Contributed by Sarah Downing
When Heather South arrived at the Western Regional Archives (WRA) five years ago, she was quickly immersed in the history and culture of the North Carolina mountains and quick to welcome the many researchers who came seeking information.
The WRA opened its doors in 2012. During that time, they have assisted more than 11,000 researchers from 34 states and 20 countries, added new collections, and put to good use more than 8,200 hours of volunteer time. Research traffic and donations were so overwhelming that an additional archivist, Sarah Downing, was brought on board only 30 months later.
South and Downing, along with the Special Collections Supervisor of the State Archives of North Carolina, Donna Kelly, hosted a small reception on Friday, August 11, and welcomed patrons, volunteers, friends, history buffs to mark the five-year milestone. Although the weather was on the damp and dreary side, it was all sunshine and smiles at the WRA. Fifty people attended the memorable occasion.