The Eastern North Carolina Digital History Exhibits grew from the efforts of the North Carolina Collection in 1999 to develop web pages displaying primary and secondary source material documenting the rise of the tobacco industry in Pitt County, North Carolina (around 1900). To help capture the socio-economic impact of tobacco on local society, work was begun in January 2000 to transcribe all data from the 1900 Pitt County census into an on-line searchable format.
As the tobacco project work began, interest grew at Joyner Library for expanding this project into digital history exhibits on other aspects of eastern North Carolina history. In the fall of 2000, the library hired a digital project manager to oversee this expanded endeavor. Three exhibits focusing on the 1900 era were identified to begin this work: the ECU Centennial Exhibit, the Steamers Exhibit, and the Pitt County Digital Tobacco History Exhibit. Graduate student assistants and work-study students began the work of digitizing and assembling the digital materials you see today.
ECU will celebrate its Centennial year in 2007. The current ECU Centennial Exhibit includes documentation concerning the controversy on where the school should be located as well as material about the first graduating class. The Steamers Exhibit pertains to steamboat lines serving the Cashie and Roanoke rivers and the Albemarle Sound during the late nineteenth century. The Exhibit's letters, written by the Askew brothers to their father, document the family’s steamer endeavors, including construction of the Bertie, which was based in Windsor, North Carolina.
The September 2001 public launch of the first three exhibits reflects Phase 1 of the work on these three topics. In October 2001, Phase 1 of a fourth exhibit, on John Lawson, was added to the this collection of digital exhibits. The first three exhibits focus on the turn of the twentieth century, while the John Lawson exhibit highlights the beginning of the eighteenth century. John Lawson's legacy in eastern North Carolina is examined via such documents as court records, an account of his dramatic death, and images of hundreds of actual plant specimens collected by Lawson and preserved in England.
More material has been identified for digitization in each of these four initial exhibits. Joyner Library at East Carolina University also looks forward to addressing more topics in new eastern North Carolina digital history exhibits in the coming years.Digital Editorial Board
Graduate Research Assistants
North Carolina Collection
Manuscripts and Rare Books
Sources for Digitized Material
The staff of the Eastern North Carolina Digital History Exhibits gratefully acknowledges the following providers of materials for digitization:
Office of Register of Deeds, Pitt County Courthouse, Greenville, NC
Provided photocopy of map of Greenville Tobacco Warehouse District, 1913, Map Book 1, p. 35, used in the Tobacco digital history exhibit.
North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, Office of Archives and History
Provided permission to use excerpts from The Colonial Records of North Carolina in the John Lawson digital history exhibit.
Mr. Stephen E. Bradley, Jr.
Provided permission to use excerpts from his abstracts of Early Records of North Carolina in the John Lawson digital history exhibit.
Ms. Betsy Gohdes-Baten
Provided copies of photographs submitted with the National Register nomination for the Tobacco Warehouse District in Greenville, NC. These are used in the Tobacco digital history exhibit.
Levis Allen Churchill
Provided 1900 Pitt County transcription creating a census database that included name, race & family number for each head of household that we used to start our full census effort.
Provided permission to use her article "Among the Tuscarora: The Strange and Mysterious Death of John Lawson, Gentleman, Explorer, and Writer," from the North Carolina Literary Review, in the John Lawson digital history exhibit. In April 2002, she published Searching for Virginia Dare: A Fool’s Errand.
Provided permission to use the rendering of the cupola used in the Eastern North Carolina Digital History Exhibits collage.
Provided permission to use his article Paradise Regained Again: The Literary Context of John Lawson’s A New Voyage to Carolina,from the North Carolina Literary Review, in the John Lawson digital history exhibit.
Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Tucker, Greenville, NC
Provided original photo, used in the ECU Centennial digital history exhibit,of five young students from the opening years at the Eastern Normal.
Libraries and Museums
Joyner Library, Greenville, NC
The bulk of the items were digitized from holdings in Joyner Library's Manuscripts and Rare Books (including the University Archives, the East Carolina Manuscript Collection, and the Rare Book Collection), the North Carolina Collection, and the General Stacks.
New York Public Library, New York, NY
Provided permission to use tobacco drawing by Ms. Nicholas Jose Rapun in the Eastern North Carolina Digital History Exhibits collage, for which they hold copyright.
The Natural History Museum, London, UK
At the request of Joyner Library in 2001, the Picture Library of The Natural History Museum in London digitized the herbarium specimens collected by John Lawson to be used in the John Lawson digital history exhibit. The museum has provided permission for Joyner Library to use these images for educational purposes including in our Eastern North Carolina Digital History Exhibits. East Carolina University's College of Arts and Sciences funded the cost of the initial imaging by the Picture Library.
Newspapers and Periodicals
The Daily Reflector, Greenville, NC
Provided original bound volumes of the 1894 and 1895 Eastern Reflector used in the Tobacco digital history exhibit.
North Carolina Literary Review
Provided permission to use two articles from the 1992 issue of the North Carolina Literary Review in the John Lawson digital history exhibit. More articles on Lawson appear in the September 2002 issue of the North Carolina Literary Review