David Lowry Swain (1801-1868)
David Lowry Swain (1801-1868). Courtesy of the North Carolina Collection. Used with permission.

Welcome to the Historical Society of North Carolina’s website. Organized in 1945, The Society encourages the study of history, with primary emphasis on the history of North Carolina and secondary emphasis on the history of the South and the United States. The Society seeks to foster research, writing, and publication of worthy historical studies in these fields.

The Historical Society of North Carolina claims descent from the North Carolina Historical Society which was incorporated in 1833 under the leadership of David L. Swain. The current society was organized on November 17, 1945 in Chapel Hill. The present Historical Society of North Carolina has met regularly each spring and fall since its organization.  The membership was originally limited to seventy-five, but was raised to 100 with a bylaws change approved in the fall of 2013.  A provision made in 1970 for emeritus members also opened the Society to additional active members.

Since 1953 the Society has presented the Robert D. W. Connor award for the best article in the field of North Carolina history or biography in the North Carolina Historical Review for the preceding year. A second award, honoring Hugh T. Lefler, has been presented since 1974 for the best undergraduate paper in North Carolina history. These awards are conferred during the annual meeting of the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association.

Header image credit: State Highway System of North Carolina, 1936 (North Carolina State Highway and Public Works Commission), online at North Carolina Maps, https://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/ref/collection/ncmaps/id/761