North Carolina Archives and Libraries

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North Carolina Wiki Topics
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Beginning Research
Record Types
North Carolina Background
Cultural Groups
Local Research Resources

These archives, libraries, societies, and museums preserve sources, maintain indexes, and provide services to help genealogists document their ancestors who lived in North Carolina.

Wiki Articles on Repositories in North Carolina[edit | edit source]

Library of Congress · National Archives at Atlanta · North Carolina State Archives · State Library of North Carolina · Duke University Perkins Library · Genealogical Society of Old Tyron County · McEachern Library of Local History · Olivia Raney Local History Library · Charlotte Mecklenburg Library · Rowan Public Library · University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Libraries · Bristol Public Library · Chattanooga Public Library Downtown · Knox County Public Library · Santa Cruz Public Library Downtown

Online Records of North Carolina[edit | edit source]

Links to online databases and indexes that may include vital records, biographies, cemeteries, censuses, histories, immigration records, land records, maps, military records, naturalizations, newspapers, obituaries, or probate records.

National Repositories[edit | edit source]

Library of Congress[edit | edit source]

Library of Congress Jefferson Building.jpg
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. SE
Thomas Jefferson Building, LJ G4
Washington, D.C. 20540-4660
Telephone:[1]  Reading Room: 202-707-5537
Fax:[1]  202-707-1957
E-mail:  Ask a Librarian[1]
Website: LC Local History & Genealogy Reference Services

Use the Library of Congress for its outstanding genealogical guides and indexes. They are part of the world's largest library including 50,000 genealogies, 100,000 local histories, and collections of manuscripts, microfilms, maps, newspapers, photographs, and published material, strong in North American, British Isles, and German sources. The "Local History and Genealogy Reading Room" has moved to the main reading room, but services are unchanged.[2] [3]
NARA Atlanta.jpg

National Archives at Atlanta[edit | edit source]

National Archives at Atlanta
5780 Jonesboro Road
Morrow, Georgia 30260 USA
Phone: 770-968-2100
Fax: 770-968-2547
Website: National Archives at Atlanta

The National Archives at Atlanta collects federal agency and court records for North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee. They have a Microfilm Research Room and an Archival Research Room. There is a microfilm collection for genealogy research. Genealogy records include censuses, military service records, pensions and bounty-land, and Gulf Coast passenger arrivals. Subject specialties include the Vice Admiralty Court of South Carolina, Civil War and Reconstruction, organized crime, World Wars, the New Deal, and space exploration. The collection holds about 70,000 cubic feet of archival holdings from 1716 to the 1980s, primarily textual records but also maps, and photographs.[4]

Statewide Repositories[edit | edit source]

North Carolina State Archives[edit | edit source]

North Carolina State Archives
109 East Jones Street
(Mail to: 4610 Mail Service Center)
Raleigh, NC 27699-4610
Telephone: 919-807-7310
Fax: 919-733-1354
Website: State Archives of North Carolina

Collection of county court records so large it has not all been cataloged.[5] The North Carolina State Archives maintains original records of North Carolina governments on the state, district, and county levels. Includes audio visual material, government records, maps, War of 1812, Civil War, World Wars, newspapers, photos, county records, state agency records, veterans records, organization records, private collections, and defunct academic institution records.[6]

State Library of North Carolina[edit | edit source]

State Library of North Carolina
109 East Jones Street
(Mail to: 4641 Mail Service Center)
Raleigh, NC 27699-4641
Telephone:[7]  919-807-7460
Website: State Library of North Carolina

Great collection of books, periodicals, and genealogies for North Carolina.[5] Their collection includes genealogy databases; digital: family Bibles, marriages, deaths, newspapers, and cemetery photos; genealogy guides; county records including wills, deeds, marriages, court minutes, tax lists, and probate records.[8]

DigitalNC This website from the University of North Carolina has digitized newspapers, yearbooks, photographs and more.

