Created by the Blue Ridge Community College libraries, the Blue Ridge Local History Project is a combination of library collections, services, and programs designed to engage the community in documenting local history through various media and formats. The Project serves as a local history repository for Henderson, Transylvania, and Buncombe counties. The primary vehicle of this Project is the Oral History component that includes audio recordings of stories and histories provided by local community members. In addition, the Project houses a vast collection of digitized materials, including books, photographs, advertisements, yearbooks, music, artwork, and much more.
Remembering Our Roots
“The Blue Ridge Local History Project is essential for developing an understanding of who we are and where we come from. This Project will bring into focus our shared histories and help to keep them from getting lost to the abyss of time. Being able to access a database of our local history, hear stories about our past, and to be able to connect with our neighbors is an invaluable resource for our students at the College as a research vessel and to the community as a civic resource.”
– Anthony Baltiero, Director of Library Services at Blue Ridge Community College
There are three ways to get involved with the Blue Ridge Local History project:
- Share your story in our recording studio.
- Share your items for the digital collection.
- Spread the word about this project with others in the community.
Ready to get involved? Please share the details with us through the interest form. You will be asked a few screening questions, and based upon your answers you will be contacted to set up an appointment in our library. Additional questions or information about community opportunities can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Preparing Your Project
Community members are invited to come and share stories about their lives. These stories are the essence of local history and often go undocumented and lost to time. The Blue Ridge Community College Library has built The Baltiero Brothers Archive Studio to meet the need of recording, cataloging, and sharing these invaluable stories.
You may have some questions:
Who should sign up to share their stories?
Anyone! If you live, or lived, in any of the serviced counties, and feel that you have a story that needs to be shared, we want to hear it.
What should I say?
If interested, you will be asked a few questions about your life and story. Based on these answers, we will create a guide for you with open-ended questions to help prompt you.
Will I be alone?
No way! An archivist and/or interviewer will be there with you to ask questions and guide the process along.
What if I make a mistake?
No worries! This isn’t a live broadcast. We will naturally do multiple takes and edit out any mistakes. We will polish everything up on the backend.
The digital archive is a collection of local history items from the college, library, and most importantly from the community. The collection includes photographs, books, maps, artwork, advertisements, magazines, brochures, yearbooks and anything else that can be digitized. The Studio houses multiple scanners and cameras for the digitization of many different types of items.
The Studio has the following scanners and cameras:
- Epson Perfection V850 Pro – This flatbed scanner is perfect for digitizing and archiving photographs, film, negatives, documents and more
- Plustek OpticPro A320E A3 CCD Flatbed – With a 12” x 17” scan area, this scanner is ideal for digitizing oversized documents, artwork, books, magazines, and more
- Fujitsu ScanSnap SV600 Overhead – This workhorse is a contactless overhead scanner designed for digitizing books, magazines, yearbooks, and other bound documents
- Nikon D3500 DSLR Camera – The DSLR camera is used for documenting items that cannot be digitized using our scanners, including sculptures, murals and other oversized items
- Canon XA40 Professional UHD 4K Camcorder – The camcorder is used for capturing unique videos to be added into the archive, including interviews and special events
To coincide with our digital database, the Project houses multiple physical collections within the Library at our Henderson County Campus. These collections include:
- Appalachian Culture Collection – Books related to Appalachian culture and used as resources for our Appalachian Culture courses at the college
- Local Author Collection – This is a collection of books written by authors from the Blue Ridge area
- President’s Archive – Documents and memorabilia from past Blue Ridge Community College presidents
- Donated Collections – We have multiple collections that have been donated by community members for inclusion in the Project
The Library will host a series of speakers to share their stories and speak about local Blue Ridge history. These events will take place at both of the Henderson and Transylvania campuses. Please continue to check the College and Library websites for updated speaker event information.
A wonderful byproduct of this Project is the additional services that we can now offer to our patrons. These services are in addition to adding stories and items to the Project. A sign up form will be made available for these services once they are open to patrons. These include:
- Personal Digitization Services – Our scanners can be used by patrons to digitize their own personal documents, pictures, and collections and save them on portable thumb/zip drives
- Vocal Recording Services – Our recording studio can be used for audio recording projects, such as recording voiceovers/commercials, creating audiobooks, spoken word/hip-hop, recording podcasts, and more
Director of Library Services
This Bright Ideas Grant project is made possible by funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-249980-OLS-21).