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Community-Based Archives & Projects


Buncombe County Special Collections is dedicated to actively collecting and preserving the history of Buncombe County and its people by arranging, describing, and protecting archival material related to the region. In recent years, BCSC staff have worked with other branch libraries and community organizations to create community-based archives.

What is a Community-Based Archive?

A community-based archive is one that is (generally) intentionally crafted by a group of people who share some kind of identity and work together to accumulate documentation in an effort to preserve the history of their community. The archived material can come in the form of photos, documents, and in the case of most community archives, oral histories.

You can browse our community-based archives via our online special collections catalog. Click the links below to explore our collection of community-based archives.

Are you Interested in creating an archive or volunteering as an interviewer orf transcriber with the oral history collection? Perhaps you would like to be interviewed or know someone with a story to tell? Contact us!

Read more +12 May 2021 By packnc in Community-Based Archives

Fairview Community Archives Project

MS382 Fairview resident volunteers have currently collected 46 interviews and an incredible amount of original 19th century photographs for scanning. We’re just beginning to transcribe the interviews but they will be added to the records as soon as we do so.
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North Asheville Community Archives Project

MS338 The North Carolina Room staff joined with North Asheville Branch Library to begin our first community-drive history project based through a Buncombe County Library Branch. Classes were held at Pack Library to instruct interested volunteers on how to interview. To date, 43 oral interviews have been taken and all transcriptions of the interviews can
Read more +12 May 2021 By packnc in Community-Based Archives

Stephens-Lee Alumni Project

MS362.004 Zoe Rhine, North Carolina Room librarian, began researching the faculty of Stephens-Lee High School in 2017 with the goal of gathering more information about the faculty’s educational attainments, what and how they were able to continue master’s degree programs, what schools they attended, as well as what happened to the teachers after the integration
Read more +12 May 2021 By packnc in Community-Based Archives

Black Asheville Communities Project

MS362.002 Following the North Carolina Room’s Roundtable Discussion on May 18, 2017 at the Wesley Grant Center (described below), oral interviews began taking place with various residents of Asheville’s black communities. The focus is on present or past residents of Southside neighborhood, but also includes residents of other neighborhoods, such as Shiloh, Stumptown, Montford and
Read more +12 May 2021 By packncroom in Community-Based Archives

Southside Community Project

Read more +12 May 2021 By packnc in Community-Based Archives

Asheville Gay Community Project

MS326 The North Carolina Room staff joined with Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College History instructor David Dry to begin a project for A-B Tech students to interview gay community members in Asheville. Mr. Dry included oral history projects in the curriculum, but the subjects were usually limited to family members. Looking for a way to give