University of South Carolina Libraries Timeline
1801: South Carolina College is founded. Library is established in Rutledge College, sharing space with student housing, faculty residences, classrooms and the chapel.
1802: South Carolina College begins collecting books and other printed materials.
1817: The library is moved and shares quarters in a nearby science building that eventually is demolished.
1840: The university builds the first free-standing college library in the United States. Located on the university’s historic Horseshoe, this structure still stands and is known as South Caroliniana Library.
1850: South Carolina College has the largest library south of Washington, D.C. Many of the books from this early period are included in the university’s current rare books and special collections.
1940: The library’s collections move to the new McKissick Library. Collections pertinent to the state’s history, literature and culture remain at South Caroliniana.
1959: The McKissick Library becomes the graduate library when a new Undergraduate Library is built on Greene Street – the first university library to be built away from the Horseshoe.
1976: The Undergraduate Library is expanded, with the addition of four lower floors. It is named the Thomas Cooper Library in honor of the university’s second president.
1980 - 2010: During this 30-year period, the university adds prominent archives to its rare books and special collections.
1991: University Libraries establishes the S.C. Political Collections (SCPC) to maintain the records of the Palmetto State’s leaders in Congress and the General Assembly, the state’s political parties and other individuals and organizations with substantive roles in politics and government. The Ernest F. Hollings Collection is the largest.
2008: Construction on The Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library begins during the summer. President Harris Pastides and Sen. Ernest Hollings formally announce the library on Sept. 19.
2010: Vice President Joe Biden delivers the keynote address at a July 23 dedication ceremony for The Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library. A number of dignitaries and elected officials attend, including Hollings, Sen. Lindsey Graham and U.S. Rep. James Clyburn.
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