  • North Carolina Digital Collections,A joint project of the state archives and state library, this site has digitized Confederate pension applications, naturalizations, Bible records and newspapers back to the 1700s. The Family Records collection groups the most useful records for genealogy, including marriage and death notices and cemetery records.
  • Digital North Carolina, contributions from cultural heritage institutions across the state, this site has digitized newspapers, yearbooks, photographs, city directories, genealogies, yearbooks and more.

Regional Repositories[edit | edit source]

Duke University Perkins Library[edit | edit source]

Duke Univ Perkins Library.jpg

Duke University Perkins Library
104 Chapel Drive
Durham, NC 27708
Telephone: 919-660-5800
E-mail: Ask a Librarian e-mail form
Website: Duke University Libraries

Largest manuscript collection in the South, including newspapers, county records, Bibles, and journals. They also have many census records originally at the National Archives.[5]

Genealogical Society of Old Tyron County[edit | edit source]

Genealogical Society of Old Tyron County
319 Doggett Road PO Box 938
Forest City, NC 28043
Telephone: 828-247-8700
Website: Genealogical Society

Use this library for finding books, periodicals, Bible records, obituaries, biographies and indexes for pre-Civil War people from both North Carolina and South Carolina. [5] Emphasis is on counties of Rutherford, Polk, and Cleveland, but also includes all of North and South Carolina. Immigration data, 500 family histories, 3,000 genealogy books, 60 Carolina county heritage books.[9]

McEachern Library of Local History[edit | edit source]

McEachern Library of Local History
Dulpin County Historical Society
314 East Main Street, PO Box 130
Rose Hill, NC 28458
Telephone: 910-296-2180

This library has the largest collection in North America of family folders for immigrants from Scotland, including the highland Scots who came to the Cape Fear River region of North Carolina.[5]

Olivia Raney Local History Library[edit | edit source]

Olivia Raney Local History Library
4016 Carya Drive
Raleigh, North Carolina 27610
Phone: 919-250-1196
Website: Olivia Raney Local History Library

The collection of 18,000 items is primarily local and family history oriented including background materials on American, North Carolina and local history. Includes Internet genealogy databases.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library[edit | edit source]

Panorama of the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room
310 North Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
Telephone: 704-416-0150
Website: Main Library: Carolina Room

Virtually a second state archives for the southern part of the state. Emphasis is on Germans, Highland Scots, and Scots-Irish immigrants to North Carolina. Many references to Quakers moving from Pennsylvania to North Carolina. This collection has good indexes, biographies, family folders, and genealogies.[5]

Rowan Public Library[edit | edit source]

Rowan Public Library
201 West Fisher Street
Salisbury NC, 28144
Telephone: 704-216-8253
Fax: 704-216-8237
Website: Rowan Public Library

This library has manuscripts, diaries, journals, Bible records, and family folders from the crossroads of colonial North Carolina.[5] Emphasis is on "Old Rowan County," including 150,000 abstracts in the McCubbins Colleciton, 2,000 family histories, and Civil War records[10].

University of NC Chapel Hill Libraries[edit | edit source]

Univ of NC Louis Round Wilson Library.JPG

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Libraries

UNC Wilson Special Collections[edit | edit source]
200 South Rd. Wilson Library Campus Box #3948
UNC Chapel Hill, NC 27515-8890
Telephone: 919-962-1172
Website: Louis R. Wilson Special Collections Library

The Wilson Library is home to: the famed Southern Historical Collection with strengths in plantations, slavery, the Civil War, Civil Rights, communities, family, race relations, and religious communities[11]; the North Carolina Collection of published works on North Carolina and its people and biographical index[12]; the Rare Book Collection; the Southern Folklife Collection; the Manuscript Department  collection of personal papers, letters, and diaries of early North Carolina residents; and the Map Department.[5]
UNC Davis Library.jpg

UNC Davis Library[edit | edit source]
208 Raleigh Street Campus Box #3916
UNC Chapel Hill, NC 27599
Telephone: 919-962-1151
E-mail: E-mail a Question form
Website: UNC Chapel Hill Libraries

Humanities, and foreign language materials, maps, government documents repository, and microforms are found here.[13]

Outside of North Carolina Repositories[edit | edit source]

Bristol Public Library in Virginia

Bristol Public Library[edit | edit source]

