Library History

About this collection

Part 1 - The collection

The Library History Digital Collection 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:

  • Alamance County Public Libraries
  • Ashe County Public Library
  • Bladen County Public Library
  • Braswell Memorial Public Library
  • Buncombe County Public Libraries
  • Catawba County Library
  • Cleveland County Memorial Library
  • Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center
  • Currituck Public Library
  • Davidson County Public Library System
  • Davie County Public Library
  • Duplin County-Dorothy Wightman Library
  • Durham County Library
  • Edgecombe County Memorial Library
  • Gaston County Public Library
  • Greensboro Public Library
  • H. Leslie Perry Memorial Library
  • Hampton B. Allen Library
  • Henderson County Public Library
  • Iredell County Public Library
  • Jackson County Public Library
  • John W. Clark Public Library
  • Mary Duncan Public Library
  • Mauney Memorial Library
  • Morganton Public Library
  • New Bern-Craven County Public Library
  • New Hanover County Public Library
  • North Carolina State Archives
  • Pack Memorial Public Library
  • Pender County Public Library
  • Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County
  • Ramseur Public Library
  • Randolph County Public Library
  • Richard H. Thornton Library
  • Rowan Public Library
  • Rutherford County Library
  • State Library of North Carolina
  • Union County Public Library
  • Valdese Public Library
  • Wake County Public Library
  • Warren County Memorial Library
  • Wayne County Public Library
  • Wilson County Public Library