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Department of History

Guide to Graduate Life

A Useful Guide to Life in the USC History Department

The following helpful hints will make your transition to life here at the University of South Carolina more comfortable, and they'll help you avoid the plaintive cry of "I never knew that!" Click here for a map of the USC campus

Computer Lab

The History Department has its own computer lab for graduate student use, located in Gambrell 217. You can obtain the passcode from the History Department Office. This computer lab has a printer and Windows and Macintosh computers outfitted with Microsoft Word.

Graduate Lounge

The graduate student lounge is in Gambrell 248B. You can obtain the passcode from the History Department Office. Every graduate student has a mailbox, located in this room. You should check your mailbox regularly. There is also a refrigerator and a bulletin board for announcements.

Mailing Lists

The main form of departmental communication is two email listserves, GradHist and ApplHist. GradHist is for all graduate students, regardless of area of specialization. To subscribe to GradHist, send the following command in the body of an email to 

subscribe gradhist Your_Name 

Replace "Your_Name" with your actual name.

To send a message to this list, use the address . Note that this message will go to all graduate students, so make sure that you intend to send it to everyone before you hit "send." 

Searchable archives of this list are available at:   Searchable Archives

Members of the Public History program should also subscribe to a second list, ApplHist. To subscribe to ApplHist, send the following command in the body of an email to : 

subscribe applhist Your_Name 

Replace "Your_Name" with your actual name. 

To send a message to this list, use the address . 

This website includes a wide range of scholarly listservs on diverse topics. These lists are a good source of information on upcoming conferences and also a good place to inquire for historical questions after you have exhausted other resources.


Unless you are willing to purchase a pass for one of the parking lots, there are few guaranteed parking spaces near Gambrell Hall or the Thomas Cooper Library. As a graduate student, you are entitled to purchase a "GS" parking sticker from the university. This sticker, displayed in the rear window of your vehicle, allows you to park in certain lots (including the lot on Greene street behind Gambrell Hall) beginning at 4 pm Monday-Friday. The lot is open to all vehicles after 5 pm. For more information on parking at the University, visit Vehicle Management and Parking Services at:   Vehicle Management and Parking Services

The Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority has several buses that pass by the University of South Carolina. For route information, contact the CMRTA at 255-7133.


There are several places to make copies on or near campus. In the basement of Gambrell Hall, photocopies may be made for 5 cents per page. In the Thomas Cooper Library, Photocopiers are located on the main floor, the fourth floor, and on the mezzanine. Copies are 10 cents per page, unless one purchases a copy card from the machine on the main floor to the left of the copiers. Placing $20 on a copy card reduces the price to 8 cents per page as of Summer 2003 (this feature may change soon when the Library transitions all copy cards to the Carolina Card--check with Library personnel).

A Few Things about the Thomas Cooper Library


The majority of the floors in the library are located underground. Thus, when you walk into the building, you walk in on the main floor, one floor down is the 5th floor, the next floor down is the 4th floor, and so on. The topmost floor of the library is called the mezzanine. 

USCAN The library's catalog is called USCAN and is accessible on the internet at the following address:   USCAN

Interlibrary Loan

If you are interested in using materials that are not in the University's holdings, you can request them via interlibrary loan. To do so, you must first register with the interlibrary loan department at the following webpage:   InterLibrary Loan

In the interests of getting your materials quickly, you should provide the interlibrary loan department with all the information that they request, including a complete citation. Note that if an item is not in Thomas Cooper but is still on the Columbia campus (for instance, a book located in the Law Library or the Business Library), you cannot make an ILL request but must go to that library to use the item. Always check USCAN before placing a request.


Thomas Cooper Library makes study carrels available to graduate students for no fee. These carrels must be renewed on a term-by-term basis. Books may be checked out to a carrel and kept there indefinitely, although they are subject to recall. If you are interested in a study carrel, speak to a staff person at the circulation desk.


Because the current holdings of the library exceed the capacity of the shelves, the library is in the process of moving materials out to an annex. These materials are still available, but they must be requested from the annex at the following webpage:   Library Annex

Materials that are at the annex are still listed in USCAN. In order to locate these materials, it may be useful to "virtually" browse the shelves of the library by doing a call number search in USCAN.

Phi Alpha Theta

Phi Alpha Theta is a national history honors organization. USC is proud to have had a chapter for over 30 years. The organization focuses on helping students succeed in their academic career and help to move into a professional career through workshops, seminars, networking with professionals, etc. It also offers opportunities to visit local historical sites and get behind-the-scenes tours. If you were previously a member at another institution, transferring your membership is easy. To get more information, contact Lindsay Hall at

A Few Things about Moving To Columbia

General information

General information about South Carolina can be found on the following website: General Information

Finding a Place to Live

The University of South Carolina maintains a webpage where you can search for off-campus housing: You may also want to try the advertisements in the State Newspaper, which is Columbia's daily newspaper: 

For property close to USC, try searching for "Downtown," "Shandon," "Five Points," or "USC."

Car registration

For information on registering your car in South Carolina, visit the Department of Motor Vehicles at: Department of Motor Vehicles

The process is long and painful. You have been warned.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.