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Explore our collection

To view these items, come visit us at the North Carolina Collection! If you don’t live in Durham County, you can also submit a request for materials.

Digital Collections

View over 5,000 digital objects including historical images, documents, scrapbooks, and audio and video recordings.

Papers of Local Individuals and Organizations

The North Carolina Collection is home to over 350 archival collections of papers, including such treasures as 2000-plus African-American funeral programs, the diary of imprisoned Civil War Captain John C. Gorman, photos and papers documenting Durham’s urban renewal program, and extensive materials from Jean Anderson, the woman who wrote the book on Durham County history.

Researching Places in Durham

Physical items in the collection including maps, plans and schematics, aerial photographs and other large format materials. Digital resources including exhibits, digitized collections, and other online resources.

Biography File of Durham Citizens

A file of newspaper clippings and other materials about Durhamites past and present.

Subject Files

An alphabetized collection of materials including newspaper clippings, brochures, pamphlets, and other ephemeral items on various subjects related to Durham or North Carolina history. Most items date from the early 1980s, when the North Carolina Collection began, but earlier times are also represented.

Newspapers, Newsletters, and Periodicals

Current and/or back issues of a number of Durham and North Carolina-related periodicals.


Use our city and phone directories to research locations in Durham. Search by name, address, or phone number. Early editions are available online at DigitalNC.


Resources on microfilm. These resources are not digitized and must be accessed in-person. Popular resources include the full run of the Durham Morning Herald, the Carolina Times, and census records.


Guides for conducting genealogy and family research, including online resources as well as resources in the North Carolina Collection.

External Resources

Links to online resources on Durham and North Carolina history at other libraries and institutions.