Category Archives: Government Records

Senate Audio 1977-1978

senateThe Senate Audio digitization project has begun a new chapter. Current audio holdings cover the years 2006 through 2012. We recently began digitizing the State Archives’ extensive Senate Audio cassette collection, starting with the 1977-1978 biennium. Cassette recording of senate sessions started on the 79th day of the 1977 session. Currently, recordings available on Internet Archive (linked from our digital Senate Audio collection) run from May 2, 1977-June 16, 1978. The collection continues to grow as we start the 1979-1980 biennium.

Recordings of years not yet digitized are held at the State Archives and made available through a fee-based, digitization-on-demand basis. Additional information regarding fees can be found here. More Senate-related materials found in the Archives include the Senate Clerk’s Office journals (SR 66.28) which provide the daily minutes from 1777 through 1981.

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More Historical Governors’ Papers Added to North Carolina Digital Collections

William Tryon Proclamation

A proclamation from colonial North Carolina William Tryon.

The Historical Governors’ Papers collection has been going strong. In the past year, we transferred papers from North Carolina’s colonial governors into the collection. Those were originally housed in MARS, the online catalog for the State Archives, but are now available in the North Carolina Digital Collections.

North Carolina’s colonial governors were appointed by the King of England to administer his interests in the colonies. The documents record mainly the day-to-day workings of government through 1775, after Josiah Martin had fled his post in New Bern. The papers, mainly correspondence, shed light on events both large and small that took place during each man’s tenure.

The holdings are not exhaustive as papers were considered to belong to each individual, not to the government as a whole. We have documents from the following governors:

We’ve also added papers for Governors Benjamin Smith and William Hawkins. Smith was elected as Governor for one term (1810-1811), he had a benevolent nature and was well-educated, but also had an irascible disposition, and chose to settle disputes by duel. His more frequent opponents were blood kin or political antagonists, and he was twice wounded in these encounters.

Hawkins was elected as Governor for three terms (1811-1814), he served as chief executive during the War of 1812. His third and last term as governor ended only weeks prior to the war’s conclusion.

Finally, we’ve recently begun adding papers for Governor Thomas W. Bickett. Bickett was North Carolina’s governor from 1917-1921. As wartime governor, Bickett cooperated fully with the national authorities during the crisis of 1917-18. Bickett’s initiatives met remarkable success with the legislature adopting forty of forty-eight proposals during his term. The parole system was overhauled and the legislature, with the Governor’s endorsement, approved a $3 million bond program to permit expansion at state colleges and universities and increased funds for the charitable institutions. Tax reform measures modernized the state’s revenue structure.

JUNETEENTH IN NORTH CAROLINA: SEARCH ROOM EXHIBIT AND RELATED RESOURCES

by Alex Dowrey

This month, the exhibit case in our search room features records related to emancipation and Juneteenth celebrations in North Carolina. Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of Texas slaves on June 19, 1865 when Union General Gordon Granger arrived to occupy Galveston, Texas and issued General Order Number Three. This occurred almost two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and is “considered the date when the last enslaved Americans were notified of their new legal status” as free Americans.[1] Although Juneteenth started as a Texas holiday, the celebration spread to other states including North Carolina.

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A Capital Affair, Pt. III

Raleigh: 1794-present

The North Carolina General Assembly has been convening exclusively in Raleigh since 1794.

The city of Raleigh was planned and built specifically for the purpose of becoming the state’s capital, which was largely decided on based on it being close to the geographical center of the state. There were several benefits of designating Raleigh as the capital; it was not vulnerable to naval attack, it was located near a major interregional thoroughfare, and it was seen as a blank slate for some. However, many opposed this decision initially.

Plan_of_Raleigh

Historic map from the North Carolina Maps project overlaid with a current satellite image of downtown Raleigh. Original map: “Plan of the city of Raleigh: from Johnson’s map of 1847,” circa 1867. North Carolina Collection call number Cm912c R163 1867.

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Screenshot of the new functional schedule web page

New Functional Schedule for State Agencies

Visit our records management blog to learn more about the new way that the state agency records schedule is being created and organized.

