North Carolina City Directories 1860-1963 Now Online at NCDHC

Now this is cool… The NCDHS North Carolina Digital Library has now posted digitized city directories for 108 cities in 64 North Carolina counties dating from 1860 through 1963. The following teaser is from a UNC Library News and Events article posted at

Now a century’s worth of North Carolina directories is online (here) as part of the City Directories Collection from the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center (NCDHC). The collection features 939 directories from the years 1860 through 1963. They cover 108 cities in 64 counties.

The NCDHC is a statewide digital library based at the UNC Library and sponsored by the State Library of North Carolina. Through cooperative projects with libraries, museums, historical societies, and cultural institutions, it has digitized more than two million pages of North Carolina history since its founding in 2010.

The directories are a valuable tool for genealogists, historians, city planners, and anyone curious about the state’s past, said Nick Graham, program coordinator for the Center. “City directories don’t sound interesting until you realize how much is in them,” he said.

The simplest directories list residents alphabetically, along with their address and occupation. Some have a reverse-directory feature arranged by address that can help researchers understand how businesses turned over from year to year.

The most comprehensive directories contain a treasure trove of history, such as local business ads and Jim Crow-era publications that denote the race of each resident. Graham said UNC researchers studied the racial geography of Charlotte in 1911 by creating a map using the directories.

Read the full article.

Thanks to ResearchBuzz for the heads-up.

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