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 2:00 p.m. and by appointment, excluding state holidays. Researchers are encouraged to call ahead as the Outer Banks History Center 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)

Guidelines for Researchers

Effective date: March 7, 2022

Please take note of the following updated guidelines for visiting the Outer Banks History Center.

  • Public hours are Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Please contact us if your research requires time outside of our public hours. To contact us please call 252-423-5240 or email us at
  • Visitors do not need to make an appointment. However, you are encouraged contact us and let us know in advance any records you would like to review.
  • Visitors and staff are no longer required to wear a face mask while working in public spaces. Masks are encouraged for unvaccinated and high-risk individuals.
  • Plexiglass barriers and hand sanitizers will remain in public spaces.

Preparation for Your Visit

Visitors may wish to take preliminary steps to manage their time in the reading room.

  • Search the Outer Banks History Center’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. 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. We may also be able to provide the items remotely.
  • 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.
  • 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, staff can provide limited online services in the reading room.
    • Bring your own pencil; pens are not allowed in the reading room. If you did not bring a permitted writing device, we can provide one.
    • 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 reading room, but please try to leave items at home or in your vehicle.

All researchers should review the Outer Banks History Center’s reading room policies below prior to visiting.

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.

Regulations for Use of the Outer Banks History Center:

Rules governing researchers' use of the Outer Banks History Center are as follows:

  • Briefcases, 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.
  • Visitors to the Outer Banks History Center should bring some standard form of identification (such as a driver's license). 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 Outer Banks History Center 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, they 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 by Outer Banks History Center staff prior to photographing. Equipment deemed by Outer Banks History Center 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 Outer Banks History Center 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.