Two Hundred Years of USC's Libraries

19th Century: Starting a College Library | Some Antebellum Treasures | Intellectual Ambitions | A Working Library | The Later 19th Century

20th Century: The Earlier 20th Century | The Recognition of Heritage | The Millionth Volume | Rare Books and Special Collections | Some Recent Gifts & Acquisitions

Foreword | 200 Years of Librarians | Selected References

The Millionth Volume
Walt Whitman, 1819-1892,
Leaves of Grass.
First edition. Brooklyn, NY: n.p., 1855. Original green cloth, gilt.
The gift of Mr. & Mrs. Charles Haltiwanger in memory of James W. Haltiwanger, Sr.
A landmark in the library's growth was reached in 1971, when for the first time holdings exceeded one million volumes. The first edition of Whitman's Leaves of Grass is itself a landmark in American literature, both for its poetry itself, and also for Whitman's combative preface about the nature of a democratic poetry. Whitmanhimself acted as publisher, salesman, publicist and even reviewer for his own volume. As the accompanying brochure explains, this copy belonged to Thomas Rome of the Rome Printing Shop, where it was produced, allegedly with Whitman also helping in the printing.


the start of the second millionThe start of the second million
Eusebius, of Caesarea, Bishop of Caesarea, ca. 260-ca. 340.
Eusebii Caesariesis Episcopi Chronico.
Paris: H. Stephano, 1518. Contemporary blind-tooled calf. Donated by Zeta Beta Tau fraternity.
--The second gift from this landmark occasion was a book from one of the great French Renaissance printers, Henri Estienne, in a contemporary tooled binding with the royal arms of King Henry VIII and his first queen Catherine of Aragon. The book contains manuscript annotations by a 16th-century clergyman, John Standish, referring to the royal couple's subsequent divorce.


Thomas Cooper LibraryThe opening of Thomas Cooper Library 
Almost from its opening, the McKissick Library had proved difficult to operate. The size of the collections to be shelved and the numbers of students wanting study space both increased dramatically. The situation was alleviated by a separate modern undergraduate library, designed by Edward Darrell Stone, which opened in 1959. In 1968, formal planning began, in 1968, for a new main library building, designed as a seven-storey expansion of the undergraduate building, to preserve the front portion of Stone's award-winning design. At a total cost of $9.5 million (below the original budget), the new building was opened in 1975 and named for Thomas Cooper, second president of South Carolina College. Along with 45 miles of shelving, space for 1.5 million volumes, and seating capacity for 2,531 readers, it also provided such up-to-date services as 35 microform reading stations with targeted reading lamps and a computerized light-scan borrowing system, the first in any American library.
Pictured examining a model of the project are (left to right) William H. Patterson, provost and later president of the University; Kenneth Toombs, Director of Libraries, 1967-1988; President Jones; and Harold "Hal" Brunton, vice-president of business affairs. Also displayed are brochures from the library's formal dedication in December 8th, 1976, and from the opening of the new library's elegantly furnished rare book room, the Graniteville Room.


Henry Hammond's A Letter of ResolutionThe John Shaw Billings Endowment 
Henry Hammond, A letter of resolution to six quaeres of present use in the Church of England.
London: J. Flesher, 1653.
Henry Luce's The Ethical Problems Facing AmericaShown with: Henry R. Luce, The Ethical Problems Facing America.N.p.: n.p., 1946. Specially bound copy presented to Billings by the author
--John Shaw Billings (1898-1975), the first managing editor of Henry Luce's Life magazine, was not himself a USC graduate but had its library in his blood. His family had included the very first librarian and later director of the New York Public Library, Elisha Hammond, and his grandfather, the assistant surgeon-general of the U.S., had donated medical reports to South Carolina College in 1874. In addition to donations of Hammond family papers, books from the library of James Henry Hammond (1807-1864), and his own important diaries, Billings set up the library's first major endowment, making possible new and significant purchases.


