Tag Archives: Maps

Links to State Archives of North Carolina Materials

The newest addition to the North Carolina Digital Collections is Links to State Archives of North Carolina Materials. This ongoing digital reference collection is of original records from the State Archives that have been made available online by third party institutions. This collection is comprised of URLs to items within the various websites. Links may lead directly to an item or may link to collection landing pages on third party websites.

Links to State Archives of North Carolina Materials includes the following websites: Ancestry, FamilySearch, North Carolina Digital Heritage Center, North Carolina Maps, and YouTube. Several collections on Ancestry and FamilySearch have been partially digitized or are in progress, and therefore may not be complete. Also make sure to read the description of items within NCDC as some of the websites State Archives materials have been mixed with non-State Archives materials to form their final collection.

Please keep in mind that to successfully use the Ancestry links, your computer needs to be logged on an Ancestry account. If you are not logged in, the Ancestry links will take you to the Ancestry homepage. If you don’t have an Ancestry account, contact your local public library branch who may have a subscription or the State Library of North Carolina to gain access on site.

Record types include: North Carolina maps, a selection of North Carolina county records, and vital records. For a more complete list of record links included, see the landing page of the collection on NCDC.

If you’d like to see more materials related to North Carolina held at institutions throughout the state, please visit the State Library of North Carolina’s NC MOSAIC project on NCDC.


Treasures of Carolina: Map “La Florida”

[This blog post was written by Andrea Gabriel, Outreach and Development Coordinator for the State Archives of North Carolina.]

La Florida Map, 1584, Map Collection, Outer Banks History Center.

La Florida Map, 1584, Map Collection, Outer Banks History Center.

La Florida is hand-tinted map drawn by Geronimo de Chaves (c. 1523-1574), Royal Cosmographer to Phillip II of Spain for publication in Abraham Orelius’ (1527-1598) atlas, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, first appearing in 1584. This maps reflects the names of Native American settlements and mountains. Little detail of present-day North Carolina is shown but this map does depict the current Cape Fear River, albeit under its earliest name, “Rio Jordan.”

This map is the earliest item in the custody of the State Archives. It is part of the collection given to the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources by Outer Banks writer and historian David Stick, whose books, maps, and original archival materials formed the research collection at the Outer Banks History Center in Manteo, administered by the State Archives of North Carolina. The holdings of the Center document the history and culture of the North Carolina coast and adjacent areas.


A selection of the state’s historic documents will be exhibited in Treasures of Carolina: Stories from the State Archives of North Carolina at the Museum of History, October 24, 2015–June 19, 2016. Documents from the Archives vault, unique letters, historic photographs, public records, and other media will illuminate the myriad of ways in which the holdings of the State Archives document the workings of our government, provide evidence of civil liberties, and preserve the history and culture of North Carolina. This exhibit is sponsored by the Friends of the Archives and runs through June 19, 2016. Additional funding was provided by the N.C. Bar Association Foundation, the Raleigh Times, and Wells Fargo.

To learn more about the exhibit, please see: https://ncarchives.wordpress.com/tag/treasures-of-carolina/

For a full list of documents that will be on display only a limited time, see: https://ncarchives.wordpress.com/2015/09/09/plan-to-visit-treasures-of-carolina/

See the State Archives Facebook calendar or Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources events calendar for more upcoming events.

On June 23, the State Archives Examines How North Carolina Got Its Shape

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

Map graphic for FOA talk “History and Reestablishment  of the NC-SC Boundary”  by Presented By Gary W. Thompson

“History and Reestablishment of the NC-SC Boundary” by Gary W. Thompson, North Carolina Geodetic Survey, will take place Monday, June 23, 2014, 1:30 p.m. in the Archives & History/State Library Bldg Auditorium.

RALEIGH, N.C. — From present day Manteo to Monterrey, Calif. at one time was all Carolina. King Charles II had awarded land grants in 1663 and 1665 to eight Lords Proprietors, his allies. This established Carolina south into Florida and north to the present North Carolina and Virginia border.

