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The Black Asheville History Project (BAHP) is a campaign spearheaded by Buncombe County Special Collections in coordination with the Buncombe County Community Engagement Team and other community partners to build a more representative and diverse collection of historical materials related to African Americans in Buncombe County and other communities in Western North Carolina. The project began in early 2019 and will continue through 2025, or until the project reaches its ultimate goal: ensuring that at least 25 percent of the Buncombe County Special Collections’ catalogue pertains to the history of African Americans in our county and region.

The project aims to collect archival materials like business papers, family histories, diaries, photographs, and oral history interviews by leveraging partnerships with community leaders, organizations, and volunteer efforts to increase library capacity and ensure that collected materials are as reflective of Buncombe County’s African American Community as possible. The project aims to increase capacity by actively engaging community members in the collections process; inviting community members to training sessions on best practices for collecting oral history interviews and archival digital preservation techniques. This work is based on the methodology of a “History Harvest,” a program developed at the University of Nebraska to engage undergraduate students in collecting and preserving local history.

The North Carolina Room at Pack Memorial Library is one of our region’s only archives housed in a public library. By engaging the public in our work, we draw attention to the important function of a free community archive and give our patrons the skills and information they need to help the archive grow and succeed.  FOR MORE

art and education, BLACK LIVES, COMMUNITY, CULTURE, family history, racism, social justice, womens history, womens work

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