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J. Mitchell Reames (1920-1987)
Papers, c. 1907-1990

Volume: 12.5 linear feet (10 cartons)
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Academic librarian; president, 1970-1971, South Carolina Library Association.

Scope and Content

The papers of James Mitchell Reames (1920-1987) span the years 1907 through 1990. Included in the papers are correspondence, writings, reports, newsclippings, scrapbooks, and audio tapes. Units of material in the collection reveal Reames's dedication to librarianship and Methodism in South Carolina, and the collection focuses principally upon these two lifelong commitments.

The primary focus of the collection is Reames's professional career as an academic librarian working in and for South Carolina libraries, with the exception of six years spent in Louisiana. Reames's library work experience started when he served as secretary and student assistant to the Furman University librarian during his undergraduate years. It continued at the University of North Carolina, where he earned the B.S. in Library Science in 1942, and at the University of Michigan, where he earned the A.M.L.S. (advanced) degree in Library Science in 1954. After military service in the United States Navy during World War II (1942-1946), Reames embarked upon his career as a college librarian, which lasted from 1946 to 1983 and took him to four institutions--Clemson College, 1946-1952; Northwestern State College of Louisiana, 1952-1958; University of South Carolina, Columbia, 1958-1970; and Marion State College (now Francis Marion College), 1970-1983, where he held the position of Director and in 1971 presided over the dedication of a new college library.

The correspondence series illustrates Reames's relationships with other college librarians and details the history of academic librarianship in South Carolina and the Southeast during the post-World War II years. Chief among these correspondents are J. Isaac Copeland, with whom Reames was first associated at Furman and later at the University of North Carolina; John Goodman, of Clemson; Alfred H. Rawlinson, of the University of South Carolina; and Guy R. Lyle, of Emory University. Large units of material attest to his membership in such professional organizations as the American Library Association, the Association of Southeastern Research Librarians, and the South Carolina Library Association, which he twice served as president. The collection also shows the extent of his participation as consultant in the work of evaluation committees sent out by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Also present is a series of letters relating to Furman University. Primary among the correspondents are the following individuals: Bennette E. Geer, who served as president of Furman University, 1933-1938; Herbert K. Gezork, the German-born professor who was exiled for his faith and then in 1938 was dismissed from his position as assistant professor of Religious Education at Furman; Albert S. Berghauser (1881-1962), a professor of German with whom Reames corresponded for twenty-five years; and Edwin McNeill Poteat, to whom Reames wrote out of his concern for academic freedom and the retention of non-Baptist members of the teaching faculty at his alma mater. Included also in the correspondence series are specimen letters circulated among members of the "Caboose Club"-- Reames, Rhett Jackson, Eben Taylor, Harris Parker, and Larry Jackson.

Reflected in many of the topical series files is Reames's dedication as a layman in the Methodist Church. Reames became a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, when he joined McLeod's Chapel, Rembert, S.C., in 1934. He was later active in the Trenholm Road United Methodist Church, Columbia, and the Central United Methodist Church, Florence, serving variously on local official boards and commissions and as steward, trustee, teacher, church school superintendent, and certified lay speaker. A series of letters from three of Reames's South Carolina Methodist contemporaries, the Rev. J. Claude Evans, Rhett Jackson, and the Rev. Eben Taylor, illustrate the close association of concerned churchmen consulting one another on what they perceived to be the crises of the day facing the Methodist Church. A sizable unit of material documents Reames's tenure on the board of trustees of Methodist-related Claflin College, Orangeburg, from 1973 to 1987. The topical series also reveals his ties with such entities as the Alston Wilkes Society, the Christian Action Council, and the Columbia School for the Laity and provides biographical information of Reames's cousin, journalist Weldon James, who made headlines when he was involved in the Panay incident in China in 1937.

Additionally, the collection contains papers relating to the Reames and James families, as well as reference materials on the history of local places and persons in Sumter County, S.C. One item of particular interest is the audit of the records of the Sumter County Permanent Road Commission for the period from 1921 to 1927, and there are studies on the community of Stateburg, the High Hills Baptist Church, Salem Black River Presbyterian Church, and African-American Congressman George Washington Murray.

