New Hanover County Public Library
Second Floor, Main Branch - 201 Chestnut Street, Wilmington, NC
Special Collections Department

North Carolina Collection
North Carolina Room

Opened April 2003

Welcome to the North Carolina Room.

When visitors enter, they are asked to register at the Reception Desk.

The Rules for use of the Library facilities will be reviewed with all first time visitors.

Phone inquiries regarding hours of operation or to arrange availability of special materials:
(910) 798-6305

Lockers are provided for researchers to check their coats, briefcases and other personal belongings that may not be taken into the North Carolina Room. Only working papers and purses are permitted.

Pencils only please!

Special Collections Librarian Beverly Tetterton, Reference Historian Joseph Sheppard or another staff member will be available to assist visitors. With their extensive knowledge of the collection and the local area they will help steer research efforts in the most productive direction.
There are plenty of tables for visitors to work at.

Power for laptop computers is available at the counter along the wall.

The Rare Book Collection is safely housed in attractive protective cabinets.

The Librarian on duty may give visitors access upon request to items not otherwise available in the North Carolina Room.

The stacks are open for visitors to browse and to select what they are interested in from the shelves.

Visitors are asked to return the books to the spot they found them or, if they are not comfortable doing this, to put them on the reshelve cart.

There are four computers for visitors use. Use is restricted to Genealogy and Historical resources only.

For Internet use, on the initial use, each visitor must obtain an access code by registering. This code allows 60 minutes of computer use per 24 hour period and is valid on any New Hanover County Public Library computer.


The Library has a subscription to AncestryPlus on line which can only be used when in the Library.

AncestryPlus includes a collection of city directories from port cities for various years in the 1800s. It is a nice collection which includes which includes about 300 directories. users can access the historical newspaper collection and the immigration collection (extra cost data bases) which are not currently available through AncestryPlus.

Ancestry and AncestryPlus have the same census options.

Heritage Quest

The Library has a subscription to Heritage Quest On Line which can be used when in the library or from your home. A Library card is required for use of this data base. More Info on access

Heritage Quest site has well indexed US Census access for the censuses of 1790, 1800,1810,1820,1860,1870,1890 (limited),1900,1910, and 1920

There are three microfilm readers plus a reader from which printing may be done ($0.25 per page) for use with the large collection of microfilms available. These include all US Census records for North Carolina, extensive local newspaper collections (some dating back to 1855).

New to microfilms? The Librarian on duty will be happy to help you learn the proper use of the readers.

Seen here are the storage drawers for the microfilm records.

The special book photocopy machine ($.15/page; acccepts coins, $1 & $5 bills) can be used by researchers within the limits of copyright law.

No books may be checked out or removed from the North Carolina Room.

Of special interest and value to many researchers is the extensive collection of maps. The focus is on North Carolina and New Hanover County and adjacent counties. Maps from many different sources issued from the earliest colonial days to the present are available.

The North Carolina Room also houses some very special collections of local interest found nowhere else.

Among these are the incredible Bill Reaves Collection of news clippings from 100 years of local newspapers, sorted by family surname or subject; the Dr. R. M. Fales Historical Photo Collection  of collected historical photos; and the Louis T. Moore Photograph Collection of photos taken locally from 1921 to 1941.

And behind the scenes there are facilities for the professionals of the Library and volunteers to do the necessary preparation of materials for use by library patrons.

The Library encourages local residents to volunteer in support of the North Carolina Room. Even a few hours per week will help immensely. And it is rewarding! Contact any Librarian for additional information.


We believe the North Carolina Room is the best resource for North Carolina history, architectural records and genealogical research in southeast North Carolina.

The Staff of the North Carolina Room looks forward to serving you!

Driving Directions to the Library

Old New Hanover Genealogical Society Home page

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