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Home North Carolina Wake County City of Raleigh Historical Markers N.c. Division Of Archives And History

N.c. Division Of Archives And History

East Jones Street, Raleigh, NC, USA

Latitude & Longitude: 35° 46' 55.812", -78° 37' 41.0124"
  North Carolina State Historical Marker
    North Carolina State
Historical Marker
    Marker Text:
"Organized as the N.C. Historical Commission in 1903; R. D. W. Connor, first secretary. Moved to this building, 1968."
    A legislative mandate of March 7, 1903, established the North Carolina Historical Commission, predecessor to today’s Office of Archives and History. Due to budgetary constraints and the inability to assemble the members, however, the Historical Commission languished until the 1907 legislature amended the original act broadening the powers, increasing the budget, and allowing for the employment of R. D. W. Connor as full-time secretary. The first offices for the commission were in the northeast corner of the State Capitol’s second floor. Initially, the Historical Commission’s most important perceived obligation to the state was to collect, edit, and publish documents—to make the records, both public and private, available to the citizens and to assure their preservation.

     In 1914 the General Assembly reassigned the Hall of History from the Department of Agriculture to the Historical Commission. That institution would change its name to the North Carolina Museum of History in 1965 in preparation for the move to the Jones Street building. Following several significant exhibits and in keeping with a legislative plan for a cultural complex, the Museum of History was granted a new and separate building, which opened in April 1994.

     In 1943 the agency’s name was changed to the Department of Archives and History, better describing its function, importance, and permanence. The archives instituted its local records program in 1959, assisting counties with records retention and accessioning permanently valuable records. The archives has continued to serve a growing number of genealogical and historical researchers over the years.

     In 1955 the legislature transferred most state historic site projects from the Department of Conservation and Development and various commissions to the Department of Archives and History, creating the Division of Historic Sites. The properties conveyed immediately were Tryon Palace, the Zebulon B. Vance Birthplace, the Charles B. Aycock Birthplace, Town Creek Indian Mound, Alamance Battleground, the James Iredell House, and Brunswick Town.

    In 1939 staff members of the Historical Commission were instrumental in the formation of the Society for the Preservation of Antiquities, a private venture influential in the evolution of state historic preservation initiatives. Staff of the present State Historic Preservation Office review federal and state funded projects to assess their potential impacts on historic properties and take action to minimize negative impact when possible. Although the state had been involved in archaeological activities dating back to the investigation of the Frutchey mound (later Town Creek Indian Mound) in the 1930s, it was not until 1973 that the Archaeology Section was created, removing most archaeological duties from the Museum of History and the Historic Sites Section.

    Effective October 1, 2001, Archives and History underwent reorganization as part of larger changes made within the Department of Cultural Resources. The Division of Archives and History was split into three distinct divisions under the new Office of Archives and History—State History Museums, State Historic Sites, and Historical Resources.

Ansley Herring Wegner, History for All the People: One Hundred Years of Public History in North Carolina (2003)
Jeffrey J. Crow, ed., Public History in North Carolina, 1903-1978: The Proceedings of the Seventy-fifth Anniversary Celebration, March 7, 1978 (1979)
Archives and History website: http://www.ah.dcr.state.nc.us/ Archives and History centennial website:
N.c. Division Of Archives And History Historical Marker Location Map, Raleigh, North Carolina