D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections and University Archives

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The photographic collections of  Special Collections & University Archives number some 20,000 items, including prints and negatives. The majority of these collections are listed below. Thousands of photographs have also been placed online and can be viewed in the Western North Carolina Heritage website.

The following collections are held at UNCA and represent many of the finest photographic images of the western North Carolina region. Many of these collections have accompanying manuscript materials. See Manuscripts or the link that accompany the photographic materials. 

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  • Stafford and Wingate L. Anders Collection  
    Small digital collection of postcards of Asheville and photographs related to Exum Clement, mother of Stafford Anders who was the first woman legislator in North Carolina. (3 items, 26 images)

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  • Asheville Area Photographic Collection
    A photographic survey of Asheville, NC, sponsored by the Southern Highlands Research Center and the North Carolina Department of Archives and History in 1976. Photographs are by Charles McLarty and Jefferson Davis. The collection numbers approximately 200 images and complements the work of Jeff Davis who photographed for CETA in the 1970s and later.

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  • Austin-Brooks Collection
    Papers and photographs of logging operations of the Ritter Lumber Company and life in the Hazel Creek area of Swain County, North Carolina, taken between 1914 and the mid-1920's.

  • E.M. Ball Collection
    Asheville and western North Carolina from 1919-1969. Collection is comprised largely of urban architectural photographs and people and events in Asheville. Also included are early images of rural life in the region.


  • Jody Barber Collection
    Views of Hendersonville, NC and surrounding area,  taken by members of the Barber family from 1884 until the 1930's. The explore the full-range of this collection and that of Barber's uncle, A.F. Baker, go to the Hendersonville Public Library collections which constitute the bulk of the Baker-Barber Collection.

Battery Park Hotel

  • E. E Brown Photography Collection
    Images from an 1883 photo album belonging to photographer E. E. Brown. The photographs were taken by Brown under commission from the Western North Carolina Railroad.

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  • Frank Clodfelter Photographs
    Negatives and transparencies taken from 1952 to the early 1980's includes many of the railroad lines that were in the southeastern United States such as  Norfolk Southern, and Southern Railway lines.

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  • Frank Coxe Papers
    A banker and past Executive Director of the Asheville Industrial Council and descendant of Tench Coxe. Approximately 140 photographs of Asheville, Green River area, Old Battery Park Hotel and family members are included in this collection.  See also the Tench Coxe Collection.

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  • East Riverside  Photographs, Asheville, NCa collection of turn-of-the-century and later photographs of residents of the East Riverside area.  Most are unidentified but are an exquisite representation of the large African American community in Asheville at the turn of the century. Identification is invited.
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  • Eliada Home Photographs
    Collection contains over 9,000 black and white and color photos, negatives, glass plate negatives, scrapbooks, lantern slides and oversized photos from Eliada Home Inc. near Asheville (See also M2005.08 for manuscripts)
  • Faces of Asheville
  • Images and documents from the Faces of Asheville photo documentary project (2007-2009)
  • Grove Park Inn Photographs
    A virtual collection of early images of the construction and development of the Inn. Originals are retained by the Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa, Inc. and any publication must seek permission from the GPI.  The images detail the construction techniques, materials of construction  and landscaping processes of the large resort hotel. Many of the photographs are the work of John B. Robinson

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  • Sarah Harnden Photographs
    Several photographs of hog-killing in the Leicester area of North Carolina, 1995. [Images not available]
  • Lou  Harshaw Papers and Photographs [P80.7.1]
    A large group of photographs of Asheville and area taken by local historian and former photographer for the Asheville Chamber of Commerce,  Lou Harshaw.  Selective photographs will be placed online as the full collection is processed.
  • Hugh Hester Photographs
    Small collection of family photographs of Hester, a military General, political activist and writer, and his family. 

  • Neal Hinegardner Collection
    Small collection of propaganda photographs taken by Jakob Tiefenthaler [?], photographer for the German Third Reich just prior to WWII. The collection includes photographs of Hitler, Himmler, Göring, Goebbels, and additional government, party and military leaders, reviews of troops and other promotional views of official ceremonies. Hinegardner knew and worked with Tiefenthaler who was employed by the US Armed forces following the war.

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  • Holladay Collection of John B. Robinson Photographs
  • A large collection of over 4,000 photographs donated by Stephen Holladay of the photographer, John B. Robinson. The photographs cover the later 1890's to the early 1930's and were taken by Robinson while he resided in both Washington DC and in western North Carolina.  The photographs capture life at the turn of the century and many popular landmarks on the East Coast, Washington DC and life and architecture in western North Carolina. Images include Asheville, Marshall, Chimney Rock, and other regional sites as well as scenes from Washington, D.C. at the turn of the century. Important individuals who lived and traveled in western North Carolina are also captured, such as William Jennings Bryan, E.W. Grove, Fred Seely and others.  Vacation travel in New Jersey, Florida and the North Carolina and South Carolina coast are documented.
  • Joi Holloway Photographs
    Small collection of 33 photographic slides of the exterior and interior architecture of St John in the Wilderness Church, Flat Rock, NC,  and 21 architectural slides of the exterior and interior of St. James Church of Hendersonville. Slides were taken March 27 and 29, 1996. [images not available]