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1920 Aug 31Born Rembert, S.C., son of James A. and Carrie James Reames
1941 Jun 2 Graduated, cum laude, Furman University, B.A. in English
1942 Jun Graduated University of North Carolina, B.S. in Library
1942-1946 Served in U.S. Navy
1946-1952 Reference Librarian, Clemson College, Clemson, S.C.
1948 Jul 24 Married Mary Beall Hall
1949 President, South Carolina Library Association
1952 Mar 7 Son, James Alan Reames, born
1952-1958 Associate Librarian, Northwestern State College of Louisiana, Natchitoches, La.
1954 Aug 14 Graduated University of Michigan, A.M.L.S.
1958-1970 Director, Undergraduate Library, University of South Carolina
1963-1987 Member of Alston Wilkes Society
1970-1971 President, South Carolina Library Association Governor's Mansion and Lace House Commission
1970-1983 Director of Library, Francis Marion College, Florence, S.C.
1971 Nov 12 Dedication of James A. Rogers Library, Francis Marion College
1974-1987 Trustee, Claflin College, Orangeburg, S.C
1982 Received Distinguished Service Award from Francis Marion College Received "Christian Action Award" from Christian Action Council
1983 Jul 1 Retired
1983 Oct 14 Received Distinguished Service Award from South Carolina State Library
1987 Aug 28 Died

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Description of series

Box 1 Biographical, 1920-1987 and undated
Including awards and membership certificates, diplomas, academic transcripts, newspaper clippings, and resumes.
Boxes 1-3Correspondence, 1938-1987 and undated
Consisting chiefly of personal correspondence documenting J. Mitchell Reames's career as an academic librarian and churchman. Includes letters circulated among members of the "Caboose Club." Correspondents represented include Albert S. Berghauser, A. McKay Brabham, Jr., James F. Byrnes, Hodding Carter, J. Isaac Copeland, James McBride Dabbs, Cyrus B. Dawsey, W.J. Bryan Dorn, Ernest A. Finney, Jr., John Goodman, Frank P. Graham, Larry A. Jackson, Rhett Jackson, Weldon James, Ernest F. Hollings, Earle E. Morris, Jr., Jack Morris, Edwin McNeill Poteat, Robert Franklin Poole, Alfred Rawlinson, R. Wright Spears, Eben Taylor, and Estellene P. Walker.
Box 4Education, 1938-1954
School records, grade reports, notes, and student papers relating to Reames's studies as an undergraduate at Furman and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and graduate student at the University of Michigan.
Boxes 5-6Professional Career, 1939-1986 and undated
Includes materials documenting Reames's career as an academic librarian at Clemson College, Clemson, S.C., 1946-1952; Northwestern State College of Louisiana, Natchitoches, La., 1952-1958; University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C., 1958-1970; and Francis Marion College, Florence, S.C., 1970-1983. Also included are items pertaining to his professional memberships in such organizations as the American Library Association, Association of Southeastern Research Librarians, and South Carolina Library Association. Includes files gathered in his work as a consultant with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the College of Charleston. Copies of speeches and published and unpublished writings complete this series.
Boxes 7-10Topical Files, 1921-1990 and undated
Includes materials documenting Reames's interest and involvement in religious, social, and political issues. Two major topics represented are Claflin College, with which Reames was affiliated as a member of the Board of Trustees, and religion. Reames joined the Methodist Church as a teenager and continued that affiliation until his death. These files document Reames's active role in the Trenholm Road United Methodist Church, Columbia, S.C., and the Central United Methodist Church, Florence, S.C. Other topical files of interest include: Christian Action Council, the history of Sumter County, Hodding Carter, and journalist Weldon James.
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Contents List

Box 1............................Folders 1-140
	Biographical Information (see also oversize folder)
		Awards and Membership Certificates, 8 Sep 1920-9 Sep 1987
		Composition Book, First Grade, 1927
		Diplomas and Transcripts, 2 Jun 1941-14 Aug 1954
		Newspaper Articles, 31 Apr 1941-25 Jul 1985, n.d.
		Resumes, 19 Feb 1942-26 Oct 1985

