Each week this summer we will highlight an item from our North Carolina Digital Collections in hopes of inspiring you to discover new-to-you materials. For the month of August our theme is school.
There are many ways to begin researching materials at the State Archives of North Carolina, like finding aids, for example. Finding aids are descriptive documents that may include: a list of items, folders, or relevant organization structure; a narrative description of the content, historical background, or other information necessary to understand the collection; subject headings; and information needed to access the materials, such as call numbers. The State Archives of North Carolina makes their finding aids available online on the SANC website and the MARS online catalog. But did you know those aren’t all the finding aids we offer? Legacy finding aids, finding aids that have not been updated recently, are available through the North Carolina Digital Collections. While these tools are offered “as is,” they still may provide valuable research help.
Today we are highlighting two legacy finding aids: State Agency Finding Aid: Public Instruction, 1798-1999 and State Agency Finding Aid: State Board of Education, 1827-1958.
North Carolina’s first Education Act was passed in 1839, but it wasn’t until 1852 that the General Assembly created an office of superintendent of common schools to provide supervision over the state school system. The Superintendent of Public Instruction series is located within the Department of Public Instruction record group. The State Board of Education was the agency that replaced SPI and expanded the state’s role in public education. The Department of Public Instruction became the leading education agency in 1919; these are the most commonly used education records at the State Archives.
Below is a general list of the series in each record group, for more detailed series information please consult the finding aids.
Public Instruction, 1798-1999:
- Superintendent of Public Instruction
- Office of the Superintendent
- Office of the Assistant Superintendent
- Division of Instructional Services
- Division of Negro Education
- Division of Professional Services
- Division of Publications
- Division of Schoolhouse Planning
- Division of Vocational Education
- North Carolina Resource-Use Education Commission
- Works Progress Administration—Education Program
- Miscellaneous Material
- Map Collection
- Certifications Board: College Rating Reports
State Board of Education, 1827-1958:
- Literary Fund
- Auditing and Accounting Division
- Controller’s Office
- Director of School Accounts
- State Board of Equalization
- Division of Plant Operations
- Teacher Allotment and General Control Division
- Transportation Division
- Miscellaneous Records
- State School Fund Expenditures, Voucher Registers
Remember that these are “as is” finding aids, but provide a great place to start your research. Other resources include the State Agency Guide (available for use in the SANC Search Room) or County Records Guide (a newer version is available for purchase through N.C. Historical Publications). If you have any questions, please contact the State Archives.