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  • William T. Kirkman Photograph Collection, 1923-2000
    Selected photographs taken from the approximately 4,000 images in Kirkman' personal collection.  Focused on his years as a member of the Carolina Mountain Club, an Asheville area hiking club established in 1931, it also  includes many images of western North Carolina, as well as other regions along the Appalachian chain of mountains.  Kirkman, a 50-year member of the Carolina Mountain Club, was  active in local environmental initiatives and documents related to his activism are included. The collection also contains some supplementary materials about the Carolina Mountain Club.
Henry Martin Knauth Photograph Collection
A collection of two-hundred-eighty-four photographs taken by Henry Martin Knauth during his tour of duty in Europe in the First World War as a quartermaster for the American Army. Photographs include famous sights in Paris such as Notre Dame, Napoleon's Stables, and photos of victory parades during the war's conclusion. Also featured are pictures Knauth took in various parts of France, Italy, and Germany during his travels while on leave. These photos include images of the destruction of the First World War along the Western Front. There are also pictures of Knauth's extended family and hometown in Ludwieler, Germany from which his family had migrated to the United States in the 1890's. Also included is a photograph of Woodrow Wilson flanked by an honor guard at the Paris Peace Conference.

  • Ku Klux Klan Rally, Memphis, Tennessee, (January 17, 1998) [P2008.09.1]  A small body of photographs and videos, photographed by ADL members as part of their watch on hate groups. in the US.

  • L.C. LeCompte Postcard Collection (1910-1977)
    A collection of photographic postcards of western North Carolina and other southern states produced by the Asheville Postcard Company, dating back to 1910 when the company was founded.  [Large file] 

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  • Luther McCurry Collection
    A small collection of photographs of Asheville at the turn of the century collected by the McCurry family.
  • William Patrick Mungo Photographic Collection
    A virtual collection of photographs and postcard photographs taken and collected by Mungo during his tour of military duty from Hawaii to the Philippines within the years of 1939 and 1940 as part of  the 31st U.S Infantry, Company H.  Originals retained by the family of William Patrick Mungo. 

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  • National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, NC
    An historical overview of the National Climatic Data Center located in Asheville, NC. Formerly located in the Grove Arcade building in Asheville, the center is now located in the Federal Building. This collection of photographs, newspaper clippings, and correspondence, gathered by those who worked at the Center, traces the development of the Center and visually documents its location in the Grove Arcade building and its move to the new location. The collection also contains information on the staff of the National Climatic Data Center and the activity of the Center over its life-span. The collection is in virtual form only. The digital surrogates of the original materials were donated to Special Collections for distribution to the public.


National Forests in North Carolina Historic Photographs
A large (approx. 1900 image) photographic collection that documents the "Cradle of Forestry" and many of the National Forests of North Carolina. 

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A collection of nineteen photographic prints and negatives of Overlook Castle in Asheville, NC. The images generally date from the 1920s when the castle was used as a private residence

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  • Hans Curt Pfalzgraf Collection 
    Large format photographic prints of various scenes of Western North Carolina  photographed by Pfalzgraf in the 1940's. (34 items)

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  • D.H. Ramsey Photographic Collection
    Photographs of D.H. Ramsey and family. One photo album of family photographs and travel photographs. D.H. Ramsey Library is named for this long-time supporter of education and civic action.

Isaiah Rice

  • Isaiah Rice Photograph Collection
    The Isaiah Rice Photograph Collection contains a sample of over 1000 photographs that document the  African-American community in Asheville, NC, from the late 1950s through the early 1970s. The Isaiah Rice Collection provides an important photographic record of Asheville’s African-American Community in the middle of the 20th Century. In consultation with the donors, photographs will be added to this collection throughout 2016.

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  • Ora Rives Collection
    Photographs of a 1905 vacation in western North Carolina taken by Hattie Hill as documentation of the camping trip of the Rives family, the Hills and friends.  Images include Highlands, Sapphire, Cedar Mt., Cashiers and other popular tourist locations. A digital copy of the travel journal prepared by Hattie Hill to accompany the photographs is included.

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John B. Robinson Photographs, [See: Holladay Collection of John B. Robinson Photographs]
Selected photographs from the some 5,000 photographs taken by Robinson while he resided in both Washington DC and in western North Carolina.  The photographs capture life at the turn of the century and many popular landmarks on the East Coast, Washington DC and life and architecture in western North Carolina

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  • R. Henry Scadin Collection
    Approximately 2500 photographs that document rural life in western North Carolina from the late 1890's to 1924 and diaries from 1885-1923 that contain photographic sojourns of the photographer and family and many notes on photographic processes and materials . Also included are photographs taken in Vermont, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, and other states, account books of the photographers activity, and other miscellaneous materials.

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  • U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station Collections
    This collection of 3,249 photographs documents the work of the
    U.S. Forest Service Southeastern Forest Experiment Station in Asheville, NC.  Region Eight, comprises forests in the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, West Virginia, and Tennessee, and activities from 1897 through 1952.   The photographs were taken by 58 different photographers, including the Biltmore Estate foresters Gifford Pinchot and Carl Alwin Schenck. Subject areas include the effects of timbering, grazing, erosion, and pollution on an area; forest growth patterns; forestry history, methods, and equipment; and historical data on land use. Logging and timber management in western North Carolina is included. The collection is related to the new, National Forests in North Carolina Historic Photographs collection.

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