Visit the Outer Banks History Center

Exterior of the Outer Banks History Center

Contact Information

Phone: (252) 423-5240

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 250
Manteo, NC 27954

Physical Location

1 Festival Park Boulevard
Manteo, NC 27954

Social Media




The Outer Banks History Center is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., excluding state holidays. Researchers are encouraged to call ahead as the OBHC occasionally closes due to inclement weather.


The Outer Banks History Center 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)

Search Room Policies

Researchers interested in coastal North Carolina history are encouraged to visit the Outer Banks History Center and make use of our historical materials. These materials 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, Outer Banks History Center staff are authorized to take precautionary action, including the refusal to allow the researcher further use of the collections. Rules and regulations regarding original material are set forth in Title 7, Subchapter 4M, of the North Carolina Administrative Code. Visitors to the Outer Banks History Center should bring some standard form of identification (such as a driver's license).

Regulations for Use of the Outer Banks History Center:

Rules governing researchers' use of the Division of Archives and Records public research facilities are as follows:

  • Brief cases, attaché 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 reading room for such items.
  • Access to the archival collections shall only be by presentation of current photo identification, providing accurate name and address.
  • Researchers shall request archival records by completing and signing a materials request form. Information required to request records includes researcher's name, date, and citation or records to be requested.
  • A researcher may request more than one box or volume of archival materials. However, a researcher may access only one box of loose archival materials 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 the reading room.
    • 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 reading room. 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 the reading room shelves; these shall be replaced by a staff member.
    • All archival materials and books shall be placed on the tables or reading stands provided by OBHC staff; 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. A placeholder card shall be used to mark the location of the removed folder.
    • 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.
  • Smoking, eating, or drinking shall not be permitted in the reading room.
  • A researcher wishing to temporarily leave the reading room must turn in all pulled materials.
  • Researchers may use a digital camera, smart phone, or mobile device (with camera flash disabled) to photograph materials for reference use, provided there are no restrictions on the use of these materials. Use of such equipment must be approved with OBHC staff prior to photographing. Equipment deemed by OBHC staff to be damaging to archival records shall not be used in the reading room (including desktop, portable, or handheld scanners, lighting equipment, and other items). An OBHC staff member 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.


The Outer Banks History Center is located across from the Manteo waterfront within the Roanoke Island Festival Park complex and is accessible from Highway 64/264.