New Acquisitions

This past week the Forsyth County Central Library was thrilled to partner with The University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s Library and Information Studies program to host three graduate students for their Alternative Spring Break program.  The students worked the entire week to inventory and process a new collection the library has received from the Hispanic League. The Hispanic League recently celebrated its 25th Anniversary. Their archives preserves their history of programs, events, and initiatives within Winston-Salem and the surrounding area.


Courtney, Brandie, and Allyson putting together an inventory of the Hispanic League Archives in the NC Room special collections processing area.

The interns inventoried multiple boxes of records, newspapers, program materials,  and ephemera. Then they went about rehousing the materials in archive folders and boxes. They removed staples and replaced metal paper clips with coated ones to prevent rust. They learned the basic archival principles of original order and provenance and how to arrange collections.


The newly arranged collection. Look how neat and tidy it is!

The collection is almost ready for research. The processing of the collection by putting the records in order, rehousing them in archive boxes and folders, and creating a box list is completed. The next step will be for NC Room staff to create a finding aid to help researchers find the materials they need within the collection.


Allyson, Brandie, Karen (NC Room Supervisor)  and Courtney on the last day of #UNCGLISASB18

We are so thankful for our interns hard work during their spring break to help make the Hispanic League Archives research ready. This collection preserves the history of the Hispanic League and their engagement within our vibrant community.

Fresh from the Digital North Carolina Blog 

World War II era Winston-Salem city directories now online


Hill's Winston-Salem City (Forsyth County, N.C.) Directory [1945], page 5

Forsyth County Public Library has provided four more city directories documenting Winston Salem and the surrounding area. These directories cover 1940-1945, adding to the set that was previously available. The large volumes can be extremely useful for many types of researchers because they are full-text searchable. City directories offer a wealth of information about property rights, business ownership, and local economic history.You can view all of the newly available city directories at the links below:

To view more city directories from the Forsyth County Public Library and browse all of their collections available on DigitalNC, please visit the contributor page. To learn more about the library and the services that it offers, please visit the website.

The North Carolina Room turned 40 last week on Monday, June 15th and we had a wonderful celebration. The Friends of the Central Library sponsored our event. Lots of people stopped by to say thanks and to enjoy birthday cake, shortcake, fresh strawberries & blueberries, and lemonade. Balloons and flowers really made the affair festive.  Attendees included patrons, former FCPL librarians, Forsyth County Genealogical Society members, and Forsyth County staff. We really enjoyed talking about the North Carolina Room’s history and sharing information about our collections. A family bible donation was a welcome surprise to be added to our genealogy collection. Thank you to everyone who attended!

Family Bible Donation

Family Bible Donation


NC Room Staff

Our first Collection Spotlight of 2015 features two books from our North Carolina monograph collection.  These books have come to our collection by way of a generous donation of the Bethabara Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.

Call number NC 973.3 K35A. Available for reference in the North Carolina Room.

Call number NC 973.3 K35A. Available for reference in the North Carolina Room.

The first, The American Revolution: A Historical Guidebook edited by Frances H. Kennedy is a historical account of almost 150 various sites associated with the Revolutionary War. From battlefields and encampments to taverns and state houses, the aim of the guidebook is to preserve the famous and not so famous places where men and women of the Revolution created a nation. Published in 2014 by the Oxford University Press, this substantial volume is of interest for historical researchers, readers interested in learning more about the Revolutionary War, and travelers with an appreciation for historic sites.

Call number NC 975.602 D919R. Available for reference in the North Carolina Room.

Call number NC 975.602 D919R. Available for reference in the North Carolina Room.

The second, Redcoats on the Cape Fear: The Revolutionary War in Southeastern North Carolina by Robert M. Dunkerly is a collection of “eyewitness accounts and other primary sources” that tell the tale of Wilmington and the Lower Cape Fear region during the Revolutionary War. The city had a politically polarized climate between Whigs and Loyalists and was a contested site for news, supplies, and blockade running. This revised edition, published in 2012 by McFarland & Company, Inc., is a great reference for anyone interested in the Revolutionary War history of North Carolina.

