Academic Resources


The University Libraries

The main humanities and social sciences collections of the Academic Affairs Library are housed in the Walter Royal Davis Library. Davis Library includes more than 900 open and closed carrels for assignment to graduate students, and an additional 1,950 lounge, carrel, and table seats for general use. The building also houses group study rooms, 11 lounges, a computer lab, and a number of special study areas. All students are also welcome to use the Louis Round Wilson Library, home of the University's special collections, as well as the Robert B. House Undergraduate Library and any of the specialized departmental libraries.

The University Libraries hold over 5 million bound volumes and nearly 4.5 million microforms, constituting one of the most important collections in the South. Additional information about the libraries, as well as access to the online catalogs and to many electronic resources, is available online. Reference librarians at any of the UNC–Chapel Hill libraries are available to help graduate students locate materials, use print or online library resources, or tackle any question from the most basic to in-depth advice on research projects.

The University Libraries receive more than 100,000 periodicals and other serials annually, including the publications of professional associations and learned societies. The Academic Affairs Library also receives the publications of such organizations as the Smithsonian and Carnegie institutions, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Hispanic Society of America, and the Russell Sage Foundation, and of many universities, including foreign universities and academies.

The government document collections comprise a rich body of resources. The Academic Affairs Library is a regional depository for United States government documents and United Nations publications, as well as selected foreign government documents. Particularly rich are its files of federal and state publications; state legislative journals, laws, collected documents, colonial and state records, and records of constitutional conventions.

The libraries provide access to a wide array of online resources including indexes and abstracts, statistical materials and government data, and full text titles. Many titles may be accessed from home by members of the University community. The Davis Library Information Commons makes available state-of-the-art workstations for library research.

Departmental libraries containing collections for study and research are assigned to Art, Biology (Botany and Zoology), Chemistry, City and Regional Planning, Geological Sciences, Institute of Government, Information and Library Science, Mathematics/Physics, and Music. The Law Library, containing more than 300,000 volumes, is located within the School of Law at Van Hecke-Wettach Hall. It contains material useful to students of history and government.

In addition to the collections available in-house, the libraries provide access to a multitude of external resources. Materials that the libraries do not own may be borrowed through interlibrary borrowing. UNC–Chapel Hill students may obtain a Triangle Research Libraries Network card allowing them to borrow materials from Duke, North Carolina State, and North Carolina Central Universities. The valuable manuscripts of the State Archives of North Carolina and the collections of the State Library at Raleigh are also nearby.

Special Collections (Wilson Library)

The North Carolina Collection holds books, pamphlets, maps, newspapers, serials, broadsides, microforms, documents, recordings, and other materials relating to the state and its people, and ranging in date from the 16th century to the present. Two of its prominent collections are the Sir Walter Raleigh Collection, relating to the courtier and the era of Elizabethan exploration, and the Thomas Wolfe Collection of manuscripts and published items by and about the University's well-known literary alumnus. The Photographic Archives provide a visual record of people, places, and events throughout the state in negatives, prints, and postcards, including examples of all formats beginning with daguerreotype of the 1840s. The North Carolina Collection Gallery exhibits artifacts, art, and furnishings related to the history and culture of the state and the University.

The Manuscripts Department consists of several units. The Southern Historical Collection preserves private papers' letters, diaries, account books, broadsides, photographs, taped interviews, video documentation, etc. of individuals, families, and organizations of the region. University Archives and Records Management Services houses the official unpublished records of the University created since its charter in 1789. The General and Literary Manuscripts Collection includes documents related to notable British writers and literary enterprises and to American writers from outside the South. The Southern Folklife Collection houses extensive recorded music, field tapes, photographs, movie film, and other materials related to study and research in the field of folklore and popular culture, with emphasis on materials about the region.

The Rare Book Collection includes books, pamphlets, broadsides, medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, and graphic images. Of particular interest are the Estienne Imprint Collection, the Bernard J. Flatow Collection of the Cronistas, the George Harper Collection of W. B. Yeats, the Archibald Henderson Collection of George Bernard Shaw, the William Henry Hoyt Collection of French History, the Bill Morgan Collection of Beat Literature, the William A. Whitaker Collection of Samuel Johnson and His Circle, and an array of collections supporting the study of 19th-century British, Irish, and American literature.

Health Sciences Library

The Health Sciences Library is the primary library for the University of North Carolina Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Public Health, and the University of North Carolina Hospitals. It also serves the health and biomedical information needs of the entire University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) system, and health personnel and researchers throughout the state.


The library has an excellent collection to support curricular, research, and patient care information needs, consisting of more than 300,000 volumes and more than 4,000 serial titles, and more than 3,000 electronic resources. The Health Sciences Library provides a growing collection of computer-based multimedia courseware, CD-ROMs, and customized computer-assisted instruction, and offers electronic reserves. Information about the collection is accessible through the Triangle Research Libraries Network online catalog. UNC-affiliated users have free access to the majority of the library's collections, wherever and whenever they are needed.


Faculty, students, researchers, and staff of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of North Carolina Hospitals, as well as area health professionals, receive borrowing privileges upon application. The library provides photocopy services, article delivery service, and an interlibrary loan service for materials not available on campus. Borrowing privileges are also available to any North Carolina resident for a small fee.

Information Services

Librarians are available to aid users in locating information, to instruct in the use of library resources, and to provide additional help. Online search services, with access to MEDLINE and about 100 other databases, are also provided. Direct access to databases and full-text journals is offered through the library Web site free of charge; users can search MEDLINE, nursing and allied health literature, international pharmaceutical abstracts, public health community papers, and other databases from their workstations on and off-campus. These and other databases are also available in the library.

The Health Sciences Library coordinates the AHEC Library and Information Services Network. This is a statewide network that supports information services for community-based health professions education. Students, faculty off-campus, and preceptors receive a variety of help through the Information Connection Service.

Help in using the library's services and collections is available online, via email, by telephone, and by appointment. Consultation services can be used to make an appointment with a library staff member to develop a search strategy for a thesis topic, to learn advanced literature search techniques, or to receive any other in-depth help needed. In addition, education services faculty offer a variety of instructional programs, including orientation, workshops, and course lectures, designed to teach information-management skills.