Visit the State Archives of North Carolina

Outside of the Archives and Library Building, home of the State Archives

Contact Information

Phone: (919) 814-6840
Fax: (919) 733-1354

Mailing Address

State Archives of North Carolina
4614 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, N.C. 27699-4614

Physical Location

109 E. Jones St.
Raleigh, N.C. 27601

Guidelines for Researchers

Effective date: November 12, 2020

Changes Wellness and Protection
  • Hours: Monday–Friday, 1:00-4:00 pm. Appointments required.
  • No more than 10 researchers may be in the Search Room at any time.
  • Records and other shared items may be quarantined up to 48 hours.
  • Visit our website for up to date information and more details.
  • If you are feeling sick or unwell, stay home.
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • Staff will have gloves and face shields and assist researchers behind plexiglass barriers.
  • All staff and researchers will wear face coverings in accordance with Executive Order 147.
Enhanced Hygiene Social Distancing
  • Hand sanitizer is available for patrons.
  • Modified procedures to reduce passing items between patrons and staff, such as suspending registration cards and call slips filled out by patrons.
  • Surfaces, microfilm machines and other high contact areas will be cleaned in between hours of operation.
  • Spaces where patrons may not sit are marked on tables to allow 6 feet of separation. Please do not move the chairs or signs.
  • Markers on the floors will show you where to stand when waiting for assistance.

Know your Ws: WEAR a cloth mask over your nose and mouth, WAIT 6 fee apart and avoid close contact, WASH your hands or use hand sanitizer.

Safety First

The State Archives of North Carolina’s highest priority is the health, safety, and well-being of our staff and community members. In addition to all relevant Executive Orders (EO 147, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper – Executive Actions), the Archives follows the guidelines recommended by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and staff follow the highest standards of safety and disinfecting. Until further notice, we have implemented additional precautions and procedures with the understanding that guidelines and visitation may change. Please check our website for updates or contact us at or 919-814-6840.

Preparation for Your Visit

To maintain social distancing, fewer reference staff will be available in the State Archives Search Room. Typically, we want everyone to visit the State Archives and experience working with original and intrinsic documents. Our goal during this time is to assist you remotely as much as possible, but we realize some of you need to conduct research on site. Due to limited hours and room capacity, visitors can take preliminary steps to manage their time in the archives.

  • 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 if you have any questions about our holdings or reference services. Perhaps we can assist you remotely if you have concerns about conducting research in person.
  • 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 or 919-814-6790 with your question.
  • If you want an up to date status of the search room, call us at 919-814-6840. Any specific questions regarding our safety guidelines or our records can be emailed to
  • If you are unable to acquire records remotely and need to visit the Search Room, you will need to make an appointment. We will accept no more than 10 researchers at a time, Monday-Friday, 1:00-4:00 p.m. To make an appointment visit or call us at 919-814-6840.
  • 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. All public computer terminals in the Search Room will be closed. 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. Reference staff will complete call slips but you may bring your own lists of records you want to request.
    • 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. Photocopy requests will be quarantined for 48 hours and copies will be mailed or available for pickup at a later date.
    • 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 a staff member is consulting with a patron at the reference or security area, please wait in the designated place or six feet from others.
    • Please note that hand sanitizer is good for people, but not for archival records. When you apply hand sanitizer, please wait until it is dry before touching archival records, boxes, and volumes.
    • Do not use the card catalog drawers unless it is necessary. Reference staff can assist you in locating records using our online catalog or other digital resources. If someone uses a drawer, we will need to quarantine the drawer for 24 hours.
    • The only public accessible spaces in the building are the Archives Search Room and State Library. Patrons should not visit other floors and office spaces in the building.

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

Please contact Vann Evans, Audiovisual Materials Archivist, prior to visiting or scheduling an appointment during the pandemic. Researchers will not be permitted in the building without an appointment. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Your experience with the Audiovisual Materials Unit will be greatly enhanced if the staff has adequate time to fully address your research needs.

Due to the pandemic, access to some audiovisual materials may be limited or delayed. Archivists may also be unavailable to assist researchers onsite. Often our staff is 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)

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.

Bus Access

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