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Access to the North Carolina Collection

Research Library

The North Carolina Collection is open to all researchers free of charge and is accessible through Wilson Library's 2nd floor reading room. The library is open weekdays 9am - 5pm, Saturdays 9am - 1pm, and Sundays 1pm- 5pm.

Wilson Library is a closed-stack library. Staff members will retrieve library materials for patrons. Researchers need to register online and present a current form of government-issued, photographic identification in order to request materials from the stacks. All library materials are currently stored on-site and can be quickly retrieved. However, NCC materials are occasionally inaccessible when on exhibit or loan, or when receiving conservation treatment. Users planning a visit in order to use specific materials should consult with the NCC reference staff (wilsonlibrary@unc.edu) in order to ensure that the materials they need will be available.

Bags -- including backpacks, purses, and laptop cases -- are not allowed in the North Carolina Collection reading room. Free lockers are provided for researchers to check their bags. Food, drink, and all tobacco products are also prohibited in the reading room.

Checking Out Books

Some North Carolina Collection materials can be checked out. These items will be listed as "available" in the library catalog. UNC students, faculty, and staff can check out circulating materials with a current OneCard. Researchers not affiliated with UNC may be able to obtain a library borrower's card. Please see the Davis Library Circulation page for more information.

Photocopies, Photography, and Scanning

The North Carolina Collection permits photocopying, digital photography, and scanning of most collection materials. Please see our Photocopies, Photography, and Scans page for more information about our equipment and policies.

Photographic Archives

The North Carolina Collection seeks to promote education and an appreciation for the value of historical photographs through public use of images held by the Collection. Access to the Photographic Archives is provided to all researchers on an equal basis. Pictorial research and image use is subject to the following general guidelines. The North Carolina Collection, however, reserves the right to make exceptions or additions to any of the terms stated herein on a case-by-case basis.

The Photographic Archives contain nearly half a million photographs in multiple collections. Many, but not all, of these collections are represented in the university library catalog. There is a departmental database containing 20,000 collection-, folder-, or item-level records.

Random and unsupervised browsing in the Photographic Archives is not allowed.

Researchers may request photographic or digital reproductions. Please review the detailed information supplied on the web page Requesting Photographic and Digital Reproductions before making your request.

Issues of copyright, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity, trademarks and licensing, and departmental policy may affect the reproduction and use of images located in the North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives.

Researchers requesting copies or seeking authorization to use images are required to describe the intended use on an agreement form that defines the conditions under which authorization for use is granted.

Photographic prints or negatives may not be borrowed from the archives.

Images displayed on the North Carolina Collection web site are supplied for reference and informational purposes only.

On-site Research

For the best possible assistance, it is preferable that researchers contact the Photographic Archives in advance to describe research subjects and schedule an appointment. This will make it possible to have appropriate images assembled when you arrive.

Photographic research assistance and access are limited on Saturdays and Sundays.

The Photographic Archives staff can conduct only limited searching, no more than thirty minutes, for patrons who cannot visit the archive.


The Gallery exhibitions are free and open to the general public. Visitors may either browse on their own or arrange for guided tours with staff. Teachers who are interested in providing their classes with multi-disciplined field trips should consider UNC-Chapel Hill's campus. Situated within a short walking distance of one another are the Ackland Art Museum, Morehead Planetarium, and the North Carolina Collection Gallery. Thus, a "research triangle" of art, science, and social-history experiences and tours can be arranged between these three institutions. It should be noted, too, that the Gallery's facilities are also available to the university community as a meeting area for smaller seminars, classes, and other special programs.


The North Carolina Collection/ University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
CB 3930, Wilson Library/ Chapel Hill, NC 27515-8890
Reference questions: (919) 962-3765 or wilsonlibrary@unc.edu
Curatorial staff: (919) 962-1172