D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections and University Archives



About the Collections


Special Collections and University Archives is located on the second floor of D.H. Ramsey Library, at the center of the University of North Carolina Asheville campus. We welcome students, faculty, staff and community members, and researchers to use our Special Collections. Our collection strengths include the history of Asheville, Buncombe County, western North Carolina, and the Southern Appalachian region. We also have extensive collections related to urban planning, labor relations, WWI, Appalachian culture, Jewish life in western North Carolina, and African-Americans in western North Carolina.  Our oral history collections include over 300 individual histories taken from major civic leaders to tattoo-parlor operators. We have an extensive collection of travel and tourism literature and ephemeral material related to the early development of this major western North Carolina industry. Papers written by our students are included in our holdings and reflect our emphasis within the institution on undergraduate research. The departments of History, Literature, Economics, Computer Science and the Masters in Liberal Arts program are some of our strongest holdings in published institutional research.

Statement of Purpose

Special Collections

The primary mission of Special Collections is to support the undergraduate research and education mission of UNC Asheville by providing unique primary and secondary research materials of enduring value that document local and regional history and culture. Special Collections also provides instruction, reference services, and internship opportunities to support undergraduate curricula and individual student research. To this end, Special Collections collects, preserves, organizes, describes, and provides print and digital access to manuscripts, books, photographs, and other materials that document Asheville and the surrounding region.  Special Collections also serves as a research center for community members and scholars interested in Asheville and Western North Carolina.

University Archives

The mission of University Archives covers both management of current university records and historic university archives. The Head of Special Collections and University Archivist serves as the Records Officer for the University and oversees compliance with UNC Asheville’s University Retention of Records and Disposition Policy and the UNC General Records Retention and Disposition Schedule. From a historical perspective, University Archives collects, preserves, organizes, describes, and makes accessible historic records, publications, and materials that document the history of UNC Asheville, Asheville-Biltmore College, and their predecessors.


Gene Hyde - Head of Special Collections & University Archvist - ghyde@unca.edu

Ashley Whittle - Special Collections & Archives Assistant - amcghee@unca.edu



Special Collections provides internship opportunities to UNC Asheville students who are interested in careers in library science, information science, public history, or related fields. Students are encouraged to discuss possible internships with the Head of Special Collections and your academic advisor. Special Collections also provides unpaid internship and practicum opportunities for students pursuing graduate degrees in Library Science, Public History, or other related fields. Contact the Head of Special Collections for more information.

revised September 2019, gh

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