our partner the Northampton County Museum, we now have three additional years of The Roanoke-Chowan Times. These issues, from 1926-1928, feature local news from Rich Square, Roxobel, Seaboard, Potecasi, and Kelford, N.C., as well as other nearby towns. 

The hyper-local news sections from these issues is a big part of their charm. Often, the front page is divided into columns with the name of the town at the top. The news items range from newsworthy (as we would think of that term today) to the intimate. Here are three examples from the September 2, 1926 issue:

A newspaper clipping A newspaper clipping A newspaper clipping listing personal items

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although the personal items are fun to read in retrospect, it’s probably a relief that this kind of journalism is less common today.

Another interesting characteristic of this paper is it’s adoption of the first line of the North Carolina state song in its masthead: “Carolina, Carolina, heaven’s blessings attend her.” The paper speaks to the song’s widespread popularity in the state; the lyrics were written by North Carolina Supreme Court Judge William Gaston in 1835, but the song wasn’t officially adopted until 1927. The first instance in our records where the first line appears is in the April 23, 1903 issue—more than 20 years before it was made official.

This batch of papers is particularly exciting for us because it’s the first set of papers scanned on the new equipment at our satellite location, NCDHC East at Elizabeth City State University. 

You can see all of our issues of The Roanoke-Chowan Times here and our entire collection of digitized newspapers in our North Carolina Newspapers collection. To learn more about the Northampton County Museum, you can visit their partner page or their website


Another 60 Newspaper Titles on DigitalNC!

Headmast for January 20, 1900 issue of Winston-Salem's Elite

This week we’ve added another 60 titles to DigitalNC. Included in this batch is the possible origin of a classic North Carolina ghost story!

The Maco Light story tells of a train conductor name Joe Baldwin who was decapitated in a tragic railway accident near the small community of Maco, North Carolina. Legend has it that the ghost of Mr. Baldwin could be seen walking the tracks at night, carrying a lantern and searching for his misplaced head, but once the railroad was removed in the 1970s he was never seen again.

Article from January 12, 1856 issue of The Southerner detailing a train accident in which Charles Baldwin is killed after suffering head injuries

The Southerner, January 12, 1856

As is the case with most folk tales, the story is passed down and embellished over the years and the origin becomes a little fuzzy. There is no record of a “Joe” Baldwin being involved in a wreck, but the January 12th, 1856 issue of The Southerner has an article detailing a train accident that took place just outside of Wilmington a week earlier. The deceased in this incident is Charles Baldwin, who suffered a fatal head injury during the crash. Given the similarities in these stories, it seems our ghost might have actually stayed in one piece.

Over the next year, we’ll be adding millions of newspaper images to DigitalNC. These images were originally digitized a number of years ago in a partnership with Newspapers.com. That project focused on scanning microfilmed papers published before 1923 held by the North Carolina Collection in Wilson Special Collections Library. While you can currently search all of those pre-1923 issues on Newspapers.com, over the next year we will also make them available in our newspaper database as well. This will allow you to search that content alongside the 2 million pages already on our site – all completely open access and free to use.

This week’s additions include:

Elizabeth City

Greensboro

Hendersonville

Oxford

Rutherfordton

Salem

Salisbury

Southern Pines

Southport

Tarboro

Taylorsville

Warrenton

Washington

Williamston

Wilson

Winston

Winston-Salem

If you want to see all of the newspapers we have available on DigitalNC, you can find them here. Thanks to UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries for permission to and support for adding all of this content as well as the content to come. We also thank the North Caroliniana Society for providing funding to support staff working on this project.


60 Newspaper Titles on DigitalNC!

Headmast for the January 30, 1836 issue of Salem, N.C.'s Farmers' Reporter

This week we have another 60 titles up on DigitalNC! While these papers cover all of North Carolina, almost one third are from Statesville alone!

