One of the many repositories available for research near the National Genealogical Society Family History Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina May 13-16, 2009 is the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A number of significant collections of interest to genealogists and historians alike include The Southern Historical Collection, Documenting the American South, The Maps Collection, the North Carolina Collection and the Microforms Collection.
The Southern Historical Collection
is perhaps the world’s largest collection of manuscript material documenting the American South. Individual archival collections are comprised of many unique primary documents such as diaries, correspondence, oral histories and photographs. Helpful to researchers is an online finding aid to this collection at www.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv.html
. The Southern Historical Collection is housed on campus in the Louis Round Wilson Library on the 4th floor.Documenting the American South (DocSouth)
is a digital publishing initiative that allows the access of primary resources on Southern history, literature, and culture from the colonial period through the first decades of the 20th century. Currently DocSouth includes twelve thematic collections of books, diaries, posters, artifacts, letters, oral history interviews, and songs.
Other digital collections at UNC include the Gilmore Civil War Maps Collection, the North Carolina County Collection, and the North Carolina Maps collection which when complete, will contain over 1,500 maps ranging in date from the late 1500s to the 1970s, and will include detailed maps for each of North Carolina’s one hundred counties. Additional information on these digital collections, as well as DocSouth, can be found at www.lib.unc.edu/digitalprojects.html
.The Maps Collection
at UNC houses about 250,000 maps and charts covering the world. It also contains atlases, gazetteers, cartographic reference volumes, and government depository publications. The volumes in the Maps Collection including government document gazetteers have been cataloged and are listed in the UNC-Chapel Hill online catalog
More than 170,000 books and 110,000 pamphlets form the heart of the North Carolina Collection
, and these are supplemented by newspapers, journals, maps and photographs, among other items. Located in the Louis Round Wilson Library, this collection preserves
literary, visual, and artifactual materials illustrating four centuries of the colony and state of North Carolina.The Microforms Collection
contains an extremely large and diverse group of materials. Copies of many major United States and foreign newspapers are available, as well as US and foreign government documents. There is also a large collection of medieval manuscripts and microfilmed editions of papers of prominent individuals and organizations. The Microforms Collections is located on the 2nd floor of Davis Library and includes over one million items on microfilm, microfiche, microcard and microprint.~~~~~~~~~~~
Getting from the Raleigh Convention Center to the campus of UNC at Chapel-Hill is an easy drive of less than 30 miles. As each collection has its own hours of operation and special guidelines for use, it is important to consult the collection web page for information before travelling. The diversity of these collections cannot compare to anything else in North Carolina and an opportunity to visit should not be missed.