[This blog post comes from a Dept. of Cultural Resources press release – you can find other news related to NC Cultural Resources here.]

Western Carolinian issue Nov. 6, 1821ASHEVILLE, N.C – Did you ever wonder what was going on in the headlines on the day you were born? Do you want to uncover history from primary resources? Would you like to learn about newspaper collections available online and how to use and use them? The Western Regional Archives is offering a special workshop Extra! Extra! Learn All About It! that will explore some useful databases for accessing online newspapers. The hour-long program on Tuesday, February 16th from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. is suitable for researchers, teachers, students, genealogists and those interested in gaining an insight into where to start when researching and is free and open to the public. Participants are asked to bring suggested topics of interest that will be investigated during the workshop.

Extra! Extra! Learn All About It! will be conducted by archivist, Sarah Downing of the Western Regional Archives. A certified North Carolina librarian, Downing has been with the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources for over 20 years, and joined the staff at the Western Office a year ago. She enjoys helping patrons fulfill their research requests and conducting historical research with old newspapers. Sarah honed her skills while writing several books for The History Press and wanted to share what she has learned.

The Western Office of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources is located at 176 Riceville Road, Asheville, N.C.  For additional information, please call (828) 296-7230, email sarah.downing@ncdcr.gov, or visit http://www.ncdcr.gov/westernoffice.


About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources 

The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susan Kluttz, NCDNCR’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.

NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C.  Zoo, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, the State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Clean Water Management Trust Fund and the Natural Heritage Program. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit www.ncdcr.gov.

Posted by: Ashley | February 5, 2016

The State Archives and 2016 Exhibit Partnerships

[This blog post was written by Sarah Koonts, Director of Archives and Records for the State Archives of North Carolina.]

One of the exciting things about working in a department with great art, historical, library, and natural resources is the opportunity to create lively, dimensional, and enhanced programming for the public. The State Archives is pleased to announce that in 2016 we are partnering with the State Historic Sites Division and other divisions to exhibit some valuable and unique items from our collections at selected sites across the state. With a focus on early state history we are celebrating It’s Revolutionary! and other events with materials related to North Carolina’s original state constitutions, federal constitution, and Revolutionary War. We’ll update this blog, our Facebook page, and the ncculture.com calendar to reflect these special exhibitions.

Close-up of a portion of the Nov. 20, 1765 issue of the North Carolina Gazette

Portion of the Nov. 20, 1765 issue of the North Carolina Gazette.

Join us for the inaugural exhibit on February 20 at Brunswick Town State Historic Site for their program on the 250th anniversary of Stamp Act resistance in North Carolina. Archival documents featured in this one-day exhibit include one signed by North Carolina’s signers of the Declaration of Independence; a North Carolina Gazette newspaper from November 20, 1765 that includes the iconic skull and cross bones stamp used to signify defiance of the Stamp Act; a London Chronicle newspaper of March 18, 1766 featuring an article about the Wilmington area resistance to the Stamp Act; and a February 11, 1768 letter from the Assembly of Massachusetts to the North Carolina General Assembly urging unity among the colonies in response to what they considered unjust economic policies of Great Britain toward America.

In addition, watch for the announcement of a new collection added to the North Carolina Digital Collections that will include the state constitution of 1776, Declaration of Rights, state constitution of 1868, as well as amendments to the 1868 constitution. This online collection also will contain images of North Carolina’s recorded copy of the federal constitution, as well as our copies of federal constitutional amendments.

We hope you will be as excited as we are to view some of the documents that capture the sentiment of a people who united against the status quo to help found a new nation. I hope the resources of the State Archives enhance the learning experience for in-person and online visitors alike.

Did you know that the land of the Carolinas once extended ocean to ocean, covering parts of what is now Florida, Mexico, Texas, and California?  King Charles II granted this land in 1663 to several of his supporters—the “Lords Proprietors”—in return for their service to the Crown during the English Restoration.  The gift of land was designated in the Carolina Charter of 1663.

