Current Exhibits

For more information contact Rare Books & Special Collections at 803-777-3847 or scottp@mailbox.sc.edu 

Mezzanine Exhibit Gallery
DOWN TO THE SEAS: JOHN MASEFIELD (1878-1967)
an exhibition from the G. Ross Roy Collection of John Masefield
through March 8 2005

John Masefield (1878-1967), now best known for his sea poems Salt-Water Ballads and his narrative poem The Everlasting Mercy, was a dominant figure in early 20th century British poetry, and poet laureate from 1930 till his death. This is the first exhibition from Thomas Cooper Library’s G. Ross Roy Collection of John Masefield, donated by Professor Roy in 1999. 

The exhibition is arranged chronologically, from Masefield’s boyhood as a merchant navy cadet and as an apprentice on a sailing clipper, through his late teens in America, working in a Yonkers carpet factory, his friendship with Yeats and others in London in the late 1890's, his early success as a professional writer, the revolutionary impact of his poetry just before World War I, his wartime reporting and lecture tours in America, and the long decades of productivity and public recognition that followed. 

Highlights of the exhibition include a copy in Masefield’s own hand of his best-known poem, “Sea Fever” (“I must go down to the seas again”), an apparently-unpublished poem from 1924 on the five names of sheep, and a number of inscribed copies in which Masefield painted small water-colour sketches of sailing ships or other scenes. In the 1950's and 1960's, Masefield corresponded regularly with the musician Audrey Napier-Smith (“Reyna”), and he added these sketches to books that he presented to her for birthdays and other similar occasions. When a group of these was offered for sale in 2001, the library purchased one portion, and Dr. Roy purchased and subsequently donated the remainder. This exhibition can only include selected items from the G. Ross Roy Masefield Collection, which now totals well over 300 items. 

Main Floor Lobby
BRIGGS VS. ELLIOTT AND INTEGRATION IN SOUTH CAROLINA
an exhibit from South Caroliniana Library
curated by Dr. Bobby Donaldson and students
through Feb. 2005

Graniteville Room
RALPH WALDO EMERSON
selected highlights from the Joel Myerson Collection
welcomg the 2005 Comparative Literature Conference: Thinking on the Boundaries
February 10-12 2005

At Medford Library, USC Lancaster
PRINTING & THE RENAISSANCE WORLD
early manuscripts and books from Thomas Cooper Library
through February 2005

At Sumter County Museum & Anderson Library, USC Sumter:
ROBERT BURNS IN HIS TIME & AFTER
selected highlights from the G. Ross Roy Collection, in association with the Sumter Celtic Heritage Festival
February 17-March 23 2005

Coming exhibitions include:
HENRY WILLIAM RAVENEL (1814-1887), SOUTH CAROLINA BOTANIST

a collaborative exhibition from the Ravenel Herbarium and related collections
mounted by Thomas Cooper Library, South Caroliniana Library, and the Department of Biological Sciences
opening March 17 2005 in the Mezzanine Exhibition Gallery

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