- American Literature CollectionsThe Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections houses significant materials in American Literature, from Phyllis Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects (1773) to the recently-acquiried Pat Conroy Archive. Holdings are especially comprehensive in Transcendentalism and Modernism: The Joel Myerson Collection of Nineteenth-Century American Literature includes first editions of works by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, and Emily Dickinson among its 11,000 volumes; the Matthew J. & Arlyn Bruccoli Collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald is the most extensive Fitzgerald collection in the world; Ernest Hemingway collections include first editions, manuscripts, and typescripts. With materials including manuscript drafts and corrected proofs, many archives shed light on the working process of noted writers (Joseph Heller, Pat Conroy, and Elmore Leonard). Browse all American Literature materials in the Library Catalog held by the Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections.
- James DickeyThe James Dickey Library at the University of South Carolina commemorates one of its most distinguished faculty members and preserves his extensive personal book collection for the use of scholars and students.
- Pat Conroy ArchiveThe Pat Conroy Archive documents the life and work of Pat Conroy, who is considered to be one of the preeminent figures in contemporary Southern literature. Born in 1945, Conroy has written best-selling novels and memoirs as well as poetry, essays and screenplays and even a cookbook. The Archive was acquired in 2014 with the generous support of the Richard and Novelle Smith Family in memory of Dorothy Brown Smith.
- The John Jakes Papers, 1973-2001The collection of John Jakes’s papers spans the years 1973-2001 with the bulk of the papers being dated between 1993 and 2001.
- The John Manners Iggulden PapersThe Iggulden papers include typescript for two (unpublished) volumes of autobiography, several short autobiographical sketches, essays on monetary policy, and some unpublished poems.
- The Joseph Heller ArchiveThe Joseph Heller Archive brings to the University of South Carolina's Thomas Cooper Library the comprehensive record of Mr. Heller's literary career over a period of more than thirty years.
- The Jules Furthman Screenplay ArchiveThis archive comprises a group of twenty-three screenplays, dating from 1923 to 1958, and related material by Jules Furthman (1888-1966).
- The Kaye Gibbons ArchiveThe University of South Carolina's Thomas Cooper Library houses a portion of the literary papers of Kaye Gibbons, whose novels about self-reliant women in the rural South have made her a prominent figure in contemporary Southern fiction.
- The Lucille Jordan Palmer Collection of Jesse StuartLucille Jordan Palmer donated to the University her important collection of Jesse Stuart material, including personally-inscribed first editions, more than fifty Stuart letters, and a box of periodical items, clippings and other background material.
- The Matthew J. & Arlyn Bruccoli Collection of F. Scott FitzgeraldThe Matthew J. & Arlyn Bruccoli Collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald constitutes the most comprehensive research collection for the study and teaching of Fitzgerald, those associated with him, and his times.
- The Mitchell Kennerly Imprint Collections
- The Warner Bros./Turner Entertainment F.Scott Fitzgerald Screenplay CollectionThe University of South Carolina's F. Scott Fitzgerald Screenplay Archive, acquired in April 2004, preserves 2,000 pages of Fitzgerald's manuscripts, revised typescripts, and working drafts for the screenplays he wrote for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer from 1937 - 38.
- The Wallace Markfield PapersThe collection of Wallace Markfield’s papers spans the years of publication of the last four of his five novels.
- Crime Fiction Collections
- Elmore Leonard CollectionThe Elmore Leonard Archive contains the papers related to Leonard’s personal and professional life. Often referred to as the “Dickens of Detroit,” Leonard is esteemed for his realistic and concise description of characters, setting and dialogue. Leonard published 45 novels in addition to short stories and the screenplay adaptations of many of his works. The majority of the collection is comprised of drafts, manuscripts and typescripts of Leonard’s novels, short stories and screen adaptations and the research and notes related to the writing and publication of these works, including unpublished works. Also included in the collection are personal and professional correspondence, legal and contractual documents related to Leonard’s career, biographical information related to Leonard and the Leonard family and realia related to Leonard’s writing career, including typewriters, director’s chairs and awards. The collection of published works associated with this collection, including advance uncorrected proofs, first editions, translations and other copies can be located through the library's catalog.
