Archives – UNC-Asheville Special Collections
Special Collections was founded in 1977 as the Southern Highlands Research Center with the mission of collecting resources that document the diverse culture and history of Asheville and Western North Carolina. Their collections include manuscripts, books, oral histories, photographs, and other materials.
Special Collections and University Archives is located on the second floor of D.H. Ramsey Library, at the center of the University of North Carolina Asheville campus. We welcome all users of our facilities including students, faculty, staff and community users. Research scholars will find our collections rich in primary source materials that cover a wide range of interests. Our strength is in our local and regional material related to urban Appalachia. We have extensive photograph and manuscript collections that provide many points of entry into the history of Asheville, Buncombe County, western North Carolina and the Southern Appalachian region. We also have extensive collections related to urban planning, labor relations, WWI, Appalachian culture, and African Americans in western North Carolina. Our oral history collections include over 300 individual histories taken from major civic leaders to tattoo-parlor operators. Travel and tourism and our exuberant natural history is important to all who live in this area and our collections reflect this interest and our environmental concerns for this collective treasure -- our mountains. We have an extensive collection of travel and tourism literature and ephemeral material related to the early development of this major western North Carolina industry. Papers written by our students are included in our holdings and reflect our emphasis within the institution on undergraduate research. The departments of History, Literature, Economics, Computer Science and the Masters in Liberal Arts program are some of our strongest holdings in published institutional research. We welcome other departments to add to our growing institutional repository.