Phone: (919) 814-6840
State Archives of North Carolina
4614 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, N.C. 27699-4614
109 E. Jones St.
Raleigh, N.C. 27601
Guidelines for Researchers
Effective date November 8, 2021.
To protect the health and safety of our visitors to the State Archives, we ask that you please note these changes to our operations and take preliminary steps to manage their time in the archives.
- Starting Nov. 8, 2021, Search Room hours will be Tuesday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (closed Sunday and Monday).
- Please contact us if your research requires time outside of our public hours. To contact us please call 919-814-6840 or email us at email@example.com.
- Plexiglass barriers and hand sanitizers will remain in public spaces.
- If you are experiencing symptoms of illness, we ask that you postpone your visit.
Preparation for Your Visit
- Search the Archive’s catalog to identify materials you would like to see before you visit.
- Visit the North Carolina Digital Collections to explore our digital resources.
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about our holdings or reference services. If you have specific items you would like to review, email us the citations along with the date of your appointment and we can pull the items in advance or provide the items remotely through our Correspondence Unit.
- If you are interested in conducting genealogy research or looking for general information on state agencies, you might find resources through the North Carolina Government and Heritage Library. Contact them at email@example.com or 919-814-6790 with your question.
- In addition to the aforementioned regulations, we ask that you consider these other suggestions during our limited operation.
- Bring your own laptop computer or electronic device. We have wi-fi access for those needing online services. If necessary, reference staff can provide limited online services in the Search Room.
- Bring your own pencil; pens are not allowed in the Search Room. If you did not bring a permitted writing device, we can provide a golf pencil that you can keep or discard after use.
- Bring your own camera/phone. We will still provide copies for a nominal fee. However, to avoid touching shared material, we encourage you to bring a camera or smartphone to photograph records.
- Pack lightly. We will still issue lockers for any personal items prohibited in the Search Room, but please try to leave items at home or in your vehicle.
- If you are visiting us for the first time, please review our Search Room policies below.
Search Room Policies
Researchers interested in North Carolina history are invited to visit the Search Room and to make use of the historical materials in the Archives. These manuscripts are valuable for historical and evidential purposes and usually are the only copies in existence. It is therefore essential that they be used with care. When a visitor fails to exercise good judgment, the reference archivist or security officer is authorized to take precautionary action, including the refusal to allow the researcher further use of the records. Rules and regulations regarding original material are set forth in Title 7, Subchapter 4M, of the North Carolina Administrative Code. Visitors to the Archives should bring some standard form of identification (such as a driver's license). With proper identification, patrons will be issued individual passes to the Search Room by the security personnel on duty.
Please note that some records are stored offsite. Advanced notice is required to retrieve offsite records. Please consult the reference staff for additional information.
For the visitor's convenience, free lockers are provided for temporary storage of these materials while using the Search Room.
Regulations for the Use of the Archives Search Room:
Rules governing researchers' use of the Division of Archives and Records public research facilities are as follows:
- Brief cases, attache cases, bags, coats, or other bulky clothing, notebooks, envelopes, pad folders, privately owned books, maps, and old manuscripts shall not be taken into the research facilities. Lockers and coat racks are provided outside the research facilities for such items.
- Access to the archival collections shall only be by presentation of current photo identification, providing accurate name and address.
- The research facility in Raleigh shall issue researchers identification cards to be used when requesting archival records. To receive records in Raleigh, the identification card shall be surrendered to a member of the research facility staff. Upon leaving the research facility in Raleigh, the researcher shall surrender his or her identification card to a member of the research facility staff.
- A researcher may request more than one box or volume of records. However, a researcher may access only one box of loose records or up to three volumes of records at any one time. When use of the box or volumes is completed, the researcher shall return the records prior to obtaining another box or other volumes of records.
- Staff shall examine any materials the researcher brings into or removes from the research facilities.
- Researchers shall exercise care in handling records, manuscripts, books, or other materials. In particular, researchers shall observe the following:
- Manuscripts shall not be marked or otherwise altered or defaced.
- Pens, highlighters, and other writing instruments that create permanent marks shall not be permitted in research facilities.
- No items shall be used as "pointers" when reading original records.
- Tape and other office supplies, such as correction fluid and gum erasers, shall not be permitted in the research facilities. Pencils shall be used with great care to ensure no marks or other damages are made to the materials.
- Researchers shall not return books or other materials to research facility shelves; these shall be replaced by a staff member.
- All manuscripts, volumes, and reference books from the research facility shelves shall be placed on the tables or reading stands provided in the research facility; they shall not be held in the lap or propped against the edge of a table.
- Only one folder of loose papers from a box of loose papers shall be opened at one time in order to avoid mixing of records or folders.
- Papers shall not be rearranged under any circumstances. If a researcher thinks something is out of order, he or she shall notify a staff member.
- Records from the stacks and reference materials from the research facility shall not be permitted in the microfilm reading room.
- Smoking, eating, or drinking shall not be permitted in the research facilities.
- A researcher wishing to temporarily leave the research facility must turn in all pulled archival records and verify his or her registration when reentering.
- Orders for copies placed in person by a researcher shall not exceed 50 copies per researcher per day. Fees for such orders shall be paid at the time the copies are made and may not be billed.
- Equipment deemed by the Archives Conservator to be damaging to archival records shall not be used in the research facilities. The Archives Conservator shall make this determination based upon harm caused by excessive light exposure, tearing, or otherwise defacing the document. This shall include the use of equipment that sits on top of or pulls an original item through it to capture the image or provides light levels that damage the document.
Audiovisual Materials Unit Hours
Reference services for select audiovisual materials may be unavailable without advance notice. Please contact Vann Evans, Audiovisual Materials Archivist, prior to visiting or scheduling an appointment. Your experience with the Audiovisual Materials Unit will be greatly enhanced if the staff has adequate time to fully address your research needs. Audiovisual staff members may be able to assist researchers by e-mail and telephone, and an in-person visit may not be required. We can provide copies of most of the photographs, videos, and digital media in our collections for reasonable fees.
The Search Room is closed on official state holidays, which are:
- New Year's Day
- Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday
- Good Friday
- Memorial Day
- July 4
- Labor Day
- Veterans Day (November 11)
- Thanksgiving (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday)
- Christmas (usually December 24-26)
The Search Room is also closed on Saturdays when a holiday falls on Friday or Monday, and for two days in January (usually the second Tuesday and Wednesday) to conduct an annual inventory of its record holdings.
Parking and Public Transit
Visitors to the Archives may park in one of three state government visitors' parking facilities:
Visitor Lot #1 (109 E. Jones Street), accessible from Jones or Edenton Streets.
Visitor Lot #3 (120 W. Edenton St), accessible from Salisbury Street.
Visitor Lot #2 (329 North Salisbury Street, ground level of Parking Lot 75), accessible from Salisbury and McDowell Streets.
See the state parking maps from the North Carolina Department of Administration for more information about these parking lots and decks.
There is a fee for visitor parking. Please note that towing is enforced for all numbered spaces. The handicap ramp at the Archives and History/State Library Building faces Blount Street.
On The Street Parking
Time-limited free on the street parking is available within a short walking distance of the State Archives, most notably the one hour free parking available on the 100 block of Jones Street. On the street parking is also available for $1.00 per hour, with a 2 hour maximum, on the 200 block of Blount St.
The R-LINE, a free circulator bus service, is also available to visitors to downtown Raleigh. For more information on bus stops and pick-up times, consult the R-Line website.
109 E. Jones St. Raleigh, N.C. 27601