South Carolina Political Collections staff were in for a pleasant surprise this week when Thomas Cooper visited the Hollings Library. Yes, he’s the guy that Thomas Cooper Library is named after. He likes to visit all parts of the University Libraries and this week was finally our turn.
Of course, he looked at our other exhibits, too. We have one on General William Westmoreland and several cases on the governors, senators, congressmen, diplomats, and party leaders (and oh so much more!) whose collections call SCPC “home.”
He stopped at the entrance to our gallery and met Joe Wilson! Why was Wilson here? Well, it’s election day and the University of South Carolina IS in Congressman Wilson’s district, after all. (Point of interest: Congressman Wilson’s papers are held by SCPC and one day will be open to researchers. Also, disclaimer, Joe Wilson wasn’t actually here on election day. This particular Joe Wilson is a cardboard cutout.)
Then, Thomas decided to do a little research. As a first-time researcher, he signed in with Kate Moore, one of SCPC’s knowledgeable archivists. There is always someone helpful and friendly to greet researchers at the Hollings Library.
Once he received a box, he dug in! What has he found so far? If you look closely, you’ll see he’s found a picture of Senator Hollings.
Finally, he spoke with one of our archivists, Lori Schwartz. She even let him try on her lanyard. I hear she’s nice, as are all the archivists at SCPC. If you have research needs, talk to us! We’ll help you.
Before he left, he visited the Rare Books and Special Collections gallery. It’s just on the other side of the lobby from our gallery. Thomas was especially intrigued by the desk and typewriter of Catch-22 author Joseph Heller. He also looked at their current exhibit that just went up, “A Sort of Brilliance in the Room”: Two Centuries of Charles Dickens.
Thomas Cooper’s visit was documented by Jane Olsgaard. We appreciate her accompanying Mr. Cooper.