In the October 3rd, 1902 issue of Elizabeth City’s Tar Heel, there is an interview with Reginald Aubrey Fessenden’s assistant, Professor Saint Marie. Fessenden was a pioneer in early radio, or “wireless telegraphy,” and was conducting experiments at Manteo on Roanoke Island. In the interview, Prof. Saint Marie seems somewhat pessimistic about the process and its possibilities, which might be due to Fessenden abruptly ending their contract with the Weather Bureau the previous month after conflict arose over ownership of the patent.

October 3, 1902 interview with Reginald Fessenden's assistant, Professor Saint Marie

Tar Heel, October 3, 1902

However, less than two months later The News and Observer reported that Fessenden’s invention had greatly improved and could now send transmissions to Washington, D.C. On Christmas Eve, 1906, he conducted the first radio broadcast by reading a bible verse and then playing ‘O Holy Night’ on his violin for the ships off the coast of Massachusetts. By 1909, according the the Charlotte Evening Observer, he had perfected the process for which he laid the foundation on the Carolina coast.

Article from The News and Observer describing Fessenden's success with radio experiments

News and Observer, November 23, 1902

Article from Charlotte Evening Chronicle stating that Fessenden had perfected his radio process

Evening Chronicle, April 14, 1909

Over the next year, we’ll be adding millions of newspaper images to DigitalNC. These images were originally digitized a number of years ago in a partnership with Newspapers.com. That project focused on scanning microfilmed papers published before 1923 held by the North Carolina Collection in Wilson Special Collections Library. While you can currently search all of those pre-1923 issues on Newspapers.com, over the next year we will also make them available in our newspaper database as well. This will allow you to search that content alongside the 2 million pages already on our site – all completely open access and free to use.

This week’s additions include:

Elizabeth City

Moravian Falls

North Wilkesboro

Oxford

Pittsboro

Rutherfordton

Salem

Salisbury

Selma

Shelby

Siler City

Smithfield

Statesville

Stonewall

Tarboro

Taylorsville

Wadesboro

Warrenton

Washington

Wilson

Windsor

If you want to see all of the newspapers we have available on DigitalNC, you can find them here. Thanks to UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries for permission to and support for adding all of this content as well as the content to come. We also thank the North Caroliniana Society for providing funding to support staff working on this project.


40 Newspaper Titles added to DigitalNC

Headmast for August 31, 1899 issue of the Durham Daily Sun

Another 40 newspaper titles up on DigitalNC this week! In this batch are many titles from all over the state (including nine from Rutherfordton) and a little local baseball history.

Featured in the May 5, 1902 issue of the Durham Daily Sun is the very first game of the Durham Tobacconists, the baseball team that would go on to become the Durham Bulls in 1913. While they lost their inaugural match to the Charlotte team 12-2, the author is optimistic and writes that “everything may soon be going their way.” They dropped out of the season two months later.

Article from May 5, 1902 issue of the Durham Daily Sun introducing the first game of baseball team the Durham Tobacconists

Durham Daily Sun, May 5, 1902

Article from May 6, 1902 issue of the Durham Daily Sun detailing the Durham Tobacconists 12-2 loss to the Charlotte team

Durham Daily Sun, May 6, 1902

Over the next year, we’ll be adding millions of newspaper images to DigitalNC. These images were originally digitized a number of years ago in a partnership with Newspapers.com. That project focused on scanning microfilmed papers published before 1923 held by the North Carolina Collection in Wilson Special Collections Library. While you can currently search all of those pre-1923 issues on Newspapers.com, over the next year we will also make them available in our newspaper database as well. This will allow you to search that content alongside the 2 million pages already on our site – all completely open access and free to use.

This week’s additions include:

Charlotte

Durham

Elizabeth City

Fayetteville

Gastonia

High Point

Kinson

Oxford

Plymouth

Raleigh

Roanoke Rapids

Rockingham

Rutherford College

Rutherfordton

Southern Pines

Southport

Troy

Wilmington

If you want to see all of the newspapers we have available on DigitalNC, you can find them here. Thanks to UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries for permission to and support for adding all of this content as well as the content to come. We also thank the North Caroliniana Society for providing funding to support staff working on this project.


