We welcome all visitors from both the campus community and the general public.

Directions, Maps, and Parking

The Special Collections Research Center is located on the 4th floor of the Carol Grotnes Belk Library and Information Commons. The double-door entrance is located in the alcove next to the grand staircase (view 4th Floor map). 

Our Collections

Browsable Stacks

Published materials relating to the Appalachian region and stock car racing are available for use in our public stacks area. Many of these items may be checked out. Materials marked “For Library Use Only” do not circulate. For loan periods, please see the Borrowing services page.

Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Archives  

Our rare books, manuscripts, and archival collections may not be checked out, but are available for use within the Special Collections Research Center reading room, or selections may be requested for duplication if an on-site visit is not possible.  For in-person use, researchers are required to both complete a registration form and provide a valid photo identification before using these collections.  We encourage researchers to contact us in advance of a visit, especially if traveling from outside of the Boone area. For information about how to request duplication, please the Research Assistance page.

Instruction Services

App State faculty and instructors can schedule full or partial class sessions with us, related to the use of our materials for specific assignments and/or to engage with and highlight the importance of primary source research. We request at least 2 weeks advance notice in effort to avoid scheduling conflicts and to allow us time to prepare. For more information, please contact see the Instruction page.


We provide informational tours of the Special Collections Research Center. These tours may include highlights of the Cratis Williams Reading Room, the Dougherty Reading Room, and Rhinehart Rare Book Room. Please contact Ross Cooper at 828-262-2552 or for more information.


Before You Arrive

We encourage you to contact us ahead of your visit to ensure that we can meet your research plans and accessibility needs. The Special Collections Research Center and Belk Library and Information Commons are accessible for those with mobility impairments.

Contact us:


Appointments for the use of the archives, manuscript, and rare book collections are required.  Researchers must request an appointment at least five (5) days in advance of the intended research time through the online booking system at this link ( Please check our Hours page for any changes to regular hours.  Appointments are not required for the use of non-rare materials.


Researchers are required to submit a registration form 48 hours (2 days) before scheduled appointments.  The link to the online form will be sent through email after the researcher's appointment is confirmed. Unless prior arrangements have been made, if researchers do not submit their registration form 24 hours (1 day) before their appointment, the appointment will be canceled.

One form of photo identification is required at each visit.  If researchers do not bring photo identification to their appointments, they will not be allowed to use materials at that time.

Requesting Materials to View

After completing an online registration form, researchers will be prompted to submit call slips for the items in the archives, manuscripts, and/or rare book collections that they plan to use.  Call slips must be submitted 48 hours (2 days) before scheduled appointments. Unless prior arrangements have been made, if researchers do not submit their call slips 24 hours (1 day) before their appointment, the appointment will be canceled. If call slips are not adequately completed, and if researchers do not respond to requests for clarification from SCRC personnel, SCRC staff will cancel the researcher's appointment.

Searching the Collections

Detailed information about how to search our collections is available on the Search Tools page.


During Your Visit


See the hours for both the browsable stacks and the archives, manuscripts, and rare book collections.  They have different hours.


Many browseable books, videos, and sound recordings may be checked out by patrons with valid App Cards or Community Borrower cards. Materials marked “For Library Use Only” do not circulate. Serials, microforms, newspaper clippings, and items in the rare books and manuscripts/archives collections do not circulate. For information about who may borrow materials, please check the Borrowing services page. Click here to learn how to obtain a Community Borrower's card.


Free wireless internet connectivity is available free of charge during your visit to the Special Collections Research Center from the Appalachian State University visitor WiFi service. Ask the staff about this service.

Researcher Ettiquete

  • Please remember that the Special Collections Research Center does not allow food, drink, or tobacco products.
  • If using rare or archival materials, please come to your appointment with clean, dry  hands, free of lotions. There are restrooms nearby on the 4th floor of Belk Library and Information Commons.
  • Please silence your devices so as not to disturb other researchers.

Reproduction Services

The Special Collections Research Center has the following duplication stations available to the public

  • KIC touch-screen scanner: Users can scan items from the browseable stacks, such as newspaper clippings, books, or serial publications and save them as PDFs, JPGs, or other file formats. Users have the option to email files to themselves, save them to a flash drive, or print to the public printer.  While there is no charge to make scans, there is a charge to print. Payment is made by App Card. 

  • Photocopier: Users can make photocopies of items from the browseable stacks for a charge of $0.10 per page. Payment can be made by either App Card or coin change.

  • Microfilm reader-printer: Users can make paper copies from microfilm. There is no charge for print-outs.

Duplication of rare and archival/manuscript material will be performed by Special Collections Research Center staff and only if it can be done without injury to the material and when it does not violate donor agreements or copyright laws. If you would like to initiate a duplication request, please contact us at or 828-262-4041. The researcher is solely responsible for the use made of any material secured from the university and liable for any infringement of copyright. 

For additional questions, please contact us at or 828-262-4041.

Audiovisual Viewing and Listening Room

The Audiovisual Viewing and Listening Room is available on a first-come, first-served basis for individuals or small groups who need to use Library-Use Only audio or video media that are part of the Special Collections Research Center. The equipment may not be used for personal use, such as reformatting home movies or viewing non-library materials that are not part of the collections. This room cannot be scheduled for classes or used for group study.


After Your Visit


For unpublished or rare materials, consult the SCRC's Citation Guidelines.  For published sources, please consult the University Libraries' Citation Guidelines.

Permission to Publish

Please print and complete the Permission to Publish form in advance of publication of material from the archives and manuscript collections. Send by U.S. Mail to:

Greta Browning
Special Collections Research Center
Belk Library and Information Commons
P.O. Box 32026
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC  28608-2026