I am a senior at the University of North Carolina at Asheville and I am in the second half on writing my senior exit research paper. This is a 25- 30 page paper on a student chosen topic. For my research, I am looking at the political activism that came as a result of the over thirty different sanitariums that were scattered throughout Asheville.
Specifically, I will look at the laws that were passed, the city council decisions, and the prominent wealthy and political figures that petitioned in favor of and in opposition to city laws requiring sanitariums to be moved outside the city limits and out of proximity of the people. I will be looking at the sanitariums that were moved or were asked to move between the years 1900-1920, the people who asked them to move, the reasons used in justifying the movement of the sanitariums, responses of the local people and politicians to the sanitariums and these new laws about sanitariums needing to reside outside city limits, and the impact of the sanitariums on the lives of the local people. Laws that were passed at this time as a way to control the location, placement, and replacement of the sanitariums is an interesting aspect to the local history of the sanitariums that is not widely explored and still extremely important. Finding sources for this has been hard in Asheville because they are either not categorized correctly, nonexistent within Asheville, or have been moved elsewhere in order for a broader collection.
I had off from work the week of May 16th and wanted to make the trip to Chapel Hill to use the libraries, since many of the books I need for my research cannot be found in Asheville and are held at various library locations on the UNC campus. Primarily the libraries I used were the North Carolina Collection, Southern Historical Collection, and most often during the duration of my trip the Health Sciences Library. The lady I spoke with from the Health Sciences Library, Barbra Tysinger, made it so easy to help get me registered, give me information about parking and policies, and tell me exactly what resources they had to help me with my topics research. Upon arriving at the Health Sciences Library I was greeted, given a tour of the place, and introduced to the staff that works there so if someone is not there, I always know someone who is. The study room I was given was already set up with ten sources for me to look through, and every now and then the ladies would stop by and make sure my research was going okay, bring me a new source, or just stop in to tell me another place I might want to visit while in the area. Words cannot describe the security and comfort I felt traveling to UNC knowing a group was set to help me achieve academically as though my project was their project. Without the help of the staff of the Health Sciences Library, I would not have felt as comfortable and welcomed as I was and I feel confident in saying that I would not have found what I needed to complete my research.
Ginger Buchanan, Student, UNC Asheville