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Women’s History Month

New in NCpedia: North Carolina Women

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New in NCpedia:  North Carolina Women

North Carolina Women: Portrait of North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Susie Marshall Sharp. From the Waller Collection, PhC.14, collection of the State Archives of North Carolina. Used with permission.

North Carolina Women: Portrait of North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Susie Marshall Sharp. From the Waller Collection, PhC.14, collection of the State Archives of North Carolina. Used with permission.

Women’s history month is rushing by!  Before it passes, NCpedia has new biographies to share on North Carolina women. These entries come us from our content partners at the University of North Carolina Libraries, the Research Branch of the North Carolina Office of Archives and History, and the North Carolina Symphony.

If you’re in for a little browsing, visit this link to all NCpedia bios about women:

New NCpedia entries:

  • Marie Watters Colton — first female speaker Pro Tempore of the NC House of Representatives.
  • Elizabeth “Libba” Nevills Cotten — Carrboro native and key figure in the 1960s folk music revival.
  • Mary Claire Engstrom — long-time Hillsborough resident and instrumental in founding the town’s Historical Society and chronicling the history of Orange County.
  • Mary Nicholson — Early female commercial pilot from Greensboro, joined the British Air Transport Auxiliary during WWII.
  • Anne Penland — from Asheville, Penland became a pioneering nurse anesthetist and was the first women to serve as an anesthetist on the European front in WWI, in a British base hospital.
  • Susie Marshall Sharp — ground-breaking first female judge in the state’s history, first female member of the State Supreme Court and its first female Chief Justice.
  • Maxine Swallin — along with her husband, Benjamin Swallin, she helped revive the floundering North Carolina Symphony in the 1930s.

–Kelly Agan, Government & Heritage Library




Digital Collections: Women, Marriage, and the Law

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The Government & Heritage Library has many different digital collections thanks to the work of our Digital Information Management Program staff who work to put information online in conjunction with the State Archives of North Carolina. Currently, there are about 30 collections and more than half of those are of interest to genealogists. I will regularly highlight a collection. This week in honor of Women’s History Month, I will highlight the collection titled: Women, Marriage, and the Law.


Civil War 150: Women in the Confederacy

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North Carolina Women of Confederacy book coverIn honor of March being Women’s History Month, I thought I would highlight an interesting book I found in our genealogy collection at the Government & Heritage LibraryNorth Carolina Women of the Confederacy as well as a few other resources.

Although women did not serve in the military, women had helped the cause, often taking control of the land in their husband’s absence.  Many also filled the absence of men in industry and manufacturing as well. North Carolina Women of the Confederacy was originally published in 1926 and the United Daughters of the Confederacy Cape Fear Chapter received permission from the author’s heirs to reprint and update it.  The book is a great resource about how women in North Carolina helped the Confederate cause and there are many cases to illustrate points throughout the book about specific women.  For example, pages 71-73 give a story about Mrs. Eliza Hicks.  She made clothing for soldiers who passed by the family plantation and her house became a courier station. The index in the back of the book is full of names of women who helped Confederacy.

Another resources is an article written by the North Carolina Civil War Sesquicentennial entitled The Home Front, which discusses women helped on the home front.

Monument to North Carolina Women in the Confederacy

Image courtesy of NCDCR – Monument at the North Carolina State Capitol to Confederate Women in North Carolina

In 1914, North Carolina erected the monument above on the grounds of the State Capitol building in Raleigh, NC to acknowledge their part in the Civil War.

To find more resources for Women’s History Month, please visit the Government & Heritage Library’s page specifically created for this topic:

To few biographies of women from North Carolina, please visit NCpedia‘s page:

To learn about the education of women in North Carolina, please visit NCpedia‘s page:


New Additions: Women’s History in the South

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New additions to the collections of the Government and Heritage Library: 

The Reconstruction of White Southern Womanhood 1865-1895, by Jane Censer.  This book examines how elite white southern women forged new identities in the turbulent era after the Civil War. The stories of these women are revealed against the backdrop of the emancipation movement and  the revived image of the southern belle.

Redeeming the Southern Family: Evangelical Women and Domestic Devotion in the Antebellum South, by Scott Stephan. The author describes  how evangelical denominations moved from the fringe to the mainstream and the ways in which women played a major role in the transformation.

Library materials are available for check out at the Government and Heritage Library by North Carolina State Agency employees or may be borrowed through an interlibrary loan request at your local public library. To view other new library acquisitions, click here.

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.