Additional Issues of the Chowan Herald, 1983-2001, now on DigitalNC

Black and white clipping of masthead and article about Y2K glitches from January 5, 2000 Chowan Herald front page

Shepard-Pruden Memorial Library in Edenton has funded digitization of an additional 19 years of the Chowan Herald. This new content means that you can now search the entire run from the first issue in 1934 through June 2001. 

The new issues from 1983-2001 cover local political and town government news, tourism, business and residential development in the area, local events and community organizations, crime and local disasters. One of the larger construction projects represented in this timespan is the replacement Albemarle Sound Bridge. You can see news about the conception, construction, and dedication of the bridge (including an article on the partial collapse during construction which delayed its completion). (Here’s an article about the original bridge, which you can read about through earlier issues of the Herald.)

You can search and browse the entire run of The Chowan Herald on its landing page.  Other materials related to Chowan County that are available on our site, including newspapers, city directories, and more, can be searched and browsed on the county landing page.


Over 60 Newspaper Titles added to DigitalNC

Headmast for July 16th issue of Rockingham's Pee Dee Bee

This week we have another 61 titles up on DigitalNC, including our first additions from Charleston, Culler, Red Springs, Rutherfordton, and Sanford! Included in this batch, on the front page of the February 28, 1872 issue of Raleigh’s Weekly Sentinel, is an article detailing the final heist of Robeson County folk hero Henry Berry Lowry.

Black and white photo of bearded man that is thought to be Henry Berry Lowry

Portrait thought to be of Henry Berry Lowry. Via the State Archives of North Carolina

Henry Berry Lowry, a Lumbee Native American, was the head of the mostly Native outlaw group known as the Lowry Gang. In addition to typical outlaw activities, the Lowry Gang also helped other Native Americans avoid Confederate work conscription and fought alongside Union soldiers who had escaped Confederate prison camps. While Lowry did often resort to murder to settle personal feuds, he was also considered a sort of Robeson “Robin Hood.” When they committed robberies, they would often share the spoils with the community and would return items such as horses as soon as they were no longer needed. They were known to be “respectful” robbers and would let you off the hook if you could show you didn’t have much.

article detailing the safe heist robbery committed by Lowry and his gang

The Weekly Sentinel, February 28, 1872

In 1869, governor William Holden put a $12,000 bounty on Lowry’s head, which resulted in bloody conflict over the next few years. After successfully evading capture, Lowry planned his final heist in February of 1872. The gang stole a safe from a local carriage manufacturer and were bold enough to take another from the sheriff’s office, walking away with $22,000 (about $520,000 today) and then he disappeared. The bounty was never collected and he was never heard from again. Some locals claim they saw him at a friend’s funeral years later, but we will likely never know what happened to Henry Berry Lowry.

Over the next year, we’ll be adding millions of newspaper images to DigitalNC. These images were originally digitized a number of years ago in a partnership with Newspapers.com. That project focused on scanning microfilmed papers published before 1923 held by the North Carolina Collection in Wilson Special Collections Library. While you can currently search all of those pre-1923 issues on Newspapers.com, over the next year we will also make them available in our newspaper database as well. This will allow you to search that content alongside the 2 million pages already on our site – all completely open access and free to use.

This week’s additions include:

Asheboro

Charleston

Charlotte

Culler

Elizabeth City

Goldsboro

Greensboro

Halifax

Hertford

North Wilkesboro

Oxford

Plymouth

Raleigh

Red Springs

Reidsville

Rockingham

Rutherfordton

Salisbury

Sanford

Shelby

Tarboro

Taylorsville

Wadesboro

Warrenton

Washington

Winston-Salem

 

If you want to see all of the newspapers we have available on DigitalNC, you can find them here. Thanks to UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries for permission to and support for adding all of this content as well as the content to come. We also thank the North Caroliniana Society for providing funding to support staff working on this project.


