The North Carolina Collection at Pack Memorial Library, Strive Beyond Drive, and Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center has announced a new partnership with Asheville Redefines Transit (ART) and the City of Asheville to install interpretive historical panels on bus shelters throughout Asheville and Buncombe County.

Called “History on the Move,” this new initiative is slated to expand to be a series of informational exhibit panels located on bus shelters throughout the ART service area. Each miniature exhibit will highlight the history of the neighborhood and transportation corridors nearest the shelter in which the panels are installed.

“With transportation, change is constant,” said Ritchie Rozzelle with Strive Beyond Drive, a campaign of Land of Sky Regional Council. “Providing the historical context that car dependency is only our current condition, not a historic or future fixed state, helps us be realistic in considering options like transit, carpooling, light and active transportation, shared vehicles, and telecommuting. We’re excited to join in this project and hopeful for a future where these years are remembered as the car age, without too much romance for a transportation mode that may clearly be seen as unsafe, inequitable, and environmentally irresponsible.”

The first of the exhibits in the History on the Move series will feature the history of the Oteen and Riceville area and share information about how transportation has changed in the area over the last 200-plus years.

“Making information and resources as accessible as possible is one of our primary goals as an archive located within a free public library,” said North Carolina Room staff member Katherine Calhoun Cutshall.

She continued, “With nearly 20,000 images in our collection, and more coming in all the time, History on the Move presents the perfect opportunity to shed some light on resources that are in our collection.” Images used to illustrate the history are in the North Carolina Collection at Pack Library, while the exhibit text was authored by staff at the Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center in Black Mountain, NC.

The project received financial support and guidance from Strive Beyond Drive as well as the project’s other partners.

The panels at the shelter in Oteen/Riceville will be the first of several in a series released over the coming year.

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