University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Libraries

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University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Libraries
Univ of NC Louis Round Wilson Library.JPG
UNC Davis Library.jpg

Contact Information[edit | edit source]

Two libraries at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill which have collections of interest to genealogists are:



  • Wilson Special Collections Library
    200 South Road
    UNC Chapel Hill, NC 27515
    Phone: 919-962-3765
  • Davis Library 208 Raleigh Street
    UNC Chapel Hill, NC 27599
    Phone: 919-962-1053

Hours and Directions:

Internet sites and databases:

Collection Description[edit | edit source]

Wilson Special Collections Library  is home to: the famed Southern Historical Collection with strengths in plantation records, slavery, the Civil War, Civil Rights, communities, family, race relations, and religious communities[1]; the North Carolina Collection of published works on North Carolina and its people and biographical index[2]; 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.[3]

Davis Library has humanities, and foreign language materials, maps, a federal documents depository, and microforms.

Tips[edit | edit source]

Guides[edit | edit source]

  • Blosser, Susan Sokol, and Clyde Norman Wilson Jr. The Southern Historical Collection: A Guide to Manuscripts (Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina Library, 1970). At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL book 975 H23s. This guide may help you locate biographical and local history information pertaining to a family.
  • Smith, Everard H. Southern Historical Collection: Supplementary Guide to Manuscripts, 1970–1975 (Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina Library, 1976). WorldCat 2401855; FHL book 975 H23s supp.

Alternate Repositories[edit | edit source]

If you cannot visit or find a source at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Libraries, a similar source may be available at one of the following.

Overlapping Collections

  • Library of Congress, Washington, DC, is the world's largest library including 50,000 genealogies, 100,000 local histories, manuscripts, microfilms, maps, newspapers, photographs, books, 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 remain unchanged.[4]
  • National Archives I, Washington DC, census, pre-WWI military service & pensions, passenger lists, naturalizations, passports, federal bounty land, homesteads, bankruptcy, ethnic sources, prisons, and federal employees.[5]
  • National Archives at Atlanta records of federal agencies and courts for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee, censuses, ships lists, naturalizations, Indian records, and military records.[6]
  • North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, has so many county court records they have not all been cataloged,[7] NC government records at the state, district, and county levels, maps, War of 1812, Civil War, World Wars, newspapers, photos, organization records, private collections, and defunct academic institution records.[8]
  • State Library of North Carolina, Raleigh, has Internet genealogy databases; digital: family Bibles, marriages, deaths, newspapers, and cemetery photos; genealogy guides; and county records.[9]

Similar Collections

  • Duke University Perkins Library, Durham, largest manuscript collection in the South, including newspapers, county records, Bibles, and journals. Also census records from the National Archives.

Neighboring Collections

Repositories in surrounding counties: Alamance, Caswell, Chattam, Durham, Granville, Person, and Wake.

Repositories in other surrounding states: Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

  • Chattanooga Public Library Downtown, Tennessee, has the Upper South's largest family folder collection which is heavy on North Carolina, Internet genealogy databases, census, newspapers, obituary index, county records, 30,000 books, manuscripts, and genealogical periodicals.[23]
  • Knox County Public Library, Tennessee, has the best index to North Carolina families,  Internet genealogy databases, 75,000 books, genealogies, First Families of Tennessee, manuscripts, censuses, state and local government records, newspapers, Knoxville city directories, maps, and photos.[24]
  • Santa Cruz Public Library Downtown, California, holds 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. [25]

Sources[edit | edit source]

  1. About the Southern Historical Collection in UNC Chapel Hill Libraries (accessed 11 February 2014).
  2. Family History and Genealogy Resources in the North Carolina Collection in UNC Chapel Hill Libraries (accessed 11 February 2014).
  3. William Dollarhide and Ronald A. Bremer. America's Best Genealogy Resource Centers (Bountiful, Utah: Heritage Quest, 1998), 85. At various libraries (WorldCat). FHL Ref Book 973 J54d.
  4. The Collections in Local History and Genealogy Reading Room in Library of Congress (accessed 31 December 2013).
  5. Information for Researchers at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC in National Archives (accessed 31 December 2013).
  6. Checklist of Records Available for Research into Family History at NARA's Southeast Region in National Archives (accessed 13 February 2014).
  7. Dollarhide and Bremer, 85.
  8. Collections in State Archives of North Carolina (accessed 7 February 2014).
  9. Genealogy Research in State Library of North Carolina (accessed 7 February 2014).
  10. Vital Records in NC Dept. of Health and Human Services (accessed 13 February 2013).
  11. Handy Book for Genealogists, 7th ed. (Logan, Utah: Everton Pub., 1981), 215. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 1981.
  12. North Carolina, Superior Court (Orange County), Cross index to wills, 1756-1962; wills, 1752-1952 (Microfilm of original and typescript at the State Archives in Raleigh, North Carolina : Filmed by the North Carolina Dept. of Archives and History, 1962). WorldCat entry ; FHL Films 306090-97.
  13. Home in North Carolina Literary and Historical Association (accessed 14 February 2014).
  14. Home in Chapel Hill Historical Society (accessed 15 February 2014).
  15. Resources in North Carolina Genealogical Society (accessed 14 February 2014).
  16. Home in Durham-Orange Genealogical Society (15 February 2014).
  17. Home in U.S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina (accessed 15 February 2014).
  18. Elizabeth Reid Murray Collection in Wake County Public Libraries (accessed 14 February 2014).
  19. Societies, Libraries, Archives in North Carolina Genealogical Society (14 February 2014).
  20. Home in Moravian Archives Winston-Salem (accessed 14 February 2014).
  21. Home in North Carolina Friends Historical Society (accessed 14 February 2014).
  22. Research Library in Presbyterian Heritage Center (accessed 14 February 2014).
  23. Genealogy Resources in Chattanooga Public Library (accessed 6 April 2021).
  24. Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection in Knox County Public Library (accessed 11 February 2014).
  25. The Tina Brayton Collection in Genealogical Society of Santa Cruz County (accessed 3 January 2014).