The Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room collection includes thousands of photographs and negatives. To provide better access, library staff and volunteers have scanned and indexed these materials. To view photos, visit the North Carolina Room or request specific images below. A selection of images from the Downtown Brevard; Schools and Logging, Lumber & Railroads albums are available online at DigitalNC.
The negatives and the majority of the library’s historical 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 processed in their shop 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.
The collections also contain 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.