Liber ChronicarumThe first great illustrated book 
Schedel, Hartmann, 1440-1514.
Liber chronicarum.
Nuremberg: Anton Koberger, 12 July 1493. 17th century vellum, rebacked. Book label of Arthur Haddaway. Purchased from the John Shaw Billings Endowment.
--Among the Billings Endowment purchases have been some of the great early books previously lacking in the original College collections. Shown here from the first great illustrated book, a history of the world from the creation, is one of the city views, the double-page spread representing Argentina, or Strasbourg.


a Renaissance gardenA Renaissance Garden from the Richard Wingate Lloyd Collection 
Passe, Crispijn van de, 1593 or 4-1667.
A garden of flowers, wherein very lively is contained a true and perfect discription of al the flowers contained in these foure followinge bookes. 
Utrecht: Salomon de Roy for Crispian de Passe, 1615. Full green crushed morocco by Riviere.
--this early Dutch flower book, shown here in the rarer printing with English text, is one of an extensive collection of botanical books formed by Mr. Lloyd's mother Mary Helen Wingate Lloyd, and donated to the library in his memory in 1982, by his widow Mrs. Margaret Lloyd.


The Boston Masacre of 1770The Boston Massacre of 1770, from the Alfred Chapin Rogers Collection 
John Hodgson,
The trial of William Wemms, James Hartegan, William M'Cauley, Hugh White, Matthew Killroy, William Warren, John Carrol, and Hugh Montgomery, soldiers in His Majesty's 29th Regiment of Foot, for the murder of Crispus Attucks, Samuel Gray, Samuel Maverick, James Caldwell, and Patrick Carr, on Monday evening, the 5th of March, 1770 . . . Taken in shorthand. Boston: J. Fleeming, 1770. Calf binding with spine lettered in gold.
--The Alfred Chapin Rogers Collection, donated in two phases by Charles French and Mrs. Elizabeth Pyne, brought to the library important works in several fields, including American history and French literature. This item documents a turning-point in British-American relations when British soldiers in Boston opened fire on a riotous crowd, leaving five dead and eight more wounded.


Kelton's A New Manual of the BayonetThe Civil War, from the Francis A. Lord and Robert Chamberlain Collections
Kelton, John Cunningham, 1828-1893.
A new manual of the bayonet: for the army and militia of the United States. New York: D. Van Nostrand, 1861. Original cloth, gilt. Chamberlain Collection.
Scott's Infantry TacticsShown with Scott, Winfield, 1786-1866
Infantry tactics: or, Rules for the exercise and manoeuvres of the United States' Infantry. New ed. New York: Harper, 1861. Quarter calf, gilt, marbled boards.Lord Collection.
--Among important new research holdings in the 1970's were a large Civil War collection centered on northern regimental histories, formed by Prof. Francis A. Lord, and a more general but complementary collection of military history, donated by Dr. Robert W. Chamberlain. Recently, the University received a large residuary bequest from Dr. Chamberlain, which has been set aside as an endowment for new information resources and the support of undergraduate library needs.


Juvenile libraryHistorical Children's Literature in Thomas Cooper
Juvenile library: containing The adventures of Valentine and Orson, Ali Baba, or, The forty thieves, Bruce's Travels in Abyssinia, and Mother Bunch's Fairy tales.
New-York: S. King, 1825. Contemporary quarter roan. Alfred Chapin Rogers Collection.
Up in the CloudsShown with R.M.Ballantyne, 1825-1894,
Up in the Clouds. London: Nisbet [1870]. Original pictorial cloth.
In the nature of things, older college libraries collected very children's literature, and most books that children actually liked got read to pieces. These delightful little books, with an 1825 handcolored illustration for Ali Baba and a well-preseved late Victorian binding, stand in for the many treasures in Thomas Cooper Library's historical children's literature collection, centered around a major group of 19th century material acquired from the children's literature scholar Ruth Baldwin, and since complemented by several other gift collections.

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