Manuscript Collections

Special Collections began acquiring manuscript collections in 1977, when Special Collections was known as the Southern Highlands Research Center (SHRC). SHRC’s mission was to collect materials documenting Asheville as a diverse Appalachian urban area. While the urban Appalachian focus has been retained, other collections from across Western North Carolina have been added as Special Collections’ mission has expanded to meet the needs of undergraduate research programs at UNC Asheville. Our manuscript collections document tourism, outdoor receation, race and ethnicity, forestry, religion, Asheville’s urban renewal, WWI and WWII, environmental stewardship, local businesses, arts and crafts, and other regional topics.

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Gus and Emma Adler Collection, [M2011.10] A small collection photographs documenting the Sky Club owned and operated by Gus and Emma Adler in Asheville from the 1930s to the 1950s. Other photos are of the Adlers and their friends and family. Also included are biographical recollections and photocopies of clippings and documents about the Sky Club.

Agudas Israel Synagogue Collection, [M2013.01].  Materials covering the history of the congregation and Jewish families in Hendersonville, NC. The collection includes primary and secondary documents, oral histories and photographs

Pamela C. Allison Cookbook Collection, [M2016.01]. The Pamela C. Allison Cookbook Collection contains over 700 community and commercially published cookbooks that document recipes, cooking, and foodways in the Southern Appalachians, North Carolina, and the American South. In addition, the collection includes nearly 200 commercial food and kitchen appliance company cookbooks as well as a small collection of historic cookbooks and books on cookbook collecting.

American Association of University Women (AAUW) Records, [M77.9.1-7 ; OS77.9.1-11] – Asheville and Western North Carolina chapters archive.

Walter Ashe Collection, [ M99.02.01] – Comprehensive history of the three USS Asheville ships and one submarine. Materials are comprised mainly of three large scrapbooks which recount the history of the USS Ashevilles, particularly the second vessel and its activity in the Pacific theater of WWII, the South China Sea. See also the oral history taken from Walter Ashe.

Asheville Colleges Collection, [M2015.04].  A small collection of miscellaneous documents from colleges in and around Asheville in the early 20th century. The documents primarily originate from Asheville Normal College, but materials from Blue Ridge College and Wingate College are included

Asheville Garden Club Collection, [M79.5] – Documents primarily related to the creation of botanical gardens on the campus of Asheville-Biltmore College (now UNC Asheville), and a submission for the Gapen Silver Cup for Conservation

Asheville Global Report Collection [M2020.01] The Asheville Global Report (AGR) was a volunteer-run newspaper with a weekly circulation of 3000. It was distributed free at locations around Buncombe County and surrounding areas from 1999 to 2007. The AGR’s mission statement was to “cover news underreported by mainstream media, believing that a free exchange of information is necessary to organize for social change.” Includes over 350 issues of the paper.

Asheville Model Cities Records, [M2005.11.1-2] – A small collection of records and publications related the the “Model Cities” plan for Asheville, NC.

Asheville Postcard Company Salesman’s Samples Collection, [M2008-03] -A collection of 11 salesman’s sample books from the Asheville Postcard Company, dated 1939-41. Includes hundreds of postcards of Western North Carolina, Eastern Tennessee, and other Southern locations.

City of Asheville Reports 1966-1975, [M2017.1] – Reports prepared by, or about, the City of Asheville and published between 1966 and 1975, including statistical analyses, development studies, and budget reports.

Asheville YWCA Archive, [M99.1] – Administrative papers, board minutes, annual reports, photographic materials, newspaper clippings and scrapbooks, describing the history of the YWCA in Asheville, including the process of integrating the previously segregated branches.


Robert and Audrey Bayer Paper Dress Collection, [OS2007.12.1-2] – A unique window into popular culture in the early 1970’s.

Mark Ellis Bennett Collection, [M2008.13.1] – A collection of articles written for the Biltmore Beacon newspaper and miscellaneous photographs and documents related to Asheville and western North Carolina history.

Beth HaTephila Congregation (Asheville, NC) [M79.13.1-5 ; P79.13.1 ; OS79.13.1] – Founded in 1891, Beth HaTephila is the oldest Jewish congregation in Asheville. Includes organization records, committee minutes, congregation records, the correspondence of Rabbi Sidney Unger (1951-1961), and other core documents.

Blomberg, Patton & Grimes Biltmore Industries Archive, [M2016.13] – A large collection (141 linear feet) that includes the personal papers of Fred Seely, early business records of Grove Park Inn, and business records of Biltmore Industries.

Sally A. Birge Collection, [M2018.05] – Family photos, news clippings and personal documents of Asheville native Sally Birge, including the Civil War memories of her paternal great-grandfather.

Christopher Blake Collection,[M03.11.01] – A small collection of photographs, pamphlets, and a unique, though unidentified, travel guide of western North Carolina from the turn of the century.

Blomberg Family Papers, [M2004.2] – Personal papers, photographs, and other documents from the Blomberg family of Asheville, particularly Lewis Blomberg and his five children, and Lewis’ brother Aaron.

Bluff Mountain Papers, [M2018.2] -The Bluff Mountain Papers document efforts by the Western North Carolina Alliance and other citizen groups who opposed a US Forest Service plan to log Bluff Mountain in 1996-97.

Holly Boswell Kindred Spirits Collection, [M2019.08} Holly Boswell (1950-2017) was a pioneering transgender activist, credited with being one of the earliest adopters of the term “transgender” and the creation of the transgender symbol. This collection contains Issues of Gender Quest from Spring 1998 to Autumn 2001, excerpts from writings on spirituality, and materials relating to the operation of Kindred Spirits including correspondence, meeting materials, financial documents regarding the organization’s status as a nonprofit, and materials relating to the construction of the Bodhi Tree House in Black Mountain, NC

Chester H. Brown Collection, [M2011.14.01-0] – A small collection of the personal papers of Chester H. Brown Jr. and business documents from Nehi Bottling and the Royal Crown Co. of Asheville. Includes personal and business correspondence, diagrams and blueprints relating to carbonics, papers relating to the Boylston Gold Mine, extensive utilities bills, and other documents. Coverage spans 1930-1950.