High Point area newspapers and furniture catalogs now online

Front Page Newspaper

Front Page of The High Point Enterprise on July 21, 1969, after Neil Armstrong lands on the moon.

Report

Front Page of the “Hi – Lites”, a report from the High Point Chamber of Commerce in 1958.

Digital NC is happy to announce new materials from the Heritage Research Center at the High Point Public Library and High Point Museum. The latest items include yearbooks, newspapers, annual reports, furniture catalogs and so much more!  

Known as the furniture capital of the world for its many furniture companies, High Point has made a name for itself when it comes to buying and selling furniture. Included in this collection are catalogs from several different companies such as the Union Furniture Company, The Sign of Distinction in Your Home catalog from Globe Furniture Company, and many more. You can also find toy catalogs from the Fil – Back Sales Corporation in the collection as well. Along with the furniture catalogs, annual reports from the town of High Point are also available. Reports such as “Hi – Lites” and “Focal Point” provide details on what is happening within the High Point Community.  

Also included in the materials are yearbooks from T. Wingate Andrews High School, “Reverie”. The yearbooks cover the years 1969 – 1971 and explore student life at Andrews High School such as clubs, faculty, and homecoming festivities.  

Finally, Digital NC has also made available 3 issues of The High Point Enterprise from July 1969. The issues cover Neil Armstrong’s historic landing on the moon in 1969 and discussion about the importance of his travels.  

Special thanks to our partner Heritage Research Center at High Point Public Library and the High Point Museum for these wonderful materials! To view more from the HR Center, visit them here and here from High Point Museum.

Be sure to check out our newspapers, yearbooks, and memorabilia collections from partners throughout NC.  


1958 Was a Big Year for Chapel Hillians, According to Added Issues of the Chapel Hill News Leader

Masthead of the Chapel Hill News Leader

You may be surprised to learn what was worrying the citizens of Chapel Hill and Carrboro in 1958. Our most recent additions from the Chapel Hill News Leader, supplied by our partner, the Chapel Hill Historical Society, touch on everything from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, civil rights, alcohol laws, and policing to some new technologies arriving the city.

A newspaper article from the Chapel Hill News Leader

July 31, 1958

One of the first big stories breaks about midway through the year: the parking meter debacle. Apparently, the Chapel Hill Board of Aldermen had been tossing around the idea of installing parking meters for a couple of years, and the decision to finally do it happened in 1958. Local businessmen immediately pushed back, arguing that instituting paid parking would hurt their businesses. 

Apparently, everyone could agree on the fact that the parking meters were ugly, but the author of the article, Roland Giduz, speculated that complaints about the meters would die down once everyone realized how much they improve traffic (spoiler alert: that doesn’t really happen based on the coverage that follows). 

Just below the meter gripes article is another big story of the year: school integration. It describes two issues for an upcoming school merger election: first, whether Black students would attend Carrboro Elementary School, and second, whether the Chapel Hill School Board would charge $30 tuition for students from Carrboro. (Note: more materials about Carrboro Elementary School were also uploaded in this batch, including architectural plans and a document of education specifications). 

The earlier articles that this one refers to (from May 22, 1958) don’t mention race until the very last line: “As to the general pupil assignment policy for next year, [Mr. Culbreth] said that he anticipated that the Board would re-adopt the existing regulations, whereby racial segregation has been maintained.” As the July article notes, this is four years after the Brown v. Board Supreme Court decision declaring racial segregation in public schools unconstitutional.

A partial page from the Chapel Hill News Leader, 1958

September 11, 1958

The issue gets a more personal focus in the September 11, 1958 issue, when the Orange County School Board denied Lee and Lattice Vickers’ child admittance to the then all-white Carrboro Elementary School. The Vickers’ case was set against the backdrop of ongoing school assignment problems, with neighboring school systems fighting each other over pupil placement and resources. 

