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Browse Special Collections

Special collections at University Libraries offer students and scholars a rich, hands-on research and learning experience. Explore our collections and discover something wonderful today.

Special Collections Departments

Overhead view of a person wearing white cotton gloves while handling a large, open book. The image on the page depicts a bird resting on a plant with leaves.

Digital Collections

Examine hundreds of thousands of digitized rare, fragile, historic and unique books, pamphlets, posters, diaries, manuscripts, maps, music, newspapers, photographs, postcards and more held at the libraries.  

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Educational Films

Enhance your teaching or learning experience with video resources that cover every subject. We provide access to feature films, documentaries and TV shows that span genres and decades. 

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Government Information and Maps

As a Regional Federal Depository Library and South Carolina's only European Union depository, we house rich collections of government information, as well as maps, historical atlases, aerial photos and microform materials. 

View of several display cases in the Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections gallery, inside the Hollings Library. Three open books are displayed in the nearest case.

Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections

Explore this vast collection which includes early medieval manuscripts, historical collections, literature, natural history and science, philosophy and religious studies, and bibliography and the book arts.

View from behind of a partially silhouetted person using film rewinds to inspect a roll of film at an inspection bench. The edges of a computer monitor facing the figure are partly visible. Empty film reels of various sizes and colors hang on the wall behind the monitor.

Moving Image Research Collections

Access thousands of hours of rare films including military, documentary, fictional and nature films as well as local television news and commercials, home movies and more from this repository of historic footage produced outside the feature film industry.

Person sitting at a library table wearing headphones and looking at a laptop. Library shelves filled with books in the background.

Music Library

Borrow books, musical scores, print journals, audio and video recordings, and access multiple music databases. Archival collections can be viewed by appointment.

Andrea L'Hommedieu, of the Department of Oral History, sits at a table while interviewing a subject. The subject is mostly out of frame, but four fingers are visible on the left side of the image. A small recording device and some papers are on the table between them.

Oral History

Listen to the stories of those who shared memories of their daily lives, communities, families, and notable events that shaped South Carolina, and find resources to support oral history work.

Close up of various pin-back buttons, declaring support for certain organizations or political campaigns. Legible text on different buttons read, “Goldwater for president,” “Yellow Dog,” “League of Women Voters,” and “Write Eisenhower in.”

South Carolina Political Collections

Learn about all aspects of society, communities, people and progress when you explore the collections of politicians, political parties, activists and more at this archive dedicated to contemporary government.

Exterior view of the front of the South Caroliniana Library. The low angle shows sunlight streaming through trees onto the red brick building and four white columns.

South Caroliniana Library

Explore South Carolina, from manuscripts that document its early agricultural beginnings to collections that detail space exploration, at this landmark library that first opened its doors in 1840. 


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