Ernest F. Hollings

Special Collections Library

After many years of planning, the University Libraries’ dream of a new home for its unique and invaluable special collections soon will be realized with the construction of the Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library. The $18-million state-of-the-art building will be erected behind the Thomas Cooper Library (Blossom Street). It will comprise about 50,000 square feet of new library space on three levels.

The Hollings Library will house Thomas Cooper Library's growing Rare Books and Special Collections and will provide the first permanent home for the University's South Carolina Political Collections.

There will be space for teaching, exhibits, and public programs, as well as for offices, processing areas, and extensive stack space to house the collections. Special features will include a large reading room with comfortable work areas for researchers and other visitors , seminar rooms, a mini theater, exhibit galleries, a "treasure vault," an auditorium for meetings or other events, a digitization center, and a room for audio-visual research.

Utilizing compact shelving, the stack areas will have a capacity of about 47,000 linear feet (equivalent to almost nine miles) and will accommodate about 250,000 books, manuscripts, political papers, folios, maps, and framed items.

Architects for the new library are the Columbia-based firm of Watson Tate Savory. The building, which will be constructed at the LEED Silver Certification level with optimum climate control and security, will compliment the classic modern style of the Thomas Cooper Library, to which it will be connected by a corridor on the Main Level. Construction will begin in summer 2008 and the building should be completed by late 2009.

Most of the funding for the Special Collections Library came from a $16-million Federal appropriation secured by Senator Hollings in 2005. In addition, an anonymous donation of $2 million was given in fall 2004.

A campaign is now underway to raise an additional $2 million for programming, preservation, and other unanticipated needs. For more information about the University Libraries or to make a donation, please call the Library Development Office at 803-777-5564 or visit the University Libraries Web site at

In addition, many opportunities exist for named spaces in the new facility, including galleries, meeting rooms, seminar rooms, study areas and student carrels. Naming a space in the new library offers the donor the opportunity to have a lasting impact on future generations of students and scholars at the University.


For more information visit:

Return to Main Page  Go to Rare Books and Special Collections Page  Go to South Carolina Political Collections Page  
Go to the Ernest F. Hollings Page

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