A colleague mentioned the “My Places” function of Google maps one day at work. My own travels would not plot well on a map – or it would be an extreme close-up of my hometown and northeastern North Carolina. The way the My Places feature worked, however, struck a chord with me: why not use this tool to digitally depict the towns in North Carolina where people lived who had contacted correspondence with an inquiry. For end-of-year reports and other in-house statistical reports I was already tracking the cities and counties of our North Carolina patrons. In past years I maintained a big map of North Carolina and stuck push pins in that map to show the same information. Google’s My Places simply allowed me to replace that old pin-hole filled map with a digital version.
In 2011 the North Carolina State Archives received requests from 221 different cities or unincorporated townships representing 87 out of the 100 counties in the state. People from ten different places in Guilford County sent in requests; folks from Brunswick County sent in requests from seven different locations; there were several counties with contacts from residents in six locations. The contact cities ranged from Frisco in the east to Franklin in the west and from Sunset Beach in the south to Moyok in the north (which just edged out Lowgap by .0005 degrees to be the northern most contact place). Write or email the Archives so I can add your location to the 2012 map!
See the 2011 North Carolina correspondence map here: http://g.co/maps/st58j
You can zoom in or out and pan across the state to see where the North Carolina State Archives received requests from your fellow Tar Heels.