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Guide to Research Materials in the
North Carolina Archives
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Ordering Information by David A. French
North Carolina State
Library handles interlibrary loans of microfilm.
The North Carolina State Archives
handles purchases of microfilm and copies of original records and copies
of items on microfilm.
Interlibrary Loans of Microfilm Records
According to Mr. Steve Case, Interlibrary Loan Librarian at the North Carolina State Library and Mr. Victor Jones, Head History Librarian at the New Bern-Craven County Public Library, the North Carolina State Library does interlibrary loans of microfilm from the Core microfilm records. Core usually means Wills, Estates, Deeds, Marriage Indexes, Court Minutes and some others. They only do interlibrary loans of these Core records on microfilm for libraries within North Carolina. You can see which items are noted as Core via the search link below.
This search will tell you specifically on which microfilm reel the information you are seeking may be located.
State Library Catalog Search
1. In the "Find This Box" type County Name followed by Co
Example: Onslow Co
2. In the "Find Results In"
Select "Call Number Browse" (Note: You do not need to know the actual call number to find the record.)
3. Press "Begin Search"
When the list comes up, select the one you need, then click on it and it will tell you on which reel the info is located. The "Core" items are marked as such.
How to Obtain Microfilm Records from the State Library via Your Local North Carolina Library
1. Use the information from the "North Carolina County Records Guide" and State Library Online Catalog Search to determine which microfilm you need.
2. Fill out a microfilm request form available at your local North Carolina library. Your local history or reference librarian should be able to assist you. You need to list the county, type of record, title of record, the dates and complete name of person(s). It is best to be as specific as possible so that you receive the correct reel(s).
The microfilm usually arrives from the State Library in about a week or so from when the State Library receives the order. The only cost involved is the postage when the microfilm arrives which is a few dollars for six reels of microfilm. Your local North Carolina library may keep the microfilm for 30 days and may renew it once for another 30 days. In some cases, the item may be able to be renewed a second time depending on availability. There is usually no cost to renew. There is a limit of six reels per patron at a time. Keep in mind, the microfilm cannot leave your local North Carolina library so they will need to have a microfilm viewer and/or printer for you to use.
State Library Interlibrary Loans
How to Obtain North Carolina Records when you live outside North Carolina
If you live outside North Carolina, you have two options for obtaining the North Carolina microfilm records: One is the North Carolina State Archive and two is a local LDS Family History Center in your area.
North Carolina State Archive Microfilm Purchase Program
You may purchase microfilm from the North Carolina State Archives. The microfilm is $12.00 per reel including postage. The turnaround time is about three weeks from when the order and payment are received. When you purchase microfilm you are not limited to just the Core records, but may order any records they currently have available on microfilm. Some of the records are organized by year and some alphabetically. I spoke with the State Archive and the gentleman who handles purchases of microfilm by the public. is Mr. Larry Odzak at (919) 807-7306
By using the information you should be able to determine which microfilm you need and compile a list of the microfilm reels so that you can order them from the Archives. I could not find a microfilm order form on the Archive website so a letter or email with the detailed information may suffice or give them a call to verify. Their email is firstname.lastname@example.org .
The mailing address for the State Archives is
North Carolina State Archives
4614 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, N.C. 27699-4614
Note: If you live outside North Carolina, it is usually less expensive to order the entire reel of microfilm than to have a copy of something made from it as there is a $20.00 research fee per inquiry plus the copy costs for out of state record requests. See this link for more info on obtaining copies of original records:
LDS Family History Center Microfilm Loan Program
They usually have all of the same North Carolina County microfilm that the State Archive and Library has. You can search the LDS microfilm catalog as noted below. You receive the microfilm on loan via a local LDS Family History Center. The cost per reel of microfilm is $5.50 per 30 days. It may be renewed for an additional $5.50 for another 60 days. In most cases, depending on the microfilm, another renewal of $5.50 will keep the microfilm in the local family history center forever. The total would be either $5.50, $11.00 or $16.50 per reel. The microfilm/microfiche must be ordered from and viewed at your local Family History Center. You do not have to be a member of the LDS to use their Family History Centers.
LDS Microfilm Search Example http://www.familysearch.org/eng/Library/FHLC/frameset_fhlc.asp
1. Select "Place Search"
2. In Place Box Type, Onslow (Note: Do Not Type the word County as no records will show.)
3. Select "North Carolina, Onslow"
4. Select "North Carolina, Onslow - Court records"
5. Select "Minute docket, 1869-1926 North Carolina. Superior Court (Onslow County)"
6. Click on "View Film Notes" Button in the upper right hand corner.
7. This will show the detail note on the items and the location/film number.
Note: Minute docket, Vol. A 1869-1876
Location: FHL US/CAN (This means the Family History Library.)
Film Number: 267592 (This is the number you will need to order the film.)
LDS Microfilm Loan info:
LDS Family History Center Locator:
Thanks to Mr. Case, Mr. Jones, the LDS technical support staff and others for their assistance in clarifying how to obtain records.
I trust this information is helpful to both current and future researchers. /s/ David A. French
© 2009 Kay Midgett Sheppard