Visit Us: State Archives of North Carolina
Search Room Hours
Tuesday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Records at the Old Records Center are stored offsite, meaning that advanced notice is required to retrieve these records. Please consult the reference staff for more information.
The Search Room is closed on official state holidays, which are:
- New Year's Day
- Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday
- Good Friday
- Memorial Day
- July 4
- Labor Day
- Veterans Day (November 11)
- Thanksgiving (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday)
- Christmas (usually December 24-26)
The Search Room is also closed on Saturdays when a holiday falls on Friday or Monday, and for two days in January (usually the second Tuesday and Wednesday) to conduct an annual inventory of its record holdings.
Search Room Policies
Researchers interested in North Carolina history are invited to visit the Search Room and to make use of the historical materials in the Archives. These manuscripts are valuable for historical and evidential purposes and usually are the only copies in existence. It is therefore essential that they be used with care. When a visitor fails to exercise good judgment, the reference archivist or security officer is authorized to take precautionary action, including the refusal to allow the researcher further use of the records. Rules and regulations regarding original material are set forth in Title 7, Subchapter 4M, of the North Carolina Administrative Code. Visitors to the Archives should bring some standard form of identification (such as a driver's license). With proper identification, patrons will be issued individual passes to the Search Room by the security personnel on duty.
Please note that some records are stored offsite. Advanced notice is required to retrieve offsite records. Please consult the reference staff for additional information.
For the visitor's convenience, free lockers are provided for temporary storage of these materials while using the Search Room.
Regulations for the Use of the Archives Search Room:
Rules governing researchers' use of the Division of Archives and Records public research facilities are as follows:
- Brief cases, attache cases, bags, coats, or other bulky clothing, notebooks, envelopes, pad folders, privately owned books, maps, and old manuscripts shall not be taken into the research facilities. Lockers and coat racks are provided outside the research facilities for such items.
- Access to the archival collections shall only be by presentation of current photo identification, providing accurate name and address.
- Researchers shall request archival records by completing the call slips or records request form provided by each facility. Information required to request records includes researcher's name, date, and citation or records to be requested.
- The research facility in Raleigh shall issue researchers identification cards to be used when requesting archival records. To receive records in Raleigh, the identification card shall be surrendered to a member of the research facility staff. Upon leaving the research facility in Raleigh, the researcher shall surrender his or her identification card to a member of the research facility staff.
- A researcher may request more than one box or volume of records. However, a researcher may access only one box of loose records or up to three volumes of records at any one time. When use of the box or volumes is completed, the researcher shall return the records prior to obtaining another box or other volumes of records.
- Staff shall examine any materials the researcher brings into or removes from the research facilities.
- Researchers shall exercise care in handling records, manuscripts, books, or other materials. In particular, researchers shall observe the following:
- Manuscripts shall not be marked or otherwise altered or defaced.
- Pens, highlighters, and other writing instruments that create permanent marks shall not be permitted in research facilities.
- No items shall be used as "pointers" when reading original records.
- Tape and other office supplies, such as correction fluid and gum erasers, shall not be permitted in the research facilities. Pencils shall be used with great care to ensure no marks or other damages are made to the materials.
- Researchers shall not return books or other materials to research facility shelves; these shall be replaced by a staff member.
- All manuscripts, volumes, and reference books from the research facility shelves shall be placed on the tables or reading stands provided in the research facility; they shall not be held in the lap or propped against the edge of a table.
- Only one folder of loose papers from a box of loose papers shall be opened at one time in order to avoid mixing of records or folders.
- Papers shall not be rearranged under any circumstances. If a researcher thinks something is out of order, he or she shall notify a staff member.
- Records from the stacks and reference materials from the research facility shall not be permitted in the microfilm reading room.
- Smoking, eating, or drinking shall not be permitted in the research facilities.
- A researcher wishing to temporarily leave the research facility must turn in all pulled archival records and verify his or her registration when reentering.
- Orders for copies placed in person by a researcher shall not exceed 50 copies per researcher per day. Fees for such orders shall be paid at the time the copies are made and may not be billed.
- Equipment deemed by the Archives Conservator to be damaging to archival records shall not be used in the research facilities. The Archives Conservator shall make this determination based upon harm caused by excessive light exposure, tearing, or otherwise defacing the document. This shall include the use of equipment that sits on top of or pulls an original item through it to capture the image or provides light levels that damage the document.
- Items prohibited in the Search Room: Briefcases, laptop computer cases, backpacks, tote bags, large purses; ring notebooks; envelopes; plastic sleeve-covered pages; original maps, manuscripts, and other material; books; scanners, pens, and other material considered inappropriate may NOT be taken into the Archives Search Room.
- You must have ID: Admission to the Search Room is by means of registering at the security desk, providing positive identification. An archives ID card will be issued for use in requesting original materials. Researchers request records by means of completing a call slip that will include the patron's archives ID number. The ID card will be surrendered to the staff while records are being used. The patron shall turn in the ID card at the security desk upon leaving the Search Room.
- Power sources are limited. Charge your laptop before you come. Wireless is available.
- Use of digital cameras without flash is encouraged. Safely wear around your neck or put in your pockets.
- Several records may be requested at once; however, only one box, up to three volumes, and, in some instances, only one folder or item will be issued to a researcher at a time.
- The following rules MUST be observed:
- Pencils only, no pens or markers, are allowed in the Search Room.
- Manuscripts may not be marked, folded, defaced, altered and should be carefully handled.
- Pencils are NOT to be used as "pointers".
- Tape and Post-It notes are not permitted.
- Manuscripts, volumes and reference books should remain flat on the table and should not be held in the lap or propped against a table edge.
- Only one folder is to be removed from a box at a time, and the place of that folder is to be appropriately marked with a pink place marker (obtained at the reference desk).
- Papers are not to be rearranged under ANY circumstances. If something appears to be out of order, please notify an archivist.
- Original records and reference books are not allowed in the microfilm room.
- Smoking, food and drink are strictly prohibited in the research area.
- Researchers wishing to leave the Search Room temporarily must return original records to the reference desk and retrieve their ID card in order to turn it in at the security desk.
- Researchers may be limited to 50 xerographic copies per day on a "while you wait" basis, depending on the day's workload and number of staff available.
The Search Room is under electronic surveillance.
The complete regulations governing the use of the State Archives of North Carolina can be found in Title 7, Subchapter 4M of the North Carolina Administrative Code.
Audiovisual Materials Unit Hours
Tuesday-Friday, 8:00am-4:30pm by appointment only
The unit is closed to the public Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, and state government recognized holidays. For more information, visit the Audiovisual Materials page.
Parking and Public Transit
Visitors to the Archives may park in one of three state government visitors' parking facilities:
- Visitor Lot #1 (109 E. Jones Street), accessible from Jones or Edenton Streets.
- Visitor Lot #3 (120 W. Edenton St), accessible from Salisbury Street.
- Visitor Lot #2 (329 North Salisbury Street, ground level of Parking Lot 75), accessible from Salisbury and McDowell Streets.
See the state parking maps from the North Carolina Department of Administration for more information about these parking lots and decks.
There is a fee for visitor parking. Please note that towing is enforced for all numbered spaces. The handicap ramp at the Archives and History/State Library Building faces Blount Street.
On The Street Parking
Time-limited free on the street parking is available within a short walking distance of the State Archives, most notably the one hour free parking available on the 100 block of Jones Street. On the street parking is also available for $1.00 per hour, with a 2 hour maximum, on the 200 block of Blount St.
The R-LINE, a free circulator bus service, is also available to visitors to downtown Raleigh. For more information on bus stops and pick-up times, consult the R-Line website.