Local History Collection
Rebecca B. Wall Local History Collection
The Orange County Public Library is the home of the Rebecca B. Wall Local History Collection. The collection contains many Orange County historical items, including:
- and online resources
Ms. Wall (December 22, 1898 to April 2, 1986) was a career librarian and a devoted patron and benefactor of the Orange County Public Library. She was a member of the Orange County Board of Education from 1925 until 1929. She served as a librarian for the New York Public Library and at Greensboro Senior High School, in Greensboro, North Carolina. She retired from her post as chief librarian at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Fayetteville, North Carolina in 1964.
Ms. Wall was the daughter of Annie Cameron (nee Collins) and William Lewis Wall of Durham, North Carolina. She was a descendant of Thomas Ruffin, chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court (1833-1852), and Duncan Cameron, who served in both the state house and senate between 1802 to 1824.
- Church Histories
- The Civil War
- Local family histories
- The Revolutionary War
Microfilm Orange County Records
- County Newspapers, 1820 to Present
- Court Minutes, 1752 to 1868
- Index to Deeds, 1755 to 1962
- Index to Wills, 1756 to 1961
- Marriage Bonds, 1752 to 1868
- Record of Deeds, 1775 to 1872
- Record of Wills, 1752 to 1893
- U.S. Census for Orange County
- Alamance, Caswell, Durham, Orange, Person County Roads, 1982
- Land grants to early settlers in old Orange County, 1743 to 1810
- Land grants to early settlers in present Wake County, 1739 to 1820
Magazines and Journals
- Hillsborough Historical Society, August 1981 to July 1995
- North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal, 1975 to Present
- North Carolina Historical Review, 1924 to Present
Several online resources are available to our citizens; some are available only to those with a library card. Residents of Orange, Alamance, Caswell, Chatham, Durham, or Person counties can get a free library card at the Orange County Public Library.
Resources Available at Library Computers Only
- Ancestry.com: Census records; birth, death, and marriage records; newspaper articles; historical stories; photos; historical maps; and more
Resources Available with a Library Card
- Alliance for Historic Hillsborough: The Alliance is located in Historic Hillsborough and offers educational programs, special events, tours and visitor services.
- Burwell School: The Burwell School Historic Site in Hillsborough preserves the setting for one of the state’s earliest schools for girls, The Burwell Academy for Young Ladies. Here you can find research records of the school, its history, environs and related subjects, including the Burwell Family, Burwell School students, enslaved people and others who lived and/or worked there.
- Cemetery Census: Provides free listings of cemetery surveys along with photographs of grave markers.
- Colonial and State Records of North Carolina: Provides access to the 30-volume set of records published between 1886-1907 including census, court, land and military records; maps; obituaries and more.
- Durham-Orange Genealogical Society: Dedicated to the research and preservation of family history of Durham and Orange Counties, NC.
- North Carolina Digital Collection: The North Carolina Digital Collections contain over 90,000 historic and recent photographs, state government publications, manuscripts, and other resources on topics related to North Carolina. The Collections are free and full-text searchable, and bring together content from the State Archives of North Carolina and the State Library of North Carolina.
- North Carolina State Archives: Maintains an extensive collection of historical materials relating to North Carolina including official records of state, county and local governmental units including county records-bonds, Census, court, land, estate, marriage, tax, wills and military.
- Orange County Government Natural and Cultural Resources: The Natural and Cultural Resources Division coordinates efforts toward environmental protection (air/climate, land, and water) and resource conservation (farmland, historic and archaeological).
- Orange County Government Register of Deeds: Maintains historical documents pertaining to Orange County that include property, marriage, births and deaths records and is accessible to the general public.
- Southern Historical Collection: Housed at UNC-Chapel Hill, this is a vast collection of primary historical documents such as diaries, journals, letters, photographs, maps, drawings, ledgers and oral histories.
- State Library of North Carolina, Genealogy Services: Contains resources such as family histories, published abstracts, periodicals, county histories, and reference materials to help trace families in North Carolina.