Tuesdays Tip: North Carolina Digital Collections

Wildflowers North Carolina
If you have ancestors in North Carolina, Virginia, or South Carolina then you don’t want to miss out on the vast number of records available at the North Carolina Digital Collections.

When you land on the main page you see links to some popular collections, including NC Family Records, Raleigh History, Civil War 150, State Government Publications, Black Mountain College, and Archives’ Treasures. You can browse around by collection by clicking on one of these links, or take a look at the entire set of collections by clicking on All Collections near the top of the page.

Another way to browse through this immense set of digitized records is to use the “Browse by…” menu to the right side of the page.  This is the way I usually search since I am generally looking in a particular location, especially when I seek out resources for the USGenWeb site for which I volunteer.

For example, let’s assume I have ancestors from Granville County, N.C. (a good assumption), these are the steps I would follow to see what’s available on this website:

  1. Click on “Place” underneath “Browse by …”
  2. Click on the letter “G” in the alphabet near the top
  3. Find Granville County, N.C. and click away.

Near the top of the page I see “Results 1-20 of 103 item(s)” which means there are at present a total of 103 digitized items tagged for Granville County,  and the current page is displaying 20 of them. To view the list of the remaining 83 items you can use the page numbers or the “Next” link that appears both at the top and bottom of the list.

Along the left side of the page is another menu that allows the search to be refined. For example if I only want to view bible records, I can click on the “Bible Records” link underneath the Format menu. The number in parentheses next to bible records shows me that there are 49 digitized bible records (as of this writing).

Next, choose a document from the list that you are interested in viewing. Once you open to the document, you may be able to search within the document using the search field. In most cases I like to look through each document page by page, lest I miss something that a search term (or misspelling) would not pick up.

To move around in a document you can use the page numbers by clicking on each individual page, or the “previous page | next page ” links above the page numbers.

Other “Browse by…” options include Format (the type of item, e.g. article, map, histories), Subject (e.g. African American, Women, Military, Native American), and time period.

Finally, there is an Advanced Search form available to search by keyword or phrase. This is a possibility if you are searching for a particular surname.


 North Carolina Wildflowers photo courtesy of Marc_714 on flickr.

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  1. Theresa Casteel

    Great post. Thank you for sharing this site. I use the same search method on familysearch.org. I find I get better results when I first narrow it down to a specific place or collection.
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)

    • 1ancestry2littletime

      Thanks for visiting! I’m glad you enjoyed the post and I hope you find the site helpful in your searches.

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