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Using Records about Slavery in the Southern Historical Collection: Registering and Requesting Materials

This tutorial is meant to orient and direct users to materials that document the history of slavery in the Southern Historical Collection in Wilson Special Collections Library.

About the Special Collections

About the Special Collections

The Wilson Special Collections Library is home to the University of North Carolina's North Carolina CollectionRare Book CollectionSouthern Folklife CollectionSouthern Historical Collection, and University Archives and Records Management Services. The five special collections hold unique and rare books, organizational records, personal and family papers, photographs, moving images, sound recordings, and artifacts that document the history and culture of the University, the state, the region, the nation, and the world. The Wilson Special Collections Library is open to the public.

Registering to Use Special Collections Material

Most Wilson Library materials can be accessed only in our secure reading room. To access Wilson Special Collections Library’s collections, all researchers must register and create a research account.

To begin the registration process, please select an option below:

Requesting Materials for Use

If you are coming to our secure reading room to view a book or other item described in the online catalog, select the Request button on the right-hand side of the catalog record. Library staff will retrieve the requested materials for you to view once you have arrived on site. If you have not yet created a researcher account, selecting this button will prompt you to create one.

Request button location

Similarly, if you are coming to view material described in an online finding aid, select the "Request this Collection" link towards the upper left-hand corner of the finding aid.

Request this Collection button

Once you have selected the Request button, you will be directed to our Special Collections Library Request System. If you have not already registered, select your affiliation and continue with the registration process. If you have already registered, sign in to your account using your Onyen, NetID, or username and password.

After you have signed in, you will be presented with a page containing information about your request. In those instances when you are interested in viewing a portion of a collection or a specific volume from a series, you will need to narrow your request:

  • For archival materials:

Enter container numbers

  • For books and other printed materials:

Enter volume or copy

To finalize your request, you need to schedule a date and submit your request:

Schedule options

The materials that you have requested can be viewed in Wilson Special Collections Library’s secure reading room on the second floor. If you have any questions or concerns about the materials you have requested, please email our research staff at