Chapel Hill Historical Society

Preserving the history of Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and neighboring
communities in Orange County, for future generations.

The Chapel Hill Historical Society was founded in 1966 to research and document the history of Chapel Hill and the surrounding communities, to encourage and assist in the study of local history, and to provide public programs and publications related to the heritage and traditions of the area.

Help support our mission: Join or Renew Your Membership Today!

“A History of Hope: UNC & Chapel Hill ” now open at the Orange County Historical Museum in Hillsborough.
An experience to surprise, spark, inspire and connect the intertwined, often unspoken, collective history of Chapel Hill & our flagship University.

What’s New

Heart of the Hill Walking Tours Resume

Click here for the schedule and registration for these popular tours

Seeking Volunteers for Hometown Ambassadors Pilot
Hometown Ambassadors will volunteer to share history, insight and recommendations to visitors at the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau at 308 W. Franklin Street. If you like to meet new people and want to share your love and knowledge of our community, and would like to serve as a Hometown Ambassador, please email Missy Julian-Fox at mjulianfox@gmail.com. Read more about this project here: Hometown Ambassadors.

2022 Virtual Programs

As of this writing, the timetables and requirements for holding in-person events at the Chapel Hill Library are still uncertain. As a result, we will continue to use Zoom sessions for our 2022 programs. Updates will be provided here.

Click these links for YouTube recordings of 2020, 2021 programs and 2022 programs

TBD – “Rosenwald Schools of NC” – In 1919, Julius Rosenwald, President of Sears & Roebuck combined talents with Booker T. Washington of the Tuskegee Institute, to promote the construction of over 5,400 grade schools for African Americans throughout the South. Richard Ellington, CHHS president, and Phill Lyons, president of Preservation Chapel Hill, will discuss how the program to build schools began, grew, and developed, with an emphasis on North Carolina.

October 16, 2022 – “Joint History of Chapel Hill and Durham through Postcards and Shared Landowners” – Local historian John Schlep will discuss joint and shared history between Durham and Orange County inspired by vintage postcards.

Access to Collections and References

Our collections and reference materials are housed in the Community History Lab room at the Chapel Hill Public Library and are accessible for reading when the Lab is open and properly staffed. Materials are not allowed to be removed or used without supervision. If you would like our assistance with a research request or need access or help with materials, please email us at chhistoricalsociety@gmail.com.

Support Us

Join the Historical Society today or buy our books!
Find out more about supporting us here.


Business Office
109 N. Graham St., Suite 104
Chapel Hill, NC 27516
Collections & Reference Materials
100 Library Dr
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Contact Us

Chapel Hill Historical Society
P.O. Box 9032
Chapel Hill, NC 27515