I have seen on a couple County Lists where people are asking how to
access County and other records (copies of originals and/or microfilm)
that are held at the North Carolina State Archive and State Library so I
thought I would put together an email/post covering how to obtain these records.
The North Carolina State Library handles interlibrary loans of
microfilm to North Carolina libraries.
The North Carolina State Archive handles purchases of microfilm and
copies of original records and copies of items on microfilm.
* North Carolina County Records Guide
This is the best place to start. You may download a copy of the
County Records that the North Carolina State Archives has available in
their original form as well as what they have available on microfilm.
The file is a PDF and covers all the counties.
Please follow this link to access the "County Records Guide"
* 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
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
said the person to contact is Mr. Larry Odzak at 919.807.7306 who
handles purchases of microfilm by the public.
By using the information in this email/post, 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 Archive. I could not find a
microfilm order form on the Archive website so a letter or email with
the detail information may suffice or give them a call to verify.
Their email is email@example.com .
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. You do not have
to pay the $20.00 fee if you are just ordering microfilm.
See this link for more info on obtaining copies of original records:
Also, local North Carolina residents may purchase microfilm from the Archive.
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
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
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.
If anyone else knows additional details, please share with the list
I will post the County Records that are available from the Archive and
Library for the following counties: Beaufort, Carteret, Craven,
Dobbs, Hyde, Jones, Lenoir, Onslow, Pamlico and Pitt via the ancestry
message boards so that they will be available both on the boards and
the rootsweb county lists. If the county list administrators will
post for the other counties that would be excellent. I will also post
this message on the genforum boards for the above counties. It may
take me a couple of days to get them all posted.
I trust this information is helpful to both current and future researchers.
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