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Welcome To
Buncombe County Special Collections


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]


Have Questions? Ask an Archivist!

Please email us at packnc@buncombecounty.org

Your Journey Begins Here

Latest Posts

Read more +17 November 2023 By packnc in Books, Quirks & Kerfuffles, Women

Vintage Vittles: Time-Tested Recipes from Special Collections 

Archives and special collections as kitchen reference materials? Why not! This past September, the staff of Buncombe County Special Collections went on a search through the historic cookbooks in our collection for recipes to try out and share. Here’s the “reading list” that inspired our potluck, and the recipes we shared. The Carolina Housewife by
Read more +27 October 2023 By packnc in Arts

Zines in WNC: An Interview with Miles Lamberson

If you have visited the Special Collections reading room in the past few months, you may have noticed that there’s a new exhibition on view, featuring a variety of limited-run pamphlets, booklets, and artistic ephemera—zines! The exhibition Belonging and Non-Belonging: The History and Future of Zines in Western North Carolina is curated by Miles Lamberson,
Read more +20 October 2023 By packnc in Books, Local History

The Story of Look Homeward, Angel and Pack Memorial Library

     In recognition of October’s American Library Association’s Banned Books Week, Thomas Wolfe’s birthday, and the publishing of his first novel, we thought it would be a good time to revisit the complex history between Pack Memorial Library and Look Homeward, Angel. On October 18, 1929, just a few weeks after Thomas Wolfe turned 29,
Read more +06 October 2023 By packnc in Asheville History, Community Submissions, Technology

Radio Comes to Asheville

This guest post by Stuart Smolkin, curator of the Asheville Radio Museum, delves into the early history of radio broadcasting in Asheville, North Carolina.
Read more +22 September 2023 By packnc in Asheville History, Technology

Ringing in Asheville’s First 10,000 Telephones, 1885-1925 

This is the second post in a series on the history of communication technologies in Asheville & WNC, from telegraphs to the Internet. Read on to learn about the first 40 years of telephone service in Asheville.
Read more +22 August 2023 By packnc in African Americans, Architecture, Local Heroes and Heroines

Portrait of a brick artist: Celebrating the legacy of James Vester Miller

Join Buncombe County Special Collections for a reception to celebrate the completion of a mural honoring James Vester Miller, African American community leader and brick mason. Miller is responsible for some of the most iconic brick buildings in downtown Asheville, and undoubtedly shaped the built environment of the city. Born in Rutherfordton, NC in 1860,