The Liston B. Ramsey Center for Appalachian Studies

The Ramsey Center, named after four-time speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives, Liston B. Ramsey, is located on the main floor of Renfro Library on the Mars Hill University campus. It houses archival resources for teaching and scholarship in its Southern Appalachian Archives and Appalachian Reading Room. Our extensive holdings—photographs, manuscripts, sound recordings, and artifacts—document aspects of mountain life and culture of interest to scholars here and abroad, holdings that have been called some of the finest in the southeastern region of the United States. These materials have been and continue to be collected by mountain people dedicated to the preservation of local culture.

The Ramsey Center is central to the university’s regional studies emphasis, and it offers a venue in which the surrounding community and faculty and students come together for a variety of regional programs. At the Ramsey Center, Southern Appalachia’s rich history and culture come alive through events, festivals, and exhibitions, as well as the ongoing work of dedicated scholars, teachers, students, and community members.

Ramsey Center Mission Statement: The Liston B. Ramsey Center for Appalachian Studies at Mars Hill University connects the campus with the wider community to explore the history, culture, and environment of the Southern Appalachian region. The Ramsey Center preserves and provides access to resources for this study through its Southern Appalachian Archives. The Center shares Mars Hill University’s commitment to local and global engagement, to service, and to experiential learning.

An endowment in support of the Ramsey Center’s Southern Appalachian Archives has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities :  Exploring the human endeavor.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this Web resource do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Ramsey Center and the Southern Appalachian Archives are open by appointment only.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact:
Karen Paar (Archives): (828) 689-1262 or
Leila Weinstein (Ramsey Center): (828) 689-1115 or
Event Parking:
Events before 6 pm on a weekday: parking lot on Bailey Street just next to the Greenway and across the street from Chambers Gym.
Events after 6 pm or on a weekend:  park in any available green or white “faculty” or “student” parking space.

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Upcoming Events:



Lunsford Festival Banjo Circle

October 02 @ 7:00 pm9:00 pm



Lunsford Festival Ballad Swap

October 03 @ 2:00 pm5:00 pm



Lunsford Festival Fiddle Circle

October 05 @ 7:00 pm9:00 pm