A lot has changed since then, but fixing the border between the two Carolinas has been an ongoing process that will be examined during a State Archives of North Carolina hosted program “A History of the Boundaries Surveyed” June 23 at 1:30 p.m., in the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources Building on Jones Street in downtown Raleigh. Beyond academic discussions, the boundary results affect gas and cigarette taxes, property values and more subjects then you may imagine.

The State Archives holds and will display several maps that illustrate the shifting boundaries of these states. By the late 1600s, North and South Carolina were recognized as separate entities and initial shape was given for the two states, but the exact boundary location was disputed for nearly 200 years. The two states in 1994 began a joint effort to re-establish the boundary. This effort took almost 20 years. The program will examine how this was achieved in the 21st century.

Gary Thompson, chief of the North Carolina Geodetic Survey, will provide an overview of the history of the North Carolina-South Carolina boundary in his presentation “History and Re-establishment of the North Carolina-South Carolina Boundary.” The free, public lecture will take place in the auditorium and maps from the collections of the State Archives of North Carolina will be on display in the State Archives Search Room.  Both events are sponsored by the Friends of the Archives.

For additional information, please call (919) 807-7326. The State Archives of North Carolina is within the Office of Archives and History in the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

About the State Archives of North Carolina

The State Archives of North Carolina State Archives collects, preserves, and makes available for public use historical and evidential materials relating to North Carolina. Its holdings consist of official records of state, county and local governmental units, copies of federal and foreign government materials, and private collections. The Friends of the Archives, Inc. was formed in 1977 to provide private support for the State Archives of North Carolina. For more information about the State Archives, visit http://www.archives.ncdcr.gov.

About the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources 

The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources (NCDCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s cultural resources to build the social, cultural and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susan Kluttz, NCDCR’s mission is to enrich lives and communities by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history and libraries in North Carolina that will spark creativity, stimulate learning, preserve the state’s history and promote the creative economy. NCDCR was the first state organization in the nation to include all agencies for arts and culture under one umbrella.

Through arts efforts led by the N.C. Arts Council, the N.C. Symphony and the N.C. Museum of Art, NCDCR offers the opportunity for enriching arts education for young and old alike and spurring the economic stimulus engine for our state’s communities. NCDCR’s Divisions of Archives and Records, Historical Resources, State Historic Sites and State History Museums preserve, document and interpret North Carolina’s rich cultural heritage to offer experiences of learning and reflection. NCDCR’s State Library of North Carolina is the principal library of state government and builds the capacity of all libraries in our state to develop and to offer access to educational resources through traditional and online collections including genealogy and resources for people who are blind and have physical disabilities.

NCDCR annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council and the State Archives. NCDCR champions our state’s creative industry that accounts for more than 300,000 jobs and generates nearly $18.5 billion in revenues. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit www.ncdcr.gov.

Housing for an Oversized Map

[This blog post was written by Emily Rainwater, Conservator for the State Archives of North Carolina.]

The Mouzon Map and the housing created to protect it.

The Mouzon Map and the housing created to protect it.

An Accurate Map of North and South Carolina with their Indian Frontiers [M.C. 150.1775m], surveyed by Henry Mouzon II and known familiarly as The Mouzon Map, was published in 1775.  The map was utilized by American, British, and French forces during the American Revolutionary War.   It was printed in four separate plates, each with an overlapping edge designed to be adhered together into a single map. The State Archive of North Carolina owns two copies; one that is in its four separate pieces, and another that has been adhered to form a single map.

As you can imagine, a map that is made up of four already large pieces of paper is quite huge – 42 inches in height and over 56 inches in width! This is too big for even our largest map case drawer, so a customized, unique housing needed to be constructed when the map came down from display.

The housing had to meet several requirements:

  1. Constructed of archival quality materials that age well and will not contribute to the map’s deterioration
  2. Large enough for the map to lay flat as a whole piece, with some extra wiggle room for a protective border
  3. Allow for access to the map when needed
  4. Rigidity, allowing the map to be stored on top of the map case as it is too large for the drawers. Since a few inches of the housing will extend beyond the platform of the map case, the housing must be supportive enough for this function.