		20 Mar 1938-9 May 1952

Box 2............................Folders 141-241
		11 May 1952-16 Dec 1960

Box 3............................Folders 242-386	
		22 Jan 1961-18 Jun 1973

Box 4............................Folders 387-530	
		19 Jun 1973-10 Aug 1987, n.d.	
		Furman University, Greenville, SC
		University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, 19 Oct 1929-7 Jun 1966, n.d.
		University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Box 5............................Folders 531-650 Professional Career Librarian Clemson College, Clemson, SC, 1946-1952 Northwestern State College of Louisiana, Natchitoches, LA, 1952-1958 University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, 1958-1970 Annual Reports Director of Libraries, 1967 McKissick Memorial Library, 1956-1957 Undergraduate Library, 1959-1969 Ashmore, Harry S., Address, 4 Mar 1968 Correspondence, 21 Feb 1957-23 Apr 1970, n.d. Francis Marion College, Florence, SC, 1970-1983 Correspondence, 6 Jan 1970-12 Apr 1989, n.d. Dedication of J.A. Rogers Library, 14 Nov 1971 Library Handbook, 1973-1974, n.d. Library Status Report, 3 Apr 1972 Newspaper Articles, 9 Jan 1970-25 Jul 1983 Memberships American Library Association, 7 May 1942-Jun 1957 Association of College and Reference Librarians, 1 Jul 1947-27 Jun 1958 Association of Southeastern Research Librarians, Mar 1965-7 Nov 1966 Louisiana Library Association, 15 Dec 1952-6 Aug 1957 Box 6............................Folders 651-759 South Carolina Library Association, 6 Nov 1942-26 May 1973, n.d. Southeastern Librarian, Editorial Board, 25 Feb 1961-8 Mar 1963 Southwestern Library Association, May 1952-Sep 1958, n.d. Consultant College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, 10 Aug 1983-30 Aug 1984, n.d. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Catawaba College, Salisbury, NC, 23 Nov 1983-19 Apr 1984 Christopher Newport College, Newport News, VA, 31 Oct 1985-16 May 1986 Delta State University, Cleveland, MS, 15 Feb-18 Apr 1984 Incarnate Word College, San Antonio, TX, 1 Jun 1984-22 Feb 1985 Montreat-Anderson College, Montreat, NC, 26 Feb-24 Apr 1986 Troy State University, Dothan/Ft. Rucker, AL, 18 Oct 1984-22 May 1985 Troy State University, Montgomery, AL, 25 Jan 1983-12 Jan 1984 University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, 26 Oct 1985-24 Jun 1987, n.d. Wingate College, Wingate, NC, 10 Oct-2 Nov 1984 Speeches, 1939-5 Oct 1982, n.d. Writings, 15 Dec 1946- 26 May 1973, n.d. Topical Files Carter, Hodding, 30 Nov 1953-18 Apr 1972, n.d. Carter, Jimmy, Presidential Inauguration, 20 Jan-21 Jul 1977 Box 7............................Folders 760-849 Topical Files (continued) Claflin College, Orangeburg, SC Alumni Association: Constitution and By-laws, 25 April 1981-28 Jan 1984 Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry, 9 Nov 1985-15 Jan 1987 Board of Trustees Handbook, n.d. Minutes, 1973-1987 Reports Business Manager, ca. 1984 Comparative Financial Summary, 24 Feb 1986-24 Feb 1987 Development Program and Fund Raising, 1985-1990 Development Study, 1985 Faculty Representative, 3 Apr 1987 Fair Share Goals Anderson District, 30 Sep 1980 Hartsville District, 30 Apr 1982 Financial Aid, Fall 1986 Founders Day, 1986 Long Range Planning, ca. 1983 Presidents, 1982-1987 Short Range and Long Range Planning, ca. 1985 Brochures, 1985-1987, n.d. By-Laws, ca. 1987 College Directory: Administration, Trustee, Faculty, and Staff, 1985-1986 Commencement, 1983, 1985 Commission on Black Colleges, 6-8 May 1986 Committee of Southern Churches, 26 Jan 1983 Correspondence, 1970-1987, n.d.
