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October is Archives Month in North Carolina

Raleigh

Governor Roy Cooper has proclaimed October 2018 as Archives Month in North Carolina and the State Archives of North Carolina is cosponsoring an exhibit that displays both ordinary and extraordinary documents that record the history and culture of the state. 

View the proclamation online at https://governor.nc.gov/documents/governor-cooper-proclaims-october-2018-north-carolina-archives-month

“Most people don’t realize the importance of archives until they need a document that proves property ownership, or military service, or need historical photographs that document communities that don’t exist today,” said Sarah Koonts, North Carolina’s state archivist. “The value of archives can be powerful, especially for those who are tracing ancestors or need to locate a legal record.”

The State Archives’ newest exhibit, “Treasures of Carolina: Stories from the State Archives,” is currently on display through Dec. 21 at the Mountain Gateway Museum in Old Fort, near Asheville. 

“The State Archives preserves many well-known documents, but the stories, personalities, and struggles of individuals, families, and groups are often revealed in everyday items such as letters, photographs, and government documents and registries,” Koonts said.  

Among the items in the exhibit is a hand-drawn map used as evidence at Tom Dula’s 1867 trial for murdering Laura Foster in Wilkes County. A jury convicted Dula of the crime, and he later was hanged. The exhibit also features an 1839 petition, handwritten and signed by famous conjoined twins Chang and Eng of Siam (now Thailand), in which they sought to become American citizens and settle in Wilkes County. The twins were naturalized, married sisters, and eventually fathered 21 children.

The exhibit will travel to the Museum of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City and to the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex in Fayetteville in 2019. 

Archivists at the State Archives of North Carolina in Raleigh, and at satellite facilities in Manteo and Asheville, are available to help citizens with research. Social media tools provide access and news about programs, exhibits, and special events. 

Visit the State Archives of North Carolina in person at 109 E. Jones St., Raleigh, or online at https://archives.ncdcr.gov/. View thousands of historical photographs on the archives’ Flickr account, follow the blogs, or learn about preserving your own family papers by viewing tutorials on the State Archives’ YouTube channel.  

About the State Archives of North Carolina
The State Archives of North Carolina collects, preserves, manages and provides access to information that protects citizen rights, documents North Carolina history and culture, promotes transparency, and encourages stewardship of government records.

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