Search Room Information
The Search Room is the area where the public may use original documents. The Public Services Branch is charged with protecting these important and irreplaceable documents, while providing for their use by the public.
How to request information while visiting the Search Room. There is also an introduction to doing genealogical research in the State Archives of North Carolina.
Fees for photocopies, copies of photographs and other duplication services.
Requesting information and/or copies by mail or email, guidelines for questions that can and can not be answered by mail, search and handling fees.
List of materials not allowed in the Search Room, rules for the use and handling of materials, and other regulations.
An introduction to County, State Agency, Veterans, and Non-Governmental records available at the State Archives and links to various guides, container lists, and other finding aids.
Information for State and Local Officials
The Government Records Branch provides and administers records management services for state government agencies, local government agencies, and state-supported institutions of higher education in North Carolina.
Learn how and why to use primary resources, browse projects and activity ideas that use primary resources, and find PDFs versions of lesson plans and links to other online resources for the classroom.
Finding Aids and Research Guides
Finding aids and research guides exist in many different formats at the State Archives of North Carolina. While many of these finding aids will only give a detailed description of the collection and will not give the actual call number needed by the staff to pull an individual record, they will give enough information for the researcher to decide whether or not he or she needs to use the record.
A more complete list of guides, box lists, and finding aids broken down by type of record are available from the Types of Records Available page.
Frequently Used Guides and Finding Aids:
Container Lists of Selected County Records
Container lists for some county records are available. These include listings of estates papers that related to the settlement of a person's estate, filed first by county and then in folders arranged by name and date. Also included are lists for some civil actions, divorces, guardians records, marriage licenses, and wills. At this time, the container lists do not link to images of the actual documents.
Guide to Research Materials in the State Archives of North Carolina: County Records
A listing of more than 9,000 bound volumes and 21,000 boxes, as well as over 24,000 reels of microfilm of county government records and documents available to researchers in the State Archives; the 2002 Version is available online and the 2009 version is available for purchase from the NC Historical Publications Shop
MARS (Manuscript and Archives Records System) Catalog
MARS is the online catalog for the State Archives and has recently been upgraded to provide access to many new features including images of some documents. In order to view images you will need a DjVu Viewer Browser Plug-in, available for free download from LizardTech. The plug-in works with Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator and is available for Windows, Mac OS X and 9, and UNIX.
North Carolina Newspaper Digitization Project
In 2009, the State Archives of North Carolina completed a project to digitize newspapers from it's collection that were, up until that time, only available on microfilm. These materials include papers dating from 1752-1890s - a total of 23,483 digital images that are keyword searchable. The project was made possible by a LSTA grant provided by the State Library of North Carolina.
Also available: Guide to Newspapers on Microfilm
Online Finding Aids
Finding aids are detailed narrative guides to collections. Currently, the State Archives of North Carolina is creating online finding aids for private collections, photographic collections, and select organization and state agency records. These finding aids enhance the descriptions found in MARS, particularly for those collections that have been described only to the collection level.
Archives Information Circulars (PDF files)
Essays written by Archives staff as introductions to State Archives resources and various areas of research.
- Circular 1: North Carolina's Revolutionary War Pay Records
- Circular 2: Overview of North Carolina Census Records, 1787-1930
- Circular 3: Records Relating to Tennessee in the State Archives of North Carolina
- Circular 4: Civil War Records in the State Archives of North Carolina
- Circular 5: Purchasing Copies of Public Records from the Archives: Replication, Certification, and Transcription Services
- Circular 11: Military Personnel Records in the State Archives of North Carolina, 1918-1968
- Circular 12: Maps and Other Cartographic Records in the State Archives of North Carolina
- Circular 13: North Carolina Revolutionary War Records of Primary Interest to Genealogists
- Circular 14: The Colonial and State Records of North Carolina and the Colonial Records of North Carolina [second series]
- Circular 15: Overview of Marriage Bonds Filed in the State Archives of North Carolina
- Circular 17: Preliminary Guide to Records Relating to African Americans in the State Archives of North Carolina
- Circular 18: War of 1812 Records in the State Archives of North Carolina
- Introductory Guide to Indian-Related Records (To 1876) in the State Archives of North Carolina
List of microfilm and other resources that can be purchased from the State Archives.
Last Modified: 08/10/2012