From Sir Walter Raleigh in 1584 to Governor James Hunt in 1994, the history, government, and politics of North Carolina span more than four centuries. Resources to learn about the state's political development are extensive and are conveniently located for most citizens. Major resources include some of the finest research libraries in the world, well-established professional organizations and their publications, and a statewide system of depository libraries of public documents. Additionally, numerous individuals and groups generate important research that can greatly benefit persons seeking to understand specific public problems or actions.
The following materials are selective and illustrative, not exhaustive, of the vast array of assistance available to citizens and students of North Carolina government and politics.
The State Library, located in Raleigh, is designated by law as "the official, complete, and permanent depository for all state publications." It is also a partial depository for federal documents and the location of the State Data Center. The library maintains an information desk, accessible by telephone (919-733-3270), to respond to inquiries on demographics, government, business, and economics as they relate to North Carolina. Numerous electronic data retrieval services are available through the library.
The library is a member of the Interstate Exchange of Legislative Research Publications. It publishes a bimonthly Checklist of Official North Carolina State Publications. Many (twenty-four in 1990-91) public, community college, technical college, special, college, and university libraries are official (full or partial) depositors of state publications.