Category Archives: Finding Aids

Legacy finding aids update

Over 50 additional newly updated and edited legacy finding aids are now available online.  Some of the notable collections in this group are:

William Wallace White Diaries, 1857-1910, #3265

William Wallace White was a planter and storekeeper at Holly Hill plantation in Warren (now Vance) County, N.C. His 48 diaries contain a full daily account of his farming activities, which included the cultivation of tobacco, cotton, grain, corn, vegetables, melons, livestock, etc., and of public life in the area.

Edwin McNeill Poteat Papers, 1925-1956, #3302

Edwin McNeill Poteat was a Baptist preacher, teacher, and missionary in China, 1917-1929, author, president of Colgate-Rochester Divinity School, 1944-1948, and pastor at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, Raleigh, N.C., 1929-1937 and 1948-1955, and at Euclid Avenue Baptist Church, Cleveland, Ohio, 1937-1944. The collection includes personal and professional correspondence, mainly 1944-1955, and writings of Poteat. Included are letters, 1925-1929, discussing the Chinese nationalist movement and its effect on missionary work; correspondence with various religious and social action organizations, particularly concerning conscientious objection to World War I and interracial cooperation; and routine office correspondence. Also included are sermons, articles, speeches, and an unpublished book manuscript.

Elizabeth City Buggy Company Account Books, 1927-1932, #3334

Elizabeth City Buggy Company of Elizabeth City, N.C., apparently started in 1899 and acted as an agent for Hackney and Chase City Wagons and American Field and Hog Fencing and also manufactured buggies and phaetons. The collection includes daybooks and ledgers, 1827-1932, with names of customers, specifying equipment purchased and repairs for wagons, automobiles, and farm machinery.

Peter Spence Gilchrist Papers, 1901-1911, #3393

Peter Spence Gilchrist was an English immigrant and pioneer in chemical engineering of Charlotte, N.C. Gilchrist designed sulphuric acid plants and fertilizer plants and was a pioneer in the development of the phosphate industry and in chemical engineering in the southeast.The collection includes business letters, chiefly 1904-1910, received by Gilchrist’s firm, Southern Card, Clothing, and Reed Company, relating to the building of fertilizer plants and the installation of works for phosphate processes along the eastern seaboard.

A full list of all updated and published legacy finding aids can be found here.

Legacy finding aids update

A new batch of updated finding aids has just been posted.  Collections comprising this group include a number of family papers:

Hatch Family Papers, #2508-z

Thomas Hatch (1761-1868?) resided in Orange County, N.C. The collection includes a transcription of an autobiographical letter, 1813, by Thomas Hatch; other family data; and information about and photographs of old houses in Orange and Chatham counties, N.C., owned by Hatch and his connections.

Click Family Papers, #2537

The collection includes the papers of the Click family, early residents of Rowan County, N.C., consisting chiefly of deeds and wills; a letter, 1835, from relatives who had moved to Indiana reporting conditions there; family letters and papers related to the sale of tobacco, 1880-1895; and scattered items pertaining to the Lutheran church in North Carolina. The family name was also spelled Glucke and Gluicke.

Price Family Papers, #2850

Members of the Price family resided in Mecklenburg County, N.C., and Fayette County and Giles County, Tenn., where several members of the family moved to settle and where many of them owned land. The collection is primarily business and financial papers, with some family letters, of several generations of the Price family. Papers are mainly those of Isaac Price, Isaac Price Junior, and Isaac Jasper Price, and deal with farming, estate settlement, lands and property, medical services, settlement in Tennessee, the Steele Creek Church in Mecklenburg County, and family matters.

Harper Family Account Books, #2908

The Harper Family of Caldwell County, N.C., owned a general merchandise business in Lenoir, N.C., operating at times under the name Waugh and Harper. The collection includes extensive daybook and ledger accounts of Waugh and Harper and other records of scattered dates relating to this business, including invoices, inventories, shipping and hauling accounts, produce orders, barter accounts for such items as wild herbs, roots, bark, and sheepskins, and letterpress copies of business letters; and a cash book of the Chester & Lenoir Railroad, 1874-1882.

A full list of all legacy finding aids published can be found here.