The North Carolina Room collection is always available for reference at the new location on the Second Floor of the Forsyth County Government Building, 201 N. Chestnut Street, Winston-Salem, 27101.





On August 27, 2013 we posted a thank you to our loyal friends for having reached a total of 60,000 hits on our blog. See it here:

60,000 is one more than 59,999…

A couple of weeks ago, we hit 70,000, and now the total is 70,459…we’ve averaged almost 2,500 hits per month since August and set a new monthly record in December, with 2,616.

The total since August is over 15% of all the hits we have had since our tentative start in February, 2008.

We’re glad that you have enjoyed our stories of local history. But we are even gladder that thousands of you have discovered the many resources and links contained on our web pages. Those resources will continue to increase as time goes by. Check out our basic web page now to see what I’m talking about:

NC Room Web Page

And again, thanks for being such loyal visitors! Your comments are always welcome, and if you have questions about anything that you find on our website, please call us at 336.703.3070 anytime during our opening hours, which are:

9 AM – 9PM  Monday-Wednesday

9 AM – 6 PM  Thursday & Friday

9 AM – 5 PM  Saturday

1 PM – 5 PM  Sunday

We are closed on Sundays between Memorial Day and Labor Day


Thanks to the generosity of the Colonel Joseph Winston Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, we’re pleased to announce that we now have South Carolina in the American Revolution and New York in the American Revolution by Eric G. Grundset, the first two volumes of the new DAR Source Guides on the American Revolution series.  These valuable guides provide detailed information about where important genealogical information may be found including extensive bibliographies and lists of major research centers, annotated transcriptions of useful government documents, maps and much more.  We’re told that North Carolina in the American Revolution is due to be released in 2015.  Even if you have no ancestors from South Carolina or New York, take a look.  Mr. Grundset’s explanatory paragraphs make for fascinating reading.


The DAR also gave us a copy of The Secrets of Sterling Shearin: the Noblest Cause, an epistolary novel in the form of a 1790’s Southern diary.  Author S. Ferrell weaves into the narrative some lesser known Founding Fathers such as Nathaniel Macon, William R. Davie, and James Iredell for whom three North Carolina counties were named.  Central Library also has a copy that can be checked out.  If you’d like to read it and it’s already in use, please ask a librarian to help you put it on hold.  When it’s returned, we’ll keep it for you and let you know it’s ready to be picked up.


A couple of days ago, while looking for something else, as is often the case, I found a couple of maps that we did not know we had. Both were produced in 1930 by the Winston-Salem Industrial Commission.

One shows the rail connections from the Twin City to other destinations in the the Carolinas / Virginia / Georgia region at the height of American railroading. The other shows intercity bus connections for the same area.

Since it may be some time before we can add them to the online NC maps collection in Chapel Hill, I have scanned them at a resolution high enough to be usable here. Just click on the image to enlarge it. Once posted at the UNC site, the resolution will be much larger.

The rail map is color coded by railroad. All of the lines from Winston-Salem are still operating. The Winston-Salem Southbound is still an independent entity which operates trains between W-S and Wadesboro, where they connect with the CSX line. The line shown as the Southern RR connecting with Wilkesboro and Mt. Airy is now operated by another independent line known as the Yadkin Valley Railroad, headquartered in Rural Hall, connecting with Norfolk Southern. And the line identified as Norfolk & Western is now known as Norfolk Southern. Among them they operate about a dozen freight trains a day in the Twin City area.


The bus map was too large to fit onto our scanner, so I have scanned the most important part as it relates to Winston-Salem. It shows the routes of the Camel City Coach Line (solid red) and their connections to other regional lines (dashed red lines). Camel City was founded in Winston-Salem in 1925 by the Gilmer brothers and eventually expanded to become Atlantic Greyhound, later a component of the national Greyhound bus line, which today still operates thousands of daily routes in the US and Great Britain.


I am working on a post about the Gilmers, who were pioneers in the department store, automotive sales and service, and intercity bus line businesses, beginning with a single general store on North Main Street in the 1890s and extending into the 1950s. You can find a little teaser on them by typing “car nuts” into the search box at the top of this page.

Don’t forget that you can click on the maps to enlarge them to usable size.

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