GHL Blog Rotating Header Image

North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

Celebrating African American History Month: New in NCpedia

Share Button

Celebrating African American History Month: New in NCpedia

NCpedia has new entries to celebrate North Carolina’s African American heritage. These entries were shared with NCpedia by a number of our valued content partners and collaborators: the North Carolina Arts Council, North Carolina State University Libraries, and the State Archives of North Carolina. Visit NCpedia to learn more — and if you have a comment, question or personal story to share about these biographies and historical moments, please let us know by contributing a comment on the article page!  We love to hear from viewers!

African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina: Kinston Area: This article introduces viewers to Kinston’s musical heritage and serves as a launch point for a collection of related biographies and stories:

Brymn_James_Timothy

Lieutenant J. Tim Brymn, director of the U.S. 350th Field Artillery Band. Image provided by University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.

John Henry Fortescue: Becoming Guitar Shorty — an entry about a one-of-a-kind, self-taught blues musician from Elm City.

Maceo and Melvin Parker: Early Influences — legendary brothers from Kinston, the Parkers both performed with James Brown and went on to their own solo careers. Maceo Parker received the North Carolina Heritage Award in 2016.

James Brown Band: “Almost Like a Kinston Band”— shares the legendary musician’s influence on and discovery of Kinston musicians.

Geneva Perry: From the International Sweethearts of Rhythm to Adkin High — Geneva Perry, a member of the 1940s all-women, multi-racial big band the International Sweethearts, taught music at Kinston’s Adkin High School.

Adkin High School Walkout 1951, Kinston, NC — shares the historical moment in 1951 when students of Kinston’s racially segregated high school staged a walkout to protest after their plea to the school board for educational resources was denied.

James Timothy Brymn — a Kinston musical legacy and early Jazz composer, Brymn studied at Shaw University and then went on National Conservatory of Music of America. His legendary compositions of the early decades of the 20th century were among the first to use the word “jazz.”

Dazelle Foster Lowe — shares the story of a leader in the establishment of home demostration for the state’s black communities beginning in World War I.

John William Mitchell — Mitchell, a pioneer in the establishment of extension service support for African Americans in North Carolina in the early decades of the 20th century became the first head of the newly created extension service office at N.C. A&T in 1922.

James William Alston — shares the life of a North Carolinian who served in the U.S. Army, worked at the State Museum (today’s Museum of Natural Sciences) and was among the first class of African Americans to be trained as military officers at the all-African American officers training school at Fort Dodge, IA on the eve of World War I.

— Kelly Agan, Government & Heritage Library

End of year gift for fans of North Carolina history, heritage and culture: NCpedia’s new website goes live today!

Share Button

End of year gift for fans of North Carolina history, heritage and culture: NCpedia’s new website goes live today!

Greetings old friends of North Carolina’s online encyclopedia, the NCpedia — and new and future friends too!

The new and improved NCpedia! December 2016.

The new and improved NCpedia! December 2016.

After several months of planning, design, programming and testing, NCpedia now has a brand new and updated user interface as of this morning. Same great content — no change there — but with an entirely new look and feel and user experience.

The site traces its history back before the dawn of the web, to frequently asked questions and then brochures created by librarians at the State Library to answer those questions.

Eventually those questions found their way into HTML pages in the 1990s, and then they coalesced into an encyclopedic collection called the eNCyclopedia.  By 2009, the content had grown to several hundred pages — and the site needed to find a new home in a content management system that allowed for expansion, search and a better user experience. The encyclopedia got a new home in Drupal and a new name — and NCpedia was launched.

NCpedia before the reno!

NCpedia before the reno!

Since that time, the content has expanded by more than 26,000 entries, including more than 6,500 encyclopedia articles and the more than 20,000 record volume of the North Carolina Gazetteer (an annotated index of North Carolina place names).  And more than 7,400 images have been incorporated along with maps and interactive features like timelines.  By 2015, it was time for the home to get a reno!

NCpedia is still in Drupal — but the site has received an entire remodel to improve usability, search and find features, and the overall user experience.  We hope you like it!

And if you would like more information about the history of NCpedia, please visit the “About NCpedia” page on the website: http://www.ncpedia.org/about.  We’ve even included some snapshots of the early days and how far the digital encyclopedia has come.  Today the site includes more than 7,000 articles and more than 7,400 images and receives more than 4 million visits per year.

Check it out!

Kelly Agan, Digital Projects Librarian

November is Native American Heritage Month!

Share Button
North Carolina Museum of History American Indian Heritage Celebration website. Click here for more information, schedule of events, and videos from previous years.

North Carolina Museum of History American Indian Heritage Celebration website. Click here for more information, schedule of events, and videos from previous years.

November is Native American Heritage Month.  And if you happen to be near Raleigh this weekend, visit the North Carolina Museum of History’s 21st Annual American Indian Heritage Celebration. The festival includes musicians, dancers, artists, storytellers, and authors from North Carolina’s tribal communities.  Visit and learn about the state’s American Indian culture! To see a schedule of the day’s events (and a preview from photos and video of past years’ celebrations), visit this page: http://ncmuseumofhistory.org/events/AIHC-2016/photos-and-videos.

