Research the History of UNC-Chapel Hill in Wilson Library

Wilson Special Collections Library has long been the home of UNC-Chapel Hill history. Wilson Library contains the University Archives, the official records of the university, along with other collections containing publications, photos, and digital files documenting more than two centuries of UNC history.

Wilson Library archivists and librarians preserve and care for historic materials, create exhibits and digital collections on campus history, support research inquiries from students and alumni, and work with faculty to bring university history into the classroom. The page provides an overview of university history collections, guides, and resources in Wilson Library.

Research Guides

These guides, prepared by Wilson Library librarians and archivists, are often the best place to begin a research project. The guides include an overview of the topic, links to selected library resources, suggested search strategies, and contact information for subject librarians.

Digitized Primary Sources

The Yackety Yack, UNC’s student yearbook, and its predecessor, The Hellenian, have been digitized are available online for the years 1890-1992.

Issues of the Daily Tar Heel, UNC’s student newspaper, are available online for the years 1893-2008. More recent stories are available through

Black Ink, produced by the Black Student Movement, is available online for the years 1969-2001.

Many more UNC sources are available online through the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center, including course catalogs, older media guides for football and basketball, and other student publications:

Digitized publications, many related to UNC-Chapel Hill, are also available through the Internet Archive.

Photos of the University

Wilson Library collections contain hundreds of thousands of photos of people, events, and places at UNC. Suggested starting places include:

Archives and Manuscripts

  • The University Archives, part of the Wilson Special Collections Library, is the home of UNC’s official records. The Archives also holds records of UNC departments and administrators and records of many student organizations.
  • Manuscript Collections related to campus history can be found throughout Wilson Library, especially in the Southern Historical Collection, which holds personal papers of many UNC faculty, alumni, and administrators. You can search for collections online.

Oral Histories

The Southern Oral History Program has worked on many projects to document UNC history.


Wilson Library holds an extensive collection of UNC’s official publications, student publications, and books and articles about the university. These are located primarily in the library’s North Carolina Collection and can be found through the Libraries’ online catalog.

Blogs and Social Media

Several library-hosted blogs include regular posts related to UNC history:

Follow Wilson Library social media accounts for regular posts and images related to UNC history:

Get in Touch

Wilson Library librarians are available for all of your research and instructional questions. Contact us at