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 "underrepresented"

Vance County Students’ Yearly Record Envelopes Now Available on DigitalNC

Thanks to our partner, Henderson Institute Historical Museum, yearly record envelopes for African American students who attended Vance County schools with last names A through Z are now available on our website

These envelopes, filled with a multitude of information, are a great resource for researchers and individuals looking to learn more about Vance County residents, students, and schools. The front of the envelopes include a students’ name, address, date of birth, years they attended school, which Vance County school they went to, how many days they attended, if they were promoted, and noted if they moved out of the county.

Due to the inclusion of medical records and other sensitive personal information, the content within the envelopes were not digitized. If you are interested in learning more about the documents inside of the envelopes, please reach out to the Henderson Institute Historical Museum for more information.

To learn more about the Henderson Institute Historical Museum, please visit their website.

To view more materials from North Carolina’s African American high schools, please view our North Carolina African American High Schools Collection.

Marginalia Give an Insider’s View in Recently-Added 1968 Bulldog

Photo of a student in a dress and tiara

Miss Central of 1968, Imogene Ramsey, with autographed skirt

A photo of a student in a dress

Autographed photo of Miss Senior of 1968, Brenda Brooks

If you want to know the insider info from Central High School in Hillsborough, N.C., the 1968 Bulldog yearbook would be a good place to start. The edition that we’ve recently digitized, provided by the Orange County Public Library, is full of marginalia and personal notes from its owner and his classmates.

The notes are addressed to “dearest Archie,” likely referring to Archie McAdoo, who was involved in many of the school’s activities. According to the Senior Statistics page, Archie was a part of the Debate Club, Student Council, Band, and Cheerleading, among other clubs. He was also voted “Most Musical” and “Most Ingenuous.”

Two photos of student superlatives. The two students on the left were voted "Most Musical." The two on the right were voted "Most Athletic."Two students in front of a bookcase

Many of the messages left by classmates cover huge swaths of the pages, including a few inscriptions that cover entire pages. Clearly, Archie was well-loved.

Click here to see the full 1968 BulldogFor more from the Orange County Public Library, visit their partner page or their website.

Student Art Shines in Palmer Memorial Institute Yearbooks

Thanks to our partner the Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum, we’ve added five additional yearbooks from Palmer Memorial Institute in Sedalia, N.C. These yearbooks picture students, faculty, sports, activities and more, giving readers a glimpse into student life. 

Some of the newly-added editions have wonderful examples of the experimental yearbook artistry that rose to popularity in the 1960s-’70s. The 1970 edition of The Pirate, for example, showcases hand-drawn comics for the beginnings of some sections:

A drawing of a person daydreaming about a school graduation

Senior Portraits page (1970)

Drawing of a student jumping with a basketball

Sports section front page (1970)














These drawings certainly depict another side to student life than posed school portraits, which tend to be more formulaic. Similarly, the 1969 edition of The Palmerite has similar section openers, though the artist chose a more abstract style:

Abstract drawing depicting soul music

Activities page (1969)

Abstract drawing in black and white

Organizations page (1969)














To see more original student art from the Palmer Memorial Institute, check out all of the yearbooks we’ve added:

Palmer Memorial Institute Yearbook [1935]
The Palmerite [1953]
The Palmerite [1968]
The Palmerite [1969]
The Pirate [1970]

You can see all yearbooks from Palmer Memorial Institute here. To learn more about the Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum, visit their website or their partner page.

Issues from 2019-2021 of the Charlotte Jewish News are now on DigitalNC

Title page of the April 2020 issue of the Charlotte Jewish News

April 2020 issue of the Charlotte Jewish News, the first to be published after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States

The latest batch of Charlotte Jewish News issues, covering 2019-2021, show the extreme impact COVID-19 had on everyone starting in March 2020.  In particular, the issues show the impact on faith communities and how they shifted to still practice their faith while dealing with a pandemic.  The issues in 2020 are sporadic following March, with regular monthly papers not picking back up until September 2020.  Zoom services, a shift to virtual learning for schools, and community action to donate food and money to those who lost jobs are all detailed in the paper.  

View more issues of the Charlotte Jewish News, which date back to 1979 by visiting it’s newspaper page.

To learn more about our partner the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Charlotte located at the Levine-Sklut Judaic Library and Resource Center, visit their partner page.

