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Posted on: December 4, 2023

Cape Fear Museum Historian appointed to state board by Governor Cooper

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – Dr. Jan Davidson, Historian for the Cape Fear Museum, was appointed by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper to serve on the North Carolina State Historical Records Advisory Board. Davidson has worked as the Cape Fear Museum Historian since coming to the community in 2005.

“Jan provides a breadth of knowledge that is truly unmatched and she has an ability to distill complex research and history into educational and engaging opportunities for our museum,” said Cape Fear Museum Director Kate Baillon. “It’s no surprise she is being recognized at a state level because of her expertise and skills. Her passion for sharing our region’s rich history is an asset to our community, and we're excited to see her service extend to the state of North Carolina in her appointment to this board.”

Established via state statute in 1975, the Historical Records Advisory Board works with the State Archives of North Carolina to maintain and preserve documentary heritage and to create educational tools that represent the state’s diverse communities. The board works in collaboration with record custodians across the state to help preserve the history of North Carolina by following objectives outlined by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Davidson, who earned her PhD from the University of Delaware in 2000, previously worked for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History from 2000-05 before joining the county team. During her time at the Cape Fear Museum, she has curated or co-curated numerous in-house exhibits reflecting the history of Southeastern North Carolina and the Cape Fear Region, including the 1898 Story Map which chronicled the timeline and events around the Wilmington Massacre and Coup d’état. Along with providing presentations on a local, regional, state and national level, Davidson also previously served on the Federation of North Carolina Historical Societies. 

She is the second New Hanover County staff member to be selected by Governor Cooper for a state-wide advisory group this year, joining Diversity and Equity Outreach Coordinator Marimer McKenzie who was recently named to the Council on Hispanic/Latino Affairs.

For more information about the Cape Fear Museum, visit

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