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North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

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

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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!

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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

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*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

Getting Ready for Ancestry Day 2015

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Ancestry Day is this week (on November 6th and 7th) and lots of people are coming! I know some will come to the State Archives of North Carolina and the Government & Heritage Library,  (GHL) so here is some information to help you prepare. This post will be a bit long and a mixture of links to past posts and other online sources as well as information.

Let’s start with the difference between the State Archives of North Carolina  and the Government & Heritage Library. In summary, the Archives contains original documents such as deeds, wills, and court records. On the other hand, the GHL has published books, many of which are abstracts, indexes, and transcriptions of the original records located in the Archives. These are especially helpful with court minutes and deed books which have no easy way to go through them other than page by page. Learn more about the difference here.

You also need to know what to bring (or not bring) to the GHL and the Archives when you research. Biggest MUST is photo ID – either your driver’s license or state issued ID. You can’t get in the building without it. Also, if you plan to visit the Archives, you need ID to get in the search room. Learn more here

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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.