Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

19th Century Primary Sources

A listing of 19th century primary sources about local people and events found in Archives & Special Collections, supplemented by the library's extensive e-resources.

Digital Projects and Digitized Sources

Digitized Materials from the Davidson College Archives & Special Collections Website:

Digitized archival resources are listed below. Click on each title to view the materials.

Nineteenth Century Davidson College Trustee Meeting Minutes

The typescripts of the nineteenth century trustee meeting minutes are available online and keyword searchable. The Board of Trustees originally comprised of representatives from the various local Presbyterian synods. These records include information about disciplinary actions, faculty proposals, the effects of the Civil War, and the treatment of college "servants."

Nineteenth Century Davidson College Faculty Meeting Minutes

The typescripts of the nineteenth century faculty meeting minutes are available online and keyword searchable. The collection also contains the minutes of the Trustees of Western Carolina College (1821 - 1824). These records include information about disciplinary actions, course recommendations, the effects of the Civil War, and the treatment of college "servants."

College Catalogs

The annual Davidson College catalog contains the official academic record of a given academic year. The catalog contains a list of trustees, faculty, and frequently students by class rank, in addition to an explanation of the official courses of study, rules, and regulations of the college.

Quips & Cranks

Quips & Cranks is the Davidson College yearbook dating back to 1895.

Local Newspapers

A selection of digitized newspapers from the 19th and 20th centuries, including the Weekly Enterprise, Davidson Leader, and North Star.

Transcribed College Letters

These letters were selected from the manuscript collections housed in Archives and Special Collections. The dates of the letters range from 1837 to 1921. Each letter contains references to college life and events. Many of them also have information about family, friends and non-college events.

Online Exhibits:

Digitized archival resources are listed below. Click on each title to view the materials.

DigitalNC: Nineteenth Century Family Papers and Plantation Records of Davidson College Trustees

The digitized materials found in this collection highlight the interconnected nature of religion, education, and the institution of slavery in nineteenth century North Carolina with a focus on Davidson College. The original records can be found in Archives & Special Collections and are also listed under the "manuscript materials" tab of this guide.

Women of Davidson College History Timeline

This webpage contains scans of 19th century documents and images describing women's presence in and around Davidson, with a particular focus on those directly associated with the college.

Omeka Exhibits Featuring Various 19th Century Sources

This website highlights numerous collections featuring primary source materials from Archives & Special Collections, including records of the Booklover's Club and Charlotte Postcards.

Course Collaborations:

Digitized archival resources are listed below. Click on each title to view the materials.

Mary Lacy Letters

This class project, led by Dr. Rose Stremlau, analyzed and transcribed eight letters written by Mary Lacy, wife of Davidson College President Drury Lacy. These letters and their transcriptions can be found in Archives & Special Collections.

Selected Archives & Special Collections Encyclopedia Entries

The entries in the Davidson College Encyclopedia were researched and written by students in Dr. Shireen Campbell's ENG 101W (now WRI 101) courses, as well as archives staff. Though a secondary source, a number of primary sources are referenced or are visible in these articles. A few relevant entries include: Beaver Dam, Carolina Inn (History), College History Timeline, John Lycan Kirkpatrick, Morrison Hall - YMCA, Omar Ibn Sayyid, and Stewards.

UNC Chapel Hill: Southern Historical Collection (SHC)

Collection Number: 01131 
Collection Title: R.H. Morrison Papers, 1820-1888

Robert Hall Morrison was the first president of Davidson College. Typescripts of his letters are available online through this finding aid, several of which describe health issues in the town of Davidson, relations with enslaved persons, politics, and plantation transactions.

Collection Number: 01076-z 
Collection Title: Latta Family Papers, 1799-1879

The Latta and Sample families - both heavily involved during the early years of Davidson College - occupied the Latta Plantation home in Mecklenburg County. These digitized materials highlight daily activities on the property, and routinely reference an enslaved woman named "Suckey."

Collection Number: 00204 
Collection Title: Davidson Family Papers, 1813-1937

The digitized materials in this collection, particularly those found under Series 2, reveal details about daily life on the Rural Hill, Ingleside, and Dixon Plantations in and around Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. 

Questions? Need help? Ask Us
Davidson College Library, Box 7200, 209 Ridge Rd., Davidson, NC 28035-7200
Creative Commons license logo for CC by-sa 4.0
This Davidson College Library Research Guides are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
All box-title icons from Entypo pictograms by Daniel Bruce — www.entypo.com