Collections > Master's Papers > School of Information and Library Science > "To Rescue the Fair Fame and Good Name of North Carolina": A History of The Colonial Records of North Carolina
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Publication of The Colonial Records of North Carolina between 1886 and 1890 was significant as the culmination of a long series of nineteenth-century efforts to preserve and make available the source materials of early Tar Heel history, and as the crucial factor in the establishment of a central archival agency, the North Carolina Historical Commission, at the turn of the twentieth century. The result of a strong impulse that combined southern Lost Cause ideology with traditional local pride and the deep-seated patriotic desire to vindicate the reputation of the state, the Colonial Records remains, despite its limitations, a signal achievement. This paper traces the origins of the series in antebellum attempts to collect and publish the documentary heritage of the state, and follows the development of the postwar editorial project - including the identification and transcription of relevant state papers in the British Public Record Office in order to fill in gaps in the archives at home - under the guidance of William L. Saunders.