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D. Hiden Ramsey Library, University of North Carolina at Asheville

Local History Archives in Buncombe County: Special Collections and Archives

Introduction

Buncombe County is a rich area for historical research. We have many historical archives and museums that contain a rich variety of historical materials about various aspects of Buncombe County and Western North Carolina, from the general to the specific. Most of these archives are open to historical research, and many of them have digitized materials. 

In this LibGuide, you can find a list of all the physical archives and museums in Buncombe County that hold significant archival collections relating to Western North Carolina's history. Listed are the locations, contact information, options for access, whether the archive has digitized any of their collections, and the strengths and focuses of their collections.

Buncombe County Special Collections

Buncombe County Special Collections logo

Buncombe County Special Collections

Location: 

Pack Memorial Library
67 Haywood Street
Asheville, NC 28801

Contact information:

828-250-4740
packnc@buncombecounty.org

Access options:

Open to the public. No appointments necessary.

Digitized materials available?

Yes.

Collection strengths:

Buncombe County Special Collections holds many unique materials relating to the history of Asheville specifically and Buncombe County and Western North Carolina generally. 

Old Buncombe Genealogical Society

Old Buncombe County Genealogical Society

Location: 

128 Bingham Rd Suite 950
Asheville, NC 28806

Contact information:

828-253-1894
info@obcgs.com

Access options:

The Old Buncombe Genealogical Society research library is open to the public. Some materials have been digitized, and a portion of the collection is searchable by the public online. Many more records from the collection are available online for a yearly membership fee.

Digitized materials available?

Yes. Go to their website and hover over "Research Resources" to see the menu of free resources. For their paid resources, go to the Member Resources tab.

Collection strengths:

The Old Buncombe Genealogical Society holds many unique books and genealogical resources relating to family history in Buncombe County and Western North Carolina. Their collection is especially useful for scholars researching families who lived in Western North Carolina during its early history.

Credits

Profile Photo
Sagan Thacker
they/them/theirs

Created in March 2022 by Sagan Thacker
Spring 2022 Ramsey Library Research Intern

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Western Regional Archives

Photograph of Western Regional Archives building

Western Regional Archives

Location: 

176 Riceville Rd.
Asheville, NC 28805

Contact information:

828-250-3120
wrarchives@ncdcr.gov

Access options:

Open to the public. No appointments necessary.

Digitized materials available?

Yes.

Collection strengths:

The Western Regional Archives holds an enormous variety of items relating to Buncombe County and Western North Carolina, with particular emphasis on Black Mountain College and family collections.

Presbyterian Heritage Center

Presbyterian Heritage Center logo

Presbyterian Heritage Center

Location: 

318 Georgia Terrace,
Montreat, NC 28757

Contact information:

828-669-6556
info@phcmontreat.org

Access options:

Open to the public. No appointments necessary. Many of their collections are currently in the process of being digitized, and some materials are available for online viewing. 

Digitized materials available?

Yes.

Collection strengths:

The Presbyterian Heritage Center holds many materials relating to the history of Presbyterianism and Presbyterian missionaries worldwide, but also holds a sizable collection of materials relating to the history of Montreat and its environs.

Southern Appalachian Digital Collections

Screenshot of Southern Appalachian Digital Collections homepage

Southern Appalachian Digital Collections

Location: 

Online

Contact information:

828-251-6645
speccoll@unca.edu

Access options:

This collection is a digital collaboration between UNC Asheville Special Collections and Western Carolina University Special Collections. All material is available for free online. 

Digitized materials available?

Yes.

Collection strengths:

This collection includes an enormous variety of digitized materials relating to Buncombe County, Western North Carolina, and the Southern Appalachians as a whole.

UNC Asheville Special Collections and University Archives

UNC Asheville Special Collections and University Archives logo

UNC Asheville Special Collections and University Archives

Location: 

D. Hiden Ramsey Library
One University Heights
CPO #1500
Asheville, NC 28804

Contact information:

828-251-6645
speccoll@unca.edu

Access options:

As of Spring 2022, UNC Asheville Special Collections are open by appointment only. Call or email ahead to find out any changes in their operating schedule.

Digitized materials available?

Yes. Materials from many individual collections have been digitized and are available on their respective finding aids.

Collection strengths:

The UNC Asheville Special Collections holds a plethora of unique materials relating to UNC Asheville and Buncombe County history, as well as other historical artifacts.

Montreat College Archives

Montreat College logo

Montreat College Historical Archive

Location: 

L. Nelson Bell Library
310 Gaither Circle
Montreat, NC 28757

Contact information:

828-669-8012, ext. 3504
reference@montreat.edu

Access options:

The Montreat College Historical Archive is open by appointment to in-person researchers. Most of the archive's holdings have been digitized.

Digitized materials available?

Yes.

Collection strengths:

The Montreat College Historical Archive focuses solely on the history of Montreat College. It is particularly rich in photos of the campus.

Warren Wilson College Archives

Warren Wilson College Logo

Warren Wilson College Archives

Location: 

Pew Learning Center & Ellison Library
701 Warren Wilson Rd,
Swannanoa, NC 28778

Contact information:

828-771-3055
dsanderson@warren-wilson.edu

Access options:

As of 2022, the physical archives are temporarily closed to research. However, a small number of materials are available digitally. Additionally, some archival materials can be accessed from the circulation desk at the Warren Wilson College Library.

Digitized materials available?

Yes.

Collection strengths:

The Arthur S. Link Archives at Warren Wilson College holds materials relating to Warren Wilson College's history and operations. Additionally, they hold unique publications and materials relating to mountain music.