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Researching UNC Alumni: North Carolina Collection Resources

The Yackety Yack and the Daily Tar Heel

Two highly useful resources for researching alumni are the Yackety Yack, UNC's yearbook, and the Daily Tar Heel, UNC's campus newspaper. 

The North Carolina Collection holds issues of the Daily Tar Heel (called the Tar Heel before 1929) dating from 1893, both on microfilm and in bound volumes, which are accessible in the library's reading room. Researchers are required to use microfilm copies of past issues. The microfilm edition of the Daily Tar Heel is housed in the microfilm area of the reading room. Please see call number C071 T16.

Past issues of the Daily Tar Heel have been digitized, and these scans are immediately and freely available to researchers from the Digital Heritage Center. Issues from 1893–1992 are also available via the database, which can be accessed on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus and by affiliates or for a subscription fee. Recent issues can be accessed from the Daily Tar Heel website.

Digitized versions of UNC's yearbooks, the Hellenian and the Yackety Yack, dating from 1890 to 1992, are immediately and freely available from the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center. Clicking on a yearbook's title will allow you to browse that volume as well as perform keyword searches for names and organizations. Additionally, the North Carolina Collection holds physical copies of each yearbook, accessible in the North Carolina Collection Reading Room. Materials may be requested from the following links:

North Carolina People, Places, and Things

The database North Carolina People, Places, and Things contains citations to biographical sketches about North Carolinians. Over five hundred volumes, primarily from the North Carolina Collection and other libraries at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, have been indexed to date. Most of the material comes from newspaper clippings compiled by Wilson Library staff.

Clicking the above link will allow you to search the index for a name. Users can enter as much or as little information as they have into the search fields. Because the entries were taken from multiple sources, the same person may appear under different versions of his or her name. For example, Zebulon Vance appears as "Vance, Zebulon," "Vance, Zeb," and "Vance, Z.B." Users are encouraged to truncate names when possible. A search for "Vance, Z" will retrieve all entries under the last name "Vance" and beginning with the first initial "Z".

To follow up on what you find, please be in touch via email at 

Please note that the biographical index is not comprehensive. Results for specific alumni may or may not be returned.

North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives

The North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives has a rich collection of historic photographs of UNC. The most relevant collections for researching UNC history and alumni are linked below. Clicking on a link will navigate to the collection's finding aid, where researchers can view a list of the collection's contents and request materials to view in the reading room.

Additionally, photographic collections exist for some UNC schools and departments. A full list of collections in the North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives with UNC content can be accessed here.

UNC Course Catalogs

Course catalogs contain information on classes offered at UNC and, occassionally (in the case of older catalogs), lists of students enrolled in certain programs. The links below navigate to lists of library catalog records for these course catalogs. The dates for the resources linked below are not exact, so researchers should check both lists for relevant resources.

  • Newer Course Catalogs
    Includes catalogs and bulletins for UNC and its various schools, largely post-1900s.
  • Older Course Catalogs
    Includes catalogs and bulletins for UNC and its various schools, largely pre-1900s.