Hunter Library to pilot Saturday hours for Special Collections

Western Carolina University’s Hunter Library will pilot Saturday hours for its Special Collections unit, which began January 21.

The unit, which houses unique and rare materials including photographs, manuscripts and other materials focused on the history and culture of Western North Carolina, will be open on Saturdays from noon to 7 p.m. through April 29.

Hunter Library

Hunter Library

“The pilot schedule will allow us to address the expressed desire of some patrons for weekend hours,” said Mark Stoffan, head of technology, access and Special Collections. “We will monitor Saturday activity in Special Collections during the spring semester and make a decision whether to continue offering weekend hours during the fall 2017 semester based on this data.”

Many patrons who use Special Collections are community members or scholars from other institutions who may travel to the area to access the unique and specialized materials found in Special Collections, Stoffan said. The additional hours will benefit patrons who may have other commitments during the week and also expand access hours for students in history, Cherokee studies and other programs that make heavy use of Special Collections resources, he said.

While the library actively digitizes items from Special Collections and makes them available online, only a small percentage of the materials are in digital format, he said.

Guides to Special Collections manuscripts can be searched online at Digital content may be accessed at and the unit’s home page can be found at

For more information, contact Stoffan at (828) 227-3489 or email