Bookmark and Share

Printer-friendly versionPDF version
Average: 5 (1 vote)

Library history: NC Digital Collections

by Christy Allen, 2008.

View collection items on Historypin at 1: The collection; Part 2: Browse by county; Part 3: Brief history of NC public libraries
See also: Carnegie libraries; Public libraries; State Library

Part 1 - The collection

The Library History Digital Collection in the NC Digital Collections is a statewide collaborative digital project that  provides access to digital versions of historical photographs, postcards, reports, dedications, and other unique materials related to North Carolina's libraries.

Public library history files

The core of this collection has been scanned from the State Library of North Carolina's Public Library History Files. These files contain photographs, reports, newspaper clippings, and other materials that had been sent to the North Carolina Library Commission from public libraries throughout the state. The files span from the late 1800s up through the 1970s, with the majority of the materials dating from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. For years, the files were hidden in a storage area where all but a few library staff had forgotten them. They were re-discovered around 2003 when the storage area was being cleaned out for building renovations. Photographs from the Public Library History Files were included in a display at the North Carolina Library Association's Centennial Conference in 2004.

Public Library Participation

In summer of 2008, the State Library put out a call to North Carolina's public libraries seeking participation in building the Transforming the Tar Heel State collection. Twenty-three public libraries as well as the North Carolina State Archives responded to the call, submitting photographs that demonstrated the impact of public libraries throughout North Carolina's communities. Thirty-four public libraries submitted historical information about their institutions which has been included as part of the project's website.

Library History Digital Collection
NC Digital Collections

Browse the collection

Search Collection


Date Search


Format Search


Regional Library System Search


NC Digital Collections is a project of the State Library of NC and State Archives of NC at the NC Department of Cultural Resources. Results will open in a new tab or window.

Add a comment

PLEASE NOTE: NCpedia will not publish personal contact information in comments, questions, or responses. Complete guidelines are available at

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This is a test to prevent automated spam comments.

Grey Squirrel - Click me to return to the top of the page