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A Guide to Researching Campus Monuments and Buildings: Campus Buildings and Additional Resources

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General Campus History Resources

Beyond the resources related to individual monuments and campus landmarks, more general resources can be extremely useful in locating additional information and understanding the context in which many monuments were constructed and many buildings named. Newspapers and campus periodicals as well as books on University of North Carolina history are important resources for researchers interested in all of the topics presented in this guide. Online exhibits and digital collections are also useful. 


Allcott, John V. The campus at Chapel Hill : two hundred twenty-five years of architecture. C378 UW11 2019

Battle, Kemp P. (Kemp Plummer) 

History of the University of North Carolina. Digitized - Volume One and Volume Two.

An address on the history of the buildings of the University of North Carolina. Digitized.

Chapman, John Kenyon. Black Freedom and the University of North Carolina, 1793-1960. 2006. C378 UO2 2006 CHAPMAN, J.K. 

John Kenyon Chapman's dissertation discusses the role of black men and women in the development of UNC and their role in the fight for diversity and equality on campus. Chapman argues that UNC was used to promote the growth of slavery, suppress black freedom after the Civil War, and was supportive of Jim Crow and black disenfranchisement efforts. This work is useful for contextualizing recent discussions about race and UNC. Chapman frequently discusses campus monuments and their role in forming notions of the past and present. This work is also available online through the Carolina Digital Repository

Henderson, Archibald. The Campus of the First State University. 1949. C378 UE23 

Henderson's book covers the development of the UNC campus through the end of the Second World War. Henderson describes the architectural styles present at UNC and provides a useful appendix listing campus buildings and the dedicatees of each. 

Link, Arthur S. (Arthur Stanley). A history of the buildings at the University of North Carolina. 1941. C378 UW

Honors Thesis in the UNC-Chapel Hill History Department, 1941.

Long, Rachael. Building Notes, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 1993. C378 UW10

Published by the Facilities Planning and Design Department at UNC, this volume provides detailed information on each campus building constructed prior to 1993. For instance, the entry for Saunders Hall lists the costs associated with construction, the architects or firms involved, and any changes made to the building since its initial construction. 

Snider, William D. Light on the Hill: A History of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 1992. C378 UE52

This volume covers the history of UNC from its origins in the 18th century to the late 20th century. Snider's work is useful for researchers interested in the development of UNC and its campus over time as well as key individuals, such as Joseph Caldwell. 

Wilson, Louis R. The University of North Carolina, 1900-1930: The Making of a Modern University. 1957. C378 UE27 

Wilson's work details the development of UNC in the early decades of the 20th century. This period includes the construction of many campus buildings (such as Saunders Hall) as well as important landmarks (such as the "Silent Sam" Confederate memorial). 

Newspapers and Periodicals

The construction of and controversy surrounding campus monuments at UNC and the continuing struggle for equal rights at UNC were covered extensively in newspapers across North Carolina and across the United States. Wilson Library has a large collection of North Carolina newspapers that can be accessed online and in the library's reading rooms.  The majority of newspapers housed in Wilson Library can be accessed on microfilm. This includes newspapers such as the Raleigh News & Observer and the Durham Herald-Sun as well as The Daily Tar Heel. There are several additional ways to locate relevant newspaper articles: This is a subscription service available to users affiliated with UNC and to patrons in the library buildings. The site contains digitized North Carolina newspapers and is full-text searchable. Most of the digitized newspaper issues date from the late 19th century to the first half of the 20th century. Later issues can be accessed on microfilm. For those interested in UNC history, this site is particularly useful. Digitized editions of the UNC student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel, are available from 1893 through 1992. 

DigitalNC: This site contains a wealth of useful resources from across North Carolina including community newspapers, student newspapers, and yearbooks. Black Ink, the newspaper of the Black Student Movement at UNC, is available here as are publications from African American colleges in North Carolina such as North Carolina Central University and St. Augustine's College. Digitized editions of the UNC student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel, are available from 1893 through 2008.

