The first endowment received by the Thomas Cooper Library after the opening of the new building in 1975 was a generous bequest from the estate of John Shaw Billings (1891–1975), the first managing editor of Life magazine. A descendant of Senator James Henry Hammond, who once lived at "Redcliffe," his ancestor's Savannah River home, Billings maintained close ties with South Carolina throughout his life. His stature in the journalistic and literary worlds is well recognized.
Billings' own papers, as well as those of Senator Hammond, were given to the South Caroliniana Library. His books, furniture from his personal library, and other memorabelia were donated to the Thomas Cooper Library, along with a large endowment.
Funds generated by the John Shaw Billings Library Endowment have provided for the acquisition of significant materials for the Thomas Cooper Library, and will continue to do so as they become available. For more information, please contact us.
Send comments to Carroll Peters.