SHC curators began pursuing literary materials in the early 1970s and literary collections have been added in most years since. This focus recognizes the enduring interest in southern literature in the English Department at UNC Chapel Hill and the many celebrated writers associated with the University.
The SHC continues to collect the papers of literary writers, the records of literary organizations, and archival materials of others that document southern literary culture. The SHC is primarily interested in writers who are likely to be the subject of scholarly attention over the decades to come. The SHC focuses on writers who have been affiliated with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill or who have lived in the Chapel Hill area. Unpublished works and literary and personal correspondence of writers have especially high research value. Organizations of interest will be those that significantly support literary life in North Carolina or the South as a whole.