Reopenings of NC Archives and Libraries

Archives, libraries, and other repositories are beginning to reopen for in-person research. 

Rules and dates vary for each institution, so we decided to compile a list of some North Carolina facilities researchers may be interested in visiting. 

The information provided in the post is accurate as of the date of publication. However, we know details will continue changing. We will periodically update this article. 

If you are planning to research at a specific institution, we recommend that you visit their website to ensure you have the most up-to-date information regarding their in-person research policies.

Do you know of an archive, library or other facility we should add to the list? Let us know by emailing content@ncgenealogy.org we’ll make an update!

State Archives of North Carolina

Research rooms at the State Archives are open by appointment onlyClick here for the most up-to-date hours and appointment instructions for visiting.

The State Archives of North Carolina collects, preserves, and makes available for public use historical and evidential materials relating to North Carolina. In all, the Archives houses over 50,000 linear feet of permanently valuable materials containing millions of individual items.

Wilson Library Special Collections at UNC Chapel Hill

The Research Room at Wilson Library is open by appointment only. The library galleries and the Fearrington Reading Room remain closed to the public.  All researchers are encouraged to contact the library by writing to wilsonlibrary@unc.edu, or schedule a virtual consultation to discuss research needs and service options. 

The Wilson Special Collections Library, located on Polk Place at the heart of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus, is home to the University Library’s North Carolina CollectionRare Book CollectionSouthern Folklife CollectionSouthern Historical Collection, and University Archives and Records Management Services.

The five special collections hold unique and rare books, organizational records, personal and family papers, photographs, moving images, sound recordings, and artifacts that document the history and culture of the University, the state, the region, the nation, and the world.

Learn more about visiting the Wilson Library Special Collections.

Joyner Library Special Collections at East Carolina University

The Research Room at Joyner Library is open by appointment only.

The Special Collections is home to the North Carolina Collection which focuses on the study of North Carolina, its culture, and its people, with a special emphasis on the eastern region of the state. Also of interest to genealogists is their Digital Collections, a gateway to thousands of images, texts, and recordings from the Joyner Library’s rich holdings. Digital Collections includes digitized materials from collections in the Special Collections Division and the Laupus Medical History collections.

Learn more about the Joyner Library Special Collections and schedule your research visit.

Special Collections and University Archives at UNC Asheville

Special Collections is open by appointment only during summer 2021. Access is limited to UNC Asheville students, faculty, and staff.

Special Collections was founded in 1977 as the Southern Highlands Research Center with the mission of collecting resources that document the diverse culture and history of Asheville and Western North Carolina, a mission we continue to this day. Their collections include manuscripts, books, oral histories, photographs, and other materials.

Learn more about UNC Ashville’s Special Collections.

Special Collections & University Archives at UNC Charlotte

The reading room has resumed regular hours for walk-in service. Appointments are encouraged, so materials ready when you arrive.

Special Collections connects people with the knowledge available in unique and rare resources. They work to preserve and share the history and culture of UNC Charlotte and the Charlotte region. 

Their collections include manuscripts (the personal archives of individuals and families as well as those of local organizations), the university’s records, rare and unique books, maps, local government documents, and oral history recordings.

Learn more about Special Collections at UNC Charlotte.

Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections & University Archives at UNC Greensboro

Special Collections is open by appointment only.

The Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro collects, preserves, and makes accessible unique and historical materials for learning and research. The department promotes the use of these materials by the University’s academic community, scholars, and the public. Its goal is to advance scholarship and to further the educational and service missions of the University.

The ten curatorial areas are: rare books; cello music; manuscripts; children’s literature collections; university archives; women’s literature collections; photographs, prints, and poster collections; book art and book bindings; artifacts and textiles collections; and the women veterans historical project.

Schedule your appointment to research at the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections.

Guilford College’s Quaker Archives

Quaker Archives is currently closed to the public. Limited remote services are provided via email (archives@guilford.edu).

The Quaker Archives has a special responsibility for comprehensiveness in preserving the spiritual, intellectual and cultural heritage of Quakerism in the southeastern United States. Their collection includes a section for genealogy of North Carolina Quakers.

