Have a question? Need research help? We’re here to assist you!

Monday, November 11, 2019

The Government and Heritage Library (GHL) handles a range of questions about North Carolina from all over the world. We have resources and expertise to answer questions about the state’s broad history and diverse culture; NC data, demographics, and statistics; state government information; and researching your ancestors who lived in or migrated through North Carolina. We can also answer questions about accessing and using our resources—and we can help K-12 students find resources about North Carolina topics during the school day through our chat reference service. We help people of all ages and backgrounds, who have many different needs and communication preferences, so it should come as no surprise that the GHL offers a variety of ways to contact us to ask questions and get help.  

Screenshot of web graphic link to GHL contact information

Email us!  

Often, we advise researchers to send their more complex or in-depth questions to us through email (slnc.reference@ncdcr.gov), which goes directly to our Reference Team. This allows our staff time to conduct research and to ask follow-up questions to clarify a person’s needs and other information about the question. We check email on a daily basis and make every attempt to respond initially to these questions within 24 hours. The amount of time it takes to fully respond to a question, however, depends on the complexity of the question and the research it involves.  

Family history questions are one of our most frequent email topics. When asking for assistance with these types of questions, please be sure to limit your request for information to research about one individual, and be sure to include their approximate birth and death date and what specific piece of information about them you want to know. Unfortunately,  researching and providing a complete profile of everything about an individual requires an often vast amount of time and attention that we are unable to provide. 

Chat with us!  

If you have ever used our online resources NCpedia, ANCHOR, our research guides, or our library website, you may have noticed a chat box where you can ask research questions virtually. Our chat reference service is available Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm and provides an instant response to your request for research assistance. If for any reason more time is needed to help you or locate an answer, we will ask for your email address and send the question to our reference staff so that more research can be done.   

Text us! 

Our library has the capability to receive and respond to quick reference questions via text message! Feel free to text us your general, basic questions Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm at 919-887-9445. Just like with our chat reference service, more in-depth questions are difficult to answer via text message and will be referred to our reference staff for follow up via email. 

Call us!  

We are always glad to get calls and hear from you. If we are busy helping onsite researchers and are unable to reach the phone to receive your call, please leave us a message and we will be glad to get back in touch with you. You can reach the Government and Heritage Library’s Reference Desk at 919-814-6790. 

The State Library and Archives Building

Visit us in person!  

We enjoy having visitors and many people are often surprised to see the vast amount of resources we have.  You can visit our library at 109 East Jones St. in downtown Raleigh. We are located on the first floor of the State Archives/Library building. Our hours are Monday through Friday 9-5 and most Saturdays 9-2 (with the exception of State Holiday weekends). Please check our website at statelibrary.ncdcr.gov/ghl to ensure we’re open before visiting.  

There are a number of free and paid parking options in the downtown area surrounding our building, depending on the day of your visit. See the information at   statelibrary.ncdcr.gov/connect#slnc_directions for driving directions, public transportation options, and parking information. 

Send mail to us!  

Though multiple modes of instant communication are available, we still look forward to receiving your letters in the mail. If this is your preferred medium of communication, be sure to send mail to our mailing address through the official State Mail Service Center rather than to our physical address, otherwise, there is no guarantee we will receive the letter. You can send mail to us at NC Government & Heritage Library, 4640 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-4600.  

Whichever way you choose to reach out to us, we are here to help you find answers to your questions. We’re excited to hear from you and help you find information about #everythingNC! 

Government & Heritage Library Contacts: 


Beth Hayden, Reference Services Supervisor
Jennifer Hanft, Education and Instruction Librarian