Bristol Public Library
701 Goode Street
Bristol, Virginia 24201-4199
Telephone: 540-645-8780
Fax: 276-669-5593
Website: Bristol Public Library

They have a relatively small family folder collection. Nevertheless, it is an important resource for settlers coming from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and northern Virginia  along the Great Valley Road into Tennessee, Kentucky, and North Carolina.[14]

Chattanooga Public Library Downtown[edit | edit source]

Chattanooga Public Library TN.jpg

Chattanooga Public Library Downtown
1001 Broad Street
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37402
Telephone: 423-757-5317
Website: Local History and Genealogy Department

Includes the Upper South's largest family folder collection which is heavy on North Carolina.[5] Internet genealogy databases, census, newspapers, obituary index, county records, 30,000 books, manuscripts, and genealogical periodicals.[15]

Knox County Public Library[edit | edit source]


Knox County Public Library
Calvin M. McClung Historical Collections
601 South Gay Street
Knoxville, Tennessee 37901-1629
Telephone: 865-215-8801
Website: Knox County Public Library

The McClung Historical Collection includes an index to early North Carolina families. No index in North Carolina can top this one.[5] Internet genealogy databases, more than 75,000 books, 3,000 genealogies, 15,000 First Families of Tennessee, manuscripts, censuses, state and local government records, newspapers, Knoxville city directories, maps, and photos. The same building also houses the Knox County Archives, and the East Tennessee Historical Society and Museum.[16]

Santa Cruz Public Library Downtown[edit | edit source]

Santa Cruz Public Library Downtown
224 Church Street
Santa Cruz, California 95060
Telephone: 831-427-7707 ext. 5794
E-mail: E-mail reference service form
Website: Santa Cruz Public Library Downtown

Holds the Genealogical Society of Santa Cruz County's library, including the Tina Brayton Collection which is equivalent to the Draper Manuscript Collection  but larger and with a better index, and many compiled genealogies of North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia  families.[5] [17]

Guidebooks[edit | edit source]

  • Ellen Garrison, Archives in Appalachia: A Directory  (Boone, North Carolina: Appalachian Consortium Press, 1985). At various libraries (WorldCat). FHL Book 975 A3a. For Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, arranged alphabetically, each entry shows the archive, address, phone, inclusive dates of the collection, the records of the collection, subjects, and size of the collection. Indexed by record type, and by subject.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Contact Information" in The Library of Congress [Internet site] at (accessed 12 May 2010).
  2. The Collections in Local History and Genealogy Reference Services in Library of Congress (accessed 2 February 2014).
  3. William Dollarhide and Ronald A. Bremer. America's Best Genealogy Resource Centers (Bountiful, Utah: Heritage Quest, 1998), 29. At various libraries (WorldCat). FHL Ref Book 973 J54d.
  4. Dollarhide and Bremer, 127-28. At various libraries (WorldCat). FHL Ref Book 973 J54d.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 Dollarhide and Bremer, 85.
  6. Collections in State Archives of North Carolina (accessed 7 February 2014).
  7. 7.0 7.1 Contact Us in State Library of North Carolina (accessed 7 February 2014).
  8. Genealogy Research in State Library of North Carolina (accessed 7 February 2014).
  9. Collections in North Carolina's Rutherford County (accessed 11 February 2014).
  10. Genealogical Records in Edith Clark History Room in Rowan Public Library (accessed 11 February 2014).
  11. About the Southern Historical Coillection in UNC Chapel Hill Libraries (accessed 11 February 2014).
  12. Family History and Genealogy Resources in the North Carolina Collection in UNC Chapel Hill Libraries (accessed 11 February 2014).
  13. Davis Library in Libraries and Hours in UNC Chapel Hill Libraries (accessed 11 February 2013).
  14. Dollarhide and Bremer, 105.
  15. Local History and Genealogy Department in Chattanooga Public Library, accessed 15 March 2021).
  16. Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection in Knox County Public Library (accessed 11 February 2014).
  17. The Tina Brayton Collection in Genealogical Society of Santa Cruz County (accessed 3 January 2014).