Encyclopedia of North Carolina

Edited by William S. Powell

Jay Mazzocchi, Associate Editor

Encyclopedia of North Carolina

1328 pp., 8.5 x 10.875, 373 illus., 4 tables, 22 maps, index

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-8078-3071-0
    Published: November 2006

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Awards & distinctions

A Library Journal Best Reference of 2006

2007 Ragan Old North State Award, North Carolina Literary and Historical Association

A 2007 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

2007 Award of Merit, American Association for State and Local History

The first single-volume reference to the events, institutions, and cultural forces that have defined the state, the Encyclopedia of North Carolina is a landmark publication that will serve those who love and live in North Carolina for generations to come. Editor William S. Powell, whom the Raleigh News & Observer described as a "living repository of information on all things North Carolinian," spent fifteen years developing this volume. With contributions by more than 550 volunteer writers--including scholars, librarians, journalists, and many others--it is a true "people's encyclopedia" of North Carolina.

The volume includes more than 2,000 entries, presented alphabetically, consisting of longer essays on major subjects, briefer entries, and short summaries and definitions. Most entries include suggestions for further reading. Centered on history and the humanities, topics covered include agriculture; arts and architecture; business and industry; the Civil War; culture and customs; education; geography; geology, mining, and archaeology; government, politics, and law; media; medicine, science, and technology; military history; natural environment; organizations, clubs, and foundations; people, languages, and immigration; places and historic preservation; precolonial and colonial history; recreation and tourism; religion; and transportation.

An informative and engaging compendium, the Encyclopedia of North Carolina is abundantly illustrated with 400 photographs and maps. It is both a celebration and a gift--from the citizens of North Carolina, to the citizens of North Carolina.

Published in association with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library

About the Author

William S. Powell is professor emeritus of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is author or editor of many reference books about the state, including the six-volume Dictionary of North Carolina Biography and The North Carolina Gazetteer, both from the University of North Carolina Press. Jay Mazzocchi is an experienced managing editor who was previously a developmental editor and writing fellow for the 24-volume American National Biography.

For more information about William S. Powell, visit the Author Page.


"An extremely valuable and vitally useful contribution, full of important insights, interpretations and intelligence."--Journal of Southern History

"An outstanding single-volume encyclopedia spanning the 400-year history of the state. . . . An important contribution to regional history collections and is indispensable for all North Carolina libraries."--CHOICE

“With over 2000 A-Z entries written by 550 contributors, this is the ultimate ready-reference to the state.”--Library Journal

"An informative and engaging guide of North Carolina. Never before has the entire history and culture of the state been skillful[y] explicated in a single all-inclusive book."--The Courier

“Ambitious, massive, and immensely valuable. . . . This long-awaited, alphabetically arranged, single-volume reference work interprets North Carolina, past and present, as a diverse state deeply rooted in local communities. . . . Powell's Encyclopedia of North Carolina will become a standard and much applauded reference work.”--Raleigh News & Observer

“From the Greensboro sit-ins to the Bank of America, from Krispy Kreme to the Ugly Club, from the first flight to the Bare Boxing Incident--if it grew, happened or was consumed in the Old North State, chances are good that it’s included in the Encyclopedia of North Carolina.”--Carolina Alumni Review