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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:

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:

— 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:

State Doc Pick of the Week : Explorations

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Explorations titleExplorations is a journal dedicated to undergraduate research and creative activities for the state of North Carolina. It is published, annually, by the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

This journal covers many different subject areas, all from undergraduate students in North Carolina. Some of the subjects include: biology, humanities, mathematics, economics, social sciences, engineering and more. You can also find some information about the student authors as well as their faculty mentors for the work they are presenting in the journal.

Eligibility for submission requires that the author of the work be an undergraduate student at a 2 or 4 year college or university in North Carolina. The author must also be working on something original under the direction of a faculty mentor. They accept research papers, critical essays, or media submissions of performing and fine art. You can learn more about how the submission process works in the last section of the journal.

You can view, download, print, and save this journal here.

Library closing: The Government and Heritage Library including Genealogical Services will be closed Friday, November 11, 2016 through Saturday, November 12, 2016 for Veterans Day.

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All Veterans Memorial, Asheboro, NC, from Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina.

All Veterans Memorial, Asheboro, NC, from Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina.

Library closing: The Government and Heritage Library, including Genealogical Services, will be closed Friday, November 11, 2016 and Saturday, November 12, 2016 for Veterans Day.

In observance of the Veterans Day state holiday, the Government & Heritage Library will be closed on Friday, November 11, 2016 and Saturday, November 12, 2016.  We will reopen for our normal business hours on Monday, November 14 at 9 a.m.

If you are considering attending a commemorative event, a website called VetFriends has a listing of some events and parades in communities around the state:

And if you would like to learn more about the history of commemorations and memorials in communities around the state, please visit Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina:  You can also learn more about the state’s military history and its veterans in the NCpedia:

Thank you to our veterans near and far for your service and sacrifice and best wishes for this holiday weekend,

Kelly Agan, Government & Heritage Library

Digital Collections: North Carolina Newspapers

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bundle of newspapers

Newspapers are important to genealogical and historical research. Genealogists often use them to look for obituaries, but there is so much more. They provide a snapshot into the lives and times of our ancestors – events that were happening that affected their lives. I’ve talked about Nineteenth Century Newspapers, Newspaper Archive, and Black Historical Newspapers in 2015, and more recently, using

Today, I’d like to highlight a digital collection of North Carolina Newspapers – The North Carolina Newspaper Digitization Project. In 2009, the State Archives of North Carolina completed digitizing newspapers in their collection with dates ranging from 1751 through 1898.


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.