Clear Run High School Newsletters and Class Reunion Photographs Now Available on DigitalNC

Thanks to our partner, Clear Run High School Alumni Association, a batch containing 25 issues of the association’s newsletter The Hornet Review from 2001 to 2021 and photographs of winners from various class reunions are now available on our website. The newsletters feature information on upcoming meetings, membership updates, class reunion planning information, and class reunion recaps. 

To learn more about the Clear Run High School Alumni Association, please visit their website.

To view more materials from the Clear Run High School Alumni Association, please click here.

To view more materials from North Carolina African American High Schools, please view our collection.

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

Issues of The Front Page 1979-1986, “Newspaper for North Carolina’s Gay Community,” Now Online

The Front Page first page with masthead, headline Historic March Peaks Gay Pride Week, and photo of adults holding banner "Triangle Lesbian & Gay Pride"The first 8 years of The Front Page newspaper, from 1979-1986, are now on DigitalNC. The Front Page was published in Raleigh for twenty-six years covering “news and happenings of interest to gay people.”  The paper covered national and local news impacting and of interest to the LGBTQ+ community. There are ads for local businesses that were safe spaces for LGBTQ+ individuals, and a community calendar listed events. There’s also a Q&A column where letters from readers all over the state wrote in with problems or questions to recieve a broad spectrum of personal advice. 

Q-Notes, a prominent Charlotte area LGBTQ+ newspaper and the one Front Page merged with in 2006, published a retrospective of The Front Page and an interview with the Page‘s publisher Jim Baxter in the July 29, 2006 issue. Baxter penned an article in IndyWeek shortly after the paper’s final issue, and it describes parts of his career and the history of Front Page

The paper has been added with kind permission from the publishers and thanks to efforts by staff at the libraries at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Duke University. Digitization of this paper was funded by an IDEA Action Grant from UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries. Archived issues of Q-notes are available from our site, and you can view more current content at their site.

Washington High School Homecoming Queens Rule on in Added Yearbooks

Four students standing side by side with flowers

 Washington High School Homecoming Queens, 1945

Two yearbooks from Washington High School in Raleigh, N.C. have been added to our site thanks to our partner, the Olivia Raney Local History Library. One is a standard edition of The Echo from 1943; the other is a special edition, The Echo Nostalgic Reflections, from 1977

Among the pages of Nostalgic Reflections are a few spreads of Washington High School royalty: homecoming queens throughout the years. Some of the listed winners are Margaret Smith Cooper (1941), Daisy Debnam (Miss Washington High 1946), Ressie Curry (Miss Washington High 1947), Juanita Freeman (1948), Lula Poe (1949), Sarah Frances Sewell (1950), Mary E. Williams (1951), and Mildred McKay (1952). 

A car carrying the homecoming court and queen of Washington High School, 1941

Miss Margaret Smith Cooper, Queen 1941

Portrait of Mildred McKay in a crown with flowers

Mildred McKay, Queen 1942

Next to the homecoming spreads are photos from the alumni dance (1976), as well as championship game information from the school’s football program

Curiously, there doesn’t seem to be any information about who succeeded Mildred McKay as homecoming queen in 1943 in The Echo—school events seem to have been a lower priority for the yearbook’s editors than academics, clubs, and favorite poems

You can see all yearbooks from Washington High School here. To find out more about Olivia Raney Local History Library, visit their partner page or the Wake County 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.

Clear Run High School Annual Reunion Programs Now Available on DigitalNC

Thanks to our partner, Clear Run High School Alumni Association, a batch expanding our holdings of Clear Run High School’s annual reunion programs to include 2010 to 2013 are now available on our website. These programs include lists of Alumni Association officers, a schedule of events, lists of students in graduating classes, a history of Clear Run High School, and special features on alumni.

A result of consolidating two high schools that served Sampson County’s Black community, Clear Run High School opened its doors in 1957. The school’s first class included about 260 students and 11 staff members with enrollment increasing each year until the integration of North Carolina schools in 1969.  As a result of the integration, Clear Run students were moved to Union High School while the Clear Run building was converted to a middle school.  Today, the Clear Run High School Alumni Association remains active by hosting annual reunions, having quarterly and annual meetings, and awarding an annual scholarship for descendants of Clear Run graduates.

Cover from the 12th annual reunion for Clear Run High School. In elegant script, the page reads "Clear Run High School Twelfth Annual Reunion." Below the script is an image of the high school. In the top left corner there is an image of the school mascot--a green hornet with yellow wings.

To view more Clear Run High School annual reunion programs, please click here.

To learn more about the Clear Run High School Alumni Association, please visit their website.

To view more materials from African American high schools in North Carolina, please click here.