John Brown Speculation Lands Collection of Western North Carolina, [M2016.02] – The John Brown Land Speculation Collection is related to the greater Speculation Lands Collection of Western North Carolina. This collection contains items from the Brown family members beginning in the late 1700’s and extending well into the early 1900’s, and includes items from John Brown, his son William John Brown, his sons John Evans Brown, William Caleb Brown, and Samuel S. Brown, and John Evans son, W. Vance Brown. John Brown was 21 years old when he got started in the speculation lands business and he represented a syndicate of Pennsylvania investors to enter and obtain land grants in Western North Carolina.

W. Vance Brown and Family Collection, [M79.10.1] – Photocopies of papers and diary of John Brown (1772-1845). Also includes information on John Brown, 1772-1845 ; John Evans Brown, 1827-1894 ; Samuel S. Brown ; William J. Brown, 1803-1884 ; William Caleb Brown.

Solon H. Bryan Collection (1884 -1931), [M78.2] – Contains miscellaneous clippings and printed materials relating to Bryan’s work as director of the Piedmont Bureau, plus a scrapbook of newspaper columns written by Bryan. Also included are personal papers, and assorted documents related to Bryan’s work with the church.

Curtis Bynum Family Papers, [M2003.1] – Contains materials related to Curtis Ashley Bynum (1882-1964), his wife Florence Boyd Bynum (1878-1967), and their daughter Katherine Bynum Shepard (d. 2008).


Dianne Cable Sketchbooks and Journals, [M2010.04] – Contains original artwork, journals and other materials by WNC artist Dianne Cable. Most of the collection comprises sketchbooks and journals produced by Cable, in which she recorded outline sketches, diary notes, and other materials. Many sketchbooks are supported by biographical notes written by Cable.

Robert F. Campbell Papers, [M2010.06.01-17] – The personal papers of Robert F. Campbell primarily documenting his career as pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Asheville, N.C. from 1892 to 1946. Includes sermons and, to a lesser extent, his research and writing on social issues, particularly race in the South and the social and cultural lifestyle of the people of Appalachia.

Carolina Mountain Club Archive, [M2002.2] – The Carolina Mountain Club was established in Asheville, North Carolina on July 16, 1923, with a focus on hiking, building and maintaining trails, and promoting conservation. This large collection contains extensive hiking records, administrative and membership documents, trail maintenance records and details of conservation projects, photographs, maps, and publications.

UNC Asheville Center for Jewish Studies, [M2009.03.01] – Documents, correspondence, organizational information, news clippings, flyers, and program advertisements documenting the Center for Jewish Studies at UNC Asheville.

F. Stuart Chapin Collection, [M77.4.1] – Papers regarding the early Tennessee Valley Authority (T.V.A.)

Chimney Rock Hillclimb 1956 – 1995, [M2016.12] – Contains photocopies of programs, newspaper clippings, correspondence, and documents, and an original program from 1995.

Citizens Against Clearcutting the Asheville Watershed (CACAW) Papers – [M2016.04} – Citizens Against Clearcutting the Asheville Watershed (CACAW) was a citizens group that worked to stop clearcutting in the Asheville watershed beginning in the late 1980s. The CACAW Papers contains correspondence, press releases, news clippings, and other materials that document the group’s actions.

Citizens Committee for Better Schools Workbook – [M2015.09] – Comprises photocopied materials covering the NC Citizens Committee for Better Schools, and schools and education in NC, with an emphasis on Asheville.

City of Asheville, Historic Resources Commission Records, [M2010.16] – A large collection of materials from the City of Asheville, including plats of the city from the first half of the 20th century, maps and aerial photographs from the 1950s and 1960s, documents from the planning board, and transportation advisory committee, and materials arising from highway projects. Also includes 700 transparencies of road and other conditions.

Otis J. Clontz Collection, [M2001.1] – Postcards, photographs, booklets, other documents, and realia primarily related to the US Army in the years immediately prior to, and during World War I, with a focus on the 30th Infantry “Old Hickory” Division. Additionally, there are postcards of pre-war French scenes and buildings, as well as images of destruction from the fighting. A small number of postcards show the 1916 floods in Asheville.

Susanna Cocroft Collection, [M2015.10] – A small collection of materials related to Susanna Cocroft, who taught “scientific health principles by correspondence”, in the early 20th century.

David Cohen Editorial Cartoon Collection [M2021.03] – Contains hundreds of original editorial cartoons by David Cohen, who has drawn cartoons for the Asheville Citizen-Times since 1970. His cartoons have appeared in publications such as The Funny Times and on CD covers by such musicians as Carla Bley.

Communist Propaganda Collection, [M2014.02] – A collection of booklets describing Communist philosophies and theories, rules and constitutions of Soviet republics, reports on Soviet Communist Party congresses, and speeches by Communist leaders

Congregation Beth Israel Papers,[M2008.3] -The collection includes documents covering synagogue activities, minutes of meetings, photographs, plans for construction of the synagogue, the activities of the Synagogue Sisterhood and Board of Trustees, and some financial records.

Pauline Miller Cowan Collection, [M05.31-6 ; MC05.3.1] – Drawings and designs used and created by a master Tryon Toy-Makers wood-carver. Included are ledgers of work, designs by Charlotte Yale and Eleanor Vance for various projects, templates, and reference materials.

Frank Coxe Papers, [M83.3.1-18 ; P83.3.1 ; OS83.3.1] – Donated by banker and past Executive Director of the Asheville Industrial Council and descendant of Tench Coxe and Sol. Frank Coxe, the collection contains genealogical information about the Coxe family in North Carolina, photographs, and extensive documents related to the 1886 construction and early operation of the Battery Park Hotel under the ownership of Col. Frank Coxe.

Tench Coxe Collection (1798-1910), [M79.16.1] – Railroad history and land speculation materials. The materials consist of correspondence of the French Broad and Granite Brick Co., a 1910 copy of “The Clay-Worker”, Coxe memorandum, correspondence regarding purchase of Okefenokee Swamp, correspondence of Colonel Frank Coxe, published items regarding railroads and related activities, and three bundles of railway passes.

Tench C. Coxe Collection, [M2011.15.1] – A collection of photographs, letters, ephemera and variety of other documents spanning the years of1939 and 1957. The majority of this collection involves Tench’s experiences in WWII and Korea as a member of a chemical

Thomas Rain Crowe Regional Publications Collection [M2017.02] Contains over 275 essays, poems, and reviews by internationally known poet and writer Thomas Rain Crowe, mostly published in small newspapers and journals in Western North Carolina.