The fight to racially integrate schools in Chapel Hill (and throughout North Carolina) continued well into the 1960s, and, sadly, none of the community papers that we have from the area extend past 1963. One of the latest articles available, from The Chapel Hill Weekly, reports a survey of Southern business leaders and how their perspective on industry shaped their views on the matter.

But, in 1958, public school integration was still competing for front page space with—you guessed it—parking meters. 

Another major debate in the community during this time was over the sale of alcohol. North Carolina was ahead of the curve of prohibition, outlawing the sale and manufacture of alcohol in 1909 (a decade before the national amendment). And, even after the repeal of prohibition in 1933, the Alcoholic Beverage Control system wasn’t created until 1937. (To this day, Graham County remains a “dry” county). In 1958, there was still a lot of resistance to the ABC setting up shop.

Newspaper article from the Chapel Hill News Leader

November 17, 1958

In this case, efforts were headed by a citizens group concerned about the effects of the ABC stores in the area. Meetings were held at the University Baptist Church, though Carolyn Noell, a spokesperson for the group, noted that local churches were only providing contacts and spaces (not serving as official sponsors). 

Not long before this, the News Leader reprinted an article from the Durham Morning Herald about how lucrative the ABC stores were. Apparently, the Durham ABC stores sold almost $58 million of alcohol from June 30, 1957, to September 1958 (enough to pay for Durham’s entire share of the Raleigh-Durham airport, plus some for Lincoln Hospital, local schools, warehouse equipment, public libraries, garbage disposal services, and a rabies inspection program, among other things). To put these sales into proportion, a fifth of whiskey (from a “popular brand”) cost $3.95 back then. Certainly, money was at the heart of the argument for the Orange County Citizens for Legal Control in their ad in the January 29, 1959 issue.

An article from the Chapel Hill News Leader Of course, in a college town like Chapel Hill, there’s also frequent news about the University. One article, from October 2, 1958, warned that student enrollment may swell to between 12,000 and 14,000 in 1970 (today, total enrollment exceeds 30,000). And—surprise!—much of the concern about the growing student population is related to parking.

One of the funnier articles about UNC-CH is about Rameses, the live mascot (not to be confused with costumed cheerleader Rameses, former bodybuilder). Rameses VIII, then in power, was “the most aggressive ram I’ve handled,” according to Glen Hogan, his boarder. He was also one of the biggest up until then, clocking in at 250 pounds. These two facts, Hogan hoped, would dissuade rival Duke students from stealing the mascot. 

The reigning Rameses ( Otis) ascended in 2020 as the twenty-second mascot. His handler, James Hogan, is part of the same family that has been caring for the mascots since the 1920s. Rameses XXII has “come a long way” in getting used to people and is (presumably) a bit sweeter than his “big and mean” predecessor—though he is still well-guarded.

A partial page of the Chapel Hill News Leader

December 4, 1958

One final story from 1958 is the opening of the Chapel Hill Public Library, which was originally opened in the Hill House on West Franklin Street. The goal, according to Mrs. Richmond Bond, chairman of the board, was to “supplement” the University’s library by focusing on children’s and popular books that were generally unavailable at UNC. 

Bond argued that Chapel Hill was the only town of its size in North Carolina without a public library and that the University library had “almost more than it can do” with the increase of UNC students. This led the Board of Aldermen to approve a $4,600 grant for the local library. Somebody even donated over 300 books before the library opened its doors.

In the very last uploaded issue of the Chapel Hill News Leader, from January 29, 1959, the top headline reads, “Death of a Newspaper.” Due to internal litigation, the paper had to stop running. 

You can see all of our issues of the Chapel Hill News Leader here and more materials from the Chapel Hill Historical Society on their partner page. You can also visit their website for more information.