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Mecklenburg Historical Association records

Identifier: MS0158

Scope and Contents

The records of the Mecklenburg Historical Association represents the group’s official archives. Material includes minutes, financial material, correspondence, scrapbooks, photographs, and newspaper clippings. The original order of the collection has been maintained for the most part.


  • Creation: 1898 - 2009
  • Creation: 1954 - 1999


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Administrative History

The Mecklenburg Historical Association (MHA) was established in 1954. The first officers were: James A. Stenhouse, organizing president; Mrs. Preston B. Wilkes, first vice president; Kenneth Whitsett, second vice president; Georgia Gray Spratt, secretary; and Phillip N. Alexander, treasurer. The initial membership totaled approximately 106 people. The purpose of the organization is to preserve the historic and cultural heritage of Mecklenburg County, and to make the citizens of the county, state, and nation aware of the county's place in history. Among the Association’s activities is an annual observance of the signing of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. The MHA stoutly supports this controversial document, which is dated May 20, 1775. In addition, the MHA publishes books on Mecklenburg history. These include Archibald Henderson's Cradle of Liberty (1955), Victor C. King's Origin of the City of Charlotte (1954) and Lives of the Signers of the Mecklenburg Declaration (1956), and the Ruth Blackwelder and A. Haynes Dunlap collaboration, Old Charlotte, Old Mecklenburg, Today (1973). Most importantly, the MHA founded the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission (nee Historic Properties Commission). This project began in 1971 when the Association invited experts from the North Carolina Department of Archives and History to Charlotte for a week of touring and research. This endeavor ended with several county properties being listed on the national register. The commission was formally organized two years later and first met on August 9, 1973. The Association continues its role in historic properties by hosting annual tours. The Mecklenburg Historical Association follows the ideals of three previous attempts at forming a historical organization in Charlotte. The first group formed prior to the Civil War. The second society formed to celebrate the centennial of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence in 1875. The third historic society formed in 1948 to produce LeGette Blythe's drama, Shout Freedom! [see LeGette Blythe Papers for additional information on this event].


3.25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Records of Mecklenburg County’s oldest and largest historical organization from its establishment in 1954. Includes minutes, programs, financial records, and information on historic preservation projects sponsored by the association. Also includes photographs of the 1948 production of LeGette Blythe's outdoor drama, Shout Freedom!, material about the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence and its observance, and general information on local history.


The collection is divided into twelve series, one of which (Docent Committee) is further divided into several subseris. The series are: Presidential Records (1954-1999), Board, Financial Records, Membership (1990-2000), Docent Committee, Speeches, Projects, Historic Landmarks (1970-1985), Charlotte History (1823-1857, 1917-1979), Photographs and Slides (1875-1990), Scrapbooks and Photo Albums and Artifacts and Memorabilia.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Mecklenburg Historical Association, 1988. Gift of Jo Forsberg, 1994.

Related Materials

LeGette Blythe Papers (UNCC Manuscript 64) ; Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission Reports (UNCC Manuscript 77) ; Hugh Torance House & Store, Inc. Records (UNCC Manuscript 157).

Processing Information

Processed by Alan Litehizer, 1993; Bob McInnes, 2005 and 2011; Emma Hilton, Graduate Assistant, 2016.

Mecklenburg Historical Association Records
Alan Litehizer, November, 1993. Bob McInnes, 2005 and 2011.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
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Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte NC 28223 United States

About this Site

Finding aids are guides to archival collections, including manuscripts, university records, and oral history collections. These guides help you find physical collections which can be viewed in the Dalton Reading Room on the 10th floor of Atkins Library. A small number of finding aids link to digital content online. Please contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment:

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(704) 687-1170
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