Diagram of the structure of the portfolio case constructed to house An Accurate Map of North and South Carolina with their Indian Frontiers [M.C. 150.1775m], also known as the The Mouzon Map.

Diagram of the structure of the portfolio case constructed to house “An Accurate Map of North and South Carolina with their Indian Frontiers” [M.C. 150.1775m], also known as the The Mouzon Map.

We decided on a rigid portfolio case with twill ties. The map itself was hinged to a piece of double wall, corrugated BB-flute board with long fiber tissue and wheat starch paste. These hinges keep the map from sliding around, but will also be easy and safe to remove if needed in the future. The double wall structure means the board is constructed of two layers of corrugations, making it very strong and rigid. A protective top layer of double wall corrugated board is laid directly on top of the map.

The outer components of the structure are two pieces of corrugated polypropylene board, known as Coroplast. Coroplast is chemically inert, will not off-gas, is extremely durable, and is made of archival grade plastic. Small cuts were made in the Coroplast so that cotton twill strapping could be threaded through each board. This strapping allows the two exterior pieces of the portfolio to be tied together, and secures the inner pieces of corrugated board.

Though size presented some challenges, this custom-built housing will continue to protect this object for many years to come.

The Mouzon Map portfolio case closed and tied.

The Mouzon Map portfolio case closed and tied.

World War I Maps Online

We are pleased to announce that our collection of World War I maps is now available online. The following overview comes from Military Collection Archivist Kenny Simpson.

The World War I map collection contains more than five hundred maps and blueprints of various types. These oversized documents were removed from the several records series of the World War I Papers within the Military Collection. Most of these series are closed, having been received by the North Carolina Historical Commission during and immediately after the war, but one, the private collections, is still being augmented and so will continue to supply maps to this collection. The bulk of the World War I maps are topographical studies of France and Belgium, either field or ordnance surveys. Other types represented include barrage maps; drawings to accompany engineers’ operational reports; sketches of railroads, roads, and bridges; depictions of trench lines, troop dispositions, and positions of balloons; aerial photographs; Corps situation maps, updated daily; and blueprints of bombproof shelters. Of particular interest are the various maps with contemporaneous annotations by the officers who used them, such as the engineering drawings from the papers of Joseph Hyde Pratt and the topographical maps carried high above the trenches in the balloon of James A. Higgs. The collection was scanned and catalogued by interns Heather Szafran (2012) and Samantha Rich (2013).

Be sure to look at our World War I Collection online for more materials including posters, photographs, and letters.

The Map Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina

[This blog post comes from James Sorrell, head of the Special Collections Branch.]

In a memorandum dated October 14, 1976 to Paul P. Hoffman, head of what was at that time the Archives Branch of the Archives and Records Section, the late George Stevenson, Jr., outlined his suggestions for changes to the system of cataloging, classifying, and numbering the maps in the Archives map collection.  Now, nearly thirty-six years later, I am delighted to announce that Stevenson’s dream of corralling a collection of maps nearly out of intellectual control and imposing on it a reasonable and consistent system for classification and cataloging has finally be realized – although in ways he could not have envisioned in 1976.

From the earliest days of the agency, the State Archives of North Carolina had endeavored to create an extensive reference collection consisting of original and printed maps of North Carolina as well as photocopies of appropriate maps in other repositories.  By the time of Stevenson’s 1976 memo, the Archives had one of the best collections of North Carolina maps in the nation.

At that time, the map collection consisted of 327 smaller collections with town plans, for example, being found in twenty-three different collections. The Archives had employed various standards for cataloging maps in the past, but no standard had ever been established in regard to the information that was reported or the manner in which it was reported on the catalog cards that were prepared for each new addition to the map collection.  Stevenson proposed that the Archives adopt the Anglo-American Rules for cataloging maps and that a set of three catalog cards be prepared for each map. One card would be filed under classification (town, county, etc.) and one by mapmaker in the Search Room catalog and the third in an office catalog to serve as an intellectual control device.  Stevenson felt that the existing system of classification as reflected by the Search Room card catalog was a reasonable one. In this catalog the map cards were arranged in an expandable system of classifications (colony and state, counties, towns, watercourses, etc.).  As it related to the maps themselves, however, the cumbersome numbering system thwarted the logic of the classification scheme.  To remedy this, Stevenson created a simple expandable numerical system which would make the classification scheme as expandable for the maps themselves as it was for the cards in the card catalog.  County maps, for example, would be assigned the same numbers as the county records in the stacks (i.e. Wake County records in the stacks are 099; Wake County maps would be assigned the prefix M.C.99).  The second part of the call number would distinguish each map by date and the initial of the mapmaker.  For example, the 1871 Fendol Beavers map of Wake County would be given the call number MC.99.1871b.

The same system would be followed for other map classifications.  Colony and state maps would be M.C.150; maps of the Appalachian region would be M.C.160; military maps and plans of battle would be M.C.175, etc.  Certain classifications, such as watercourses, cities and towns, and road and railroad surveys would be slightly more complicated since they would require the name of the watercourse or city to be converted to a numeral (i.e., cuttered) using the Sanborn-Cutter three-figure tables.  Maps of the city of Charlotte would be assigned numbers beginning with MC.195.C479 followed by the date and the initial or initials of the mapmaker.  The 1877 F. W. Beers map of Charlotte would, therefore, be numbered as MC.195.C479.1877b.

Stevenson’s proposals were approved by Paul Hoffman; and Stevenson began work on cataloging and numbering of the maps already in the map collection as well as an enormous backlog of unprocessed maps, but the press of his myriad other duties as Search Room supervisor prevented him from making significant progress.  From 1985 to 1987, Druscilla Simpson, now head of the Information Management Branch, was assigned to work full-time on the map collection.  This was the first and only time a staff member was given responsibility only for the map collection, and significant progress was made. Still later, work on the map collection was assigned to and became one of the many duties of a series of special projects archivists. By this time, our MARS electronic finding aid system had been developed and map call number and descriptive information began to be entered into it.  Although main entry cards continued to be created and added to the Search Room card catalog, the development of MARS eliminated the need for the three card system Stevenson had devised for intellectual control.  In the late 1990s, I was assigned responsibility for the map collection in addition to my other duties as archives registrar; and I brought my work with the map collection with me when I was appointed head of the Special Collections Branch in July 2005.  In 2007, the State Archives partnered with the UNC-Chapel Hill library and the Outer Banks History Center on North Carolina Maps, a three year grant funded project to digitize and post online all maps from the three institutions published prior to 1923.  The project came to a successful conclusion in June 2010 and won the 2011 Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History.

Galvanized by the North Carolina Maps grant project, efforts were renewed to finally complete the renumbering and re-cataloging of both the remaining maps in the Archives map collection bearing the old M.C. call numbers and the backlog of maps that had never been accessioned, classified, cataloged, and numbered.  This work was finished in the spring of 2012; and for the first time all maps in the possession of the State Archives of North Carolina have been cataloged and numbered using the system first proposed by George Stevenson, Jr., in 1976.  In addition, all maps in the collection have been described and indexed in MARS, digitized, and most have been posted online on the North Carolina Maps website.

Records Move: Natural Resources

In this, the next of our continuing series on the records now available on Saturdays, I’m focusing on records related to natural resources and environmental policy. The complete list of all the materials moved and now available on Saturdays is online as a PDF, but I’m breaking down the list into a series of blog posts.

If you want to read the longer, more complete histories for these departments and divisions, you can do so in our online catalog MARS. It will likely take us a while to change the location codes in MARS and our other finding aids so we ask you to please be patient with us on that score.

Natural and Economic Resources, Dept. of; Coastal Management Office, 1970-1972 and Natural Resources and Community Development, Dept. of; Coastal Management Office, 1972-1978

Includes: Correspondence, drafts of management plans, and records concerning the development of the office’s management plan. Correspondence, memoranda of agreements, public hearing documents, and other related records used to establish interim areas of environmental concern. Correspondence, maps, policies, and other related records concerning fragile natural areas designated as Areas of Environmental Concern by the Coastal Resources Commission. Land use plans submitted by local governments which describe policies for land development in their area. The inventories of land use plans are entered into the office’s Land Use Plans Database.  Drafts and summaries of land use plans, and other related records concerning the development of land use plans.

Approved (and some denied) applications for major permits, plans for coastal development, correspondence, permits, maps or plats, photographs, adjacent riparian landowners’ statements, and other records. Some files may also contain audio cassette tapes of public hearings. For information on dredge and fill permits, see the series: Dredge and Fill File, State Property Office. Some Dredge and Fill permits are included. For the 1978-1980 files, two permits are usually included. One for Dredge and Fill, and one for major development in a protected area. The permits (or some of the information from the permits) are entered and indexed in the agency’s Coastal Area Management Act Tracking System Database.

Natural Resources and Community Development, Dept. of; Division of Environmental Management, 1952-1981

The Environmental Management Commission (EMC) was created as part of the Department of Natural and Economic Resources when that department was re-created and reconstituted under the Executive Organization Act of 1973. The EMC subsequently replaced the board of the former Department of Water and Air Resources and absorbed its major functions of a program of water and air conservation and pollution control. (Originally established in 1959 as the Department of Water Resources, it was renamed the Department of Water and Air Resources in 1967. Prior to its demise in 1973, the department was transferred to the Department of Natural and Economic Resources under the Executive Organization Act of 1971.)

The EMC was formed in the aftermath of the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1970 and the ratification of the federal Water Pollution Control Act amendments of 1972. This act and its amendments substantially extended federal influence by requiring water quality standards, water planning documents, and providing billions of dollars for construction of municipal water treatment facilities. Also, the Governor’s Efficiency Study Commission of 1973 had cited the failure of the Board of Water and Air Resources to be specific in all of its rules and programs and had called for a reorganization of the board and its administrative office to permit a more efficient response to the rapid and significant changes in state and federal laws and regulations.

Under terms of its enabling legislation, the EMC was charged with promulgating rules and regulations designed to protect, preserve, and enhance the water and air resources of the state. Its duties included issuing and revoking permits to control the various sources of pollution; conducting public hearings; instituting court actions; supervising local air pollution control programs; advising local governments regarding floodways; and approving or disapproving applications for dam construction. The board was to be assisted in its duties by the Division of Environmental Management of the Department of Natural and Economic Resources, an administrative arm provided by the Executive Organization Act of 1973.

By executive order of Holshouser in 1975, the Division of Environmental Management was one of several divisions within the Department of Natural and Economic Resources designated for reorganization. It was given broad responsibility for the comprehensive planning and management of the state’s air, surface water, and groundwater resources. Its duties were to include monitoring facility compliance with regulations established by the EMC and enforcing those regulations. Also in 1975, the General Assembly empowered the EMC under certain conditions to waive or modify the requirement that a state permit be obtained to carry on an activity involving a risk of air or water pollution. Circumstances that might warrant such a waiver would include those in which applicants had already complied with federal laws or regulations that were similar to or more restrictive than those of the state. During the same year the EMC absorbed the duties and functions of the Water and Air Quality Control Committee, which had its beginnings in the State Stream Sanitation and Conservation Committee.

In 1977 the General Assembly reorganized the Department of Natural and Economic Resources and renamed it the Department of Natural Resources and Community Development. The EMC and its corresponding division were transferred to and vested in the new department, under the administrative direction of a cabinet-level secretary.

Includes: Air Quality Section Emission – inventory system file and Natural Emissions Data System file;  Director’s Office – enforcement actions file, correspondence, subject file, Environmental Management Commission minutes file, and Water and Air Quality Control Committee minutes; Central Files – monthly monitoring reports, river basin file, and subject files.

Natural Resources, Dept. of; Division of Community Assistance. Special Projects Section, 1975-1985

In 1957 the General Assembly authorized the director of the Department of Conservation and Development to establish a Division of Community Planning, subject to the approval of that agency’s board. The purpose of this division was to assist cities and smaller communities of the state in meeting the problems of urbanization and rapid economic growth. Its primary functions involved conducting various demographic and economic studies and proposing regulations to guide public and private development.

