UNC Press & NCPedia Launch Free Online Edition of The North Carolina Gazetteer

UNC PressIn partnership with NCPedia and the N.C. Government and Heritage Library, UNC Press is happy to announce that the entire contents of The North Carolina Gazetteer, Second Edition is now available online at ncpedia.org/gazetteer.

The North Carolina Gazetteer documents and defines North Carolina’s geographical places by describing their location, history, and origins. UNC Press first published the encyclopedia, compiled by noted North Carolina historian William S. Powell, in 1968. Michael Hill of the N.C. Office of Archives and History updated and expanded the volume in a revised edition in 2010. Hill explains, “The key is that, whereas other sources list just the name, Powell’s book included the stories and derivations behind the names. No other state has anything like it.”

The North Carolina GazetteerUNC Press Editorial Director Mark Simpson-Vos says, “The North Carolina Gazetteer has had a prominent place on the bookshelf of North Carolinians for more than a generation. I’ve spoken to journalists, librarians, and teachers who have told me they cannot do their work without its handy reference to our state’s places. Together, Mike Hill and Bill Powell were able to update this resource for the twenty-first century, and we are thrilled that it is now so easily accessible for all readers through the NCPedia website. I know plenty of folks are going to spend hours like I have, losing myself in the important, surprising, and sometimes quirky history of these places and their names.”

According to State Librarian Cal Shepard, “The North Carolina Gazetteer is a tremendous resource for anyone who lives in, or has ever traveled through, North Carolina. Where else would you go to find out Hanging Dog Creek was named after a Cherokee legend, or that Wolf Pit Township was named for the way colonists tried to trap wolves in the area? It also explains how to pronounce the names of places that have been frequently mispronounced, like Robeson County. We are excited to make it available online to everyone through the NCpedia site.”

This NCPedia expansion to include resources from the University of North Carolina Press was made possible by a Library Services and Technology Act grant through the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The North Carolina Gazetteer is the third work to be made available for free online through UNC Press’s partnership with NCPedia. Other UNC Press books available on NCPedia include the Encyclopedia of North Carolina and the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography.