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Braun and Hogenberg Collection
The John and Mary Osman Braun and Hogenberg Collection contains a variety of maps from the late 16th and early 17th centuries, primarily from the Civitates Orbis Terrarum (Cities of the World) by Georg Braun and Franz Hogenberg. The Civitates is considered one of the first modern atlases and it captures an exciting glimpse into the past through the eyes of some of Europe's most skilled artists and engravers. In addition, the Osman collection also contains nearly three-dozen other maps, including some by rival cartographers. Though not a part of the Civitates, the additional maps help provide a larger context for the styles and locations thought important at the time.
Columbia, SC Historical Collections
This is a compilation of numerous digital collections from the South Caroliniana Library, Richland Library, and the city of Columbia that capture the city's history in photographs, maps, books, and city minutes.
Historical Soil Survey Maps of South Carolina
These forty South Carolina soil survey maps from the early Nineteen Hundreds were prepared with booklets to explain the soil classifications on the county level. They include information that do not appear on updated survey maps, such as old rail lines, schools, churches and other structures as well as entire towns that no longer exist.
Humboldt's Atlas of Latin America, 1799-1804
The German scientist Alexander von Humboldt and his expedition partner, botanist Aimé Bonpland, traveled through Central and South America between 1799 and 1804. Under a Spanish warrant, they explored the Orinoco in Venezuela, surveyed and gathered plant and animal specimens, and studied the geology and mineralogy of Colombia, Peru, and Mexico. They climbed Chimborazo, the highest summit in Ecuador and what was then thought to be the highest summit on Earth, reaching the highest altitude of any human before succumbing to oxygen sickness near the summit.
Hurricane Hugo Elevation Maps
This series of 31 maps of the South Carolina coastline depicts water-surface elevations, high water marks, and landward extent of storm-tide inundation caused by Hurricane Hugo, September 21-22, 1989.
Primary Sources for K-12 , Pilot Project
In collaboration with a pilot group of South Carolina teachers, USC Libraries has made these primary resources available online. We want to build on this effort. Please let us know what you think.
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
Originally conceived in the late 18th Century, fire insurance maps provided structural and urban environmental information necessary for insurance underwriters. Included here are over 2000 Sanborn Maps of over eighty cities in South Carolina from 1884 - 1923 as well as over two hundred unpublished draft maps of additional cities in the state.
Slavery at South Carolina College, 1801-1865
This website is intended to tell the largely unknown and unfamiliar story of slavery at South Carolina College, the institutional predecessor of the University of South Carolina.
Slaves played a fundamental role at the college between its founding in December 1801 and February 1865, when slaves saw themselves liberated by the arrival of federal troops in Columbia in the final months of the Civil War. The primary buildings of South Carolina College survive as the historic heart of the modern campus—known today as the Horseshoe—and were constructed by slave labor and built of slave-made brick.
South Carolina Aerial Photograph Indexes, 1937-1989
Spanning five decades, the University of South Carolina’s collection of aerial photograph indexes consists primarily of projects commissioned by the United States Department of Agriculture. Showing cities, farms, forests, reservoirs, coastlines, and other features across the state, the indexes provide a visual overview of each project’s collection of individual aerial photographs, many of which are housed in the Maps Department of Thomas Cooper Library.
South Carolina Aerial Photography
Thanks to funding by the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnlley Foundation, USC SCFloods, and other generous private and public donors, USC's Government Information Department is able to make their historic aerial photography collection, spanning the 1930s to the 1980s, available online as georectified images. This site is user-friendly on laptops, tablets and phones. There is a transparency bar for viewing old and new images simultaneously . So far eight counties, including Charleston and Richland, have been added to the map. Start with the search icon, choose your county and then a year. We will be adding counties as they are finished.
South Carolina Aerial Photos (pilot project)
This pilot project consists of a small portion of the aerial photo collection, approximately 360 images of 130,000, focusing just on Columbia, SC for the dates of 1938, 1959-60, 1971, and 1980. Photos will continue to be added to the collection.
South Carolina Department of Transportation County Roads
Maps of all the South Carolina counties, showing cities, towns, roads, cultural features, and other miscellaneous features.
South Caroliniana Library Map Collection
The map collection of the South Caroliniana Library has always been a significant resource for geographers, historians, and genealogists. In the past two hundred years, technological changes have substantially altered the landscape of South Carolina, and the library's map collection visually documents these transformations. The maps show airports, battlefields, cemeteries, churches, cities, highways, Native American territories, postal routes, railroads, schools, topographical features, towns, and urban, rural, and African American slave populations. Taken together, the maps chart the state's urbanization over time. The collection also contains a number of maps dating from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, which are vital to researchers interested in the history of cartography. The digital collection is searchable by Date, Creator, Contributor, call number, and keyword.
Topographic Maps of South Carolina: 1888-1975
The Map Library has made available from this site 236 of it's 15 minute, 30 minute, and 7.5 minute topographic maps of South Carolina. Measuring 14 Â½ x 20 inches the Polyconic Projections were first published in the late 19th Century. Some were produced by the Army, others by the Corps. of Engineers and the remainder were produced by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
Tycho Brahe's Instruments in the Blaeu Grande Atlas
In the late 16th century, the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) established two observatories on the island of Hven, near Copenhagen. This section from Jean Blaeu’s Grande Atlas, from the French version issued in 1663, describes and illustrates Brahe’s astronomical instruments. Blaeu’s handcolored copper-plate engravings were revised from wood-cuts originally published in Brahe’s own Astronomiae Instauratiae Mechanicae (1598), with the descriptions in Latin; an English translation from Brahe’s 1598 text is available from the Danish Royal Library. The section also gives a map of Hven and plans and descriptions of Tycho’s two observatories, Uraniborg and Stelleborg.
William Tennent III (1740 - 1777), Travel Journal and Album of Collected Papers
These online collections contain not only Tennent's Journal and Album, but also a 1974 essay entitled The Back Country Commission of Drayton, Tennent, and Hart by L.L. Owens and two maps of their back country route. The journal covers Tennent's trek though the S.C. back-country, at times in the company of William Henry Drayton and Rev. Oliver Hart in an effort to persuade Loyalist Tories to join the Patriot cause. The album contains papers documenting Tennent's life as a Presbyterian minister in the Colonies of New Jersey and Connecticut, the courtship of his wife despite her mother's objections, and his 1772 arrival in Charleston, S.C., to serve the Independent or Congregational Church among other topics.