CURJohn Stevens’ Council on Undergraduate Research Records, [M1998.01] – Documents and photographs related to CUR, thought to originate from Dr. John Stevens, and primarily covering his involvement in CUR from 1980 to 1993

Cut the Clearcutting Papers, [M2018.01] – Documents related to the opposition to the Forest Services Plan for management of the Nantahala and Pisgah Forests, specifically even-aged management through clearcutting and shelter wood cutting.


Walter Julius Damtoft Collection, [M2011-06-01] – Forest history was created by this graduate of the Biltmore Forest School, Yale University Forest School, and in his career with Champion Paper Company. As the first industrial forester in the US, Damtoft set the bar for the responsible use of our forests. The collection contains newspaper clippings regarding the Weeks Law, photographs, including international study tours, and materials related to Ruben Robertson and Champion Paper Company.

Joseph Dave Family Papers, [M2004.12.1] – Dave Steel Company, Inc., an early western NC Jewish business, is discussed by Dave. Biographical material forms the core of this small collection.

John Dawson Collection, [M2001.02] – Primarily comprises a scrapbook of photographs. Images include the Wings Over Jordan, a choral group, as well as unidentified people. The people are predominantly African American. Other pages include clippings about the J C Penney store in Asheville, Wings Over Jordan, and the 1940 election. The collection also includes a 1940 issue of “This Week in the Land of the Sky”, and a number of loose photographs.

Margaret Deaver Collection of Presbyterian Newsletters, [M2005.06.01 ; OS2005.06.01] – Includes partial runs of two newsletters: The Appalachian Appeal and Our Mountain Work, 1919-1931. Partially transcribed.

Francine Delany or Beatrice Francine Mitchell Delany Collection [M93.01 ; OS93.01] – Memorabilia including certificates, awards, letters, photographs and a scrapbook gathered by friends and family of Francine Delany, the first African-American to graduate from UNC Asheville.

Delta Kappa Gamma Society of Asheville Collection [M2011.11] – Materials collected by, and related to, the Delta Kappa Society of Asheville, a professional honor society of key women educators.

Carol Duin Collection of LGBT Materials, [M2012.09.01-02] – This collection, created by local gay rights advocate Carol Duin, contains personal papers, speeches, presentations, correspondence, educational materials, articles, publications, and discussion materials related to advocacy and education about lesbian, gay, bi, trans-gendered, and queer lives.

Harold E. Duncan Collection, [M2012.06] – Student notes and other materials collected by Duncan who attended Buncombe County Junior College between 1927 and 1930. Some documents may be from Duncan’s high school years.

DuPont Forest Collection [M2022.05] – Contains resources used by Danny Bernstein in the writing of her book DuPont Forest: A History.

Jerome Dykeman Papers, [M2002.5.1] – Letters, newspaper clippings, and other materials related to the preservation of the Craggy mountains area and the creation of the Craggy Gardens recreation area. Also includes ledgers of the Carolina Mountain Club and assorted materials pertaining to environmental issues in Western North Carolina.

Wilma Dykeman Collection,[M2012] – Includes most notably a scrapbook compiled by the author’s elder brother containing a complete record of Wilma Dykeman’s first thirty years. This book contains report cards, photos, early poetry, correspondence,  and all manner of personal documents.


Thad Eckard Labor Relations Collection [WNCLN catalog for individual items] – A small 16 item significant collection of labor relations material that documents the Mill strikes in North Carolina and in the southeast during the late 1920s to the late 1930s. Gastonia Mill is particularly well covered. Includes works of fiction as well as labor literature. (See: Books. Each item is cataloged separately and entered into the WNCLN catalog.)

Eliada Home Archive, [M2005.08.01] – Documents related to Eliada Homes Inc., including administrative materials, marketing pamphlets, scrapbooks, newsletters, and correspondence. (Photographs from Eliada are in P2005.08.)


Sharon Fahrer Collection, [M2010.10.01] – A collection of unique books, scrapbooks, periodicals and photographs, many of which relate to the Jewish experience in the Asheville area. (See also: Jewish Businesses and Jewish Life in Western North Carolina.)

Sharon Fahrer Holocaust Collection, [M2019.05] – Documents, correspondence, photographs, and other information about Fahrer’s family – the Majerowiczes – and their lives during the Nazi Holocaust.

Family Services Center Collection, [M96.1.1-2 ; P96.1.1 ; OS96.1.1-2] – Publications, newspaper clippings, and photographs from the Asheville social service agency comprise this small collection.

Flat Rock Playhouse Collection, [M2006.11] – A large collection of materials including correspondence, production and business records, photographs, press releases and clippings. Also included are records from the Vagabond Players that predate the creation of the Flat Rock Playhouse, materials from the New York theaters of the 1930s and 1940s, and materials related to marionettes and puppet theaters of the 1930s.

Mary Lloyd Frank Collection, [M79.11.1] – Contains two publications: Leaves from the Sondley and The Southern Packet, both published by the Stephens Press.

French Broad River Garden Club Coloured Slides and Photographs Collection, [M2010.02.01 ; OS2010.02.01] – The collection features lantern slides and prints of wild flowers of the region originally presented as Coloured Slides and Photographs Native Plants of the North Carolina Mountains Suitable for Naturalization Found Within a Radius of 80 miles of Asheville  at a meeting on May 21, 1936. Also included are aorrespondence regarding the coloring of the slides, a booklet of notes describing the plants shown, meeting minutes from 1935 – 1937, and a record of plants grown in members’ gardens.

J. W. Ferguson Collection, [M2015.05] – Business correspondence and documents pertaining to an attorney working in Waynesville, North Carolina in the early years of the 20th century.


William Gahagan Collection, [M1999.03.01] – A small collection of photocopies of rural grocery store credit lists, ledgers, and correspondence related to loggers and logging in Madison County near the Laurel River.

