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Our State Magazine Goes Digital – Now Part of the North Carolina Digital Collections

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Our State Magazine Goes Digital in December

State Library Partners with Publication to Offer Free Online Access to Public 

 ourstatedigitalSince 1933, Our State magazine has celebrated the people and places of North Carolina, and issues published from 1933 to 2011 are now available online in the North Carolina Digital Collections. With funding from the U. S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, the State Library of North Carolina, in collaboration with Our State magazine, N.C. Digital Heritage Center, East Carolina University’s Joyner Library and Caswell County Public Library, make free access to the publication available at

In recognition of the benefits of the magazine, Gov. Pat McCrory has issued a proclamation declaring December 2014 to be “Our State Month.” It reads in part,

WHEREAS, from the outset, the magazine has heralded “What’s Right about North Carolina,” eschewing the negative and setting a positive tone, and its pages over the years amount to a chronicle of our changing state;”

“For many years, we have had hundreds of readers ask for information from our 82 years of magazine history. Now, we have a way to share this with everyone. We are so grateful for this addition to the cultural history of our great state,” said Our State publisher Bernie Mann. Mann has owned the magazine for almost twenty years. (more…)

State Doc Pick of the Week: North Carolina Health Statistics Pocket Guide

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October is HNCHealthStatsealth Literacy Month, so why not browse the North Carolina health statistics pocket guide to see how NC measured up in 2011?  According to the pamphlet, “the North Carolina General Assembly created the Bureau of Vital Statistics in 1913, and the first tabulated report” of this collected data was published by the State Center for Health Statistics (SCHS) in 1914, one hundred years ago! Take a look at NC’s estimated population in 1914 (2,339,452) to 2011 (9,656,401). The increase is astounding!

What else can you find in the guide? There are six tables comparing the United States and North Carolina, from social and economic indicators to health care resources data. The two additional tables compare NC and our 100 counties health care resources data as well as selected health indicators. If you want to look further back, you can search the older pocket guides from 1979 and 1982, just to name a few.


The North Carolina Health Statistics Pocket Guide can be found here:




The North Carolina State Fair: Just one of the 90,000 reasons to use North Carolina Digital Collections

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Fairgoers, teachers, and students: the North Carolina State Fair is just one of the 90,000 reasons to use North Carolina Digital Collections!

Sow and Piglets, 1941 NC State Fair Premium, on GHL Flicker Photostream.

Sow and Piglets, 1941 NC State Fair Premium, on GHL Flicker Photostream.

The North Carolina State Fair begins tomorrow!  And apparently there will be a tasty new treat among the food vendors:  The Twinx — a batter-fried bacon-wrapped Twinkie with a Twix bar in the center.  Yes, it’s true!  But putting such culinary miracles aside, the State Fair provides an opportunity to look at the GHL’s government publications and digital collections in a whole new light.  At the moment I’m especially thinking about the creative ways history and social studies teachers can use the State Library and Archives North Carolina Digital Collections as primary sources to share the state’s cultural history through a variety of documentary forms.

First, a little history.  The State Fair dates all the way back to 1853 and efforts by antebellum agriculture advocates to promote reform and farming method improvements for the state’s struggling farmers.  The editor of the state’s fledgling agriculture journal John F. Tompkins assembled a meeting of advocates from the Agricultural Society in 1852, and a year later fairgrounds had been obtained with the help of the city of Raleigh and the first fair was launched with $524 in prizes — called “premiums.”  The prizes, for a vast range of categories from ears of corn to cattle to horses to handicrafts and baked goods, in effect encouraged farmers and producers to produce and exhibit their best.  The “premium list” became the publication that listed all the categories, the criteria, and the awards, with lists published from the inception of the fair.

Aerial Mitchell's Revolving Ladder Act, State Fair 1916, from the GHL Flickr Photostream.

Aerial Mitchell’s Revolving Ladder Act, State Fair 1916, from the GHL Flickr Photostream.

A list sounds pretty dry!  But the premium lists are anything but dull:  they’re a treasure trove of information about North Carolina agricultural life, practices, and culture with images and a fabulous array of advertisements going well beyond farms and produce.  Even better, the premium lists showcase the entertainments and food available at the fair adding to the illustrated social history of the annual event.

The premium list is a state government publication by the Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and today the state fair premium lists from 1853 to 2010 are digitized and freely accessible as part of the NC State Documents Collection on North Carolina Digital Collections (with over 90,000 additional documents and photographs).  And while we may tend to associate “government publications” with laws and images of formulaic reports, the premium lists prove that government documents can even be fun and exciting.

North Carolina State Fair Premium List 1971, from NC Digital Collections.

North Carolina State Fair Premium List 1971, from NC Digital Collections.

For starters, just take a look at the evolution of the cover art! But don’t stop there, open them up and explore what’s inside.

To learn more about the State Fair and its history, visit these resources from the GHL:


– Kelly Agan, Government & Heritage Library, Digital Media Librarian







We want your feedback on NC MOSAIC! Please take our brief survey.

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The Government and Heritage Library has launched a user survey for the NC MOSAIC project. Help us make the project better by filling out our short, anonymous survey.

NC MOSAIC, which stands for Managing, Organizing, and Strengthening Access to Institutional Collections in North Carolina, is a searchable database of links to North Carolina’s state and county government online information resources. State and local institutions throughout North Carolina maintain significant government information collections, but it isn’t always easy to know which institutions have what specific government information or where to find this information online. Begun in 2008, MOSAIC is designed to help people find that information through a centralized, searchable database of links to direct them to needed information.

We’d like to make NC MOSAIC as effective, useful, and relevant as, and ensure that it is helping you find the information you need. Help us by visiting the collection and filling out the survey, linked below and at the top of NC MOSAIC.


The NC MOSAIC project aims to make North Carolina government information searchable in one online location. Help us make it better by filling out our brief online survey.

The survey will be available until 12:00 noon EDT on Friday, October 24, 20014.

This blog is a service of the State Library of North Carolina, part of the NC Department of Cultural Resources. Blog comments and posts may be subject to Public Records Law and may be disclosed to third parties.