- George V. Higgins ArchiveThe George V. Higgins Archive includes Higgins’ literary, personal and legal papers for the full scope of his remarkable career: from his writing for the Boston College literary magazine, The Stylus, to his posthumously published book At End of Day. Higgins earned international fame for his first novel The Friends of Eddie Coyle in 1972 for which the archive contains drafts, edited typescripts and proofs. Higgins was famous for creating memorable characters in hard-boiled fiction and telling his stories through dialogue. Prior to his work as an author, Higgins was a journalist, federal prosecutor, district attorney, defense attorney, novelist, critic, historian and a creative writing professor at Boston University. The collection of published works associated with this collection, including advance uncorrected proofs, first editions, translations and other copies can be located through the library's catalog. The Irvin Department also holds the Erwin Ford Collection of George V. Higgins, the finding aid to this collection can be located here.
- James Ellroy ArchiveThe James Ellroy Archive at the University of South Carolina contains manuscripts, typescripts, drafts, notes, and research material for most of Ellroy's works. These items show the steps, from initial story outline to publication, that were taken to bring his writing to life: the author uses extensive longhand in writing out his ideas. Many of the manuscripts contain handwritten corrections made during the revision process. Known for his short, pessimistic and gritty prose style, Ellroy has written 10 books in addition to short stories and journalism. In his 1996 memoir, My Dark Places, Ellroy explains that the murder of his mother when he was 10 as well as the murder of Elizabeth Short aka “The Black Dahlia,” and the writings of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett impacted his writing. A technophobe, Ellroy’s works are written in long hand on legal pads and typed for editing and publication. The collection of published works associated with this collection, including advance uncorrected proofs, first editions, translations and other copies can be located through the library's catalog.
- The Dashiell Hammett Family PapersThe Dashiell Hammett Family Papers contains material relating to the personal lives of Dashiell Hammett and his family. Hammett was an American hard-boiled crime writer and political activist best known for The Maltese Falcon, The Thin Man and Red Harvest. One of the most influential writers in the crime fiction genre, authors such as Raymond Chandler, Robert B. Parker, Ross MacDonald, and James Ellroy credit him as inspiration. His characters, narrative, and authenticity in his writings left a profound impact on both print and film. The collection of published works associated with this collection, including advance uncorrected proofs, first editions, translations and other copies can be located through the library's catalog.
- The Richard Layman Collection of Dashiell HammettThe Richard Layman Collection of Dashiell Hammett contains the research materials used by Hammett researcher, Richard Layman in his years of study of the writer, Dashiell Hammett. It also contains material from the various books about Hammett that he either assisted with or wrote. The collection of published works associated with this collection, including advance uncorrected proofs, first editions, translations and other copies can be located through the library's catalog. The collection of published works associated with this collection, including advance uncorrected proofs, first editions, translations and other copies can be located through the library's catalog.
- English Literature CollectionsThe Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections holds an extensive range of titles in English literature comprised of materials from the antebellum South Carolina College library and a large number of named collections. Particular strengths include an internationally recognized collection of works by and related to John Milton, substantial holdings in nineteenth-century literature (early nineteenth-century British drama, British and American literary annuals, The Rodger L. Tarr Collection of Thomas Carlyle, and a significant number of original works, including paper-bound serials, by Charles Dickens). Other collections include The Wickenheiser Collection of John Bunyan and The Ewelme Collection of Robert Bridges; notable works include first editions of works by Jane Austen, and Alfred Tennyson as well as publications from the Hogarth Press, among them the first edition of Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse.
- Robert J. Wickenheiser Collection of John Bunyan.The Wickenheiser Collection includes over 900 separate editions of The Pilgrim’s Progress as well as early editions of many of Bunyan’s other works.
- The Left Book Club collection
- Scottish Literature Collections
- The Sir Walter Scott Collection