Black Mountain College Research Resources
The BMCM+AC Permanent Collection is made up of over 4,000 objects dating from the 1930s through the present, with works by alumni and faculty demonstrating the progression of their careers at and following Black Mountain College. The collection includes paintings, sculpture, photographs, ceramics, textiles, assemblage, furniture, blueprints, books and paperworks. In addition, the museum has been facilitating oral history documentation since 1999, resulting in a collection of recorded interviews with fifty-eight Black Mountain College alumni to date.
Our digital collections portal, launched in 2022, provides unprecedented online access to the materials we steward. The digital collections portal represents approximately 10% of BMCM+AC’s collection of artwork and archival materials and 30% of library materials, and the database is constantly growing.
BMCM+AC Research Library
BMCM+AC maintains a collection of books and videos that focuses on the people and ideas of Black Mountain College and related topics. This non-circulating collection is open to the public during normal museum hours at 120 College Street. View our catalog to see the books available in the library. If you would like us to pull specific materials for you, please reach out to info[at]blackmountaincollege.org to let us know ahead of time.
The BMCM+AC Research Library includes the Ronald R. Janssen Collection, also located at 120 College Street. Ronald R. Janssen, Professor Emeritus at Hofstra University, generously gifted his unique collection of BMC-related books, journals, and DVDs to Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center. The collection focuses on the artists and writers of Black Mountain College and the movements these artists and writers influenced beyond the college.
Journal of Black Mountain College Studies
The Journal of Black Mountain College Studies is a peer-reviewed open-access digital publication of the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center (BMCM+AC). Some issues of the journal are thematic in nature. Others contain a diverse range of articles and works, some derived from the annual ReViewing BMC conference co-sponsored by BMCM+AC and University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA), and others submitted through the open submissions process. We invite historical or retrospective works as well as articles and projects that embody the BMC spirit today.
Other Online Resources
Western Regional Archives, State Archives of North Carolina
The Western Regional Archives (WRA) collects, preserves, and makes available for public use historical and evidential materials relating to Western North Carolina, including a great collection of archives from Black Mountain College. Hundreds of BMC-related materials are digitized and made available online as the Black Mountain College digital collection. The WRA is administered by the State Archives of North Carolina and operates under North Carolina General Statutes 121 and 132 in carrying out its archival mission and programs.
Black Mountain College Project
Mary Emma Harris, author of The Arts at Black Mountain College, maintains an extensive archive of BMC-related materials. Her independent research is updated as The Black Mountain College Project. The project’s goal is to ensure that the history and influence of Black Mountain College are preserved and documented for future generations.
University of North Carolina Asheville
The Special Collections of UNCA’s Ramsey Library includes a Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center Collection, consisting of digitized materials from the archives and permanent collection of BMCM+AC.
Appalachian State University
In 2018, Appalachian State University hosted a Black Mountain College semester, which resulted in digital resources and a print publication. An “Arts at Black Mountain College” research aid compiles archival resources and publications available in ASU’s Special Collections Resource Center, including the personal papers of BMC founder John Andrew Rice.
The personal papers of many of the individuals associated with BMC are housed in repositories and artist foundations throughout the US. Stanford University holds the Ruth Asawa Papers, which includes hundreds of digitized resources, including Asawa’s BMC notebooks. The University at Buffalo’s Archival and Manuscript Collections includes the Jargon Society Collection, from which several hundred photographs by Jonathan Williams are digitized.
Books + More
There are countless books, DVDs, recordings, and museum publications that can aid your research project. Be sure to check out our library catalog and Online Store. And reach out to info[at]blackmountaincollege.org or stop by the museum with questions.