Digitized Student Newspapers Showcase Pages from the Past

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UNC Asheville student newspapers

Football players, stunt night and the Biltmoron Club are just a few of the topics reported in The Highlander, UNC Asheville’s student newspaper from the 1930s, when the university was called Biltmore College. These stories and 5,000 pages of additional news are now available online as part of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center's DigitalNC.org website, with more on the way.

“Student newspapers are a great way of monitoring the student impressions of what the university is like at any given time,” said Gene Hyde, head of special collections and university archivist. “It’s a real snap-shot of life.”

The University Archives at UNC Asheville houses the official historical records of the university, including print copies of student publications. Now these publications are going online through a statewide digitization and digital publishing program housed in the North Carolina Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill. 

The first-round of digitization starts with issues of The Highlander from1935 followed by issues from the Asheville-Biltmore from 1947, The Campus Crier from 1947-61, The Ridgerunner from 1965-79, and the Kaleidoscope from 1982. The Blue Banner, which is the name of UNC Asheville’s current student-run newspaper, has been published since 1984. Digital copies are available through 1993.

DigitalNC has digitized a few other UNC Asheville yearbooks and publications, including The Bulldog Barker (2002-2005), an entertainment guide published by the Office of Student Life, as well as The Rag and Bone Shop (1979-1981), an art and literary magazine.  There is also one issue of the Free Press, an "underground" newspaper from 1974 published by students.

“UNC Asheville alumni will find it to be a great resource to remember what life was like as a student here,” said Hyde. “It’s also a great resource for university history in general.”

Alumni are encouraged to contribute to the collection, as the University Archives searches for issues missing from the records. Contact speccoll@unca.edu or (828) 251-6645 if you have issues of publications from the past.