Reaves Wilmington Block Books
After accumulating a considerable number of clippings from scattered years, Mr. Reaves began sorting them by Wilmington street address. The addresses were, reasonably enough, generally in the older parts of the city. The clippings for each address were then mounted on separate pages, and then organized in binders by street, by address. This process continued for some time. As a result the clippings for any one address are not in chronological order.
After following this plan for some time, Mr. Reaves rethought his filing approach and instead began sorting most clippings by surname, which became the basis for the Reaves Family Files (series I and Series II). Other clippings he sorted by subject - these became the basis for the Reaves Subject Files. This shift meant that from that point in time these Block Books were seldom addded to.
The Block Book clippings include property sales and building permits as well as family items (obituaries, marriages, etc.), business advertisements and city news (e.g., street construction), each clipping related to a specific address
The Block Book file permits a serious researcher of demographics to understand neighborhood relationships as well as understanding the sequential sales of a given piece of property over time and construction dates for various buildings.
Visitors to the Library may research in these files. Individual pages must be requested with the assistance of the Staff. A researcher of a specific surname is best served to use the City Directories (also in the North Carolina Room, NHCPL) for reference to determine what Block Book pages to examine.
The plan is for the Reaves Block Books to be reorganized, photocopied and indexed as library volunteer time permits. The reorganizing has been completed by volunteer Ken Davis.... an estimated 12,000 pages. Indexing is underway by Anne Hutteman. The index allows searching for names, business names, addresses and event types
Reaves Block Book Master Index
This is a huge 3 GB Excell file (.xls) -
Excel is required to view and/or search it on your computer
Reaves Block Books Individual Street Indexes
As an alternative to viewing the huge master index you may select for downloading smaller files for each individual street. These are in Adobe (.pdf) format.
Block Books Index Sample Page
The Library staff regrets that limited resources prevent search by the staff for for particular names within these files.
Ordering Copies by Mail