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University Libraries - Core Collections

Core Collections

Collection Description

The heart of the University's rare book collection is the original South Carolina College Library, a collection comprised of books purchased or donated during the early nineteenth century.  The South Carolina legislature appropriated funds to provide both buildings and books for the South Carolina College shortly after it was chartered in 1801. In 1804, just before the college opened to students, it was reported that 5000 books had been ordered and that over $3000 had been expended for library acquisitions.  This collection was augmented by further purchases and gifts, with the first large gift being donated by Governor Drayton in 1807.  Other early noteworthy acquisitions included examples of medieval manuscripts and incunabula, Theodor De Bry’s Greater Voyages,  The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, donated by James Hopkins Adams, and the library of Thomas Cooper. This Library was particularly strong in general and classical literature, modern history, travel books, and natural history. 

Click here for a PDF exhibit recounting the 200 year history of the University of South Carolina Libraries