Atkins Library Special Collections & University Archives

Special Collections & University Archives is where you can find unique materials like rare books, archives, and oral history interviews. We welcome students, faculty, staff, community members and scholars worldwide to explore our rare books and learn about campus and local history with original primary sources.

We are guided by the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion as we fulfill our mission to preserve and share the history of Charlotte and UNC Charlotte while supporting the educational and research missions of the library and the university. Our archives and oral history collections are strong in areas including Black history, the Civil Rights movement (including on campus), LGBTQ history, and the history of the Jewish community. We also have smaller oral history collections focused on the Latin American community (including on campus) and Native elders. Our rare book collections include a number of freedom narratives written by formerly enslaved people in the 18th and 19th centuries as well as other writings by Black authors.

We build partnerships with local organizations to preserve and share our history. We strive to build stronger connections with communities representing the vibrant diversity of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, including those who have enriched our region in the past 30-40 years. We connect with partners on their terms, offering to collaborate on projects designed to preserve the history of our region. These include community scanning projects, oral history projects, and archiving workshops, as well as partnerships that involve Atkins Library serving as the permanent stewards of an organization's records.

Our collections and services are open to the community and scholars worldwide in addition to UNC Charlotte students, faculty, staff, and alumni. We partner with faculty who wish to use primary sources and rare books in their classes. We also seek to collaborate with faculty who are involved in community-engaged research and teaching, particularly those working with communities that are under-represented in the archival record.

Dawn Schmitz
Associate Dean
Atkins Library