Elaine Roland Gales Collection, [M2021.01] – This collection primarily contains newspaper clippings about events or pivotal episodes in the history of The Block, and articles about or obituaries for prominent individuals, social organizers, business leaders, or political figures from The Block and East End neighborhood. Names mentioned frequently include William Roland, Willie Bowman, Nell McCracken, Herbert Watts, Lucille Buton, Lonnie Burton, Robert Harrell, and Thelma Porter. Also included are photographs (original or photocopied) of Elaine Gales, her friends and acquaintances, and scenes from The Block and the East End neighborhood. These photographs are mostly from the late 1940s and 1950s. Additionally, this collection has a few materials from Stephens-Lee High School and a booklet announcing the dedication of the new Hill Street school building.

A. Allen Gardner Papers, [M1979.7] – A small number of documents related to the Asheville Area Human Relations Council, with a focus on the desegregation of Asheville City Schools.

Robert J. Godbey Collection, [M2003.8.1-5] – Five typed personal journals covering Godbey’s experiences in France during World War I, a scrapbook of WWI memorabilia, a scrapbook of newspaper clippings from World War II, and Stars and Stripes, 1919-1919

Lewis W. Green – (See: Independent Torch and Native Stone)

Gordon Greenwood Scrapbooks, [M2018.08] – Two scrapbooks, primarily of newspaper clippings, compiled by Gordon Greenwood, and covering the years Greenwood served on the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners.

David Gross Family Collection, [M2010.19.01] – A small collection of photographs and news clippings related to the Gross family and their businesses located in Asheville, North Carolina.

E. W. Grove Papers, [M2018.10] – Correspondence and documents from E. W. Grove (1850-1927), businessman and developer of the Grove Park Inn.

W.B. Gwyn Collection, [M2002.07.01-02] – Ledgers of legal correspondence from 1891-1894 involving various prominent Asheville figures, particularly G.W. Pack.

Gwyn Collection of 19th Century Asheville Newspapers and Maps [M2016.03] – A small collection of 19th century Asheville newspapers and publications.


HACA (See: Housing Authority of the City of Asheville Records.)

Capt. Robert E. Harris and Joanne Harris USS Asheville Collection, [M2007.16.01 ; OS 2007.16.01] – A small collection of material related to the christening of the USS Asheville.

Lou Harshaw Papers and Photographs, [M2009.06] – Research papers, manuscript drafts, photographs, publications and other items gathered by Harshaw in the course of her work as a writer, historian and teacher. The materials primarily cover western North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina and Georgia

Bill and Alice Hart Collection, [M2022.02] -The Bill and Alice Hart Collection contains over 1200 monographs and over 25 linear feet of ephemera and related materials. This comprehensive collection of books and materials was acquired by Bill and Alice Hart over 55 years and represents a broad spectrum of written material relating primarily to Western North Carolina. The collection’s geographic focus is on 16 Western North Carolina counties: Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, Mitchell, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga and Yancy counties. Many of the books and pamphlets are extremely rare and represent the Harts’ scholarship and pursuit of specific sources of information as their research delved deep into different aspects of Western North Carolina history and culture.

Hart Ephemera Collection [M2024.02] – Contains thirteen binders of Western North Carolina ephemera documenting tourism, hotels, early railroad marketing of WNC, guides to WNC, summer camps, historic hotels and inns, Grove Park Inn, businesses, hospitals, sanatoria, the craft movement, regional crafts, forestry, Mt. Mitchell, and early regional development. Available in the Reading Room adjacent to the Bill and Alice Hart Collection.

Merwin M. Hayes Family Letters, [Virtual Collection] – Two letters donated by Merwin M. Hayes as digital copies. The letters written by his relative William Riley Killian, contain information on the Killian family and a remarkable account of the so-called “Great Meteor of 1860” which streaked across the skies of western North Carolina.

Heritage of Black Highlanders Collection, [M77.10.1-5 ; OS77.10.1-4] – Materials related to African Americans in Western North Carolina, including photographs, biographical sketches, and as information on schools, churches, veterans, and businesses.

Lucy S. Herring Collection, [M78.3.1] – (See also: Heritage of Black Highlanders Collection.) Papers and materials related to the prominent Asheville African American educator.

General Hugh Hester Collection,[M84.1.1] – Photographs of the General and his family, letters and publications related to General Hester’s interests.

Highland Brewing Company Collection [M2015.08] – News articles, press releases, company documents, and other materials from Highland Brewing Company.

Highland Hospital Collection, [M2016.14] – Policy and procedural manuals, Highland Highlights magazine, and speech outlining the history of the hospital

History Club of Asheville, [M2010.05] – Includes member’s recollections of their own, and the the club’s, histories, plus records of meetings post 1995.

Housing Authority of the City of Asheville [HACA], [M2007.12] – This large collection contains records primarily pertaining to several significant urban renewal and civic redevelopment projects in Asheville from the early 1960s to the mid-1980s. Also include records related to other smaller development and redevelopment projects.

Deryl Howard Papers, [M2010.03.01] – Papers of Dr. Deryl J. Howard during his work as Department Chair of Philosophy at UNC Asheville from 1977 to 1996. The collection also includes papers from when Howard was a student, from his dissertation work and papers likely intended for publication


Independent Torch Collection, [OS79.2.1] – Random assortment from an activist newspaper published by Lewis W. Green, Asheville, NC. (See also: Native Stone by the same editor.)


John E. Jervis Labor Collection (1949-1977), [M77.12.1-5 ; OS77.12.1-3] – Correspondence, publications, newspaper clippings and other related materials from local, state, and some national unions. Records union interest in local and state politics; recruitment techniques; and examples of contracts with local companies such as the Slosman Corporation, the William Brownell Company, American Enka, and others.

Jewish Life in Western North Carolina: This set of collections describe aspects of Jewish life in Asheville and Western North Carolina, documenting how individuals and organizations have helped shape the cultural and economic landscape of the region. Includes photographs, newspaper clippings, oral histories, synagogue records, family papers, and miscellaneous materials that were donated by various individuals, organizations and businesses. Includes contributions from Center for Diversity Education, UNCA and History@Hand, and others.

Joseph Joyner Collection of Wm. D. Pence Papers, [M2007.4] –  A small collection of documents related to the standpipe failure in Asheville on January 23, 1893, and storm damage to the standpipe in March 1887. The documents are believed papers of Dr. William D. Pence, a civil engineer with an interest in standpipe failures.

Judaica Collection, [M2012.04.1] – Small collection of miscellaneous publications and works related to Jewish Studies.Includes works related to the Holocaust and publications from the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith and other material not associated with a specific donation .


