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Repository Spotlight: North Carolina Digital Collections

The North Carolina Digital Collections is an incredible resource for your genealogy research. Due to the digital nature of these collections, all research using these collections can be done from home. With over 50 collections to choose from, there’s a good chance you will find something that may benefit your research.

“The North Carolina Digital Collections contain over 90,000 historic and recent photographs, state government publications, manuscripts, and other resources on topics related to North Carolina. The Collections are free and full-text searchable, and bring together content from the State Archives of North Carolina and the State Library of North Carolina.”

Some of the collections of interest include:

Secretary of State Wills Digital Collection, contains wills from 1663 to 1789. These are loose original wills probated in the province. After 1760 most original wills were kept by the clerk in the county in which they were probated, though there are some wills after 1760 in the collection… The wills are arranged alphabetically by surname of decedent.”

War of 1812 Pay Vouchers consists of some 5000 vouchers, also called certificates. Vouchers were issued in lieu of cash by the governor after the auditor had validated a claim. The vast majority of the certificates were issued for military service by detached militia, either those called out to defend the coast in 1813 or companies ordered to rendezvous at Wadesboro in 1815… The certificates are on preprinted forms with the blanks filled in, and show voucher number, date of issue, the soldier’s name and rank, his captain’s name and county, and the amount due… Vouchers are for 31 counties only.”

The North Carolina Veterans Oral History Collection is composed of more than 1,100 interviews. Since 1996 the Military Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina has conducted them as part of the North Carolina Veterans Oral History Program. The purpose of the program is to document and provide access to the memories and experiences of military servicemen and servicewomen from the state of North Carolina, and preserve them for future scholarship. The interviews included in this online collection have been conducted since 2015, and are in audio format for streaming-only listening through the State Archives’ Internet Archive collection; links to these interviews are also provided through the North Carolina Digital Collections. Interviews will be made accessible through digital audio and text-based interview summaries over the coming years. Interviews are conducted by the Military Collection Archivist and program volunteers.”


These are just three of the 50+ collections located for free at http://digital.ncdcr.gov/. In our next blog post, we’ll show you exactly how utilizing records from the North Carolina Digital Collections can resolve research questions and move you towards finding more family.

Do you have a favorite North Carolina repository? Is there a specific record collection that helped you solve a research problem. We would love to highlight your favorite repository or research success story here on the blog. Please send any repository highlight recommendations or research success stories to content@ncgenealogy.org.