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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.

COVID-19 and the Hollings Library

The Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27, 2020.

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19), access to South Carolina Political Collections holdings will be by appointment only. The Smith Reading Room will have limited hours, from 11 am – 1 pm, and all users will be required to register and request items in advance. Given the fluid and evolving nature of the situation, we reserve the right to change the access policy, and users must contact us to confirm their visit with SCPC.

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

The Hollings Library is a research and study facility. The services provided for the University community and public include access to our historic collections, copying, tours, and special library events. It is expected that no patron will impinge on the rights of other patrons. The rules outlined in this form ensure the best and most fair use of the Library for all patrons. Please report any violations to the reference staff. Read policy.

 Complete the Imaging Services Form [pdf] to request photocopy or digital imaging services.

  • 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.

SCPC reserves the right, at its discretion and without explanation, to set special prices on material involving unusual difficulty. For more information, please see our Photography and Digital Imaging Services Policy. Fees are slightly higher for offsite requests requiring staff to perform research and locate material to be duplicated.

Fee Schedule [pdf]

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.

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19), access to SCPC’s collections will be by appointment only. The Smith Reading Room will have limited hours, from 11 am – 1 pm, and all users will be required to register and request items in advance.  Given the fluid and evolving nature of the situation, we reserve the right to change the access policy, and users must contact us to confirm their visit with SCPC

Once arrangements have been made, a member of the department will plan to meet with the researcher at the front of Thomas Cooper Library on the appointed day and time of the researcher’s visit.  

Researchers need to register for the Smith Reading Room prior to their first visit during the academic year. Be sure to bring a photo ID (academic identification, driver’s license, or passport).

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 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. Given the safety precautions under COVID-19, items must be used within a single visit, afterward items will be quarantined for 3 days to avoid any potential transmission.  Researchers not connected with the university, or traveling from a distance, are asked to contact the department ahead of their visit to ensure that the needed items and relevant staff help is available when they arrive. Researchers can request materials in advance by emailing 

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19), SCPC will be suspending all in person classroom activities. Faculty and instructors who wish to develop a distance education option for their courses to have digital access to special collections material are encouraged to contact Ann Abney:

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.