Welcome to 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, a mission we continue to this day. Our collections include manuscripts, books, oral histories, photographs, and other materials.

University Archives includes records, photographs, and publications documenting the history of the University of North Carolina Asheville. Our archivists assist the UNC Asheville community with questions about records retention as outlined in the UNC System’s Records Retention and Disposition Schedule.

We welcome students, faculty, staff, community members, and researchers to use Special Collections and University Archives. We’re located on the third floor of D.H. Ramsey Library on the UNC Asheville campus. Our reading room hours are posted below and we are also available by appointment. As part of our mission to serve the UNC Asheville community, Special Collections also provides instruction, reference services, and internship opportunities to support undergraduate curricula and individual student research. Please contact us at speccoll@unca.edu for research assistance.

We are pleased to feature the Bill and Alice Hart Collection, a comprehensive collection of over 1200 monographs and over 25 linear feet of books and other materials documenting Western North Carolina history and culture. Read about the collection on the UNC Ashevile News Site and in the Appalachian Curator.

Are you having trouble citing primary sources? Check out our guide to citing primary sources in Chicago/Turabian style.

For news and updates about our collections, please refer to our blog, UNC Asheville Archives. We are also on Facebook

Our Collections Include

Summer Hours for 2024

Ramsey Library and Special Collections are open by appointment only. We welcome visitors and researchers. Please contact us to make an appointment or for any reference questions. You can call us at (828) 251-6645 or email us at speccoll@unca.edu

Available times for appointments are:

  • Monday: By Appointment
  • Tuesday: By Appointment
  • Wednesday: By Appointment
  • Thursday: By Appointment
  • We are closed Friday, Saturday, and Sunday


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