Hunter Library is committed to building regionally oriented, historically significant collections of broad cultural and research interest. A number of these collections are online. These digital collections provide a foundation for research, education, and humanities programming through their documentation of significant aspects of the American story.
From 1828 to 1834, the Cherokee Nation published a bilingual newspaper. Approximately
260 issues were published under the titles Cherokee Phoenix and Cherokee Phoenix and Indians' Advocate.
Cherokee Traditions: From the Hands of Our Elders is a database of Cherokee art forms, historic photographs, and native language recordings.
Images are primarily from the collections of Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual and the
Museum of the Cherokee Indian.
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, mountain craftsmen formed the cornerstone
of a revived interest in things handmade to create a movement known as the Craft Revival.
Although craftsmen left few written records, their stories survive in samples of their
work, accounts of their sales, and newspaper clippings celebrating their talents.
This collection includes images of school buildings, students, and news clippings
that describe the educational opportunities and institutions in western North Carolina
from 1899 to the present, including views of the WCU campus over time.
In 1904, librarian Horace Kephart left city life to settle in western North Carolina’s
“big primitive forest” where he began a second career as a writer, publishing Camping & Woodcraft and Our Southern Highlanders. Kephart is credited with drawing attention to the Great Smoky Mountains and was instrumental
in establishing the national park.
This digital collection brings together several notable photographic collections that
depict the landscape and people of western North Carolina in the 19th and early 20th
centuries. Images are from the Hunter Library Special Collections and the Great Smoky
Mountains National Park.
This all-sound collection of interviews was produced by Catch the Spirit of Appalachia,
a North Carolina not-for-profit. Created from a series of interviews, over 200 radio
programs capture “local memory” detailing traditions, events, and life stories of
Three travelogues allow viewers to visit towns and communities throughout western
North Carolina. Different journeys include a route along footpaths and wagon trails
as it was in the 1890s, a train ride in the 1910s, and a drive along mountain roads
in the 1930s.
The Western Carolina University Herbarium is the largest botanical resource in western
North Carolina, with over 27,000 pressed and dried vascular plant specimens. This
specimen imaging project currently represents trees and shrubs in the chestnut genus,
Western Carolina University yearbooks were published as early as 1918. The first two
were titled “Oogoocoo,” thought to be the Cherokee word. The more familiar “Catamount,”
was published from 1933 up into the 21st century. College yearbooks contain photographs
of the campus, events, faculty and students, student life, and athletics. There are
73 yearbooks in this collection, each with multiple pages and pictures.
Yearbooks from Western Carolina University