Jane Kessler Memorial Archives

The Jane Kessler Memorial Archives at Penland contains unique materials that document the history of the school. The collection spans 1920 to the present and the materials capture many stories: how Penland came to be, how it has changed over the years, and how the place, people, and programs continue to evolve. The archives collects and preserves documents (including administrative records), publications, maps, and architectural drawings; audio-visual materials, including photographs, oral histories, and videotapes; and objects made at Penland that are illustrative of the educational philosophy of the school or made in conjunction with special events on campus.

An exciting new resource of an archives is a digital repository that includes film and video from 1943 through 2003 as well as an extensive collection of photographs and information about Penland’s historic buildings.  Among the audiovisual materials are several historic films and a series of interviews with artists made in 1985 and another series from 2002.
Penland School of Craft Digital Collections

Penland School is a also contributing partner to the Craft Revival Project of the Southern Appalachian Digital Collections Partnership, which hosts online access to unique regionally focused digitized materials that document the history and culture of Southern Appalachia.

Inquiries regarding can be directed to Cindy Gibson, assistant to the director, 828-765-2359 ext. 1308,


The Penland School of Craft Digital Collections were been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.