Resources and links for researchers.
Historical Society Resources and Links
Learn about the launch of the SS Chapel Hill Victory – and an unexpected encounter with the SS Buncombe County!
Inventories: All inventories of material held by the Historical Society can be found in this Google Drive folder. Visit the Inventories page of our website for more information on searching and navigating our inventories.
CHHS on Digital NC: The Historical Society has partnered with Digital NC to upload portions of several of its collections. Links to individual collections below:
Prints & Photographs (Franklin Street, local businesses, cemeteries)
Maps and Architectural Drawings
Hilllife Yearbooks (Chapel Hill High School yearbooks)
Orange Echo & Lincoln Echo (OCTS and Lincoln High School newspapers)
Patterson’s General Store Ledger
This is Chapel Hill (black and white film)
S.S. Chapel Hill Victory launch scrapbook and champagne christening bottle
Newsletters: View CHHS newsletters, including an archive of newsletters from 1967-2012 and 2019-2020 here.
Annual Reports: View CHHS annual reports here.
50th Anniversary Slide Presentation – This slide deck from our 50th anniversary event provides an overview of the Historical Society’s founding and its early leaders.
McCauley Family Cemetery Restoration Project: The late Bill Burlingame, CHHS board member, wrote a series of blogs about his ongoing effort to restore the McCauley cemetery. The blog series can be viewed here.
External Resources and Links
Chapel Hill Weekly: Digitized copies of the Chapel Hill Weekly newspaper, from 1923-1977, can be viewed at the Library of Congress website.
The Chapel Hill News Leader – Digitized copies of the Chapel Hill News Leader, from 1954-1955
Digital NC: Digital NC is an online repository of digitized and born digital historical materials held by more than 250 museums, libraries, and archives all over North Carolina.
Historic Chapel Hill, UNC’s Digital History Lab’s website makes available geo-located versions of property descriptions and photographs from professional historic resource surveys of the town’s historic districts and property information from Orange County
Search UNC Wilson Library’s Southern Historical Collection: UNC-Chapel Hill’s Wilson Library holds four large historical collections that contain many smaller collections. Of the four, the Southern Historical Collection has the most information on Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Orange County history. Use the search bar to keyword search a name or topic.
UNC’s Southern Oral History Program: UNC’s Southern Oral History Program provides a number of resources for conducting oral histories.
Federation of North Carolina Historical Societies Bulletin: A digitized collection of the Bulletin of the Federation of North Carolina Historical Societies, of which the Chapel Hill Historical Society is a member, gives insight into the activities of historical societies in North Carolina. Recent bulletins are available here
From the Rock Wall: Living Histories of Black Chapel Hill/Carrboro: This collection and website from the Marian Cheek Jackson Center has a wealth of information and resources about the histories and voices of Black Chapel Hill/Carrboro, including recordings, images, and oral histories.
I Was Still Singing: An ongoing digital exhibit by the Chapel Hill Public Library that highlights contributions from Black women in Chapel Hill’s history.
Re/Collecting Chapel Hill: A podcast series started by Chapel Hill Public Library staff which seeks to “uncover the untold histories of Chapel Hill.”
Chapelboro Audio Interviews: Local radio station 97.9 FM, WCHPL, discusses local history in several radio interviews
Tom Jepsen and Richard Ellington discuss space needs, June 2023
Missy Julian-Fox discusses “A History of Hope” exhibit at Orange County Historical Museum, February 16, 2022
Danita Mason-Hogans discusses Black History Month 2021, February 8, 2021
Tom Jepsen discusses the Chapel Hill Historical Society’s publication The Copperline Chronicles, about the Kings Mill and Morgan Creek neighborhood, February 1, 2021
Elinor Allcott Griffith discusses the Chapel Hill Historical Society’s publication The Campus at Chapel Hill: 225 Years of Architecture, September 20, 2019
Chapel Hill Airport Photos ca. 1930s: Photos loaned to the Chapel Hill Historical Society by Bruce Martindale, son of Charlie Lee Martindale. The elder Martindale created Martindale Field, later Horace Williams Airport, in 1928. The airport was closed by its owner, the University of North Carolina, in May 2018.
Movies of Local People, 1941/1939: Professional “home movies” of local residents of Chapel Hill, NC, photographed by filmmaker H. Lee Waters. Waters would film local residents and then invite them to come see themselves in the movie, which was projected at a local cinema (in this case the Hollywood Theater). Most of the subjects are African-American and Waters seems to take care to engage with his subjects rather than just observe. This film is taken from the H. Lee Waters Film Collection, 1936-2005, at Duke University Libraries.
“Digging in Our Heels” Audio Recording series: Audio recordings relating to the presence of female students on the UNC campus, and how gender attitudes have changed over the years. The audio recordings also have links to text-based interviews of the participants. This material was developed by UNC-Wilson Library’s Southern Oral History Program as part of a campus walking tour, and was also used in the March 20, 2016 Historical Society Presentation, “Digging In Our Heels, Angels on Campus: The History of Women on Campus at UNC,” presented by Taylor Livingston.