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The Buncombe County Special Collections Library (formerly the North Carolina Room) is a medium-sized archival facility located on the lower level of Pack Memorial Library in Downtown Asheville. Buncombe County Special Collections specializes in the social, cultural, and natural history of Asheville, Buncombe County, and Western North Carolina.

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Featured Photographer: Andrea Clark

Date: 1968 Before acquiring these photographs, the Pack Library NC Collection included only a few photographs of the vibrant Valley Street neighborhood, now just a fading memory. Thanks to Andrea Clark's photographs, the people and places of that community live again. [View Full Collection]

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Please email us at packnc@buncombecounty.org

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HeardTell - 52 Weeks 52 Communities

Read more +04 January 2020 By packnc in 52 Weeks 52 Communities, African Americans, Asheville History, Buncombe County History, Houses, Local History

Confronting the Legacy of N.W. Woodfin: 52 Weeks, 52 Communities

The Woodfin community, like many other Buncombe County communities is named for a man who enslaved human beings. If you’ve followed along in this series, you’ve probably recognized that to be a common theme among communities; they’re named for people of extravagant wealth. Wealth earned on the backs of enslaved black people. Indeed, our county
Read more +28 December 2019 By packnc in 52 Weeks 52 Communities, Architecture, Asheville History, Buildings, Buncombe County History, Houses, Local History, Photograph Collection

A “Worst” Asheville Album: 52 Weeks, 52 Communities

I remember “worst” Asheville. It’s the neighborhood where my Grandfather was born in a house with dirt floors, where I went to preschool (back when Crossroads Assembly was “West Asheville Assembly” located on Haywood Rd.), attended my first dance lessons (in the building where Asheville Greenworks is today), and went along with my mother to
Read more +27 December 2019 By packnc in 52 Weeks 52 Communities, African Americans, Asheville History, Local History, Photograph Collection

Southside: 52 Weeks, 52 Communities

Henry Robinson wrote in 1992 about his childhood community of Southside–a mournful eulogy really, to a place that no longer exists–that the sprawling community “stretched over 400 acres from Biltmore Avenue westward to the French Broad River.” Robinson informs us today that it was “the largest residential area for African-Americans in Asheville and a melting
Read more +17 December 2019 By packnc in 52 Weeks 52 Communities, African Americans, Asheville History, Buncombe County History, Friends of the NC Room, Local History

Swannanoa: 52 Weeks, 52 Communities

I volunteered this week to create the post for Swannanoa in part because it has been my home for the majority of my life. I was educated in grades 1-12 in “the Valley” (as you will hear natives often call the community including Black Mountain and Ridgecrest). In the 20th century, Swannanoa was transformed by
Read more +10 December 2019 By packnc in 52 Weeks 52 Communities, Architecture, Asheville History, Buncombe County History, Friends of the NC Room, Houses, Local History, Postcard Collection, Volunteers

St. Dunstan’s Circle: 52 Weeks, 52 Communities

Asheville’s real estate boom in the 1920’s fostered the growth of many neighborhoods: Lakeview Park, Malvern Hills, Horney Heights, and Kenilworth, just to name a few. Biltmore Avenue borders Kenilworth on the east and across the avenue, on a knoll overlooking Biltmore Village, is the pocket neighborhood of St. Dunstan’s Circle. A Mr. Roebling first
Read more +22 November 2019 By packnc in 52 Weeks 52 Communities, African Americans, Asheville History, Buncombe County History, Local History, Manuscript Collection, New Donations, Oral History

The only historical image of Shiloh? 52 Weeks, 52 Communities.

When I went searching our database for sources to write this edition of 52 Weeks, 52 Communities I had one thought when the results came back: “This cannot be it.” Alas, this seems to be the only historical image of the Shiloh Community in the North Carolina Collection here at Pack Memorial Library. This photo,
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