Resource Roadmap: Possible materials for future inclusion in this site 

The historical documents and objects including in this Main Street Carolina project are only a representative sample of the numerous resources which exist in various libraries, archives, and other institutions. What follows is a far-from-exhaustive list of resources related to Parrish Street and Durham. While some of these materials exist in digital form, many do not. For future contributors to this site, the following list represents a starting point for planning expansion of the site’s resources,grouped by holding institution and/or location.

Duke University Perkins Library - Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library

•Hunter, Charles N. “Charles N. Hunter papers, 1818-1931 [manuscript].,” n.d.

Correspondence, scrapbooks of clippings, and other papers. The material concerns the problems experienced by freed blacks shortly after the Civil War, including race relations, education, politics, and economics, and also temperance, personal matters and Hunter family finances. Correspondents include Charles B. Aycock, J. W. Bailey, Thomas W. Bickett, C. S. Bingham, William E. Borah, Locke Craig, Josephus Daniels, Charles G. Dawes, John A. Logan, Lee S. Overman, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Charles Sumner, Zebulon B. Vance, and Booker T. Washington. Hunter, ex-slave, educator, editor, businessman, and NC Mutual manager of the Ralaigh district, 1907-1908, correspondence with Mutual executives during and after his employment.

•J. Walter Thompson Company. “James W. Kennedy Papers, 1979-1982.,” n.d.

James Kennedy’s papers contain a scrapbook which features clippings from several African American newspapers from the early 20th century, some focused on Durham and North Carolina.

•North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company. “North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company Archives, 1898-2005 and undated.,” n.d.

Records of the North Carolina Mutual Insurance Company of Durham, N.C. span the years 1899-2009, and include office files, financial and statistical reports, company publications, periodicals relating to African Americans, correspondence, hundreds of historical photographs, files on company history, sales training materials, advertisements, exhibit materials, and memorabilia. While some materials from this collection

•“The Carolina times [microfilm serial].” Carolina times (Durham, N.C.), n.d.

The Carolina Times, begun in 1919, was one of several African American newspapers of the time. Unfortunately Duke’s collection of The Times begins only in 1937, but many clippings are contained in files and scrapbooks, including those of William Kennedy (see below), and, according to Weares, John Avery (unconfirmed). See note on newspapers below.

•Duke family. “Duke Family Papers, 1885-1992 (bulk 1892-1927),” n.d. Finding aid (

Small number of letters to North Carolina Mutual officials and other early leaders of the Durham black community,

•Harris, Rencher Nicholas. “Rencher Nicholas Harris Papers, 1857-1965; (bulk 1926-1965) [manuscript].,” n.d. Finding aid (

Correspondence, reports, memoranda, speeches, legal papers, clippings, photos, and printed material, relating to Harris' work in political and educational affairs in Durham during the 1950s and early 1960s, as a member of the City Council and the School Board, his business career in banking, insurance, and real estate, as an official of the Bankers' Fire Insurance Company, and his civic activities. Civil rights and school desegregation are principal topics. Rencher Harris spent most of his life working in the Mutual circle, eventually emerging as head of Bankers Fire Insurance Company and then becoming better known as Durham's first Negro city councilman.

Durham County Library - North Carolina Collection

•Various. “Durham Historic Photographic Archives - The North Carolina Collection - Durham County Library,” n.d.

Many, but not nearly all photos from this collection are digitized and appear on the blog “Endangered Durham.” We have used photos on this site courtesy of ED and the DCL.

•Possible materials in the DCL-NCC Parrish St. subject file:

    •    Towards a New Era for Prrish St:  The Interim Report
    •    "Historic Parrish St. Commemoration” meeting minutes w/ research materials they’ve compiled dated late 2002/early 2003 ~ 3/4” thick
    •    A New Era on Parrish St:  Interpretive Plan
    •    Miscellaneous newspaper clippings

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill - Southern Historical Society, North Carolina Collection, and Southern Folklife Collection

•Ramsey, N. A. (Nathan Alexander). N. A. Ramsey books, 1854-1871; ca. 1930s [manuscript]., 1854.,N.A.html.

A letterpress copybook with outgoing letters from Ramsey and from Ramsey & Bro., concerning merchandising and other business at Fayetteville, N.C., 1854-1855, and at Pittsboro, N.C., 1858-1859 and 1871; and a list of members of the White Elephant Club of Durham, N.C., circa 1930s.

•Southern Oral History Project (

Only 500 of over 4000 oral histories produced by the SOHP are currently available online; we have included several in the site. However, further exploration of SOHP would be warranted for possible future digitization and inclusion in the Parrish Street site.

Library of Congress

•National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Gilbert Jonas Company, and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Records, n.d.

According to Weare, “The NAACP Papers at the Library of Congress produced a surprising amount of significant correspondence revealing the involvement of Mutual leaders in the Hocutt case, the fight in North Carolina for equal teachers' salaries, and the recurring efforts to organize a chapter of the NAACP in Durham.”


The Era druggists' directory. D.O. Haynes & Co., 1910.

Druggist’s directory from 1910 including listing for Bull City Drugs, digitized on google books.

“Colored Orphanage of North Carolina (Oxford, N.C.), T. K. Borders, E. E. Tony, B. W. Parham (Benjamin Wingate), b. 1883, J. W. Medford, C. C. Spaulding (Charles Clinton), 1874-1952, and WPTF (Radio station : Raleigh, N.C.) My Future Depends Upon You! The Colored Orphanage of North Carolina.,” n.d.

Document digitized by UNC’s Documenting the American South, including transcript of a speech given by Charles Spaulding.


While Duke University holds many newspapers from Durham and North Carolina beginning in the late 1930’s, holdings for early 20th-century African-American newspapers are spotty. Some papers are available from the following sources, which could be good candidates for inclusion in the site:

-Newspaper morgue contained in NC Mutual Papers
-clippings in Spaulding Papers
-clippings in W. J. Kennedy’s personal scrapbook.
-1900-1920 African American newspapers:  many are held by the Peabody Collection, at Hampton University in Hampton, NC.