Persons Residing Outside of North Carolina
(Requesting Information by Correspondence)
Note: Due to current understaffing of the Correspondence unit please expect delays in response to record search inquiries and receipt of copies.
Use the Online Correspondence portal to make a request and payment via the Internet.
Or print out a copy of the request form (PDF), fill it out and either mail it or fax it to:
State Archives of North Carolina
4614 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4614
Fax: (919) 733-1354
Researchers who are unable to print the request form may submit a general letter. Please include the same type of information as requested by the on-line form. A $20.00 Search and Handling Fee must accompany each inquiry. Payments should be made by personal check or money order rather than cash (you may also use the Online Correspondence portal). Please remit to the "North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources." All requests are processed in the order that they are received regardless of how the request was placed (fax, Online Correspondence portal, regular mail).
A statement will be generated in response to your inquiry. The statement will include a citation for the material requested and, if copies of the requested record cannot be covered by the $20.00 fee, a cost of copies or, if covered by the $20.00 fee, the notation "copies enclosed" (if no record is found you will receive a statement telling what record series was checked without finding a record for the name given in your request). If the material in the statement is desired and there is an additional fee (as noted above) please return the statement and remit payment to the “North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.” Researchers are requested NOT to add any estimated costs to the quoted amount. ESTIMATED PAYMENTS MUST BE RETURNED, thus delaying the return of the requested copies.
You may also pay copying costs through the Online Correspondence portal. You will need an invoice number and an amount to complete the transaction.
Due to current understaffing of the Correspondence unit please expect delays in response to record search inquiries and receipt of copies.
Search and Handling Fee
Since October 1978 the General Statutes of North Carolina have authorized the State Archives of North Carolina to require the payment of a Search and Handling Fee before replying to inquiries received from researchers who are not residents of North Carolina. At present the fee is $20.00 for each inquiry about one record or one person's record. The search and handling fee is to accompany any non-resident request for information. There may be an additional charge for copying a record; typically the State Archives will include up to 20 photocopies, 8 microfilm copies, or 1 scanned image in the initial Search and Handling Fee. Mailed payments should be made by check, money order or include credit card information (MasterCard or Visa only) rather than cash. Patrons may also use the Online Correspondence portal. Please make your check or money order payable to North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. The report of the search will include a statement of copying costs (if any).
Over the years the Archives and private citizens have created and made nationally available various lists, indexes, and abstracts. Many researchers throughout the nation consult these and other lists, indexes, and abstracts, and consider that the information obtained (which is frequently out-of-date) is a sufficient search.
What the State Archives of North Carolina considers a search involves locating the actual record, examining it to determine what form of copying and how many copies it will require to reproduce the record, making a reply on a standard form, and subsequently processing the order for a copy. If the search is negative, the process concludes with the original search and negative report. The search and handling fee helps defray the cost to the taxpayers of North Carolina in rendering this service to non-residents of the state.
Please do not send monies in addition to the $20.00 search fee per request. Our staff will notify you if your copies exceed the amount covered by the search fee. Researchers are requested NOT to add an estimated cost of copying in their check paying the search and handling fee. ESTIMATED PAYMENTS MUST BE RETURNED, thus delaying a reply to the researcher's inquiry.
The primary concern of the State Archives is to preserve and protect the public records of the State of North Carolina and its one hundred counties, and to make these records available in the Search Room. The Archives is neither authorized nor staffed to engage in genealogical research.
For information about general requests, guidelines for requesting research and details of types of requests the State Archives can and can not answer, visit the Requesting Records by Mail page.
For information about fees for photocopies, copies of photographs and other materials, please consult Duplication Services.
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