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Western Carolina University

LGBTQIA+ Archive of Jackson County


WCU LGBTQIA+ Archive partners with UNC-Asheville and the non-profit organization Blue Ridge Pride to create a regional archive of LGBTQ oral histories and ephemera.



The Western Carolina University LGBTQIA+ Archive: Jackson County Collection is community-based, so present or past residents of Jackson County may conduct and submit interviews, photographs, or other materials for inclusion. Interns or independent study courses are available for WCU students in any major, and all training is provided.


For more information or to get involved, please contact Sarah Steiner at



The Western Carolina University LGBTQIA+ Archive: Jackson County Collection was established in 2018 by Sarah Steiner, associate professor at Hunter Library. In Spring 2019, Dr. Travis A. Rountree, assistant professor of English, and Dr. Erin Callahan, associate professor of English, worked with Steiner to secure grant funds to expand the archive and include WCU students in its growth and maintenance. Jenny McPherson has provided organizational and processing leadership since the archive's inception. The archive has grown to involve students and faculty across multiple departments and colleges.


In 2020, the WCU LGBTQ archive began a collaboration with the Western North Carolina LGBTQIA+ Archive at UNC Asheville, run by Dr. Amanda Wray. The partnership aims to increase the diversity and range of LGBTQIA+ stories and to expand the scope of the unified collections. The collaboration between WCU and UNCA will involves undergraduate and graduate students at both institutions and various community stakeholders, including Blue Ridge Pride, YMCA, oral history narrators, and at-large members of the LGBTQIA community region-wide.


For further information about the Western North Carolina LGBTQIA+ archive contact