The G.S. 132 Files

The State Archives of North Carolina is happy to announce the culmination of an innovative years-long project.  As of December 2017, state agency officials have just one 16-part retention and disposition schedule to assist them in the management of their public records: the Functional Schedule for North Carolina State Agencies. This revamped schedule will supersede both the General Schedule for State Agency Records and the program-specific schedules that state agencies have relied on until now.

In 2015, the Records Analysis Unit of the Government Records Section at the State Archives of North Carolina (SANC) began a project to revamp the retention and disposition schedules for state agencies in North Carolina.  Our overarching goals of the project were to simplify records retention, make the assignment of records dispositions more transparent, and ensure the retention of records with permanent value, either within the creating agency or at the State Archives, which…

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New State Archives of North Carolina Website

Read more about the redesigned State Archives of North Carolina website at our records management blog.

The G.S. 132 Files

Recent visitors to the main State Archives of North Carolina website, archives.ncdcr.gov, may have noticed that things look a little different.  That’s because on November 16, we launched a redesigned version of the website that brings it in line with the design of other State agency websites, creating a uniform look and feel and allowing for consistency in navigation.  (Check out the announcement post on the NC Archives blog for more details.)

SANC_Website_Screenshot_20171205 Screenshot of the new State Archives of North Carolina website

That said, those who are used to navigating the Government Records portion of the website will find that the link structure and architecture haven’t changed that much.  Records retention schedules are still divided into Local, State, and University, and all of our digital records policies and guidelines are still gathered in one place.  One advantage of the new system is that each of our…

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New Digital Collections: Colonial Court Records & District Superior Court Records

The State Archives of North Carolina would like to announce the addition of two new collections to the North Carolina Digital Collections: Colonial Court Records and District Superior Court Records.

CCR_Estates_Miscellaneous_Estates_01

CCR_Estates_Miscellaneous_Estates_01

The Colonial Court Records digital collection includes two series: Estate Papers, CCR. 179-CCR.186, and Land Papers, CCR.187. Records relating to any of the higher courts in early North Carolina represented in the series Colonial Court Records (CCR) are extremely scarce until 1683, and are almost non-existent for several higher courts well after that date. Records of the General Court, the most important of these courts in terms of powers and amount of business transacted, do not begin to be abundant until 1694. It functioned from as early as 1670 until 1754 and during those years heard a great number of lawsuits involving decedents estates. When the records of this court were arranged at the Archives about 1959, papers from cases concerning estates were sorted out of the other loose papers and were designated Estates Records even though they were not true estates reports, inventories, accounts, etc. Papers concerning approximately seven hundred estates resulted. They were then foldered individually by decedent and arranged alphabetically.

For a more detailed account of what records are in the Colonial Court Records Collection, please see the CCR finding aid.

The District Superior Court Records digital collection currently contains only one district, Edenton District, from 1756 to 1806. It includes writs, transcripts, narratives, inventories of estates, notes, bonds, appeals, and subpoenas relating to the settlement of estates in the counties under the jurisdiction of the Edenton District Superior Court. It also includes a short subseries of guardians’ records (1760- 1805) arranged by name of the ward, and records of unnamed decedents and wards.

The supreme courts of justice system, in effect briefly from 1755 to 1759, served as the immediate predecessor and the pattern on which the district superior courts system was based. Under the supreme courts of justice, the colony of North Carolina was divided into five districts–each with its own independent court. The following towns served as the seats of the court districts: Edenton, Enfield, New Bern, Salisbury, and Wilmington.

Each supreme court of justice was independent and had the same jurisdiction over civil and criminal matters in their respective districts. Duties of the district superior courts also included the power of probate for deeds and wills. The state’s judiciary system underwent several more changes, with varying changes in duties and jurisdictions of the district superior courts until 1806 when the district superior courts were closed and replaced by superior courts erected in every county seat in the state. For a more detailed account of court history please seeing the digital collection landing page, or NCPedia article “State Judiciary.”