Collections and Services at the WRA

Photo of a baby in a box that is sitting in a garden. Written on photo: Bag of sugar in Maw Maw's flower gardern, 1926

In 2013 several private and organizational collections related to western North Carolina were relocated from the State Archives in Raleigh to the new Western Regional Archives in Asheville. Since that time the holdings at WRA have grown through donations of private, family, and organizational records. Some collections located at the Western Regional Archives are indexed through the MARS online catalog and online finding aids.

Reference Services

The Search Room maintains a reference library and is open to the public. WRA staff is available to assist with research and to retrieve materials from our stacks for use in the Search Room. Staff can conduct limited reference services by phone, e-mail, and, correspondence. Lengthy or involved research may require an onsite visit.

Tools to use before visiting the Western Regional Archives

  • Some of our collections may be searched online through the online catalog, MARS (Manuscripts and Archives Reference System).
  • The WRA also maintains online finding aids to most of its holdings. 
  • Selected Black Mountain College items are also available in the North Carolina Digital Collections.  
  • Social media and other information related to the WRA are also available.
  • There are regulations governing the use of the Search Room. Please review them prior to your visit.

Out-of-State Research Fees Via Mail or Email

In accordance with policies of the State Archives of North Carolina, a $20.00 Search and Handling Fee will be required for all non-North Carolina residents—those whose primary residence is outside of North Carolina—for each reference inquiry delivered remotely via e-mail, correspondence, or fax. The limits of this fee are established by state statute; at present the fee is $20.00 for each inquiry about one topic. If copies of the requested information cannot be covered by the $20.00 fee, a statement of copying costs will be included in our response. (Typically, the Western Regional Archives will include up to 20 photocopies, 8 microfilm copies, or 1 scanned image in the initial search and handling fee.) The cost of photocopies is $.10 per page; $.25 per microfilm page and $4.00 per scanned image. Please consult our online fee schedule for complete information.

We encourage out-of-state researchers to contact the Western Regional Archives by phone or e-mail with an initial inquiry to determine the degree to which we anticipate being able to fulfill the search. 

Search and Handling Fee payments should be made by personal check or money order rather than cash. Please make checks payable to the "Western Regional Archives” and mail to the address below. If copies of the requested information cannot be covered by the $20.00 fee, a statement of copying costs will be included in our response. The search and handling fee does not apply to residents of North Carolina.

Reproduction Services

The WRA provides in-house photocopy and scanning services. Some holdings are subject to restrictions due to preservation concerns or require donor permission before being copied. For a rate sheet, please refer to the Fee Schedule.

Education and Outreach Services

The WRA is an active resource for the community and region. The staff conducts historical, genealogical, and cultural programs and activities. Contact Heather South, Lead Archivist, at (828) 296-7230, ext. 232 or heather.south@ncdcr.gov for more information.