Learn more about the Quaker Archives.

Moravian Archives

The Moravian Archives is open by appointment only. Their research hours are Monday-Thursday 9:30-noon & Monday-Friday 1:30-4:30.

The Moravian Archives is the official repository for records of the Moravian Church in America, Southern Province. The Province includes Moravian churches and fellowships in North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia. Their records begin with the establishment of the first southern Moravian settlement in 1753 at Bethabara, NC (now part of Winston-Salem), and continue until the present day.

Schedule your appointment to research in the Moravian Archives.

The Genealogical Society of Old Tryon County

The Society’s Library is available for research Tuesday-Friday from 9 am to 2 pm. They request that you call prior to visiting.

The Genealogical Society of Old Tryon County has many offerings including extensive records available for the counties of Rutherford, Polk, and Cleveland, and up-to-date information on most other North Carolina counties; publications from 70 different genealogical societies; over 500 family history and genealogical books; and more than 3,000 books on colonial and state affairs, American military conflicts, court proceedings, wills, deeds, marriage bonds, and birth certificates, death certificates, cemetery records, funeral home records; and census records of many counties and various states and personal family files. 

Learn more about researching the The Genealogical Society of Old Tryon County.

Carolina Heritage Research Center

The Carolina Heritage Research Center is open Thursday-Friday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and Saturday from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Masks and social distancing are no longer required, but there is reduced seating and a limited number of public computers available.

The W. Dallas Herring Carolina Heritage Research Center offers genealogy and local history resources concentrated on eastern North Carolina, particularly Duplin, Pender, and Sampson counties. The North Carolina genealogy collection of the late Dr. Dallas Herring, formerly located in Rose Hill, was donated to Pender County Library by the Duplin County Historical Foundation in 2013.

Learn more about the Carolina Heritage Research Center and their archival genealogy collections.

Edith M. Clark History Room

The reading room has resumed regular hours for walk-in service.

Rowan Public Library’s Edith M. Clark History Room concentrates primarily on Western North Carolina genealogy and history including all areas of old Rowan County. Their holdings include over 19,000 books, 5,700 microforms, 268 manuscript collections, dozens of genealogical journals as well as a solid collection of civil war and civil war prison materials. Genealogy materials include abstracts, indices, and guides to the primary source material used by genealogists as well as popular online databases – Ancestry.com, Fold3, and African American Heritage. Local and regional oral histories, films, and maps also supplement the collection. Three of their larger manuscript collections are kept primarily as surname vertical files and an index for these is available.

Learn more about the Edith M. Clark History Room.

The Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

The Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room is open for in-person visitation by appointment only. They continue to provide virtual reference and research services for those that do not wish to visit in person.

The Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, a department in the Main Library, houses historical and current information on Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and North Carolina. It also contains genealogical resources from all fifty states in print and online, the largest collection of family history materials in a North Carolina public library! 

Schedule your appointment ro research at The Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room.

Olivia Raney Local History Library

The Olivia Raney Local History Library is available for walk-in research Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m.–6 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from. 10 a.m.–8 p.m.

The Olivia Raney Local History Library offers an extensive collection of materials and services to assist visitors conducting research into local history and genealogy, including a collection of books to assist patrons with local history and genealogy research; an array of microfilm, newsletters, property tax records, city directories, biographies and military records; original materials and notes related to the history of Raleigh and Wake County, as well as family histories, biographies, city directories and selective records and histories.

Learn more about the Olivia Raney Local History Library.

Olde Meck Family Research Center

The Olde Meck Family Research Center has reopened by appointment only. Volunteers and visitors can come in any Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday. Please contact the Center at info@oldemeck.org to schedule an appointment.

Olde Meck established the Family Research Center (FRC) to provide access to books, ancestor charts, maps, special collections, online resources, and other sources valuable for researching family histories. The FRC has many unique collections that are unpublished and unavailable elsewhere. Volunteers are available to assist members and guests. Access to desktop computers, online genealogy resources, and Wi-Fi service is provided. 

Learn more about the Family Research Center and schedule an appointment.