Black Mountain College Project 


Dancing on the porch of Lee Hall. Photo courtesy North Carolina State Archive, BMC Papers, 309.4


Eventually, the resource page will feature an extensive bibliography, a list of individuals and archives where their papers have been deposited, websites and other information. For this initial offering histories of the college as well as archives, museums and libraries with extensive collections of Black Mountain College documents have been listed.



Martin Duberman. Black Mountain College, An Exploration in Community. E.P. Dutton, 1972. A study of the college as an experimental educational community.

Mary Emma Harris. The Arts at Black Mountain College. The MIT Press, 1987. An illustrated history of the arts programs at Black Mountain College, described within the context of the college�s general history and educational ideals. Extensive bibliography.

Vincent Katz, ed. Black Mountain College: Experiment in Art. Essays by Vincent Katz, Martin Brody, Robert Creeley and Kevin Power. The MIT Press, 2002.

Caroline Collier and Michael Harrison, curators. Starting at Zero: Black Mountain College 1933-67. Essays by Mary Emma Harris, Christopher Benfey, Eva Diaz, Edmund de Waal, Jed Perl. Bristol: Arnolfini and Cmabridge: Kettle's Yard, 2005.

Memoirs, Autobiography

Mervin Lane, editor. Black Mountain College, Sprouted Seeds, An Anthology of Personal Accounts. University of Tennessee Press, 1990. Memoirs and biographies of Black Mountain College students and faculty.

Fielding Dawson. The Black Mountain Book. E.P. Dutton,1970. Expanded and revised edition: North Carolina Wesleyan College Press, 1991. A personal memoir of Dawson�s experience as a student at Black Mountain College.

John Andrew Rice. I Came Out of the Eighteenth Century.  New York and London: Harper and Brothers, 1942.  The last two chapters describe Rollins College and Black Mountain College. Later editions omit these chapters.

Michael Rumaker. Black Mountain Days. Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center, 2003.

Robert Sunley. Student Experience in Experimental Education in the Early Years (1933-43). Online publication, Black Mountain College Project.

Emil Willimetz. Gringo: The Making of a Rebel. Peter E. Randall, Publisher, 2003.


Black Mountain College Museum & Arts Center. P.O. Box 18912, Asheville, NC 28814. 828.350.8484. The Black Mountain College Museum & Arts Center is the realization of the vision of Mary Holden Thompson, who felt that there should be a museum in Western North Carolina to preserve the legacy of Black Mountain College. The collections of the museum include works of art as well as student notes, college publications, photographs and other documents. BMCMAC

North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. Division of Archives and History
Raleigh, North Carolina. State Archive Collections. The North Carolina State Archives holds the largest collection of documents related to Black Mountain College. Its holdings include

  • The Black Mountain College Papers.  When the college closed, Charles Olson first put the college papers in storage. To accommodate students who needed transcripts, Olson deposited the papers with the State Archive on the condition that the archive service transcripts. The papers include faculty and Board of Fellows meeting minutes; general files (correspondence, course lists and descriptions, summer session files, college publications, publicity files, etc.); faculty files; financial files; student files; student course cards; and hundreds of photographs.
  • The Black Mountain College Research Project Papers.  A collection of documents collected by the Black Mountain College Research Project (1970-72), sponsored by the North Carolina Museum of Art, supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Mary Emma Harris, Research Director. The papers include hundreds of photographs and slides; files on objects created at the college; taped interviews and transcripts; and general files.
  • Private Collections of scholars and of former faculty and students.  The collection includes Martin Duberman's Black Mountain Papers.

North Carolina Wesleyan College. Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Elizabeth Braswell Pearsall Library. Black Mountain Collection. When Black Mountain College closed, the library was sold  to the newly-founded North Carolina Wesleyan College. Many of the books were sold by Wesleyan. When Dr. Leverett T. Smith, English professor and curator of the collection, came to the college, he recognized the importance of the library and catalogued and preserved the remaining books.  NC Wesleyan

University of Connecticut at Storrs. Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University Libraries. American and English Literature Collection. The Literature Collection contains papers of Charles Olson, Fielding Dawson, Edward Dorn, Joel Oppenheimer, Michael Rumaker, Oyez Press and Beat Poets. Included in The Charles Olson Papers is a group of college documents that were among Olson�s papers at his death. The index of the Dodd Center list collections and provides indexes.

    Papers of Faculty and Students
A list of archives and libraries housing papers of Black Mountain College students and faculty. The list will be expanded as time permits.
    Josef Albers The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation
    Anni Albers The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation
    John Cage Music Division, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Music Library, Northwestern University
Wesleyan University
    Mary Gregory Interview, questionnaire and photographs incorporated into the collection.
North Carolina State Archives, Private Collections, P.C. 1895.1.  State Archive Collections. Architectural plans and photographs.
    Don Page Student studies from the classes of Josef and Anni Albers.  State Archive Collections
    John Andrew Rice Appalachian State University, Carol G. Belk Library, John Andrew Rice Papers.
    M.C. Richards Getty Research Center
    David Tudor Getty Research Center