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Tip of the week: Using Sanborn Maps

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Sanborn maps are a valuable research tool. These maps are fire insurance maps dating 1866-1959. Approximately 3,000 cities have Sanborn maps that cover all 50 U.S. states, Canada, and Mexico.

North Carolina maps include 145 towns within 85 counties; however, different cities have maps for different years. For example, the town of Hertford in Perquimans County has maps for the years of 1916, 1923, 1929-1940. On the other hand, Concord in Cabarrus County has maps dated 1885, 1887, 1892, 1897, 1902, 1906, 1911, 1921, and 1927.


NC Digital Collection Updates

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North Carolina Digital Collection Updates!

We have 2 updates to share about the North Carolina Digital Collections: the Family Records Collection has a new homepage and a new look and we have added some more State Fair Premium Lists to the State Fair Digital Collection!

Family Records Collection – New Look

The State Library of North Carolina recently redesigned their website. Along with this change, we collaborated with reference staff at the Government & Heritage Library as well as staff at the State Archives of North Carolina to incorporate the Family Records Collection’s previous design into the North Carolina Digital Collections.


The new homepage for the Family Records Collection


Family History Fair: Featured Presentations

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Family-History-2014-Postcard-WEBFRONTYou might not think to look at ferry records from 100 years ago for links to long lost relatives, but ferry lists are an underused resource you’ll learn about at the free Family History Fair presented by the State Archives and State Library of North Carolina Oct. 25 at the Department of Cultural Resources, 109 E. Jones Street in Raleigh.

The Family History Fair on Saturday, Oct. 25, opens at 9 a.m. and presentations begin at 10 a.m. The annual history fair celebrates links to our heritage and this year offers presentations on specific records that are important sources of information for family researchers and genealogists.

“Grants in North Carolina Before 1776” is the topic of Dr. A. B. Pruitt, who examines royal and proprietary land grants in North and South Carolina. For the past 25 years, Pruitt has produced books based on land records in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Stewart Dunaway presents “Road, Bridge and Ferry Records: A New Path in Genealogy Research.” Road, bridge and ferry records in State Archives provide an amazingly detailed resource for family research. For example, county ferry records will identify land owners that may not be identified any other way. These records list areas of river crossings and indicate old roads and train routes. Dunaway has completed four books on the Revolutionary War, and transcribes road and bridge records in the State Archives, recently completing 42,000 documents, which are published in more than 120 volumes.

Both presentations will take place in the building’s auditorium. For more information about this event please go here,

GHL Family History Fair: Vendors in Depth – Preserving Family History

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2nd Saturdays! Government and Heritage Library Family History Fair - August 11th!


A Look at the Family History Fair’s Vendors – A/V Geeks and

 The Family History Fair on August 11, 2012 will host exhibitors that will demonstrate the importance of preserving your family’s story whether it is  your old home movies or getting your family stories on film. Learn more below.


A/V Geeks

A/V Geeks will talk about the  importance of home movies as family and cultural artifacts, how to keep them safe. They will demonstrate how to preserve films to digital formats.

Preserves family stories through professionally-recorded video memoirs. We record in-person interviews and digitize old photographs to create video tributes that celebrate families’ histories, values, and wisdom. You and your family receive High-Definition copies of your video on DVD and can access clips online, too. Please visit or email for more details.


This blog is a service of the State Library of North Carolina, part of the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Blog comments and posts may be subject to Public Records Law and may be disclosed to third parties.