Fred Kahn Asheville Postcard Collection, [M2016.08] – Approximately 700 postcards of Asheville and the surrounding area, primarily from the first two decades of the 20th century. Themes covered include, Biltmore House, sanatoriums and hospitals, Country clubs, sports and recreational facilities, and residential developments.

Morris Karpen Family Collection, [M2010.15.01] – Letters, documents and photographs pertaining to the Karpen family, owners of Karpen Steel and donors of Karpen Hall at UNC Asheville.

John J. Keetch US Forest Service Collection, [M2018.06] – Items written or collected by John J. Keetch, and related to his work with the U.S. Forest Service, specifically reflecting his interest in fire danger in forests, and calculating fire risk.

Michael F. Keleher Papers [M80.3.1] Documents from Keleher’s tenure on the Asheville City School Board, 1960-1977. Includes correspondence, memos, laws, etc.

Larry and Peggy Keyes Record Collection, [M2022.07] The collection includes a variety of recordings that document the first 60 years of commercially produced phonograph records, beginning with records on the Berliner Gramophone records that were made in 1890s. These are some of the first records ever made, as Berliner Gramophone was the first record label to commercially produce and market records. It also includes a number of 78s by musicians such as Rosemary Clooney, Nat “King” Cole, Count Basie, Bing Crosby, and Benny Goodman. There are also records produced to be played exclusively on the U.S. Armed Forces Radio network, which was started in 1942 during World War II to broadcast to U.S. military personnel.


Ari Landau Collection, [M2016.05] – The Ari Landau Collection contains documents and photographs chronicling the life of Ari Landau’s father, Fiszel Landau, a Polish Ashkenazi Jew who survived the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp and the Mauthausen-Gusen slave labor camp.

Herschel Lange Family Collection, [M2006.11.1] – A small collection of photographs and information related to the Lange family, Jewish merchants in Asheville, NC.

League of Women Voters of Asheville/Buncombe County, [M77.11] – Records from the Asheville/Buncombe County League of Women Voters from its founding in 1949. These include documents pertaining the the administration of the League and its involvement in local civic issues, as well as documents and publications from state and national Leagues.

Lipinsky Family Collection [M06.1.1] – Correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings related to the family.

Art Loeb Trail Collection [M2022.01] – Contains documents, newspaper articles, maps, trail dedication materials, publications, correspondence, and other materials related to Art Loeb and the creation and dedication of the Art Loeb Trail.

William H. Lord – Trinity Episcopal Church Papers,[M06.5.1] – As supervising architect for the rebuilding of the Trinity Episcopal Church in Asheville in 1912-13, Lord’s correspondence records many construction details. Correspondence includes letters to and from Cram, Goodhue, and Ferguson, the architects of record and Mary Elizabeth Tillinghast, the designer of the stained glass windows.

Harry Weaver Love Collection, [M2009.02] – A small collection of correspondence, primarily related to when Weaver stood down from the office of the Eastern Region of the YMCA Foreign Work Department.

Edgar M. Lyda Collection, [M79.9.1-2] – Chairman of Buncombe County Commissioners in 1920s, includes correspondence and materials related to the construction of the Buncombe County Court House and the City Building.


1929 Marion Labor Strike Scrapbook [M2013.02] – Scrapbook of newspaper clippings documenting textile mill strikes in Marion, NC, that culminated in the death of six mill workers in October 1929.

Mayflower Society Collection, [M77.19.1] – Asheville Colony papers. Includes the Mayflower Compact (1897), Mail and Compact Co. See WNCLN catalog for The North Carolinian, quarterly journal of genealogy.

 C.W. McCall Collection of Josiah Strong Papers (See: Josiah Strong Family Papers),[M2010.14.01-04] – Materials related to the life of the Protestant (Congregationalist) clergyman, author and lecturer who helped to found the Social Gospel movement and founded the League for Social Service (1898-1916). Strong served as the General Secretary of the Evangelical Alliance for the United States (1886-1898) and wrote extensively on urban decay.

George W. McCoy Collection, [M78.1.1 ; M78.1.2] – Newspaper clippings, pamphlets, and other material, with a special focus on race relations and integration issues in Asheville, NC and beyond.

Michael McCue Collection, [M2002.08] – Three circa early 20th photographs of Marshall, NC, and Spruce Pine, NC, monographs written by Michael McCue and/or donated by him, a postcard, and souvenir sheet from 1937 convention of Society of Philatelic Americans held in Asheville, NC

Caroline and W.B. McEwen Collection 1904-1906, [M79.15.1] – Personal narratives and photographs of local history in and around Lake Toxaway and Asheville.

Henry and Elaine Meyers Collection, [M2008.15.01-.09]- Includes materials related to Asheville Jewish congregations and community organizations, but the main scope covers documents, photographs and AV materials arising from Henry’s involvement with the Anti-Defamation League

Men’s Garden Club of Asheville Collection, [M2019.12] – Founded in 1940, the Men’s Garden Club of Asheville has been active in city beautification, plant sales, scholarships for students, and numberous other activities. The collection contains documents on the history, organization, operations, and activities of the Club

Michalove Collection, [M2008.02.01] – A small collection of clippings and photographs related to the Michalove family while they resided in Asheville, NC.

Herbert D. Miles Collection 1912-1958, [M2007.09.01] – A virtual collection of letters, clippings, booklets, and photographs from the Miles family related to the life and times of Herbert D. Miles, a financier and businessman who moved to Asheville from Chicago in 1912.

J. Alfred Miller Collection [M2005.12.1-4] – J. Alfred Miller was a civic and business leader in Asheville from the late 1950’s to the mid 1970’s and, in addition to personal ephemera, the collection includes letters, promotions, meeting minutes, photographs, and newspaper articles relating to the redevelopment of Asheville and promotion of the Blue Ridge Parkway as a tourist destination.

Ernest A. Mills Family Collection ,[M2010.16.01] – A small collection of material from the Mills family that details the Mills Manufacturing Corporation in Asheville and the philanthropic work the family has engaged in, including Mills Hall on the UNC Asheville campus.

Katherine Min Literary Collection, [M2020.04] – A collection of published short stories, articles, the novel Secondhand World, and documents from former UNC Asheville writing professor Katherine Min, who passed away of cancer in 2019.

