UNC Asheville’s Oral History Collections contain hundreds of first-person accounts across a range of topics related to Asheville and Western North Carolina history and culture, including city and county development issues, segregation and integration of Asheville schools, private education in the region, the diversity of religion throughout the area, changes in farming and subsistence strategies, voices from the regional LGBTQ+ community, histories of various families and organizations in western North Carolina, old-time musicians, and other topics.
Special Collections is the repository of over 500 oral histories organized into over twenty different collections, ranging from four or five interviews in some collections to over two hundred interviews in the largest collections. Scholars, students, and community members continue to add interviews and collections to UNC Asheville’s Oral History Collections, resulting in a growing body of first-person impressions that add to our understanding of Asheville and Western North Carolina. Individual oral histories typically contain a recording and a outline or transcript of the oral history, as well as photos or additional information in some instances. Some collections, such as the LGBTQIA+ Oral History Collection, are presented using the OHMS (Oral History Metadata Synchonizer) platform, which provides a unique indexing system to easily access oral histories.