Legacy finding aids update

Over 40 additional newly updated and edited legacy finding aids are now available.  Some of the notable collections included in this group are:

Thomas Sparrow Papers, 1835-1871, #1878

Sparrow was a lawyer, North Carolina state legislator, and a Confederate officer.  There are references to several duels in this collection, and a diary Sparrow kept while serving in the Civil War is also included.

De Graffenried Family Papers, 1735-1958, #1692

Baron Christoph von Graffenried (1661-1743) of Switzerland, Landgrave of Carolina, founded New Bern, N.C., in 1710. His family and descendents resided in Switzerland and America.  One original item in the collection is a letter, 1735, from the Baron to his son about genealogy.

William Richardson Davie Papers, 1758-1819, #1793

Davie was a lawyer, state legislator, Revolutionary officer, member of the United States Constitutional Convention, Federalist governor of North Carolina, and peace commissioner to France, and was influential in the founding of the University of North Carolina.  These papers include letters to, from, and about Davie and his family. Two long narratives pertain to Davie’s Revolutionary War experiences as a cavalry officer in North and South Carolina and as commissary general to Nathanael Greene.

Joseph Hyde Pratt Papers, 1889-1942, #2169

Pratt was a mining engineer; mineralogist; geologist; and educator. He was the North Carolina state mineralogist, 1897-1906, and the N.C. state geologist, 1906-1923. Much material in the collection is related to the N.C. Geological Survey and to the Geological and Economic Survey.

A full list of all legacy finding aids published can be found here.

Legacy finding aids update

The latest group of finding aids updated and encoded during this project are now available.  For a full list of these finding aids, please click here.

A few highlights from this set include:

Andrew Henry Patterson Papers, #1419

In addition to his work as a professor of physics at the University of North Carolina, Patterson was a cooperative observer for the Weather Bureau, United States Department of Agriculture. The collection includes correspondence of Andrew Henry Patterson and members of his family, and weather records made by Patterson. There are seven volumes, 1908-1920, of daily records of temperature, rain, and wind at Chapel Hill.

William Dorsey Pender Papers, #1059

William Dorsey Pender (1834-1863), of Edgecombe County, N.C., was a West Point graduate and United States Army officer. He served briefly as colonel of the 3rd North Carolina Infantry Regiment, Confederate States of America, and as a colonel of the 6th North Carolina Infantry Regiment before transferring to A. P. Hill’s division and being promoted to major general, May 1863. He participated in many of the major engagements in Virginia and died in July 1863 as the result of a wound received at Gettysburg. The papers are almost entirely letters from William Dorsey Pender to his wife, Mary Frances (Fanny) Shepperd. Civil War letters were written chiefly from camps in North Carolina and Virginia to Fanny in North Carolina, giving an intimate account of Pender’s personal feelings, religious experiences, activities, ambitions, and opinions of his associates and superiors.

Jethro Sumner Papers, #705

Jethro Sumner (1733?-1785) was a Contintental Army officer. The collection contains Revolutionary War military correspondence of Continental Brigadier General Sumner. The bulk of the collection relates to the period 1781-1782, when Sumner was raising troops for General Nathanael Greene, whom he reinforced at the Battle of Eutaw Springs, and while he was in charge of forces in North Carolina.

New SHC Collection: The Margaret Nygard Papers, 1965-2004

Margaret Nygard (1925-1995) was born in Nasik, India, where her father was a British civil servant. After leaving India, she lived in England and Canada. She married English professor Holger Nygard in 1944, received her masters and doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, and moved to Durham, N.C., where she taught English at Durham Technical Community College and later became a social worker. In 1965, she and others formed the Eno Historical Society, which became the Association for the Preservation of the Eno River Valley in 1966 (often called the Eno River Association). In the early 1970s, the Association began acquiring land along the Eno River that became the Eno River State Park in 1973. While remaining active in the Association, Nygard was also involved in other local and state-wide groups that supported efforts to protect sensitive environmental areas.

