A Guide to the Study and Reading of North Carolina History

By Hugh Talmage Lefler | Go to book overview

I. SOURCES FOR THE STUDY AND WRITING OF NORTH CAROLINA HISTORY: STATE AND LOCAL

NORTH CAROLINA is rich in materials for the writing, teaching, and study of the state's history. It has some of the best manuscript collections in the nation, notably that of the Southern Historical Collection in the University of North Carolina Library at Chapel Hill, the Flowers Collection of Southern historical materials at Duke University, and the official manuscript archives in the Department of Archives and History at Raleigh. It also has several noteworthy manuscript collections for the study of church history, among the most outstanding being those of the Southern Presbyterian Church at Montreat and the Moravian collection at Winston-n. The state's one hundred counties also have local manuscript archives of varying quantity, importance, and value. An excellent guide to these local records is to be found in The Historical Records of North Carolina, 3 vols. ( Raleigh, 1938- 1939), edited by C. C. Crittenden and Dan Lacy.

Most valuable of all collections of printed sources for North Carolina history before 1789 are the Colonial Records of North Carolina, 10 vols. ( Raleigh, 1886- 1890), edited by W. L. Saunders, followed by State Records of North Carolina, 16 vols. ( Winston, Goldsboro, Charlotten, 1895- 1905), edited by Walter Clark, with four index volumes ( Goldsboro, Charlotte, Raleigh, 1909- 1914), edited by Stephen B. Weeks. This series, one of the best published by any state, includes: legislative journals; laws; royal instructions to governors; letters of governors, missionaries, and other people; the census of 1790; lists of taxables; extracts from newspapers; official documents of various kinds, and a great variety of miscellaneous documents. The Colonial Records of North Carolina has been out of print for many years. Under the auspices of the State Department of Archives and History, a new set of colonial records will be published within the next decade or so. This new collection will contain many new documents; it will correct the numerous errors in the older set; it will be better organized, more carefully edited and better indexed. Volume I of the new series, edited by Mrs. Mattie Edwards Parker, was published in 1963, in connection with the tercentenary celebration of the Carolina charter. Records of the Moravians in North Carolina, 1752- 1822, 8 vols. ( Raleigh, 1922- 1954), edited by Adelaide L. Fries , contain a wealth of information on the economic, social, religious, and cultural life of the North Carolina back country for three-quarters

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