The thousands of photographs in this series document the history of North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance through images of its employees and their families, buildings and other places, and company events. They range from formal portraits and group shots to snapshots taken at banquets, conventions, meetings, on trips, and around the office.
There are many 19th century black-and-white photographs of NCM leaders and their families, staff, including women, the earliest home office buildings, office interiors, and community events. Many of these were reproduced by NCM staff for use in publicity and exhibits; these reproductions may be found in other series.
Individuals depicted in later images include NCM officers, employees, their families, and leaders such as Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Spiro Agnew, Jesse Jackson, ambassadors, and other politicians. Many significant original images were reproduced by NCM in various sizes and for various purposes; some of these reappear in the Exhibits Series material.
The bulk of the 20th century images was produced by the NC Mutual Public Relations Department for The Whetstone and The Pilot and are therefore often marked for cropping and resizing. Although some images are captioned with names, years, and locations, many are unmarked and many dates have been estimated. Some related paper material, such as clippings, biographical sketches, speeches, copies of publications, and memos transmitting the images, can also be found with the prints.
Comprising the bulk of the series, the Prints Subseries is arranged into Events, Historic Images, Other Public Relations, People, and Places Subseries. There is considerable overlap among subseries, for example, between Events and People. Many related items are also found in the Exhibit Material Series.
Large-format photographs and albums are located in the Oversize Prints section listed at the end of this series. These items include historic images of the company's early offices, portraits of senior administrators, group shots at banquets and other events, and images of the NCM home office buildings.
Materials are arranged into subseries by format. There are also slides, negatives, and negative reproductions found with corresponding photographs in the Prints Subseries. Print sizes range from 11x14 inches to roughly 32x40 inches; there is also a group of historic panoramic prints in the collection.