Lilesville native earns top North Carolina honor, named to The Order of the Long Leaf Pine

By: For the Record

DURHAM — Durham County Library recently announced that Lilesville native Lynn Richardson, retired head of the North Carolina Collection, has been named to The Order of the Long Leaf Pine. This award, which is among the most prestigious presented by the governor of North Carolina, is presented to individuals who have a proven record of extraordinary service to the state through contributions to their communities, extra effort in their careers, and many years of service to their organizations.

Richardson, whose tenure with the library spanned 15 years, from 2001 to 2016, received the award upon her November retirement. She provided research assistance to many thousands of customers during her time in the North Carolina Collection, whose primary mission is to preserve and make available the historical record of Durham County.

Major initiatives of her tenure include growing the collection of papers of Durham organizations and individuals from around 25 in 2001 to nearly 200 by the time of her retirement, and creating a web presence for the collection that includes thousands of photographs and other materials.

Her many accomplishments include chairing the Durham Civil Rights Heritage Project, a collaborative community outreach effort that collected civil-rights-related photographs and oral histories for inclusion in the NC Collection, and the African-American Manuscripts Initiative, which dramatically increased the number of materials in the North Carolina Collection that tell the story of Durham’s rich African-American history.

“Lynn has been a great asset to the Durham County Library and the North Carolina Collection,” Tammy Baggett-Best, Durham County library director, said. “She has provided a unique perspective to the collection, while continually working to expand the collected works with additional materials and information. We thank Lynn for her many years of service and wish her all the best in retirement.”

Richardson attended UNC-Chapel Hill for her undergraduate and masters degrees. She has lived in Durham since 1986.

The Durham County Library encourages discovery, connects the community and leads in literacy. As a department of Durham County Government, the library furthers Goal No. 1 of the county’s strategic plan by enhancing cultural, educational and creative opportunities. For more information about the library, visit

Named to The Order of the Long Leaf Pine

For the Record