North Carolina Maps is a collaborative project, featuring materials from several of North Carolina's premier cultural heritage repositories. This project was initially conceived and funded as a partnership between the North Carolina State Archives, the North Carolina Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill, and the Outer Banks History Center. Maps from these three repositories make up the heart of the digital collection; however, we are actively seeking additional maps from other repositories with the goal of building a truly comprehensive collection of historic maps of the Tar Heel State.
Search Room, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, N.C.
The North Carolina State Archives is the repository for the official records of the state of North Carolina. A division of the Office of Archives and History in the Department of Cultural Resources, the State Archives collects, preserves, and makes accessible to the public several centuries' worth of documentary records about the colony and State of North Carolina. The map collection at the State Archives is one of the largest in the state. Highlights from the map collection include hand-drawn county and town maps, complete sets of highway and road maps, and many of the earliest official maps of North Carolina.
The North Carolina Collection, located in Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, holds the largest collection of printed materials on a single state. The collection documents the history, literature, and culture of North Carolina, with especially strong holdings in early printed materials, newspapers, city directories, local histories, literary collections, and the early exploration of the North Carolina coast. Highlights from the map collection in the North Carolina Collection include a large number of early printed maps of colonial North Carolina, maps from atlases and other printed works, and Sanborn Fire Insurance maps.
The Outer Banks History Center, a division of the North Carolina State Archives, is located in Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo, North Carolina. The Outer Banks History Center holds an extensive local history collection, documenting all aspects of life along North Carolina's coast. The Outer Banks History Center features a large map collection developed and donated by historian David Stick. Highlights from the David Stick collection include some of the earliest known maps of North Carolina, as well as an extensive collection of coast and geodetic survey maps, which trace, in great detail, the changing face of the North Carolina coast.
The William Patterson Cumming Map Collection, at the Davidson College Library, is one of the most important collections of early maps of the American southeast. Cumming, a longtime faculty member at Davidson College, was an authority on the early mapping of the southeastern United States. His book, The Southeast in Early Maps (UNC Press, 1958, revised 1998), is the standard work on the subject, containing a thorough bibliography of early maps of North Carolina and the southeast. The collection consists of early maps, photographs, photostatic copies of maps, slides, books, and offprints by Dr. Cumming and other cartographers. There also is a voluminous amount of unpublished correspondence on cartographical subjects, as well as Cumming’s personal lecture notes.
Southern Historical Collection, UNC-Chapel Hill
Long at the center of inquiry into the history and culture of the American South, the Southern Historical Collection (SHC), officially established in 1930 with UNC history professor Dr. J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton as director, is a vast collection of of about 15 million items organized in more than 4,600 distinct archival collections. These collections are comprised of unique primary documents, such as diaries, journals, letters, correspondence, photographs, maps, drawings, ledgers, oral histories, moving images, albums, scrapbooks, and literary manuscripts. The SHC offers strong documentation of all periods of Southern history since the late eighteenth century: the Antebellum plantation era; the Civil War and Reconstruction; the New South; the Jim Crow South;and the South since 1954. Subject strengths include: the American Civil War; the Antebellum plantation era; business; the Civil Rights era; communities; family; journalism; labor; literature; politics; race relations; religion and religious communities; slavery; social activism; and sociology.
Forsyth County Public Library
The North Carolina Room is a special collection in the Central Library of Forsyth County Public Library in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The department focuses on local history, genealogy, local travel and culture, biography, literature and folklore, as well as state and local government. Special collections include photographs, maps, personal papers, microfilm and microfiche, rare books, genealogical research, artwork, oral histories, and scrapbooks by and/or about the people and places of the Piedmont Region of North Carolina.
Rare Book Collection, UNC-Chapel Hill
The Rare Book Collection located in Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, documents the history of human endeavor over approximately 4500 years. The collection has many strengths including English, Irish, and American literature; French History, particularly Napoleonic history; the history and development of the book; counter-culture and avant garde publishing; and in relation to this project, cronistas and other important works of exploration, discovery, and the colonial impulse during the early modern period. Highlights from the cartographic collections in the Rare Book Collection include atlases of Ortelius and Mercator, cosmographies, and the imperial Description de l'Égypte.