Irwin Monk Papers (1916-1978) [M79.18.1] – Monk was an Asheville lawyer, childhood friend of Thomas Wolfe, World War I veteran, and an active leader in local veterans groups. The Monk Papers contain personal correspondence, legal documents, maps and documents from his service in the US Army Signal Corps in WWI, and papers from various veterans’ organizations.

Mary Gudger Moore Papers ,[M83.1] – Recollections of the history of Asheville, and western North Carolina written by Mary Gudger Moore (1833 – 1917).  Also includes a history of Sand Hill School, written in 1913, and the genealogy of the Moore family .

Morse Family Chimney Rock Park Collection, [M2018.11] – Materials from the Morse family who owned Chimney Rock for over 100 years. Included are both items related to the family and materials related to Chimney Rock.

Mountain Dance and Folk Festival & Shindig on the Green, [M2005.1- ; P2005.1- ] – Archive of the festival held in Asheville, N.C. from 1928 to present. Includes financial documents, promotional materials, photographs, video tapes, newspaper clippings, correspondence, and other documents.

MountainTrue Papers, [M2018.04] – The oldest non-profit environmental group in Western North Carolina, MountainTrue was formed through a merger of The Environmental and Conservation Organization of Henderson County, founded in 1987, the Jackson-Macon Conservation Alliance, founded in 2000, and the Western North Carolina Alliance, based in Buncombe County and founded in 1982. The collection contains a wide range of materials including various environmental projects and planning as well as correspondence and data associated with the projects.

Dwight Mullen Personal Papers, [M2011.08] – Dr. Dwight Mullen taught Political Science at UNC Asheville from 1984 his retirement in 2018. His personal papers document his extensive work with various community groups in Asheville. Included are materials related to his work with the YMI Cultural Center, Pack Place, Eagle-Market Street Development, and other groups. Also included are personal documents, book reviews, newspaper articles by Dr. Mullen, awards, and other materials. Note that his work with the State of Black Asheville is a separate collection.

Printed Music Collection, [M2011.08] – The collection comprises approximately 1,350 sheets of music, and almost 160 books of music, Many styles of music are included, but the majority of the collection is either classical music, or tunes from vaudeville and theatrical shows of the early 20th century


National Forests of North Carolina Historical Photographs (See: Photographs), [P2010.12.01-07]
A large (approx. 1800 image) photographic collection that documents the “Cradle of Forestry” and many of the National Forests of North Carolina. The collection is provided through a cooperative grant with the National Forests in North Carolina located in Asheville, NC.

Native Stone (June 3, 1971-December 12, 1974) ,[OS79.2.1] – Local issue-oriented newspaper edited by local author Lewis W. Green. (See also: Independent Torch by the same editor.

Nazi Propaganda Collection , [M2014.01 Periodicals, calendars, and books published to promote Nazi Germany that were marketed in the United States by the German government prior to the US entry in the war in December 1941.

Annie Rives Nicholson Collection, [M2005.10] Scrapbook containing personal memorabilia, including photographs, correspondence, and other documents, gathered during Nicholson’s adolescence and college years in the 1920s and 1930s.


Richmond Pearson Collection (1852-1923), [M77.3.1 ; OS77.3.1] – A member of the state House of Representatives for various terms, United States counsel to Genoa, Italy, and Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Persia. In 1907 he served as Minister to Greece and Montenegro. Papers, photographs, and original oil paintings of Pearson and family members.

Howard H Peckham Collection [M2016.11] – Contains over 130 monographs of first person accounts by people experiencing the First World War. The authors are civilians and military personnel from Europe and the United States, and were mostly written during the war years, or in the first few years after the Armistice.

William Dudley Pelley Collection, [M2006.3.1-3] – Periodicals and papers written and published by William Dudley Pelley from the 1930s to 1960s.

Hilliard Penland Collection, [M2001.3.1 ; OS2001.3.1] – UNCA alumni and decorated veteran of WWII. Collection includes WWII memorabilia.

Louisa Pitkin Diary, [M2003.5] – Diary of Louisa Burr Pitkin, of Tryon, NC, from January 1 1919, to December 31, 1923. Daily entries describe Pitkin’s location, the weather, and activities of Pitkin, her family and friends.

James William Pless, Sr. Collection, [M2007.3.1] – Pless was a lawyer and former mayor of both Brevard, NC, and Marion, NC. Photographs and personal writing and family history are included in the collection.

Ada and Lou Pollock Collection, [M2003.10] – Contains personal papers, business materials, and photographs of Lou and Ada Pollock, with an emphasis on the Lou Pollock Memorial Park cemetery in Asheville.

Lou Pollock Memorial Cemetery, [M2017.04] – Records related to the Lou Pollock Memorial Park Cemetery, formerly the Mount Sinai Jewish Cemetery, in Asheville. The materials include business records and death certificates.

Julian Price Papers and Recordings, [M2004.3.1-6] – Asheville philanthropist and civic leader. Letters and documents related to civic initiatives and investments in the Asheville community.

The Pride Newspaper Collection, [M2019.04] – The Pride Newspaper Collection contains 11 boxes of LGBTQ+ periodicals published in Western North Carolina from 1987-2010. Included are Community Connections, The Front Page, Out in Asheville, Stereotypd, and Q Notes, plus LGBTQ themed articles from other regional newspapers.

George Holcomb Prosser, [M2007.6.1] – A collection of poetry written by Prosser in the 1940s when he and his family lived in Western North Carolina. Describes camping, work at American Enka Corporation, moonshining and rural life following the Depression years.


D. Hiden Ramsey Collection, [M1980.5.1-4 ; P1980.5.1] – Leader in higher education and editor of the Asheville Times (1921-1926) and then general manager of the Citizen-Times Company (1930-1954). He also served on the State Board of Education (1945-1953) and on the State Board for Higher Education. (1955-1960). A full inventory of his papers may be found in the collections of UNC Chapel Hill. (See: Inventory of DARLEY HIDEN RAMSEY PAPERS, Mss. Dept., UNC-Chapel Hill.)

Ernest Clifton Rankin Collection, [M2004.8] – Records relating to Rankin’s work as a legal examiner for the United States Department of Justice in the early 20th century.

