An Introduction to the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

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The NC Office of Archives and History (OAH) and State Library of North Carolina are housed within the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, which is the department charged with “building the social, cultural, educational, and economic future” of the state. The OAH and State Library preserve many archival materials and government records that serve as documentary evidence of prior generations as well as official NC publications and demographic data. These units of the NCDNCR are great places to find materials unavailable at the UNC Law Library or elsewhere. This post highlights a few collections that are available through NCDNCR.

North Carolina Digital Collections

The NC Digital Collections contain “over 90,000 historic and recent photographs, state government publications, manuscripts, and other resources on topics related to North Carolina.” Users can search the materials on the Collections website. The following are some materials that may be particularly useful to legal professionals:

Governors Papers  

This collection includes portions of the NC governors’ papers, focused particularly in modern times on executive orders, press releases, and proclamations. Earlier NC governors’ papers include correspondence. Researchers can consult the State Archives Finding Aid to help navigate this collection.

Historical Legal Materials

The State Archives holds primary court records and reports and general assembly records in physical form and is continually working to digitize these materials. Digitization efforts begin with the earliest records. Example of these materials include: Biographies and Histories of the NC Supreme Court, District Superior Court Records, Colonial Court Records, Federal and State Constitutional Materials, and General Assembly Records.

County Records

In 1916 the State Archives began systematically seeking and accepting non-current local records from various counties. Many of the records have been transferred by county clerks, registers of deeds, tax supervisors, boards of county commissioners, boards of education, health departments, and social services directors. Therefore, the variety of county records held at the State Archives is quite large. The State Archives has put together a selection of county records containers lists in PDF format that help users find records within their various series of interest. Records inspection may be made in person at the Raleigh location, and users are also welcome to make reproduction requests online (reproductions subject to a fee).

North Carolina State Government Collection

North Carolina state agencies publish hundreds of official materials each year, including reports (for example, Crime in North Carolina), program evaluations, statistical surveys, agricultural profiles, etc. The North Carolina State Government Publications Collection is a searchable database containing thousands of full-text or digitized state publications. Users can also find resources by browsing the subject terms.


Posted by Emily E. Roscoe on Mon. October 8, 2018 4:30 PM
Categories: Uncategorized


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