The Honorable Ernest F. Hollings
The Honorable Ernest F. Hollings (b. 1922) has a remarkable record of service as an Army officer during World War II, a member of the South Carolina General Assembly, lieutenant governor, governor and U.S. senator. As governor of the Palmetto State, the Charleston native helped move South Carolina from an agricultural to an industrial economy and laid the groundwork for the peaceful integration of higher education.
A visionary leader, Hollings has focused throughout this long and active career on putting government on a sound financial basis and on economic development that creates opportunities for all. In the U.S. Senate, he became a recognized expert on the federal budget, space exploration, telecommunications, oceans and the environment, nutrition, defense and trade.
His generous support of the University of South Carolina Libraries have contributed to their stature as the only nationally ranked research libraries in South Carolina. Hollings was instrumental in securing $14 million in federal funds to build the Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library. Additional funding came from private donations as well as a $2 million anonymous gift.
The Ernest F. Hollings Collection,
South Carolina Political Collections
The Ernest F. Hollings Collection is part of University Libraries’ South Carolina Political Collections, which document the careers and contributions of many of the state’s political leaders. Since the initial donation in 1989, the Hollings archive has expanded to include about 800,000 pages of paper, audiovisual records and memorabilia that document Hollings’ political campaigns, as well as his service as governor and his 38 years in the U.S. Senate until his retirement in 2005.
Items in the collection include notable letters by and to Hollings, photos, speeches, campaign memorabilia, campaign license plates, nameplates, Hollings’ 1970 book, “The Case Against Hunger,” and a gavel given to him for chairing a budget conference.
Among the most significant treasures is a copy of Hollings’ final address to the General Assembly in January 1963 in which he implored legislators and the public to accept the court-ordered integration of the public schools and the admission of Harvey Gantt to Clemson University.
Collectively, the materials document Hollings’ career in public office, first as a governor of South Carolina and later as a U.S. senator who, from 1966 until his retirement, championed a range of issues that included fair trade, campaign financing, the space program, public education, transportation safety and security, hunger and poverty, oceans and the environment and telecommunications.