Considered the “birth certificate” of the Carolinas, the Carolina Charter will be on exhibit from Monday, February 8 through Sunday, February 14, at the N.C. Museum of History in downtown Raleigh.  Written on vellum (calf- or sheepskin), this remarkable document bears a striking pen-and-ink portrait of King Charles II of England on the first page. The Carolina Charter marks the beginning of organized, representative government in the province of Carolina, granting to the colonists rights that were to have lasting influence on the region’s population and its history. For example, the Charter guaranteed the rights of property ownership, the establishment of courts, and representation of delegates of “Freemen of said Province.”

Notes Sarah Koonts, State Archivist, “The Charter is a unique and beautiful document. Because of its fragility, we can rarely display it, but for a brief time the public will have the opportunity to view one of North Carolina’s most important founding documents.”

The Carolina Charter will be on view in the Treasures of Carolina: Stories from the State Archives at the Museum of History, 109 East Jones St., Raleigh. Visit and see rare documents from the State Archives’ vault and learn about the characters and stories behind them through the exhibit. Treasures of Carolina will run through June 19 and admission is free. For information about the N.C. Museum of History, a Smithsonian-affiliated museum, call 919-807-7900 or access ncmuseumofhistory.org.

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of North Carolina’s state parks system, the State Library and State Archives have partnered with the Division of Parks and Recreation to create the North Carolina State Parks Collection. The end result of this collaborative project will feature materials from all three participating institutions that have been digitized and made available at North Carolina Digital Collections.


Children viewing scenery at Hanging Rock State Park, circa 1956. North Carolina State Parks Collection, NC Digital Collections.

To date, the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation has contributed well over 400 digital images to the collection ranging from sepia-toned photographic prints of early surveys on Mount Mitchell in 1915, to vibrantly-colored digital photos taken by park rangers and visitors within the last few years. The subjects of the images are also widely varied: from the natural beauty of mountains, rivers, lakes, sand dunes, plants, and animals, to nostalgic scenes of camp sites, trails, picnics, monuments, swimming beaches, and the construction of park roads and buildings. These images, selected by state parks personnel, represent only a fraction of their extensive archive of historical and informational photographs. Additional images will be added periodically over the next few months.


Visitors at Sand Dunes, Jockey’s Ridge State Park. North Carolina State Parks Collection, NC Digital Collections.

As their contribution, the State Library has digitized selections from the North Carolina State Documents Collection that were published by, or pertain to, the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation and North Carolina’s state parks. This selection of material was produced from the 1950s to the early 2000s, and includes promotional and informational booklets, management and development plans, and park histories.

At the State Archives, we have been indexing seven decades (1920s through early 1980s) of records from the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation that have been permanently transferred into our custody (search our online MARS catalog for more information on this record group). During this process, we have been selecting a broad range of materials to digitize and add to the North Carolina State Parks Collection at NC Digital Collections. We hope that our additions will help to provide greater context to the images and publications that are currently available by highlighting the “behind-the-scenes” work that goes into planning, maintaining, and improving the state parks system. This material will include correspondence, reports, studies, photographs, surveys, and projects, with particular focuses on public and community input and environmental preservation.


Family picnicking at Jones Lake State Park, circa 1950. North Carolina State Parks Collection, NC Digital Collections.

For more historical information about the first 100 years of the N.C. State Parks System please visit these amazing and new NCpedia pages developed by the State Library, in conjunction with the Division of Parks and Recreation, to coincide with the state parks centennial celebration:

Additionally, the North Carolina State Parks System is highlighting all of these collaborative projects on their centennial webpage: http://www.ncparks.gov/100/explore-century-of-park-history

Posted by: Francesca | January 22, 2016

Closed Saturday

The State Archives will be closed this Saturday, January 23, 2016. Please visit our social media outlets for an update or call us at 919-807-7310.

Posted by: Francesca | January 22, 2016

Search Room Closing at 1 PM



The State Archives will close at 1PM on Friday. Please continue to monitor our social media accounts and call our main number (919-807-7310) before visiting us on Saturday.

Posted by: Francesca | January 22, 2016

Winter Storm

The State Archives will be open to the public on Friday morning, but please continue to monitor our social media accounts and call our main number (919-807-7310) before visiting.  Deteriorating weather conditions may lead to early closure of the Search Room.  Continued effects of the winter storm may also impact Saturday Search Room service on January 23.  We will post updates on our public services.

Older Posts »



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 254 other followers

%d bloggers like this: