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University Libraries - Government Information and Maps

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can use the collection?

The collections in the department are available for everyone to use in the library. As a U.S. federal depository and E.U. depository, the department and its collections serves the general public as well those affiliated with the University of South Carolina.

Can I borrow government documents or microforms?

Anyone with a valid USC, Thomas Cooper Society or alumni  identification card can check materials out. Others should contact the circulation department (803 777-4135) for further information.

Most government publications can be checked out for one month (students) or a semester (faculty). Reference items, bound journals, microforms and materials in bad condition cannot be checked out. Exceptions may be made. Some electronic media (videos, diskettes and CD-ROMs) may be circulated. Please ask a librarian about these items.

Can I photocopy, print or download materials from the collections?

There is a coin or card-operated photocopier in the department for copying print materials. There is also a coin change machine. Copies are $0.10 a page.

Microfilm and microfiche readers and printers are available in the department. These are either coin or copy card operated. Microprint materials cannot be copied. Copies are $0.10 a page.

Printing from computer workstations is provided for $0.10 a page. Printouts can be collected from the Level 5 Computer Lab.

Department workstations have floppy disk drives (3.5 inch) and Zip drives for downloading data. Floppy disks and Zip disks can be purchased from the Level 5 Computer Lab.

Do you have historical South Carolina newspaper collections?

These are in the South Caroliniana library, a separate library devoted to the study of matters relating to South Carolina on the USC-Columbia campus. Please direct all questions about old S.C. newspapers (including microfilm copies of The State to them.

Do you have copies of Census records and forms on microfilm for genealogy research?

The only microfilm copies of census forms in the department are:
1790: Maryland
1800: Maryland
1810: Virginia
1820: Illinois, Virginia
1840: Illinois, Iowa, Ohio
1850: Ohio
1860: Iowa, Virginia
1870: Iowa, Virginia, West Virginia 

The department does not have facsimiles of census forms for any other census years or states. It has published statistics and reports derived from the decennial censuses. 
These do not include information on individuals. Please contact the South Carolina Department of Archives and History about their collection of census microfilm.