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The primary concern of Randall Library Special Collections is to preserve and protect the manuscripts, books, documents and other material located in Special Collections and to make those items available in the Special Collections Reading Room to those who visit the Reading Room.

Visiting Special Collections and Using Materials

Researchers may visit Special Collections during regularly scheduled hours of operation, Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and Friday 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Special Collections is open "by appointment only" during intersession and summer school. The department is closed during regularly scheduled academic calendar breaks. However, to facilitate your needs, we suggest that you make an appointment to use the resources of the Special Collections Department. Appointments may be made by contacting either the parnellg [at] uncw.edu (Special Collections Librarian )[910-962-3276].

Research via Mail, Email and Telephone

Research by mail, email and telephone is limited and questions will typically be answered within five business days. We suggest researchers visit Randall Library Special Collections in order to expedite their research needs. Due to the fragile nature of many of the items in Special Collections limited photocopying is available. In some cases non-flash digital photography is allowed.

Finding Guides

Finding guides to the processed collections are located on this website. In addition, the Library Catalog provides access to the books and monographs located in Special Collections, History of Medicine and History of Science Collections. Items may be searched by author, title, subject or keyword. Limit your search to location: UNCW Special Collections or UNCW SENC Collection. We suggest this is the best place to begin your search and to familiarize yourself with the collections.

Photocopying and Reproduction of Material

Many of the items in Special Collections are not suitable for photocopying or scanning due to their fragile nature and because of the need to preserve them from light and other environmental conditions. Because many items in the collection are irreplaceable or very fragile, materials must be used within the Special Collections reading area, where only laptops, paper and pencils are allowed. We suggest that you prepare to transcribe the information you need instead of relying on photocopying. In some cases non-flash digital photography is allowed.

When photocopying is available, we will be happy to accommodate the request typically within 24 hours, contingent upon the amount of copying requested and the availability of staff. Secure lockers are provided to store personal belongings while using Special Collections.

Other Historical Collections in the Region

Books, documents, manuscripts, maps, and microforms relating to the Cape Fear Region and Southeastern North Carolina regional history are also located in the New Hanover Public Library's State and Local History Collection in historic downtown Wilmington. This collection places special emphasis on the history of Wilmington, African-American records and genealogy. [910-341-4394]

Historical Society of the Lower Cape Fear, 126 South Third Street [910-762-0492] and the Cape Fear Museum at 814 Market Street, Wilmington [910-341-7413] also house significant collections of regional historical materials.

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