The papers chiefly relate to Margaret Nygard’s involvement in founding and running the Association for the Preservation of the Eno River Valley. Included are appraisal reports and other materials related to the acquisition of land along the Eno River for the Eno River State Park, as well as materials regarding opposition to those efforts. There are also meeting minutes, financial materials, and materials relating to the annual Festival for the Eno and other outreach events of the Association. Also included is documentation of Nygard’s involvement with the North Carolina Division of State Parks and North Carolina environmental organizations. Many of these items relate to Nygard’s opposition to development projects, including the proposed expansion of Raleigh-Durham Airport. Also included are some Nygard and related family materials; articles written in response to Nygard’s death; and photographs of Nygard and others, Nygard’s funeral, the Festival for the Eno, and the Eno River.

[You may click here to view to finding aid for this new collection.]

New batch of legacy finding aids available

A new set of legacy finding aids, or finding aids previously only available in paper format, have been posted online.

Notable selections from this group include:

John K. Hoyt Journal, #3436-z

John K. Hoyt was a viticulturist and vintner at Engadine Vineyards in West Asheville, NC.  The collection includes a volume of records, March 1892 – January 1894 kept by Hoyt at the vineyard. Records include a daily accounting of work in the vineyard, details of farm activities, personal matters and weather; accounts of wages, supplies, bottles, advertising, and fertilizer; and records of shipments.

Macon Bonner Papers, #3758-z

Macon Bonner (born 1836) of Washington, N.C., was a Confederate artillery officer who served in coastal North Carolina. The collection includes sixty-six letters by Bonner written to his wife, Virginia Ellison Bonner, while he was attached to the 31st North Carolina Regiment and 40th North Carolina Regiment and stationed in the Cape Fear defenses at Fort Fisher, 1862-1864, and at Fort Holmes on Smith Island (Bald Head Island), February-November 1864, describing military events and conditions in the Wilmington, N.C. and Southport, N.C., areas.

James Alves Hogg Letters of Recommendation, #3636-z

Initially notable for the length and specificity of its title, this collection includes four letters of recommendation written on behalf of James Alves Hogg while applying for a job at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. These letters were written by Elisha Mitchell, William Hooper, Joseph Caldwell, and David L. Swain.

Williamston (N.C.) Night Watch Reports, #3422-z

The collection includes a volume of nightly reports, 14 June 1861-5 February 1862, from captains of town watch squads in Williamston, N.C. to Mayor H. B. Smithwick. Reports indicate presence or absence of squad members and almost always that the town was ‘quiet.’

A complete list of updated legacy finding aids can be found here.

Legacy finding aids now available online

The SHC has some exciting news for our researchers: we’ve embarked on a 3 year project funded by a grant from NC ECHO to update and make available online over 1000 finding aids currently only available in paper format. Over 200 of these finding aids are now available online!

These finding aids represent some of the earliest acquisitions of the SHC. Many of these collections contain information about the Civil War and early North Carolina politics.

Some collections that have jumped out at us from the initial group of 200 include:

Abraham Enloe Papers, #4229

This collection contains a letter arguing that Enloe fathered Abraham Lincoln.

Spinsters’ Club Records, #4144-z

Membership in this Fayetteville, NC club was limited to women under the age of 30.

James E. Green Diary, #2678

Green, a farmer and physician, served in the 53rd North Carolina Regiment during the Civil War and his diary contains entries from his active duty in army hospitals in Virginia and North Carolina.

Lutie Kealhofer Papers, #1011

Included in this collection is a diary kept by Kealhofer describing her activities during the Civil War in Hagerstown, Md. and her travels to Canada and upstate New York.

We will be posting newly updated finding aids each month so stay tuned for more highlights!

A list of all finding aids published online through this project is now available.

New Finding Aid Design

You might have noticed that some of the finding aids for the Southern Historical Collection have a new look. Thanks to the hard work of Special Collections Technical Services TRA Joyce Chapman, the finding aid re-design has been implemented. We hope that the new finding aid display will be user-friendly and easy-to-navigate.

This new display applies to approximately half of our finding aids; some finding aids will still look the same.  We are working towards converting all of our finding aids to the new design.

Please let us know if you notice any problems with this new presentation. We’d like to find and fix all of the glitches this summer while Joyce is still working for us. One bug that we will fix ASAP is that Internet Explorer chokes on longer finding aids. They take some time to load and it is difficult to scroll through them.

Please email us at if you see anything in the new design that looks strange.

Here are a few examples:

Taylor Branch Papers:,Taylor.html

Cameron Family Papers:

Delta and Providence Cooperative Farms Papers