Click image to visit the project, which includes a video.

Press release from UNC Asheville, shared Jan. 31:

ASHEVILLE — During the month of February, UNC Asheville will be home to “Slave Deeds of Buncombe County,” a traveling exhibition of historical documents and recorded readings.

The exhibit includes the original bound book of bills of sale for enslaved people and wills from the Clerk of Courts, along with a recorded reading station of the testimony of Sarah Gudger taken from the Federal Writer’s Project Slave Narratives through the Library of Congress.

Deborah Miles, executive director of UNC Asheville’s Center for Diversity Education, began the project of collecting and preserving Buncombe County slave records in 2000, working with a team of local high school students who pored over a variety of records found in microfiche.

The efforts of Miles and of Drew Reisinger, Buncombe County Register of Deeds, in digitizing these records earned them a 2013 Award of Merit from the national Council of State Archivists.

The exhibition will remain on view through Feb. 28 during regular Highsmith University Union hours. For more information, visit or call 828-232-2417.

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Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at

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