Skip to Main Content

Women at Carolina: General Resources

Chat with a librarian

chat loading...

History of UNC-Chapel Hill

General resources about the history of UNC-Chapel Hill can be extremely useful in locating additional information and understanding the context of the history of women at Carolina. 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. 


​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 CarolinaDigitized.

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 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

Dean, Pamela E. Women on the hill : a history of women at the University of North Carolina. 1987. Digitized.

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.

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. 

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. 

Women students in the University of North Carolina : 1897-1922. [Chapel Hill, N.C.] : University of North Carolina Women's Association, [1922] Digitized.

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" 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 UNC-Chapel Hill history such as "Architectural Highlights of Carolina's Historic Campus," "Names Across the Landscape," and "Public Art at Carolina."

Speech by Doris Betts, first woman Chair of the Faculty, at Commencement 1996


We have a listing of all the collections where there are significant numbers of photographs of UNC. There are two large collections of photographs within the North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives devoted to UNC-Chapel Hill. These should be searched by keyword and the FIND ON PAGE functionality.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Collection P0004)

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Photographic Laboratory (Collection P0031)

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine Photographic Collection, circa 1900-1990s (bulk late 1960s-early 1970s) (Collection P0058)

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.

Photography collections featuring UNC-Chapel Hill and Chapel Hill 

William W. Prouty Photographic Collection, circa 1955-1961

Jock Lauterer Photographic Collection, circa 1964-1968

Roland Giduz Photographic Collection, 1947-1970

Hugh Morton Photographs and Films, late 1920s-2006 (bulk 1940s-1990s) and digital site 

Ephemera Collections

These are materials created for a specific event or purpose and intended to be discarded after use-related to events, departments, and organizations at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Examples of ephemera include flyers, brochures, and event posters.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Ephemera Collection, 1918-2018 

[Announcements, bulletins, programs, etc.] University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (organized by date)

Theses and Dissertations (partial list)

Theses and Dissertations produced by graduate students at UNC-Chapel Hill fill the gap where there are few published works about women at Carolina. They are particularly useful for providing context and data about essential topics, additionally, many of the theses are written by women students. This is a partial list of theses and dissertations touching on a variety of topics. Dissertations on particular relevant subjects covered by the tabs are found in those sections:

UNC-Chapel Hill Publications

The Daily Tar Heel

Wilson Special Collections Library 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 under the 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.  

The Hellenian/The Yackety Yack

Digitized versions of UNC's yearbooks, the Hellenian and the Yackety Yack, dating from 1890 to 1991, 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:

More Student Publications

Black Ink: the newspaper of the Black Student Movement at UNC is available via DigitalNC

Important Archival Collections

Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina Records

The Board of Trustees, elected by the North Carolina General Assembly, was the governing body of the University of North Carolina from its chartering in 1789 until 1932, when the Consolidated University of North Carolina system was created.

Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina Records, 1789-1932 *note that there are two indexes of the volumes

Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina (System) Records, 1932-1972

Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1972-2012

Office of the Dean of Women of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1897-1981

Women were first admitted to the University as graduate students in 1897. In 1917, Clara S. Lingle was appointed Adviser to Women. She was succeeded in 1919 by Inez Koonce Stacy, who held the office until 1946 and during whose tenure (1942) the title of the office became Dean of Women. Katherine Carmichael succeeded Dean Stacy and served until 1977. In 1972, the office of Dean of Women was abolished, and Dean Carmichael was appointed Associate Dean of Student Affairs for Supportive Services. The latter office inherited none of the functions of the Office of the Dean of Women; nevertheless, these records contain several annual reports of Carmichael as Associate Dean for Supportive Services. Records include administrative correspondence, annual reports, speeches and writings of deans Stacy and Carmichael, and files pertaining to (in some cases, containing records of) various women's student government organizations. 

Of particular interest may be the folders 

  • Why Women Make Better Grades than Men
  • Why Women Live Longer than Men
  • How Shall I Choose a College for my Daughter?
  • If the Dean of Women Disappears Who Will Take Care of Your Little Girl?
  • The Future of the Dean of Women
  • What Ever Happened to the Dean of Women / What Has Happened to the Dean of Women
  • Why Educate Your Daughter?/ Why Educate My Daughter? / Why Send Your Daughter to College?
  • Why Your Daughter Wants Coeducation

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1920-2004

The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs has administrative responsibility for the university's Division of Student Affairs, which provides extracurricular programs and services for students and oversees student organizations and activities. The Division of Student Affairs was established in 1954; it replaced the former Division of Student Welfare, which had been established in 1933 to promote and coordinate the work of all university agencies affecting student welfare. The Office of Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs was not created until 1977. This record group, however, contains papers of all the university officers who have been responsible for matters of student welfare. The titles of those officers have been Dean of Students, 1919-1945; Dean of Men and Chairman of the Division of Student Welfare, 1946-1947; Dean of Students, 1948-1954; Dean of Student Affairs, 1954-1977; Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, 1977-1980; Vice Chancellor and Dean of Student Affairs, 1980-1997; and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, since 1997. Prior to 1966 the Division of Student Affairs also oversaw the offices responsible for academic records and student aid. Records include correspondence and other files relating to student life and activities, extracurricular programs and services for students, student housing, student aid, and academic recordkeeping at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Included are numerous files on Student Government and on the various offices that have been part of the Division of Student Affairs: Office of the Dean of Women, Office of Records and Registration, Office of Admissions, Office of Career Planning and Placement Services, Housing Office, Student Aid Office, Student Health Service, Student Development and Counseling Center, Campus Y, and Student Union.

Southern Oral History Program

Southern Oral History Program

The Southern Oral History Program (SOHP) is an effort to collect the many voices that have contributed to southern history. Over 5,000 people have been interviewed by faculty and students at UNC. The interview database can be searched online. Many of the interviews are available online and the work is archived at Wilson Special Collections Library.