Skip to Main Content

Reconstruction Era Resources at Wilson Special Collections Library: Registering and Requesting Materials

Registering to Use Special Collections Material

Collection materials may only be used in our secure reading room - a part of the North Carolina Collection does include circulating books that can leave the building. 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:

  • UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University students, faculty, and staff may register by logging in with a valid UNC Onyen or Duke NetID.
  • All other researchers may register by creating a username and password here.

If you are not affiliated with either UNC-Chapel Hill or Duke University, be sure to write down your username and password, as this information will be required each time you make a request for special collections material.

The first time you visit Wilson Library after completing your online pre-registration and creating a Request System account, you will need to complete the registration process by showing a staff member a government issued photo ID containing (1) your name, (2) your date of birth, and (3) an expiration date, and having your picture taken with our digital camera for inclusion in our database.

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

About Special Collections

The Wilson Special Collections Library is home to the University of North Carolina's North Carolina Collection, Rare Book Collection, Southern Folklife Collection, Southern 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.