“Carolina Christmas” is a collection of images, documents, and other materials from the State Archives of North Carolina that pertain to the holiday season. Every year we try to add new materials to this collection as a holiday treat, and this year is no exception.
In the last few weeks, we have added a wonderful short story from the Mary Speed Mercer Papers called “Madam Santa Clause, a Story of a Quilt” and written by Mary Speed Mercer under the pseudonym, “Warren Edgecombe.” This true story exemplifies the holiday spirit with a heartwarming tale of friendship and giving. From this collection we have also scanned a poem written by Mary, “A Peep at St. Nichols.” This poem was heavily influenced by “A Visit from ST. Nicholas” You may know “A Visit from St. Nicholas” by its later name “T’was the Night before Christmas.”
While searching for information on another project, I came across a rare treat in the Richard Seawell Hinton Letters. The collection happened to contain “Christmas Carols” a song booklet given out by the YMCA to the service men on Christmas Eve, 1918. Instantly I knew this would be a great addition to the Christmas collection. The booklet includes the music and lyrics to “Oh Come all ye Faithful,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” “Silent Night, Holy Night,” “Hark the Herald Angles Sing,” “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear,” “While Shepherds Watched their Flocks by Night.”
I also came across some holiday cards from the 1920s in the Hampton Family Papersthese greeting cards were truly a joy to scan and index. Many of the cards are hand painted and feature Art Deco elements, making them little pieces of art. If you would like to peruse the new “cards” additions to the collection you can perform an advanced search using the phrase “Hampton Family Papers” which will give you a list of only the newly added cards.
We here at the State Archives hope you enjoy these new additions to the North Carolina Digital Collections and wish you a very merry holiday season. We’ll have new projects to introduce you to in 2014, but for now, as that ever so popular poem states “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”