Skip to Content

University Libraries

  • A 1940s view from across Gervais Street of the South Carolina State House in Columbia with cars parked in front of it

South Carolina Political Collections

South Carolina Political Collections supports the study of contemporary government and society by collecting and making available archival materials and oral histories documenting South Carolina government and political activities at the local, state, and national levels, primarily since World War II, and by providing relevant programming for scholars, students and the public.


South Carolina Political Collections holdings can be accessed by appointment only. For the spring semester, the Smith Reading Room will have regular hours, from 10 am – 3 pm, and all users are required to register and request items in advance. Users must contact us to confirm their visit with SCPC or to make any special requests.

For more information, please see our Policies and Procedures at the bottom of this page.

For remote research assistance or to plan a future visit, please contact 


Access Our Collections

There are several ways to access materials in our collections. The tools below can help you find what you're looking for. Please note that any collection marked as "closed" is not available for research until its arrangement and description have been completed.



Policies and Procedures

Access to SCPC’s collections will be by appointment only. For the spring semester the Smith Reading Room will have regular hours, from 10 am – 3 pm, and all users will be required to register and request items in advance.  We reserve the right to change the access policy, and users must contact us to confirm their visit with SCPC.

On the appointed day and time of the arranged visit, the researcher will check in with the Visitor Registration desk at the front of Thomas Cooper Library and from there will be directed to the Hollings Library.  

Researchers need to register online prior to their first visit during the academic year. Be sure to bring a photo ID (academic identification, driver’s license, or passport) with you when you visit.

Researchers and other visitors should also be aware of the general policies of the Hollings Library, including the prohibition on food and drink. Only pencils, paper, laptops and cameras are allowed in the Smith Reading Room. Self-service lockers are available for securely storing coats, purses, bags and other personal items.

Researchers must request items in advance of arrival. Items can be requested by emailing the department in advance of the visit. Items will then be on hold in the Smith Reading Room for supervised use. Descriptions of items are available on the SCPC website and through ArchivesSpace finding aids. Researchers can request materials in advance by emailing 

SCPC provides photocopying, scanning and other digitizing services for patrons. Review our fees and conditions before making your request. We will send you an email with your purchase details and the total amount due. Pay online by selecting South Carolina Political Collections and entering debit or credit card information.

  • Researchers may use personal cameras only after consulting with library staff. Not all material may be photographed.
  • Researchers must be registered and accept the policies on third-party copyright responsibility and on the procedures and charges for permission from the library to use images in publications or any other non-personal use.
  • Use of handheld or other personal scanners is prohibited.
  • Materials which a researcher wishes to photograph must be reviewed by a library staff member. Researchers must adhere to all special instructions on the handling of the materials (e.g. in a requirement to use a book cradle or easel). All photography must be done at a location prescribed by the reading room staff member. The library may refuse requests to photograph certain material, chiefly due to copyright or the physical condition of the original. Some materials, such as those in contemporary literary collections, may require an additional written approval by a relevant literary agency or literary estate.
  • Each image taken must include the USC measuring marker/ownership flag, which will be provided by the staff on approving a photograph request.
  • The use of flash or supplemental lighting is not generally permitted.

The location of materials quoted or referred to in published works should be properly noted. Researchers should use this format for citations:

[Item Description], [Collection Title], South Carolina Political Collections, University of South Carolina.

Footnotes clearly indicating the location of material will help other researchers and archivists.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.