Center for Southeast North Carolina Archives and History

Access Use and Policies

The Center for Southeast North Carolina Archives and History (CSENCAH) contains Randall Library’s special collections (rare books and manuscripts), government information, and the UNCW university archives. The Center aims to connect the people and communities of Southeast North Carolina to the sources of their history and culture. The Center’s materials support the UNCW curriculum and assist in faculty teaching and student learning. Materials further the research of UNCW students, faculty, and staff, independent researchers, and the general public. 

Visiting the Center

The Center is closed to the public for the summer for renovations. Onsite research visits cannot be accommodated during this time. The Center’s staff will make every effort to assist researchers remotely, but portions of our collection may be inaccessible until we reopen. For more information about the Randall Library renovation and expansion project, click here.

Reading Room Policies

The Center’s collections are noncirculating and may only be used in the Center’s reading room. Upon arriving for a research appointment, visitors will be asked to present a valid photo ID and complete a registration form. Most personal belongings—including bags, cases, pens, food, and beverages—are prohibited in the reading room. Lockers will be provided for these items. Visitors may bring laptops, cell phones, digital cameras, and pencils into the reading room if they wish. Any personal items brought into the reading room are subject to inspection and approval by the Center’s staff.

Users should exercise care when handling the Center’s materials. Documents and volumes may not be marked, altered, or defaced. All materials must remain on the tables or support stands supplied by Center staff at all times; they shall not be held in the lap or propped against the edge of a table. 

Care should be taken to preserve the existing order of loose archival materials, and papers should not be rearranged under any circumstances. Users shall remove only one folder of material at a time and use a placeholder card to mark the location of the folder. If materials appear to be out of order, users should notify a staff member.

Most of the Center’s collections may be photographed for personal reference use, but a staff member must give approval prior to photographing. Only smart phones, mobile devices, overhead scanners, and digital cameras (with flash disabled) are approved for photographing materials. Any equipment that requires physical contact with a document or excessive light exposure (including desktop, portable, or handheld scanners, lighting equipment, and tripods) is prohibited. 

Requesting Copies of Collections

If you are unable to visit the Center in person, we will be happy to try to assist you remotely. To submit a reference request, please contact the Center at or 910-962-7810. As long as there are no restrictions or preservation concerns associated with the materials being requested, we can usually provide users with a limited number* of photocopies or scans of material via email. We offer this service free of charge. However, we are limited in how much research we are able to conduct on behalf of a remote user. Due to the high volume of inquiries we receive, please allow up to one week for a response to your request. Any copies provided will be for personal reference only and subject to copyright restrictions; permission must be obtained before any of the Center’s materials may be published or otherwise disseminated.

*limits on photocopying requests are determined on a case by case basis, but generally may not exceed more than 100 pages per user.