North Carolina People, Places, and Things Citation Search: This tool allows researchers to search citations for newspaper articles gathered by North Carolina Collection staff members. Bound volumes of clippings can be found in the North Carolina Collection Reading Room and are a great resource for finding information on people, places, and things in the state. Relevant clipping collections include North Carolina Biographical ClippingsNorth Carolina Subject ClippingsUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Clippings, and Negroes in North Carolina Clippings

Archival Sources

Many collections within University Archives and the Southern Historical Collection could be useful, especially:

Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina Records, 1789-1932. University Archives. Collection # 40001. 

Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina Records, 1932-1972. University Archives. Collection # 40002. 

Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina Records, 1972-2012. University Archives. Collection # 40003. 

The Board of Trustees, elected by the North Carolina General Assembly, was the governing body of UNC from its chartering in 1789 until 1932, when the consolidated University of North Carolina system was created. Records include minutes of the Board of Trustees and files of the Building Committee/Buildings and Grounds.

Board of Trustees minutes from 1990 to 2015+ can be found online through the Board's online archive.

Photographs and Images

North Carolina Postcards

North Carolina Postcards is a project of the North Carolina Collection, located in historic Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives holds more than 12,000 North Carolina postcards contained primarily in two collections: the North Carolina Postcard Collection and the Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina Postcards. This digital project contains a selection of materials from the North Carolina Collection's postcard collections, including at least one image for each of North Carolina's one hundred counties. 

Digital North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives

Digitized photographs from the North Carolina Collection. This portal can be searched by KEYWORD. Only a small portion of the photographs at Wilson Special Collections Library have been digitized. The selection digitized from the North Carolina Collection can be searched for and downloaded here.

Theses and Dissertations

Reclaiming the University of the People: Racial Justice Movements at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill by Charlotte Fryar, 2018. This was also the very first fully digital dissertation in the humanities at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Black freedom and the University of North Carolina, 1793-1960 by John K. Chapman, 2006.

Digital Resources

Documenting the American South: Documenting the American South (DocSouth) is a digital publishing initiative that provides Internet access to texts, images, and audio files related to southern history, literature, and culture. Currently DocSouth includes sixteen thematic collections of books, diaries, posters, artifacts, letters, oral history interviews, and songs.

Two collections of particular interest related to UNC history, particularly the earliest days: "The First Century of the First State University" (for this particular topic, start with "Buildings") and "True and Candid Compositions: The Lives and Writings of Antebellum Students at the University of North Carolina."

The Carolina Story: A Virtual Museum of University History: This online museum charts the history of UNC from the late 1700s through the late 1900s. The site includes a number of exhibits useful to researchers interested in the history surrounding campus landmarks and buildings such as "Architectural Highlights of Carolina's Historic Campus," "Names Across the Landscape," and "Public Art at Carolina."

Slavery and the Making of the University: This digital exhibit discusses the contributions of slaves, college servants, and free blacks to UNC. Wilson Caldwell and George Moses Horton are included in the site. Each section of the exhibit is accompanied by documents from the Southern Historical Collection and University Archives. 

Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina: This project documents the history of North Carolina through its commemorative monuments, shrines, and public art. Numerous photographs of Confederate memorials along with descriptive information and historical notes are included on the site. 

Black and Blue Tour: The Black and Blue Tour has an online virtual museum component that goes into detail about a number of a number of buildings and monuments on the tour. The list of the stops is here.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

While this LibGuide lists a number of resources relevant to research on campus monuments and other landmarks, there are many other, broader sources, which include at least some information about the subject. Library of Congress Subject Headings is an excellent way to locate additional material in Wilson Library. Researchers can search the UNC Libraries online catalog for the following subjects, although this is just a short list:

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill--History

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill--Campus

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill--Buildings 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill--Students--Political activity

African American college students--North Carolina--Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill--Students' periodicals