University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Libraries

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North Carolina

The Southern Historical Collection

The Southern Historical Collection (SHC) has developed a large-scale digitization program that is designed to provide online access to entire manuscript collections or to substantial portions of collections. The collections digitized in whole or in part under this program. The collection name on the site will take you to the collection's finding aid (a descriptive guide to the collection's contents).

A web page containing suggestions for genealogical research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is found at UNC Libraries Website

Two libraries at the University of North Carolina with departments and collections of interest to genealogists are the Wilson Library and the Davis Library.

Univ of NC Louis Round Wilson Library.JPG
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – The Wilson Library

The Wilson Library includes the special collections, manuscript, and map departments. Addresses and holdings of the departments follow:

  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    North Carolina Collection
    Wilson Library CB 3930
    Chapel Hill, NC 27514-8890
    Telephone: 919-962-1172
The North Carolina Collection contains published works on North Carolina and its people. The collection does not have original records. They have a file of newspaper clippings on North Carolina. The file does not include obituaries.
The Manuscript Department collects personal papers, letters, and diaries of early North Carolina residents. The Family History Library has the following guides to their manuscript collection:

A Guide to the Manuscript collections may be found at the Family History Library. The university’s Internet site contains an inventory of the records the Manuscript Department has received since they published the 1976supplement.

  • 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
UNC Davis Library.jpg
University of North Carolina Davis Library
North Carolina history, rare books, and the famous "Southern Historical Collection." They are a designated government depository for the state, including many federal papers.[1]
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Davis Library CB3916
    Chapel Hill, NC 27514-8890
    Telephone: 919-962-1151
  • 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.