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    Documenting the American South
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Documenting the American South (DocSouth)

Documenting the American South (DocSouth) includes fourteen thematic collections of primary sources for the study of southern history, literature, and culture.

The texts, images, and other materials come primarily from the premier Southern collections in the libraries at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. These original Southern materials can be found in several library locations, including the Southern Historical Collection, one of the largest collections of Southern manuscripts in the country; the North Carolina Collection, the most complete printed documentation of a single state anywhere; the Rare Book Collection, which holds an extensive Southern pamphlet collection; and Davis Library, which offers rich holdings of printed materials on the Southeast.

  • "The Church in the Southern Black Community" traces the way Southern African Americans adopted and transformed Protestant Christianity into the central institution of community life.
  • "The Colonial and State Records of North Carolina" includes documents and materials from throughout the country and from several European repositories covering the earliest days of North Carolina's settlement by Europeans through the ratification of the United States Constitution.
  • "The First Century of the First State University" presents hundreds of primary documents about the creation and development of the University of North Carolina, from 1776 to 1875. Scholarly essays and annotations about people and places provide rich historical and contextual information.
  • "First-Person Narratives of the American South" offers many Southerners' perspectives on their lives by presenting letters, memoirs, autobiographies and other writings by slaves, laborers, women, aristocrats, soldiers, and officers.
  • "Going to the Show" documents and illuminates the experience of moviegoing in North Carolina from the introduction of projected motion pictures (1896) to the end of the silent film era (1930). Users can search for movie exhibition sites, locations, managers, and racial policy across the first thirty-five years of moviegoing in more than 200 N.C. communities.
  • "Library of Southern Literature" includes the most important Southern literary works from the colonial period to the beginning of the twentieth century. This collection presents the varied and rich foundation of Southern writing.
  • "North American Slave Narratives" documents the individual and collective story of African Americans' struggle for freedom and human rights in the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
  • "The North Carolina Experience" includes representative histories, personal narratives, descriptive accounts, institutional reports, fiction, and other published writings to help users gain greater insight into the diverse social, economic, religious, and political history of North Carolina.
  • "North Carolina Maps" presents historic maps from three of the state's largest map collections: the North Carolina State Archives, the North Carolina Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill, and the Outer Banks History Center. The maps range in date from the late 1500s to 2000, and include at least one map for each of North Carolina's one hundred counties.
  • "North Carolinians and the Great War" examines how World War I shaped the lives of different North Carolinians on the battlefield and on the homefront. Propaganda posters and related documents show the way the state and federal governments responded to war-time demands.
  • "Oral Histories of the American South" is a collection of over 500 oral history interviews with a southern focus on a variety of topics, including civil rights, politics, and women's issues. Interviews can be read in text transcript form, listened to with a media player, or both simultaneously.
  • "The Southern Homefront, 1861-1865" presents materials related to Southern life during the Civil War and the challenge of creating a nation state while waging war. This collection includes government documents, personal diaries, religious pamphlets, and many other materials.
  • "Thomas E. Watson Papers" presents the correspondence, book manuscripts, speeches, publications, scrapbooks, diaries, photographs, and photograph albums of Thomas E. Watson, a lawyer, populist politician, popular author, and influential publisher. The collection contains more than 12,300 items comprised of more than 45,000 individual images.
  • "True and Candid Compositions: The Lives and Writings of Antebellum Students at the University of North Carolina" presents 121 edited and transcribed primary documents from 1795 to 1868. Most of these documents were written by students and tell the story of the University of North Carolina from their perspective.


Documenting the American South (DocSouth) contains materials that are protected by federal copyright law.

Private and educational use

Material on this site may be quoted or reproduced for private purposes or student or instructor use in a classroom or classroom assignment without prior permission as long as a proper citation is given. Please see our online citation guide for more information.

Commercial use

Any commercial use of this material is prohibited without prior permission from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University Library. Requests for permission to use DocSouth materials should be submitted using our online request form. If you are uncertain whether you need permission to use DocSouth materials, please use the online request form to contact us.

Copyright infringement

In adherence to the copyright policies of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and copyright law, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reserves the right to terminate computing services of any user who commits copyright infringement.




September 13, 2010


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