D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections and University Archives

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 at Asheville. Our archivists assist the UNCA 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 announce a new respository for our ditigized images, the Southern Appalachian Digital Collections website, a collabortive effort with our colleagues at Western Carolina University.

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:

Manuscript Collections

Photograph Collections

University Archives

Books and Periodicals

Oral Histories


Vertical Files

UNCA Senior Papers & Projects

Institutional Repository - NC DOCKS

Film, Video, Audio, & Music

Realia & Artifacts

Web Exhibits


Search Special Collections



Special Collections is open by appointment only during the summer.
Appointments are available Monday - Thursday from 9 AM- 4 PM.

The Reading Room is closed on Friday

Per UNC system guidelines, the use of masks is encouraged but not required while researching in the Reading Room.

Please contact us to make an appointment or if you have any questions.

For reference questions or to schedule an appointment, please call
(828) 251-6645
or email us at speccoll@unca.edu

Ad-hoc changes to the stated hours may be necessary to accommodate classes. Please contact us to confirm hours.


Campus circa 1985 [University Archives bdg6415]


Asheville-Biltmore College, the precursor to UNC Asheville, from the LeCompte Postcard Collection

University Timeline 1927 - 2017

Copyright ©2019 D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections
University of North Carolina at Asheville,
One University Heights,
Asheville, NC 28804-8504
828 251-6645

Updated May 2021

Please send comments to speccoll@unca.edu