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Local History Room

Special Collections, State & Local history and Archives of NHCPL

Hours & Contact

The hours of the Local History Room are Monday-Thursday 10 am - 7 pm, Friday-Saturday 10 am - 5 pm, and closed Sunday. Feel free to call at 910-798-6305 to contact staff if you need to access resources that may take time to retrieve.

Local History Programs


                          Genealogy Drop-In Series

                               September 25,

                                     October 12, October 28,

                        November 8, November 25,

                        December 12, December 30




Special Collections, State & Local history and Archives of NHCPL

The New Hanover County Public Library focuses on the heritage and history of the people, places, culture, and natural environment of the Lowcounties and Lower Cape Fear region, the City of Wilmington, and the great state of North Carolina. 

  • Housed in the North Carolina Room, much of the state and local history collection has been handed down through several former public and private libraries dating back to the Cape Fear Library of 1760.
  • Although emphasis has been placed on collecting information about Southeastern North Carolina, the collection includes materials from across the State.
  • Visitors can use our ScanPro 3000 microfilm machine to view film and create PDF's of desired articles.
  • Low Counties cultural resources. Low Counties, or Lowcounties, the most accepted definition includes coastal southeastern North Carolina counties that share similar culture, architecture, cuisine, and geography; New Hanover, Pender, Brunswick and the murky line through other counties that embrace the lower Cape Fear River or its tidewater wetlands tributaries or some say, "Wherever the Spanish moss grows." 

  • Materials in the North Carolina Room are for research only and may not be checked out.
  • The use of ink pens is strictly prohibited.  We have pencils available for your use upon request.
  • Accessing manuscript and map collections requires 24 hour advance notice.
  • Food, drink, and business solicitation are not permitted.
  • All backpacks, purses, laptop cases, and other bags must be stored in a locker.
  • The use of laptops is permitted.
  • The use of digital cameras is permitted though the flash must be turned off.
  • Please limit cell phone usage and remember to be courteous to others if you do need to be on your phone.
  • The backroom is open, but please take books to the reading room tables.
  • Please leave books on the cart near the front desk and we will reshelve them for you.
  • The computers in the North Carolina Room are setup for family and local history only.  The computer lab on the first floor provides access for email and other services.

We appreciate your understanding and for helping us preserve this rare and special collection.

Visiting Special Collections & Archives

  • All research must be done in the NC Room; state and local history materials are non-circulating and cannot be checked out.
  • Extensive research requires a trip to the library. Before your visit, please contact us so we can anticipate your needs and make sure staff is available.
  • Accessing manuscript and map collections requires 24 hour advance notice.
  • Requests from citizens of New Hanover County are taken first. Others are answered in the order received.
    The cost for simple research is 15 cents per photocopy, plus postage.
  • A copy machine is available to make copies for 10 cents with your New Hanover County Library Card or 15 cents without.
  • High resolution scans of images can be completed for $5.00 each.
  • Some materials may be too rare, fragile, or large to be copied. Materials within locked cases require ID for access.
  • Pencils must be used when working in the NC Room.

New History Titles

Main Library
201 Chestnut Street
Wilmington, NC 28401

Northeast Regional Library
1241 Military Cutoff Road
Wilmington, NC 28405

Pine Valley Library
3802 South College Road
Wilmington, NC 28412

Pleasure Island Library
1401 N. Lake Park Boulevard
Carolina Beach, NC 28428

Call (910) 798-6300
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10 am - 7 pm
Friday-Saturday 10 am - 5 pm
Sunday 1 - 5 pm