Oral History Program

Special Collections collects relevant oral histories from individuals in the local community and in Western North Carolina. Oral histories constitute some of the most immediate and first-hand accounts of the events and people who make up our community, and we have found that the community at large is often the best identifier of individuals and stories that need to be collected. Oral histories can build on our other collections and often contain a wealth of local history and cultural information on Asheville and the Western North Carolina region from the perspective of individuals who participated in and/or observed important historical events. 

If you are interested in contributing to our collections please contact Special Collections before collecting the histories. The guides and forms below give an indication of the process and records required. It is very important that all the necessary permissions and releases are completed BEFORE commencing the oral history.  We cannot accept oral histories without a signed release.

Oral History Collections   

Special Collections’ oral histories contain a wealth of local history and cultural information about Asheville and Western North Carolina. Beginning with two major oral history collections, the Southern Highlands Research Center Oral History collection and the Voices of Asheville Project, the Oral History Collections provide unique insight into a broad range of topics 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, the histories of various families and organizations in western North Carolina, and the LGBTQ community in Western North Carolina. 

Special Collections is the repository of over 500 Oral Histories in twenty different oral history projects, each ranging from four or five interviews to over two hundred interviews. The Oral History Collections continue to grow and offer a picture of the diverse nature of Western North Carolina.


Index of Interviewees

Oral History Guidelines