The library has collected an ongoing historical collection of the Clayton area homes, businesses, and family heritage. Library staff has recently relocated our collection of artifacts and historical reference materials to a climate-controlled storage space that can safely hold all of our items while we search for new space that will allow us to display Clayton’s history and welcome researchers.
We are fortunate to have much of our collection housed online. Enjoy the links below for some incredible pictures and insight into our town's long history.
- Acknowledgments (PDF), including a brief biography of Swannanoa Horne Priddy, whose family's philanthropy enabled the library to digitize its historical collections.
- J. Dwight Barbour Collection, including early 20th century photographs and letterheads from Clayton businesses of the late 19th century.
- Charles Barden Photograph Collection, glimpses of day-to-day life and special events in and around Clayton were captured by local photographer Charles Barden between 1952 and 1975.
- Cooper High School Collection, hundreds of candid photographs documenting the life of Clayton's school for blacks, dating from the 1930s to the end of racial segregation in 1969.
- Dr. Battle A. and Lucile Ellington Hocutt Collection, photographs of Clayton people from the 19th and early 20th centuries.
- Horne Family Collection, featuring photographs, artifacts, and papers from the families of wealthy businessman/politician Col. Ashley Horne and his brother Hardy Horne, 1870-1960.
- Clayton Centennial Photographs, color images from the town's 100th-anniversary celebration in 1969.
- Virginia Lee Satterfield Collection, an extensive collection of news clippings beginning in the 1880s, searchable by name or keyword. A sampling of family photographs from the 1930s and 40s is also included.
- John T. Talton Collection, a small collection of photographs depicting Clayton streetscapes and buildings of the early 20th century.
- Illustrated Handbook of Clayton, 1909, publications by local businessman John T. Talton, highlighting the leading businesses, farms, and families of Clayton and the surrounding countryside.
- Illustrated Handbook of Clayton, 1936, publications by local businessman John T. Talton, highlighting the leading businesses, farms, and families of Clayton and the surrounding countryside.
- Illustrated Handbook of Clayton, 1961, publications by local businessman John T. Talton, highlighting the leading businesses, farms, and families of Clayton and the surrounding countryside.
- School Yearbooks, a sampling of yearbooks from Clayton High School and Cooper High School.
- The Clayton Cook Book, 1922, compiled and published by the Ladies' Aid Society of the Baptist Church.
- What's Cookin' in Clayton, 1948, compiled and published by The Woman's Club of Clayton.
- Overview of Clayton History (PDF) an illustrated timeline of important events in Clayton's development.
- Duke Duncan. (1) (2) A Clayton native and professional baseball player in the early 20th century.