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.
Established in 1934, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is America’s most visited
national park. The collection focuses on early efforts to establish a park in eastern
US, including the records of the Appalachian National Park Association, Smoky Mountains
Hiking Club, Civilian Conservation Corps, and journals created by Horace Kephart in
preparation for his classic book, Camping & Woodcraft.
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,
In celebration of Western Carolina University’s 125th anniversary, Hunter Library’s Making Memories collection offers a look back at the people, buildings,
and events that inform Catamount history. The images and documents that appear on
this website are housed in the library’s Special Collections unit. In addition to our own collections,
Hunter Library partnered with DigitalNC to make a selection of Catamount yearbooks available online.