Colonial Records

Pages from the digitized version of the Colonial and State Records of North Carolina

Generations of researchers are familiar with the ten-volume series The Colonial Records of North Carolina, edited by William L. Saunders and published from 1886 to 1890. This series was shortly followed by the twenty volumes of The State Records of North Carolina (1895-1911), edited by Walter Clark.

Thanks to funding from the State Library through the federal Library Services and Technology Act, much of this first series is available online via DocSouth at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Explore the First Series Online at UNC-Chapel Hill

For more information, please visit the website of the Colonial Records Project:

Colonial Records Project Website

The Second Series

In 1963, a new series of Colonial Records was launched. The inaugural volume of The Colonial Records of North Carolina [Second Series] printed the key constitutional documents of early Carolina, such as royal charters and the Fundamental Constitutions. Volumes II-VI focus on records of the various higher courts in the colony to 1730, while volumes VII-IX concern the Council, the body advising proprietary and royal governors on the exercise of their extensive powers.

The documents in volumes X-XII will tell the story of the Church of England in colonial North Carolina. Subsequent volumes will have as their themes the governorship of Arthur Dobbs (1754–1765); and the Regulation, the important sociopolitical movement of the later colonial era.

The Colonial Records of North Carolina, Volume 1
The Colonial Records of North Carolina, Volume 2
The Colonial Records of North Carolina, Volume 3
The Colonial Records of North Carolina, Volume 4
The Colonial Records of North Carolina, Volume 7
  The Colonial Records of North Carolina, Volume 8
The Colonial Records of North Carolina, Volume 9
The Colonial Records of North Carolina, Volume 10
The Colonial Records of North Carolina, Volume 11

Recent Publications

The latest venture in the Colonial Records Project is the publication of a series of softcover titles featuring selected documents on themes such as society, piracy, warfare, religion, slavery, Indians, and the family, among others. It is envisioned that these publications will be of use to established scholars, and also suitable for introducing students to the richness of early North Carolina’s documentary legacy.

Titles in this series include Society in Early North Carolina, edited by Dr. Alan Watson, North Carolina Headrights: A List, 1663-1744, compiled by Caroline B. Whitley, African Americans in Early North Carolina, edited by Dr. Alan Watson, and Native Americans in Early North Carolina, edited by Dennis L. Isenbarger