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19th Century Newspapers Database

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The Government & Heritage Library provides access to many databases. I will regularly post information about different databases. Today, I want to talk about the database 19th Century Newspapers. Our library has a subscription to this database and our visitors can use it. Other libraries may provide access as well.

Here are some facts about this database: There are 190 newspapers in the database, 4 of which are from NC. The dates of newspapers vary, but they span the entire 19th century (1800-1899). The four newspapers from NC are:

  • Fayetteville Observer 1816-1899
  • Fayetteville Observer [daily] 1896-1899
  • Fayetteville Observer [semi-weekly] 1828-1865
  • Raleigh Register 1800-1886

There are multiple ways to search the database. There is a normal search function that allows you to search for a word or phrase through all documents or you can search by keyword. The keyword search looks only at titles and citation information. You can also limit your search by date or date range.

The advanced search allows searching up to 3 words or phrases and allows you to narrow results by the type of result, such as advertisements, articles, editorials, news, people, arts, sports, and leisure. You can also limit by a specific newspapers or place it was published.

I’ve been using this database in my personal research to find runaway slave advertisements in the Raleigh Register and Fayetteville Observer. Since some of the newspapers go back to 1800, some of the northern states that did not abolish slavery until the early 1800s have runaway slave advertisements.

Newspapers can be important to genealogy. Even advertisements, which can help you learn what your ancestor did. For example, I found through newspaper ads that an ancestor worked in the accounting office of his brother-in-law when his name was mentioned as an employee. The census just said he was a laborer, but the advertisement showed where he worked. I’ve been supplementing my genealogy research with newspapers for nearly 20 years now. This database has been a good one since it covers many states with 190 newspapers.

Come and check out this database at GHL!

Apples & the Old Time Apple Paring Bee: Last minute dessert from North Carolina on National Dessert Day

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Autumn conjures up fantasies of warm, cinnamon-spiced desserts made from crisp apples!  And it just happens to be National Dessert Day.

Contemplating something tasty to share, I went to my standard go-to for historical inspiration:  the collections of the North Carolina Museum of History.  They are a true harvest of images to lend context and imagination to studying the many apples groves of North Carolina history.

Photograph of an Apple Paring Bee, ca. 1900-1915 in North Carolina. From the collection of the N.C. Museum of History. Used courtesy of the N.C. Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources.

Photograph of an Apple Paring Bee, ca. 1900-1915 in North Carolina. From the collection of the N.C. Museum of History. Used courtesy of the N.C. Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources.

And today I happened upon a photograph of an “Apple Paring Bee”, circa 1900-1915.  A little searching back in time brought me to the American Agriculturalist, Volume 8, published in 1849.  In a section near the back of the volume titled “Ladies Department” was printed a full-length entry on the “Apple-Paring Bee.”  The anonymous author, nostalgic about the annual event, described it as social “frolics”, the “great apple-paring bee”.  She noted that she wished to be “useful, as well as amusing” in her description.  And although she had a lighthearted touch, I was immediately reminded of other “bees” — husking, threshing, quilting, among them — that centered around crowd-sourcing important and functional tasks that would otherwise be daunting for a single family. In this case, a critical step in the harvest and “putting up” process. Ladies assembled for an evening blitz effort to core and pare apples for the next day’s apple butter boiling.  The writer —  E. S. — also alluded an aspect of social class equalization in the effort, all were equals.  She added: “While all are engaged in contributing to the happiness of others, the cheerful conversation, the merry laugh, and the comic song are unrepressed by chilling rebuke or morose looks.”

Recipe for Honey Apple Crisp, from "Favorite Recipes of North Carolina," 1950, N.C. Dept of Agriculture; in NC Digital Collections.

Recipe for Honey Apple Crisp, from “Favorite Recipes of North Carolina,” 1950, N.C. Dept of Agriculture; in NC Digital Collections.

And, in 1849, she mentioned her preference for paring by hand instead of using the mechanical “patent” parer. If you’ve ever pared any number of apples by hand, you know how hard it can be on our modern, not-so-strong hands! It’s difficult enough to fill one pie dish, let alone paring for an entire evening!

And if you’re searching for a last minute dessert recipe to celebrate National Dessert Day, have a mini-paring bee and try your hand at this recipe for “Honey Apple Crisp.”  It comes to us from Favorite Recipes of North Carolina, published in 1950 by the N.C. Department of Agriculture (available online at NC Digital Collections).

Kelly Agan, N.C. Government & Heritage Library

 

 

 

NCpedia has new resources!

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NCpedia has new resources!  Students, teachers and seekers of North Carolina information:  NCpedia has recently added more than 25 resources!

Photograph of Romare Bearden from the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog

Photograph of Romare Bearden from the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog

North Carolina Biographies:

  • Romare Bearden — artist and Mecklenburg County native (from the Research Branch, NC Office of Archives and History)
  • Ervin T. Rouse — Bluegrass composer and banjo virtuoso from Craven County (from the Research Branch, NC Office of Archives and History)
  • Martha Mason — Cleveland County childhood polio survivor and author (from the N.C. Government & Heritage Library)

Colonial and Maritime History:

Port Bath — history of North Carolina’s first official port of entry with maps and illustrations (from Gillian Hookway-Jones and Baylus Brooks)

North Carolina African American Education History

Joseph Keasbey Brick Agricultural, Industrial, and Normal School (Brick School) (from the Research Branch, NC Office of Archives and History)

North Carolina State Parks, Trails, Lakes, Rivers & Natural Areas 

GHL State Parks Pinterest Board

GHL State Parks Pinterest Board

Visit the new landing page along with histories of 11 parks from the NC Division of Parks and Recreation.  Articles include: contemporary and historic images of the parks from the NC Division of Parks and recreation, state government publications, the State Archives of North Carolina, the North Carolina Museum of History, and park visitors; GPS coordinates and maps; and links to digitized publications of North Carolina state agencies.  And more park histories are being added!

Educational and Fun Activities for kids of all ages13 activity pages added on a variety of North Carolina State Symbols and Official Adoptions and maps of the State’s 100 Counties

New Government & Heritage Library Pinterest Boards

— Kelly Agan, Digital Projects Librarian, N.C. Government & Heritage Library

Databases at GHL – Black Historical Newspapers

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The Government & Heritage Library offers many databases. Some databases can be very helpful for genealogy, some more historical in nature, and some statistical in nature. Many of these databases are through subscription services that patrons can use free in GHL. Other libraries may offer the same or similar subscriptions if you are not able to come here to use them. One such database is the Black Historical Newspapers.

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