History and Mission

The Special Collections Research Center at Appalachian State University formed with the opening of the Carol Grotnes Belk Library and Information Commons in 2005. The formation united three signature collections (W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Stock Car Racing Collection, and University Archives & Records) and began the development of the Rare Books & Manuscripts Collection.

The core mission of the Special Collections Research Center is to collect, preserve, and provide access to original materials related to our primary collecting areas. We promote the use of our collections through exhibits, instruction, public programming, digitization, and social media. In addition, we house thoughtfully curated research collections consisting of secondary source material related to the Appalachian region and stock car racing.  Our collections and activities support teaching, learning, research, and scholarship at Appalachian State University and beyond.

 The Special Collections Research Center is composed of four signature collections:

  • The W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection documents the Appalachian Region from southwest New York to northeast Mississippi. 
  • The Rare Books & Manuscripts Collection contains discrete rare book and manuscript collections related to a variety of subjects, such as British history, Beat poetry, and children’s literature.
  • The Stock Car Racing Collection collects material documenting stock car racing and selectively acquires information about other forms of automobile racing.
  • University Archives & Records Management Services is the official repository for Appalachian State University records. It collects and preserves university records with historic or administrative value. The office operates the records management program mandated by North Carolina law.

Collections are available for use on the 4th Floor of Belk Library and Information Commons. The Special Collections entrance is located in the alcove next to the grand staircase (view 4th Floor map). Researchers are encouraged to check the calendar for our operating hours before arriving. The use of archival and rare book materials requires an appointment scheduled at least five days in advance of the anticipated research time.