Have you met...Lori Schwartz, South Carolina Political CollectionsJun 18, 2013 7:18 AM
“When you work on collections, or supervise students who are working on collections, you come across and remember these great little items,” said Lori Schwartz, a librarian who is in charge of the exhibits program in South Carolina Political Collections (SCPC) in the Hollings Library.
“A student was processing the Olin D. Johnston Papers and came across some love letters Johnston had written to his wife. That got me thinking about other letters I had seen in another collection. Before I knew it, my colleagues and I had mentally identified several collections that included love letters from husbands to wives. That was the starting point for a Valentine’s Day exhibit I curated: 'Public Figures/Private Lives: A Valentine’s Exhibit.'"
"Included in that exhibit were those marvelous and romantic letters between former South Carolina Governor and U.S. Senator Johnston and his wife, Gladys, that chronicle the couple’s courtship and early years of marriage in the 1920s, along with playful letters between politician and journalist Bill Workman Jr. and his wife, Rhea 'Tommy' Thomas, during their courtship and then early years of marriage while he was serving in Europe, North Africa and the Pacific in World War II. Other items included photos of former U.S. Senator Fritz Hollings and his wife, Peatsy, and a letter with the story of how longtime state legislator Alex Harvin proposed to his wife and a sweet note he wrote to her during an all-night legislative session in 1981. Together, I think they made for a unique, visual, interesting exhibit, and something a little unexpected for political collections.”
The SCPC Gallery has, at any one time, two temporary exhibits and several permanent exhibits.
“Exhibits are on a cycle,” Schwartz said. “I will spend the better part of a month putting together one exhibit and then not work on any for a couple of months. Most of my time is spent processing items in collections, supervising students who are processing and working on special projects, and exhibit curating. We also create detailed finding aids for our users, and we use those finding aids, too, when we are putting together an exhibit or helping a student or researcher look through a collection.”
On her wish list: “We want people to come to the Hollings Library, to see what we have, and to know that they are welcome here."