The archives located in the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room contain approximately 5000 photographs, 3000 negatives, and numerous historic documents. To provide better access, library staff and volunteers have scanned and indexed these materials. Patrons can visit the local history room to view these materials first-hand. Indexes of the photographic archives can be found below.
You can now access photographs of downtown Brevard, Transylvania County Schools, and the logging, lumber and railroad industry in Transylvania County online! Also available are Brevard High yearbooks, 1944-1966; Rosman High yearbooks, 1948-1966; Ecusta Echo, 1940-1954 and the Sylvan Valley News, 1900-1911. DigitalNC hosts this selection of digitized items from our collection on their website. Follow the link to explore the collection. These photographs can be browsed or searched. We hope to add more items in the future and will keep you informed of our progress.
Digital copies of historical photographs from the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Collection are available free of charge to users who agree to the Library’s Conditions of Use Policy.
To request a digital copy of a photograph via email complete the form below. Use the indexes listed immediately above the form to locate the album and photo numbers.
Photo requests can also be submitted by bringing or mailing the completed agreement to the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Library, 212 S. Gaston St., Brevard, NC 28712 Attention: Marcy Thompson. You must also supply a flash drive, CD or other digital storage device.
Photocopies of photographs may also be made for $0.10 per page, although images will not be photographic quality. For details, email Marcy Thompson or call 828-884-3151 x1820.
Photograph Indexes–UPDATED MARCH 2015
The photographs are arranged by subject and available for viewing in the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room. The subject areas include: Negatives, Brevard College, Businesses (outside of downtown Brevard), Churches, Downtown, DuPont, Ecusta, Family Files, Gravemarkers, Historic Homes, Joe Wilde Photos, Landscapes, Mills, MJM (Mary Jane McCrary Collection), Oversized (miscellaneous photos not in albums), People, Railroad and Lumber Industry, Schools, Silversteen Family Photos, and Waterfalls.
History of Photograph Collection
The negatives and the majority of the photographs are from the Austin Collection. William Austin opened his Brevard photography shop in 1925. Following William and Mildred Austin’s deaths in an auto accident in 1954, the Austin’s daughters continued to operate the family business until 1998. Over the years photos taken by the Austin family members or those they made copies of for individuals were saved for their historic value. After the shop closed these photos were donated to the Transylvania County Archives, now a part of the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room.
There are also a number of photographs taken by Joe Wilde. Although he never had a studio, Joe Wilde travelled to family homes, churches and logging camps throughout the mountains photographing people who otherwise were unlikely to have their picture taken from about 1916 to 1950. The Joe Wilde Photographs were donated to the library by his eldest daughter, Dorothy Wilde Galloway.
The remainder of the collection has been donated over the years from Transylvania County families, their descendants and others interested in helping preserve the photographic history of our county.
We also have photographs from the Transylvania County Architectural Survey completed in the early 1990s. In addition, we have Ecusta and Silversteen photographs that have not been sorted and indexed.
Historic documents in the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room Collection include church registries, original deeds, Transylvania County and City of Brevard documents and ledgers, Silversteen Industries records, Ecusta records, and others. The cataloging and digitization of these materials is ongoing.