Finding Aid (pdf file*)
Index (huge .xls file)
Index (large webpage)


Subject Files
This website provides an INDEX for these files. To view the CONTENTS of these files it is necessary to visit the North Carolina Room, New Hanover County Public Library, Wilmington, North Carolina.

In addition to the Family Files, Bill Reaves collected thousands of clippings he sorted by Subject into hundreds of folders - everything from 'Abattoirs' to 'Zoos.' These clippings are all dated and identify the newspaper in which they appeared. These files deal primarily but by no means exclusively with SE North Carolina subject matter. Many include cross-references to Family Files and other subject files.

To maintain the integrity of the files and the existing cross index entries the same subjects categories as used by Mr. Reaves have been maintained. The subject titles might not be the subject titles you would have used, so be creative in your thinking. To assist, many subject cross references have been provided within the Index.

Note that there are two sets of files. General Files and a special set of African-American Subject Files which Mr. Reaves developed in the course of writing his book, "Strength through Struggle," a history of the African-American community in south-eastern North Carolina, based on newspaper clippings from the 1860's to the 1970's. Both sets are included in the Subject Files Index. Some subjects are included (and indexed) in both sets of files.

The Subjects File folders fill 15 large lateral file drawers and 49 archival storage boxes in the North Carolina Room of the NHCPL, for a total of approximately 5500 file folders.

Use the on-line index to identify folders of interest.

The NC Room staff will assist you with access to these files.

Special note should be taken of the Film Files organized by Jenny Henderson, which include related clippings from the Reaves Subject Files and much, much more.. Five large boxes of clippings and other materials include movie advertisements, local movie theatre history, informaton on films made locally, actors, actresses, and local film making enterprises.

Visitors to the Library may research in these files.  The Library staff regrets that limited resources prevent search by the staff of individual files for particular subjects or names. Ordering Copies by Mail.

Organization of the Subject File Folders

In general the file folders are as established by Bill Reaves. While not always intuitive, this organization supports the frequent cross-references Bill created. To maintain the integrity of the many cross references created by Mr. Reaves, the Subject headings used by him have been used in organizing these files. However, in a very few cases a single large Reaves Subject folder has been split into subfolders – both the original folder and the subfolders are indexed. In some cases very similar Reaves Subject folders have been combined; these are cross referenced in this Index.

A very few of the Subject files were chronologically arranged and then typed by Mr. Reaves. Other files have been collated (chronologically arranged and the clippings adhered to archival paper). Some files contain other printed material. This material, ready to be photocopied, is indicated in the Subject File Index with bold face type, with the number of pages given in square brackets [xx pp]. Where the ‘author and date is known this is also indicated thusly: [14 pp; WMR, 1982].

A few files are very large - 200-1000+ clippings - and are being held in BOXED files instead of file folders. These are NOT generally collated and may be (or may not be) sorted by appropriate groups; some are sorted by decades. We urge those with an interest in a particular organization (church, club, etc) or with a particular interest (photography, golf, Port of Wilmington, river pollution, etc) to come to the NHCPL and participate in organizing files in which they are interested - we guarantee you will find it rewarding!

Single page subjects, are in the Miscellaneous folders, generally the immediately preceding Miscellaneous folder are shown in this index with an index entry preceded with a hyphen and in bold font thusly: -A&P Grocery

Where the subject clippings exceed the capacity of one folder additional numbered folders have been created and the notation (Major file) or (MAJOR file) appears in this index.

Triage underway on a Subject File

Previously BOXED files may or may not have been given basic triage care. Folders that could greatly profit by additional sorting into sub-folders are marked in the index with an asterisk *. Volunteers, anyone?

5200+ subject folders and cross-reference. Indexing and organizing the General Subject file begun November, 2003 – A-Z completed March 23, 2006. Indexing and organizing the African-American Subjects files begun March 27, 2006 , completed May 17, 2006. -. Posted 25 July 2006. Sorting of previously unsorted files continues August-Decmber 2006.