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Researching Your Historic House: Books & Other Resources

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Durham County: A History of Durham County, North Carolina.
Anderson, Jean. 2011.
975.6563 ANDERSON
A thoroughly researched and well-written history of Durham County.

The Story of Durham: City of the New South.
Boyd, William Kenneth, 1925.
975.6 BOYD
The early history of Durham.

National Register of Historic Places Inventory: Nomination Forms for Durham, North Carolina.
720.975656 NATI
Binders containing nominations of historic houses and districts.

Duke University yearbooks for various years.

How Times Do Change: A Series of Sketches of Durham and Her Citizens.
Dixon, Wyatt. 1987.
975.9563 DIXON
A collection of newspaper columns that appeared in the Durham Sun.

Durham and Her People.
Dula, W. C. 1951.
920 DULA
Profiles of many residents of both races.

Durham City Directories
Published yearly from the late 1800s to the present, these directories provide a snapshot of Durham residents and businesses. Divided into two main sections: 1) an alphabetical listing by last name and 2) a listing by street address. The North Carolina Collection has print editions back to 1961, as well as microfilm editions of the 1887-1960 editions. Many editions are available online.

Durham County Historic Inventory.
720.975656 DURHAM
Lists properties outside the city limits identified as possible historic register candidates. Must be requested through the NC librarian.

Bull Durham and Beyond: A Touring Guide to City and County.
Flowers, John Baxton. 1976.
917.5656 FLOWERS

High school yearbooks
Yearbooks for various Durham County schools. Housed in NC office.

Milestones Along the Color Line.
Quick, Oliver B. 1922.
720.975 Q (NC Office, very fragile)
Photos of houses along Fayetteville Street in the 1920s.

The Durham Architectural and Historic Inventory.
Roberts, Claudia P. 1982.
720.975 R
Survey of neighborhoods and a sampling of the structures in each.

Historic Properties Survey of Durham County.
Sheffield, Jane E. 1986.
720.9756563 DURHAM (NC Office)
More information but not entirely accurate.

Various books on architecture are located in the 720s.

Local Government Offices

Durham City-County Planning Department. Lisa Miller, contact for historic properties. 101 City Hall Plaza, 560-4137, x28270.

Register of Deeds. Carol Jenkins is the contact for researching plat maps, surveyors maps, deeds, mortgages, and leases. 200 E. Main, G Floor, 919-560-0480 or 919-560-0481.


Durham Herald Sun
Indexes for 1930-February 1990 on the third floor. Ads were not indexed, but can be a good source if you know approximate dates.

Carolina Times, Chapel Hill Herald, Durham Daily Globe, Durham Morning Herald, Durham Herald Sun, Durham Recorder, Durham Sun, Hillsborough Recorder, Independent.
Newspapers on microfilm in the Periodicals Department, second floor

Other Resources

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
1913-1935 and 1937-1960 volumes are housed in the NC office and are too fragile to copy. Available online through NC LIVE. (Available from any computer with your library card number. Call 919-560-0110)

Other Durham maps
In the map cabinet in the NC office.

Aerial photographs, 1959 flight (locked case).
Must know tax map number and township.

Durham Historic Photographic Archives
On library web site. Can be searched by keyword.

Records of appraisals of houses destroyed during urban renewal.
See NC librarian for access.

Durham Daily Sun obituary index, 1889-1920s. In NC office.
See NC librarian for access.


Durham County Library:

Durham City/County Planning Department:

Endangered Durham (Land use, architecture, history, and sustainable development in Durham, NC):

Historic Preservation Society of Durham:

Trinity Park Association:

Watts Hospital-Hillandale Neighborhood Association:

World Imagery Database:

Updated October 1, 2013.