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North Carolina Collection

North Carolina Collection

See also our Genealogy & Local History Research Guides

The main location of the Gaston County Public Library, 1555 E. Garrison Blvd., Gastonia, houses a North Carolina Collection. This is a non-circulating reference collection of historical and cultural materials that focuses primarily on Gaston and Lincoln Counties, but includes North Carolina as a whole, bordering areas, and general genealogical resources.

The North Carolina Collection offers the following resources:

  • Books and Periodicals. We collect material focusing on the history and genealogy of this area and also general genealogical resources. Our holdings include city directories, family histories, published records, county and organizational histories, etc. In addition, we also own an eight volume James Worthy Scrapbook created by Scott Lewis. Search our Catalog to find more.
  • The Gaston - Lincoln Biography & History Index online is an index to biographical material that is "buried" within books and magazines in our collections. More entries are constantly being added to these pages.
  • Patrons have access to Heritage Quest Online, a database with images of all the census population schedules for the whole country from 1790 through 1930. HQ also provides indexing for some census years; full-text copies of over 25,000 books on genealogy and local history; actual images of Revolutionary War pension files from the National Archives; records of the Freedman's Bank(1865-1874); and access to a portion of the U. S. Congressional Serial Set. HQ is available at all the libraries and also anyone with a current library card can use it from their home computer through Log in with your library card barcode.
    For more information, see our research guides, Heritage Quest FAQ's and Heritage Quest: Local History Books.
  • Patrons can also use Ancestry Library Edition at all the libraries. (Home access is not available through the library.) Ancestry includes millions of records including complete census images and indexes from 1790 to 1950. A sampling of other resources: WWI draft registration records, city directories, passenger lists, birth and death records, and much more.
  • Records on Microfilm We hold microfilm records of marriages, wills, deeds, court minutes, and land grants for Tryon, Lincoln, and Gaston Counties along with other local materials including some church records. Microfilm reader-printers are available; copies are 10 cents per sheet.
  • Newspapers. The Gaston Gazette is on microfilm since its beginning in the 1880s. There is partial indexing (including obituaries) since 1980 and an obituary only index for 1880-1899.
  • Vertical File. This is an alphabetical file containing newspaper clippings, magazine excerpts, pamphlets, and other similar items. The files are divided into two sections--Local and North Carolina. Frequently used files in both sections include the "Biographies" and "Cities and Towns.". We are always happy to receive more information on local families for these files.
  • Cemetery Records. There is no complete cemetery survey for either Gaston or Lincoln Counties. For more information see our guides, Gaston County Cemeteries and Lincoln County Cemeteries.
  • Map File. The map collection includes historical and topographical maps.
  • See News from the North Carolina Collection for lists of newly added materials.


The collection is available for use whenever the library is open.

Mail and email requests for SPECIFIC information are welcome. We will be glad to try to answer a particular question for those who are unable to use the collection in person. Please contact:

NCC Librarian, Reference Services, Gaston County Public Library, 1555 E. Garrison Blvd., Gastonia, NC 28054. 704-868-2164, ext. 2.
Our email address for Reference Services at the Gastonia Library is

For information on contacting local genealogical and historical organizations, please see our list of Gaston/Lincoln organizations and our Library Research Guides, Finding Gaston County Ancestors, Finding Lincoln County Ancestors, and Finding Tryon County Ancestors.

See our Library Research Guides for Genealogy & Local History for more detailed information on our holdings and/or search the Gaston County Public Library Catalog.

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