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University Libraries

Thomas Cooper Society

Founded in 1990, the Thomas Cooper Society is an important partnership between the University of South Carolina Libraries and the greater community, bringing people together with remarkable collections that teach and inspire.

The society focuses on promoting access to materials in the Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections in the Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library — one of the finest in the Southeast.

Throughout the year, the society sponsors an array of free public lectures, seminars, exhibitions, open gallery events and publications. Gatherings highlight various collections and often include popular authors and speakers. The society and the University Libraries also sponsor the Thomas Cooper Medal, which is presented in recognition of distinction in the arts and sciences.

The society also works with area schools to provide students and teachers access to library materials; provides resources for the acquisition of research materials; and, supports students working in the Irvin Department.


Membership Levels and Benefits


  • Up to two borrowing cards
  • Invitations to exhibitions, events and programs, including the Thomas Cooper Society Dinner


The same benefits as Readers, plus:

  • University Libraries’ Magazine
  • A special donor reception


The same benefits as Patrons, plus:

  • Invitations to VIP Vault tours
  • DVDs of special programs

Ex Libris

The same benefits as Collectors, plus:

  • University South Caroliniana Society membership
  • Ex Libris Society membership
  • Publications of the University South Caroliniana Society
  • Invitations to the University South Caroliniana Society Luncheon and the Ex Libris Society Dinner


Becoming a Member

For information on becoming a member, you can contact Elizabeth Sudduth at


Question, comment or suggestion?

Please contact Elizabeth Sudduth at