Efforts to honor American Indians with a national commemoration began more than a century ago. Arthur Caswell Parker, an historian, anthropologist and member of the Seneca Nation, was the first American Indian to hold the post of Commissioner of Indian Affairs in the U.S. Department of the Interior, and he was a vocal advocate of citizenship rights for Native Americans and the adoption of national commemorative day.  Parker was a founder of the Society of American Indians and the National Congress of American Indians.  At Parker’s urging, the Boy Scouts of America observed a day for American Indians for a few years during the early decades of the 20th century.

And then in 1915, the National Congress of American Indians approved a plan to authorize its president, the Rev. Sherman Coolidge, a member of the Arapahoe Nation, to ask the U.S. Congress to honor an American Indian Day. President Calvin Coolidge issued a proclamation on September 28, 1915 declaring the second Saturday of May as American Indian Day. The following year, New York proclaimed the second Saturday in May as American Indian Day.  Other states joined the effort at various times throughout the 20th century, designating a special day, although not always in May, to celebrate the heritage and contributions to the nation of American Indians.

In 1976, the U.S. Congress authorized President Gerald Ford to proclaim a week in October as Native American Awareness Week.  Since that time, the President and Congress have issued annual proclamations for the observance.  In 1990, President George H. W. Bush approved a joint Congressional resolution designating November as National American Indian Heritage Month, and similar proclamations have been issued each year since 1994.  This year, on October 31, President Obama declared November as National Native American Heritage Month.

Today, the state of North Carolina is home to more than 100,000 persons who are American Indians.  You can learn about North Carolina’s tribal communities by visiting the North Carolina Commission of Indians Affairs at: http://ncadmin.nc.gov/citizens/american-indians/nc-tribal-communities.

— Kay Tillotson, Genealogical Research Librarian, Government & Heritage Library

For more information on the history of honoring American Indians, American Indian tribes, and North Carolina’s American Indian tribes and heritage, visit these resources:

Digital Collections: New Additions, Part I

pubs_serial_ourstate_2012covers2
Share Button

*Because of the large volume of new additions during fall 2015, this post will highlight new additions to digital collections that are not the State Publications Collection. Part II of this post will highlight new additions to the State Publications Collection.*

Fall has been an active season for the State Library’s digitization projects! From September to November 2015, we have digitized and made available over 200 items, representing over ten state agencies and institutions!

The additions featured in this post cover items in digital collections other than the State Publications collection. These include Our State Magazine, Wildlife in North Carolina Magazine, and Family Records. Click the following links to quickly jump to a certain section or continue scrolling to read about all of them!

New Additions – Our State Magazine Digital Collection

2012’s January – December Our State Magazine covers

The Our State Magazine Collection features past issues of one of North Carolina’s longest running and most popular magazines and includes issues first published in 1933 (under the title The State) through 2012.

The new additions from 2012 include Numbers 8 – 12 of Volume 79 and Numbers 1 – 7 of Volume 80. On the collection’s homepage, you can browse all issues by year, month, volume, and number. You can also search all of the issues in the Our State collection by keyword.

Due to copyright restrictions, issues from 2013 – present are not readily available online. However, you may request a copy by contacting Our State magazine directly.

New Additions – Wildlife in North Carolina Digital Collection

Top Row (L-R): 2004 vol. 68, no. 7; 2005 vol. 69, no. 6; 2006 vol. 70, no. 2; 2007 vol. 71, no. 9; 2008 vol. 72, no. 9. Bottom Row (L-R): 2009 vol. 73, no. 10; 2010 vol. 74, no. 7; 2011 vol. 75, no. 9; 2012 vol. 76, no. 4; 2013 vol. 77, no. 6

We have added over 100 past issues of Wildlife in North Carolina magazine to our digital collections. Wildlife in North Carolina magazine is the official educational publication of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. Published since 1937, the magazine contains nearly 80 years of research, essays, and photographs dedicated to educating the public about North Carolina’s natural heritage and wildlife management practices.

The new additions include Volumes 68 – 77 (years 2004 – 2013). Each issue is text searchable and you can browse the collection by year and month.

Due to copyright restrictions, issues from 2014 – present are not currently available in the digital collection. However, you may subscribe to the magazine by contacting Wildlife in North Carolina directly.

New Additions – Family Records

Early American families, the Williams, Moore, McKitrick, Fonda

Page 61 of Early American families, the Williams, Moore, Fonda…

From the State Library of North Carolina’s general collection, six genealogical research publications are now available online. The items were created by Betty J. Camin and published between
1984-1990.  These include:

Additionally, Early American families, the Williams, Moore, McKitrick, Fonda, Van Alen, Lanning, King, Justice, Cunningham, Longacre, Swanson and Cox families was added to the Family Records collection. Published in 1916, Early American Families features family portraits and family histories from years 1580 to 1916.

Click here to explore the State Library and State Archive’s Family Records digital collection.

Have questions? Feel free to contact Andrea Green at andrea.green[at]ncdcr[dot]gov

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.