Three Million Pages of Historic North Carolina Newspapers Now Available Online

We are pleased to announce that there are now more than three million pages of historic North Carolina newspapers available through the website Newspapers.com. This is currently the largest online collection of North Carolina newspapers and is a tremendous resource for students, teachers, genealogists, and historians.

The UNC-Chapel Hill University Library has been working with Newspapers.com, a subsidiary of the popular genealogy site Ancestry.com, on this project over the past year. The North Carolina Collection, which holds the largest collection of North Carolina newspapers on microfilm, loaned copies of the film to Newspapers.com, where staff members quickly digitized, transcribed, and published the papers online.

The more than three million pages now online come from 970 different titles from all across the state and range in date from 1751 through the early twentieth century. Newspapers large and small are there, including long-running urban papers such as the Charlotte Observer, Raleigh News and Observer, and Asheville Citizen. These are searchable online alongside hundreds of smaller papers, many of which are represented by only a few surviving issues, such as the Rutherfordton Democrat (two issues, 1896) and the Bixby Hornet (one issue, 1908).

Access to these and other papers is available to Newspapers.com subscribers (see their website for subscription information). Members of the UNC-Chapel Hill community and users accessing the website on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus have free access to the papers contributed by the UNC Library. Free access for these papers is also available to users at the three statewide locations of the State Archives of North Carolina in Raleigh, Manteo, and Asheville.

5 thoughts on “Three Million Pages of Historic North Carolina Newspapers Now Available Online”

  1. This is totally fabulous! Bravo to you all for all you’ve done to make this happen. We can now find out all kinds of things we couldn’t before. Stars in your crown!!!!!

    Catherine Bishir

  2. What’s the name of the section of Wilson UNC Library with the manuscripts and collectors editions? Is the Civil War a separate section/collection?

  3. Mr. Brown,
    Your description matches several of our collections at Wilson Library. The North Carolina Collection includes published material (books, maps, photos, pamphlets, newspapers, magazines) about North Carolina. We have plenty of Civil War-related material and plenty of books published in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Southern Historical Collection has manuscripts (letters, plantation ledgers, official documents) from throughout the South. This includes plenty of items from the ante-bellum and Civil War periods. We also have the Rare Book Collection. It documents “the history of the book” and includes materials from the Middle Ages and Renaissance as well as 20th century books. It also includes books published during and about the Civil War.

    If you have specific questions, please email: wilsonlibrary@unc.edu

  4. Not sure I am a fan of taking a freely accessible resource and now making it more conveniently available by pay access, because, with privatizing legislatures, this will lead to a move to “privatize through digitize” exclusively this resource. A better option is for collection holders to digitize their own collections through foundation grants, watermarking provenance, and the collections linking resources to each other. Also if collections and libraries become completely digitized there will be many who will declare it economic folly to maintain the original materials – not just of poor paper quality materials like newspapers (most of which are saved by microfilm only already I guess). The lack of historically contemporaneous non-digital materials will make it easier for future Big Brothers to change the past when needed. Just saying. Librarians and archivists may perhaps recognize some merit in a little Neo-Luddism yet.

  5. As an independent scholar and historian, the resources found on newspaper.com are indispensible for what I do. The wonderful collections at Chapel Hill are three hours away, so having these newspapers at my fingertips is well worth the yearly subscription price. I’ve used this database for a couple of years now, and I find myself turning to it three or four times a week. Thanks Wilson Library for partnering with newspapers.com!

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