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Box 8............................Folders 850-979 Topical Files (continued) Claflin College, Orangeburg, SC (continued) Financial Statements, audited and unaudited, 1983-1987 Founders Day/Parents Day, 1975-1983 Ground Breaking: Temporary Women's Residence, 17 Jan 1986 Honorary Degrees Policy, 1968-1987 Recipient: Bennie Thompson Newspaper Articles, 1973-1987 Presidential Inauguration: Dr. Oscar A. Rogers, Jr., 2 Dec 1984 Proposal for Lilly Endowment, 1986-1987 South Carolina Conference, United Methodist Church report, 1 May 1977 Stephenson, H.P., 3 Dec 1982-30 Oct 1985 Christian Action Council Correspondence, 10 May 1962-Jul 1986, n.d. Newsletters Comments Ecumenical Trends Legislative Update Witness Conference on Racial Revolution, Mar 1966-31 Mar 1968 Dabbs, James McBride, 2 Aug 1944-18 Nov 1971 Gezork, Herbert, Andover Theological School, 23 Jul 1938-16 Nov 1946, n.d. Governor's Mansion Committee, 30 Jan 1970-10 Nov 1976, n.d. Graham, Frank Porter, 11 Nov 1931-18 Apr 1972, n.d. James, Weldon, 13 Dec 1937-23 Oct 1985, n.d. Johnson, Eric, "The Unexplored Continent," 15 Jun 1946 Murray, George Washington, n.d. Newspaper Articles Library Related, Apr 1940-14 Jan 1988, n.d. Miscellaneous, 11 Oct 1937-20 Apr 1987, n.d. Political, 13 Oct 1944-5 May 1985, n.d. Religion, Apr 1946- 12 Jun 1986, n.d. North Louisiana Historical Society, 10 Jan 1958-Aug 1963 Oklahoma A & M Library Dedication, 9 May 1953 Pee Dee Heritage Center, 3 Aug 1982-Mar 1987, n.d. Race Relations, 26 Jul 1944-4 Mar 1970, n.d. Reames, James A., 24 Sep 1945-12 Jan 1967, n.d. Religion Board of Christian Social Concerns, 1967 Central United Methodist Church, Florence, SC, 9 Dec 1970-27 Aug 1984, n.d. Box 9............................Folders 980-1050 Topical Files (continued) Religion (continued) Central United Methodist Church, Florence, SC (continued) Notes, 11 Sep 1937-1938 Prayers, 10 Jul 1947-14 May 1983, n.d. Religious Emphasis Week, USC, 4 Feb 1962-9 Feb 1966 Sermons Douglas, Carl H., Jr., 20 Jul-28 Sep 1969 Eutsler, R. Kern, n.d. Evans, J. Claude, 1951-24 Jun 1979, n.d. Fosdick, Harry Emerson, 1 Oct-31 Dec 1939 Littell, Franklin H., 16 Apr 1963, n.d. Miscellaneous, 16 Jul 1939-2 Jun 1968, n.d. Parker, Harris H., Dec 1969-22 Nov 1975, n.d. Pfeiffer, Charles G., 1968, n.d. Rice, J. Sherrard, 14 May 1961-7 Jan 1963, n.d. Trenholm Road Methodist Church, Columbia, SC, 11 Dec 1961-17 Jan 1971, n.d. United Methodist Church Commission on Minimum Salary, 19 Sep-30 Oct 1968 Laymen and Lay Speaking, 29 Sep 1947-13 Mar 1978, n.d. Methodist Student Spring Retreat, 26-27 Apr 1941 South Carolina Annual Conference, 1 Apr 1975-21 Jan 1979 Richardson, Richard Shriver, Sargent, Address at USC, 29 May 1965 South Carolina Historical Society, 28 Feb 1948-15 Dec 1987, n.d. Stateburg, 16 Mar 1947-1967, n.d. Sumter County Friends of Sumter County Library, 30 Oct 1980-Summer 1985, n.d. High Hills Baptist Church Box 10............................Folders 1051-1081 Topical Files (continued) Sumter County (continued) Sumter County Historical Society, 6 Jun 1952-10 Jun 1987, n.d. James Family Log Cabin McLeod's Chapel Methodist Church, 15 Apr 1945- 28 Jun 1987, n.d. Permanent Road Commission, Audit, 25 Nov 1921-15 Sep 1927 Rembert Church Cemetery, 18 Apr 1973-6 Aug 1954 St. Mark's Parish (Episcopal), 1944 Salem Black River Presbyterian Church, 1944 Superstitions Valentine, Paul, 17 Apr 1961-27 Mar 1975, n.d. Cassette Recordings (2) Erskine College Library Dedication, 26-27 May 1973 Reames's speech at South Carolina Library Association, 14 Oct 1978 Distinguished Service Award, South Carolina State Library Magnetic tape, Dedication of James A. Rogers Library, 14 Nov 1971 Reames's scrapbooks (3)

Administrative Notes