The director of the Department of Conservation and Development was required by state law to assist municipalities, either through the Division of Community Planning, or through contractual arrangements; to receive and expend federal, state, and other funds; and to administer grant contracts from state and federal sources. These duties could be delegated by the departmental director to the director of hurricane rehabilitation who was to serve ex officio as a commissioner of planning.

In 1961 the General Assembly amended Community Planning’s enabling legislation, thus replacing the commissioner of planning with a division administrator. The legislation also specified that services of the division be available to municipalities, counties, and joint and regional planning boards established by two or more governmental units.

In March of 1969 Governor Robert W. Scott requested that the General Assembly establish a Department of Local Affairs for the purpose of assisting local governments in their transitions from rural to urban economies and environments. The governor viewed this new agency as a key element in the state’s efforts to work with local governments and to support them in strategic planning for housing, recreation, land usage, and economic development.

In response, the 1969 General Assembly created the Department of Local Affairs (DLA) as an independent agency and established the Division of Community Planning as one of its major components. Through the DLA’s director, the Division of Community Planning absorbed various duties and functions of its predecessor under the Department of Conservation and Development. The division also had links to the State Planning Task Force which was established in 1965 by Governor Daniel K. Moore and subsequently became a division of the Department of Administration in 1968. Like the Division of Community Planning, the task force was given responsibility for helping municipalities cope with problems created by urbanization and coordinating a variety of related programs under federal, state, local, and private authorities.

In creating the DLA and Division of Community Planning, the legislature stipulated there be an additional advisory body named the Committee on Community Planning. It consisted of the president of the state chapter of the American Institute of Planners, who served ex officio, and nine members appointed by the governor for terms of one year. At least five of these were required to be members, at the time of their appointments, of municipal, county, or joint planning boards.

Under the Executive Organization Act of 1971, the powers and duties of the DLA and its divisions were transferred to the Department of Conservation and Development. By terms of that legislation, the latter agency was assigned for administrative purposes to the newly established umbrella agency, the Department of Natural and Economic Resources. This department was headed by a secretary who was appointed by the governor. In 1971 the Division of Governmental Relations of the DLA merged with the Division of Community Planning to form the Division of Community Services.

Two years later, the Department of Natural and Economic Resources was re-created and reconstituted under the Executive Organization Act of 1973. That legislation essentially repealed the establishment of the DLA and the Department of Conservation and Development. All committees formerly under the DLA, with the exception of Law and Order, were transferred to the reorganized umbrella agency.

The Division of Community Services continued under that same designation until 1974 when it was renamed the Division of Community Assistance.

In 1977 the legislature transferred the Division of Economic Development to the Department of Commerce. In other legislative action that year, the General Assembly reorganized the Department of Natural and Economic Resources and renamed it the Department of Natural Resources and Community Development (NRCD).

During the 1980s the Division of Community Assistance served as one of NRCD’s major community development components, all of which came under an assistant secretary for policy coordination. The division’s duties were to aid local governments in land use planning and to administer the Small Cities Community Development Block Grant program. Funded through the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), that program’s primary purpose was to benefit persons of low and moderate incomes. The block grant funds were used specifically to create or retain jobs, and to make improvements in housing and public facilities in residential areas. Under HUD requirements, the state was required to monitor grantees throughout the life of the funded projects and ensure compliance with federal rules and regulations.

Includes:  Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM), Floodway Maps, Flood Insurance Studies, and some correspondence concerning the maps or studies of approximately 410 flood-prone areas within the state. Most localities will have a dated map set comprised of several sheets and an index sheet. The material was compiled by engineering firms under contract by the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency. The final versions of the maps are more accurate than the preliminary or proof sets of maps, and provide community floodway and floodplain information as a part of the National Flood Insurance Program. Set of these maps were made available to local governments and citizens by the Special Projects Section as a part of the division’s efforts to assist with local planning, management, and research programs.

Housing and Urban Development, 107 Program File – data of HUD-funded Community Development Technical Assistance Program, for which the division provides the technical assistance to recipients of the Community Assistance Block Grant Program.

The State Community Development Grants File includes proposals, historical sketches of the community, correspondence, rules and regulations, amount of requests, acceptance or rejection of submitted grants, and other material concerning state grants to cities and counties.