Lorence Rapoport Family Papers [M2001.6.1] – Active member of the Asheville Jewish community from the 1950s through the 1980s. Correspondence and documents related to Beth Ha Tephila Brotherhood, Temple Club, and Sisterhood. Miscellaneous publications.

Frank E. Ratzell Papers 1945-1964, [M77.7.1-4] – Congregationalist minister in Asheville. Papers contain the notes and minutes of meetings from 1962-1967. Desegregation concerns in Asheville, quality of education and busing.

Bertha Reed’s Sewing Manual, [M77.15.1] – Practical manual of sewing techniques published in 1905.

Helen Tasarov Reed Papers (1915-1993), [M77.8.1] – Documents related to early Asheville education and integration.

Regional Prints Collection [M2014.03] – A small collection of regional prints, primarily from pages from 19th century publications, and a folded greetings card with illustrations of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, possibly from the 1940’s

Carl A. Reiche Collection [M2008.07] – Photocopies of a manuscript describing the struggle to save the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest and to preserve it as a wilderness area.

Jeannette and Irving Reuter Collection [M2012.08.01] – A mall group of photographs and documents of Jeanette (Janet) and Irving Reuter that cover years living in Michigan. Includes photographs of family members at a wedding and of Medovue, their family home, as well as notes created by Irving Reuter detailing the chronology of significant events in his family history and personal life.

Verne Rhoades Collection [M2009.01.01] – A small collection of documents, architectural drawings, photographs and correspondence related to the Rhoades family, the Rhoades estate (now part of the campus of the University of North Carolina Asheville), and the Weaver family, relations of Rhoades.

Julia and Richard Richards Collection, [M2006.] – A short memoir of Emma Lydia Rankin and her family that
includes a first-hand account of life during the last year of the Civil War, and a single 1841 issue of the Highland Messenger, one of Asheville’s earliest newspapers.

RiverLink Papers, M2017.03] – Administrative files, photographic and AV media, clippings and other documents from RiverLink, an environmental non-profit organization that works to preserve and develop the French Broad River in Asheville.

Frank D. Roberson WWII Letters Collection, [M2016.15] – Contains dozens of letters sent by Frank D. Roberson to his family in Asheville from 1942-1944. Roberson was serving in the Army Air Force where he was being trained as a mechanic.

Reuben B. Robertson Collection [M77.13.1-15 ; P77.13.1 ; P77.13.2] – Documents related to Robertson’s years as manager of Champion Paper Plant, Enka, NC.

Samuel Robinson Papers, [M96.3] – Documents and photographs collected by, or about, Dr. Samuel Robinson, an optometrist who worked in Asheville in the mid 20th century.

Jacob Rosen, [[M2007.5.virtual] – “The Chicken Man,” Asheville Jewish resident who sold Kosher chickens and produce from the 1920s to WWII.

Rotary Club of Asheville Collection, [M2019.5] – The collection includes various documents and materials that document the many activities and members of the Rotary Club of Asheville, which was founded in 1915.The collection includes membership records, meeting minutes, the Rotary COG, by-laws, scrapbooks photographs and photographs of Rotary events, Club pamphlets and publications, assorted documents, and banners and flags from Rotary Clubs around North Carolina, the United States, and the world.

Roth-Michalove Collection, [M2022.07] – This small collection includes photos, news clippings, and various ephemera documenting the connection between the Roth and Michalove families and Jewish Businesses in Asheville in the early to mid-twentieth century.

Rutherford County Historical Society Collection, [M2012.03.01] -The Rutherford County Historical Society Collection contains photographs, postcards, and a booklet about the early years of Rutherford Hospital. The photographs date from the early 1900s and depict various locations in Rutherfordton.


Roland Sargent Collection [M2009.10.01-05] – Journals, books, and documents related to aviation in World War I.

R. Henry Scadin Collection,[M80.1] – 48 diaries written between 1888 and 1928 descibing daily lives of photographer Henry Scadin, his wife, and son, a photo album, and other miscellaneous materials. Also includes approximately 1300 glass photographic plates taken in the early 20th century in western NC, Vermont, Florida and Michigan.

Schandler Family Collection, [M2004.05.1] – Misc. photographs, ephemera, letters, newspaper clippings related to the Schandler family and to Jewish life in Western NC.

Schochet Family Collection, [M2006.9.1 ; OS2006.9.1 ; Audio2006.9.1] – Letters, photographs, and memorabilia related to the Schochet Family of Asheville, NC.

Sol Schulman Collection [M2003.07.01 ; OS2003.07.01 ; P2003.07.01] – Material collected by Jan Schochet and haron Fahrer as part of the “History @ Hand Partnership.” Documents western North Carolina’s Jewish presence.

Fred Loring Seely Papers, [M2018.07] – Correspondence of Fred L. Seely (1871-1942), son-in-law of E.W. Grove, Seely designed and managed Grove Park Inn. He was also an executive in the Paris Medicine Company as well as a chemist, inventor, and civic leader.

Sherrill’s Inn Collection, [M94.1.1, M94.1.2] – Guest registers covering 1840-1909; biographical notes by D. Hiden Ramsey.

Margaret Shook Photograph Collection [M2022.03] – Margaret Shook (1930-2018) was a commercial photographer who owned Market Media in Asheville from the 1960s through the early 2000s. and Western North Carolina. The collection includes photographs of Asheville, Western North Carolina, commercial projects, and two local history projects: a series of photographs of Asheville scenes based on Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward Angel and research materials and a draft of an unpublished book Shook was writing on Madison County furniture maker Shadrach Mace.

George A. Shuford Collection [M1981.06] – Contains three scrapbooks documenting the career of George A. Shuford in the US House of Representatives from 1953 to 1958.

Weimer Siler Collection, [M2004.7.1] – A very small collection of family genealogical papers. Includes a book about the Siler family, The Family of Weimar Siler, 1755-1831 by Leona Bryson Porter.

Louis D. Silveri Papers [M2009.05.01 ] – Documents, photographs, and ephemeral materials supplementing the numerous oral histories recorded by Dr. Silveri for the Southern Highlands Research Center at UNC Asheville, and research materials and photographs related to Appalachian life and heritage.

L.B. Simmons Collection, [M2012.02.01] – A virtual collection that includes photographs and handcrafted book The Life and Times of L.B. Simmons.

