Manuscripts and memorabilia from the distant and recent past move into the future with the opening of the Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library at the University of South Carolina. The library, which is adjoined to the university’s Thomas Cooper Library, features three distinct departments: political collections, rare books and special collections, and digital collections. USC Dean of Libraries, Thomas McNally says the library serves as an open window of the past for students and the public to visit and enjoy. McNally says the political collections provide a reservoir of writings and exhibits for persons doing scholarly study and for those who are simply fascinated by political history, especially the colorful political history of South Carolina.
The library will be formally dedicated on Friday, July 23. Vice President Joe Biden will be the featured speaker. A number of dignitaries and elected officials will be in attendance, including former South Carolina Governor and U.S. Senator Ernest Hollings and U.S. Congressman James Clyburn.
McNally says he already has a favorite manuscript he often visits in the special collections and rare books department. It’s an illuminated manuscript of the History of the World circa 1400, that was produced by monks in the Latin language. It’s a thousand pages long. The pages are made of vellum, produced from animal skin.
Hollings was instrumental in securing the $14 million in federal funds for the 50,000 square foot facility. The senator gave his personal papers to the university in 1989.