The Buncombe County Public Library’s North Carolina Room has been awarded a $66,750 grant to be used for scanning the Six Associate’s Architectural Drawings Collection. This will allow us to better serve patrons of the library and the community at large. LSTA funds awarded by the State Library of North Carolina are made possible through funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.

These federal funds are investments that help libraries deliver relevant and up-to-date services for their communities. At the Buncombe County Library the LSTA grant enabled us to purchase a large bed scanner, employ 2 part-time persons for one year to scan and enter data, and to purchase new software that will make all of our digital information more web searchable.

The project also will include the library partnering with The Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County in a Scan the Plan Project, which will enable citizens who own older local architectural drawings, to have them scanned at the library. This step in preservation will also add to our cities architectural information base.

A second partnering project will be with the Asheville Art Museum adding the scans of the Richard Sharp Smith Architectural Collection, currently owned by the Asheville Art Museum, to our library database.  Fran Thigpen Director of Library, Recreation and Culture Department, said, “This grant will greatly add to Asheville’s built environment information base and further the study of it now and into the future.”

The Buncombe County Library received one of the 56 competitive grants for fiscal year 2014-2015 awarded to North Carolina libraries from this year’s federal allotment of $4,173,865. The LSTA grant program administered by the State Library of North Carolina funds library projects across the state that advance literacy and lifelong learning, expand access to library resources and expertise, promote partnerships and collaboration, and digitize materials important to the cultural heritage of North Carolina.

Just to give you an idea of the work involved…this picture shows only a portion of our architectural drawings collection!



And scanning is currently underway! That is after some cleaning, staple removing and flattening.


Christopher Whitten and Thomas Broom were hired through the grant to help us with this project. Cheerily, they have learned our database and the intricacies of the scanners, and begun the scanning and cataloging the North Carolina Room’s architectural drawing collection. This process will allow us to have a database of high-resolution images searchable on the internet.


One of thousands of Six Associates drawings we've scanned
One of thousands of Six Associates drawings we’ve scanned


Thomas Broom on left, is a native of Hendersonville, N.C. He’s a recent graduate of UNC Chapel Hill with degrees in political science and psychology, and he hopes to attend law school there in the fall.

Christopher Whitten on right, an Asheville native, is a graduate of Gardner-Webb University with a degree in history, and minors in political science and Spanish. He’s previously helped catalog and open the Earl Scruggs Center in Shelby, NC, and back-cataloging at the National Electronics Museum in Linthicum, MD. He plans to apply to graduate school in museum studies and conservation.

For more information about North Carolina’s LSTA program visit the State Library of North Carolina’s LSTA web page at or contact the State Library’s Federal Programs Consultant at 919-807-7423.

Post by Zoe Rhine and Lyme Kedic


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