Solon D. Smart Collection, [M2008.10.1] – A small collection of photographs, letters, and ephemera related to Smart who served on the Board of Trustees of Asheville-Biltmore College 1963-1965.

Henry Spanner Collection, [M2007.11.01] – Photographs, Bible and papers related to the Montford district, Asheville family of Henry Spanner.

Speculation Lands Collection, [M2003.3.1-12 ; OS2003.3.1-2] – Plats, patents, correspondence, ledgers and survey field notes of land speculation in Western North Carolina, 1795-c.1920.

Silas H. Stepp Civil War Letters. [M2004.4.1] – Written by Silas Stepp while in the 7th North Carolina Cavalry, to his wife Eleanor, between May 1863 and October 1864.

Shirley Stipp Ephemera Collection, [M2006.10] – Ephemera focused mainly on Asheville, and southern Appalachia. The collection includes tourism publications such as travel guides and brochures, primarily from the 1930s to the 1960s, plus early 20th century maps and sheet music. Also included are pages previously removed from 19th century serials publications.

Josiah Strong Family Papers (See: C.W. McCall Collection of Josiah Strong Family Papers) [M2010.14.01-03 ; OS2010.14.01-03 ; MC2010.14.01] – Leader in the Congregationalist church and a founder of the Social Gospel movement and the League for Social Service (1898-1916). Strong served as the General Secretary of the Evangelical Alliance for the United States (1886-1898) and wrote extensively on urban decay.

Clarkson Family Little Switzerland Collection, [M2019.01] – This collection contains materials documenting the creation, development, and history of the Switzerland Company, founded by Heriot Clarkson in 1909. The Switzerland Company was the legal entity behind the creation and development of the Little Switzerland resort, located on the Blue Ridge Parkway in McDowell and Mitchell Counties. The collection contains extensive legal and financial documents about the management of Switzerland Company, including tax documents, deeds, bank documents, documents related to various legal disputes, maps, boundary surveys, shareholders’ meeting minutes, correspondence, and other materials.


Papers of Congressman Roy Arthur Taylor, [M77.15.15] – Congressional papers of Roy A Taylor, including bills and materials considered by Congress during his terms (1960-1976), correspondence, press releases, records of his committee work, and other items.

Roy Taylor Collection, [M2018.09] – A small number of photographs of Rep. Roy Taylor, including some from the ceremony dedicating the Roy Taylor Forest. Includes includes stationary and certificates

Roy A.Taylor Scrapbooks and Photographs Collection, [M2021.02] – A collection of six scrapbooks documenting Taylor’s career in the NC General Assembly and in the U.S. House of Representatives. The scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings, political ads, telegrams and letters from constituents, official correspondence, flyers and promotional information from regional events, and other material. There are also two notebooks of photographs and a notebook of letters and correspondence. From the estate of Roy A. Taylor.


Upper French Broad Defense Association Collection, [M77.14.1] – Papers of the environmental grassroots association that challenged the TVA development of the Upper French Broad River, successfully stopping the development project and the damming of the river.  Includes contributions from Buncombe, Henderson and Transylvania county environmentalists, as well as materials from the grass-roots organizers and the UFBDA organization.

Unitarian Universalist Church of Asheville Collection, [M2009.04] – A collection of photographs, documents and other material related to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Asheville.


James K. Vessey / Peter J. Hanlon Collection [M2003.06] – Materials documenting the history of the creation of the Cradle of Forestry in America, the history of the Biltmore Forest School, and the broader history of national forests in western North Carolina, especially the Nantahala and the Pisgah national forests.


Joseph Grayson Waldrop Family Collection – A collection of photographs, documents, and correspondence from the Waldrop family of Hendersonville, NC.

William R. Walls, Jr. Collection, [M80.2.1] – Papers include nineteenth century correspondence of the Montreville Weaver family from the Reems Creek/Weaverville area.

Sprinza Weizenblatt Collection [P2009.12.01] – A small virtual collection of photographs of one of Asheville’s early women physicians. Donor of the Weizenblatt Health Center at UNC Asheville.

Western North Carolina Tomorrow Position Papers, [M79.14.1] – Small collection containing information on conservation and development of natural resources in Western NC.

Mildred Alexander Baird White Collection, M1979.01] Contains an accounts ledger / scrapbook of Dr. I. A. Harris of Jupiter, N.C., narratives describing the history of the Baird and Alexander families, and four letters sent during the early years of the Civil War.

Helen Wilson Papers (1945-1977), [M2008.14.1] – Letters, poetry, literary manuscripts, literary criticism and notes by Helen Wilson who operated the Book Mart bookstore in the 1950s to the late 1970s at 7 Biltmore Plaza, Asheville, NC. Much of the material, particularly the poetry, is centered on the relationship of Helen Wilson and Nancy Brown.

Thomas Wolfe 75th Anniversary Collection [M2015.07] – The Thomas Wolfe 75th Anniversary Celebration was a four day celebration in honor of the 75th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Wolfe, and was held on October 2-5, 1975 in Asheville, NC. The Celebration included academic panels and lectures, a play about Wolfe, a musical performance by members of the Asheville Symphony, and other events. This collection documents the planning and development of the Celebration. The collection was donated by UNC Asheville Drama Professor emeritus Arnold Wengrow, who was instrumental in planning the Celebration.

Arval Woody, Chair Maker [M2006.12.1] – Biographical information, newspaper clippings and photographs of Arval Woody and his workshop in Spruce Pine, North Carolina.

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Asheville, N.C., [M2009.08] – Materials related to the activities of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in Asheville, North Carolina, including records of meetings, photographs, printed material and newspaper clippings.

Louise Jackson Wright Collection (1925-1942), [M79.12.1] – Papers of “Jay Walker”, newspaperman in Asheville. Includes twelve scrapbooks, which comprise a chronological file of a newspaper column written by David L. Jackson, a.k.a. “Jay Walker.” His daughter, Louise Jackson Wright donated the papers which are valuable sources of social commentary for the period from 1925 to 1942.


YWCA -(See: Asheville YWCA Archive.)

Charlotte Young Collection (1878-1985), [M80.4.1-3 ; P80.4.1 ; OS80.4.1 ; A80.4.1-2] – Teacher and poet who lived in Black Mountain, North Carolina and who was a friend of regional poet Olive Tilford Dargen.