In order to support the educational mission of UNC Asheville and Ramsey Library, the staff of Special Collections offers classroom instruction programs for a variety of disciplines within the university. We specialize in instruction that teaches students about the relevance of our historical resources as primary research resources. We believe that the opportunity to experience these primary sources enriches the research process and enables students to navigate other like environments to conduct similar research. We custom design our presentations for the discipline and provide students the opportunity to experience the original materials as well as how to respect and handle rare and fragile materials.
In addition to formalized classroom instruction, Special Collections trains student workers and interns in proper archival techniques and procedures. Generally, Special Collections provides the opportunity to interested students on a first-come basis and they are selected based on their level of commitment to a full semester of engagement.
Special Collections provides individual faculty and students the facility and materials for structured semester-long study that can engage the class or the students deeply in work with manuscript, photograph, map, or oral history collections. Advanced student projects that are related to Special Topics classes or to Independent Study may also be arranged with Special Collections.
Examples of work conducted in Special Collections in the past include research of Jewish Life in Western North Carolina, early literary history of the Appalachian region, local architecture, urban renewal, the Greek community of Asheville, African Americans in western North Carolina, and many other topics.
Our collections support the academic exploration of Asheville and the Appalachian region, the American Civil War, women's studies, popular culture, economics, environmental science, geology, forestry, art history, theater and dramaturgy, European history (particularly WWI), the Holocaust, Jewish history, and public history.