Local History

The North Carolina Collection is made up largely of materials about North Carolina or by North Carolinians. These materials are considered rare and special, so they have to be used in the building. None of these items may be checked out.

Printed Materials
Books, and many of the pamphlets and government publications, are cataloged and may be located using the Library’s on-line public access catalog. Of special interest to local historians is our collection of Winston-Salem city directories dating back to 1889/90. Some of our early directories are digitized as part of the Internet Archive. The North Carolina Collection also contains biographies, fiction, city and county histories, and much more.

Vertical File
The vertical file contains clippings from newspapers, magazines, uncataloged government publications and other ephemeral materials. There are four divisions within the file: Genealogy, Forsyth County, Winston-Salem, and North Carolina. Individual items are arranged by subject within one of these divisions.

Newspapers on Microfilm
The North Carolina Room is home to several early local newspapers. They include the Winston-Salem Journal (1898-present), Twin City Sentinel (1906-1985), Winston-Salem Peoples Press (1851-1892), Union Republican (1874-1944), Raleigh Register (1799-1886), The Chronicle (1974-present) and others. Step back into history with these pages from the past. Copies made from the film are 15 cents each.

The North Carolina Room owns most of the Geological Survey maps for North Carolina, as well as two partial series of modern historical maps. The Hughes maps show early trails, mills, etc., as well as early land owners. The North Carolina Room also owns selected Sanborn Fire Insurance maps for Winston-Salem and other North Carolina cities. Patrons may also consult the county road maps prepared by the state. Some of our early maps are digitized as part of the North Carolina Maps  project.

The North Carolina Room receives tens of magazines including: State, the North Carolina Historical Review, the Journal of Early Southern Decorative Arts, the North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal, and the Forsyth County Genealogical Society Journal. Earlier years are bound and are found in the North Carolina Room.


City Directories

Winston-Salem City (1898-present)

Winston-Salem Suburban (1960-)

Digitized Directories: Internet Archive


Geological survey maps of NC

Historical and recent county maps

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

Digitized Maps: NC Maps


Index (partial)

Winston-Salem Chronicle (1974-1996)

Winston-Salem Journal (1997 – Present)

Vertical Files

Newspaper clippings & ephemera filed by topics ranging mainly from 1950s-1990s.

Forsyth County

North Carolina



County Records (1740-1868)

Bonds, Deeds, Marriages, Wills

Cabarrus Stokes

Davidson Surry

Davie Rowan

Forsyth Yadkin

Forsyth County (1850-1993)

Births & Deaths


Winston-Salem Chronicle (1974-present)

Winston-Salem Journal (1898-present)

Twin City Sentinel (1906-1985)

Peoples Press (1851-1892)

Raleigh Register (1799-1886)

Union Republican (1874-1944)

Western Sentinel (1857-1926



Historic Bethabara

Historic Bethania

North Carolina Historic Sites

Old Salem

Register of Historic Places in North Carolina

Reynolda House Museum of Art


Forsyth County Genealogical Society

Kernersville Historic Preservation Society

Lewisville Historical Society

Wachovia Historical Society

Walkertown Historical Society