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South Carolina: State Resource Guide

Digital Collections

The digital collections of the Library of Congress contain a wide variety of primary source materials related to South Carolina, including books, government documents, manuscripts, maps, motion pictures, photographs, sheet music, and sound recordings. Provided below is a link to the home page for each relevant digital collection along with selected highlights.

Written materials in the Library's digital collections include books, government documents, manuscripts, and sheet music. Examples of written materials related to South Carolina are provided for most of the collections listed below.

Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress

The complete Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress consist of approximately 20,000 documents which include incoming and outgoing correspondence and enclosures, drafts of speeches, and notes and printed material.

A selection of highlights from this collection includes:

African American Perspectives: Materials Selected from the Rare Book Collection

This collection presents a panoramic and eclectic review of African-American history and culture, spanning almost 100 years from the early 19th through the early 20th centuries, with the bulk of the material published between 1875 and 1900.

A selection of highlights from this collection includes:

The Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincolniana

This collection documents the life of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) both through writings by and about Lincoln as well as a large body of publications concerning the issues of the times including slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and related topics. The collection contains more than forty items pertaining to South Carolina.

Selected highlight from this collection:

America Singing: Nineteenth-Century Song Sheets

This collection spans the period from the turn of the nineteenth century to the 1880s, although a majority of the song sheets were published during the height of the craze, from the 1850s to the 1870s.

A selection of highlights from this collection includes:

American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936 to 1940

The collection includes 2,900 documents representing the work of over 300 writers from 24 states. The histories describe the informant's family education, income, occupation, political views, religion, medical needs, diet and miscellaneous observations. Included in the collection are more than 160 titles of mostly first-person accounts of life in South Carolina during the Great Depression.

American Notes: Travels in America, 1750 to 1920

This collection comprises 253 published narratives by Americans and foreign visitors recounting their travels in the colonies and the United States and their observations and opinions about American peoples, places, and society from about 1750 to 1920.

Selected highlight from this collection:

Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936 to 1938

The collection contains more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 black-and-white photographs of former slaves. Browse by location to locate slave narratives from South Carolina.

A selection of highlights from this collection includes:

A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1875

This collection consists of a linked set of published congressional records of the United States of America from the Continental Congress through the 43rd Congress, 1774-1875.

A selection of highlights from this collection includes:

Documents from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, 1774 to 1789

This collection include extracts of the journals of Congress, resolutions, proclamations, committee reports, treaties, and early printed versions of the United States Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

A selection of highlights from this collection includes:

The Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of Congress

The Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of Congress presents the papers of the nineteenth-century African-American abolitionist who escaped from slavery and then risked his own freedom by becoming an outspoken antislavery lecturer, writer, and publisher.

Selected highlight from this collection:

George Washington Papers

This collection consists of approximately 65,000 items (176,000 pages). Correspondence, letterbooks, commonplace books, diaries and journals, reports, notes, financial account books, and military papers accumulated by George Washington from 1741 through 1799 are organized into nine series.

A selection of highlights from this collection includes:

The James Madison Papers, 1723 to 1859

The James Madison Papers from the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress document the life of the man who came to be known as the "Father of the Constitution" through correspondence, personal notes, drafts of letters and legislation, an autobiography, legal and financial documents, and miscellaneous manuscripts.

A selection of highlights from this collection includes:

Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music, ca. 1870 to 1885

This collection consists of over 62,000 pieces of sheet music registered for copyright during the nineteenth century.

A selection of highlights from this collection includes:

Slaves and the Courts, 1740 to 1860

This collection contains just over 100 pamphlets and books published between 1772 and 1889 concerning the difficult and troubling experiences of African and African-American slaves in the American colonies and the United States.

A selection of highlights from this collection includes:

Thomas Jefferson Papers, 1606 to 1827

The complete Thomas Jefferson Papers at the Library of Congress consists of approximately 27,000 documents ranging in date from 1606 to 1827. Correspondence, memoranda, notes, and drafts of documents make up two-thirds of the Papers.

A selection of highlights from this collection includes:

The visual material collections at the Library of Congress contains thousands of images documenting the history of South Carolina. Selected images of South Carolina are provided for each collection listed below. Search on terms such as Beaufort, Charleston, Columbia, etc. to locate additional images.

Baseball Cards

The Benjamin K. Edwards Collection includes 2,100 early baseball cards dating from 1887 to 1914. Distributed in cigarette packs, these cards were the forerunners of modern sports trading cards. They portray such legendary figures of the game as Ty Cobb stealing third base for Detroit, Tris Speaker batting for Boston, and pitcher Cy Young posing in his Cleveland uniform. Although many of the greatest players from the first decades of professional baseball are represented, the collection does not include individual cards for either Honus Wagner or Babe Ruth.

A selection of highlights from this collection includes:

Civil War Glass Negatives and Related Prints

This collection contains 1,118 photographs. Most of the images were made under the supervision of Mathew B. Brady, and include scenes of military personnel, preparations for battle, and battle after-effects. The collection also includes portraits of both Confederate and Union officers, and a selection of enlisted men. The collection includes more than 190 photographs pertaining to South Carolina.

A selection of highlights from this collection includes:

Daguerreotypes

The Library's daguerreotype collection consists of approximately 600 photographs dating from 1839 to 1864. Portrait daguerreotypes produced by the Mathew Brady studio make up the major portion of the collection.

A selection of highlights from this collection includes:

Detroit Publishing Company

This collection of photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company Collection includes over 25,000 glass negatives and transparencies as well as about 300 color photolithograph prints, mostly of the eastern United States. The collection contains more than than 150 images of South Carolina.

Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Black-and-White Negatives

The images in the Farm Security Administration-Office of War Information Collection are among the most famous documentary photographs ever produced. Created by a group of U.S. government photographers, the images show Americans in every part of the nation. The collection contains more than 1,000 black-and-white photographs for South Carolina.

Gottscho-Schleisner Collection

This collection is comprised of over 29,000 photographs primarily of architectural subjects, including interiors and exteriors of homes, stores, offices, factories, historic buildings, and other structures concentrated chiefly in the northeastern United States. The collection contains more than 180 images of South Carolina.

Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey

The Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) collections document achievements in architecture, engineering, and design in the United States through a comprehensive range of building types and engineering technologies. The collection contains more than 1,100 surveys pertaining to South Carolina.

A selection of highlights from this collection includes:

Panoramic Photographs

This collection contains approximately 4,000 images featuring American cityscapes, landscapes, and group portraits. Browse the collection by place to locate more than forty images of South Carolina.

Quilts and Quiltmaking in America, 1978 to 1996

This collection represents a wide range of quiltmaking techniques, from highly traditional to innovative. The quilts pictured exhibit excellent design and technical skill in a variety of styles and materials.

A selection of highlights from this collection includes:

The Library of Congress has custody of the largest and most comprehensive cartographic collection in the world with collections numbering over 5.5 million maps, 80,000 atlases, 6,000 reference works, over 500 globes and globe gores, 3,000 raised relief models, and a large number of cartographic materials in other formats, including over 19,000 CDs/DVDs.

American Revolution and Its Era: Maps and Charts of North America and the West Indies, 1750 to 1789

Most of the items presented here are documented in Maps and Charts of North America and the West Indies, 1750-1789: A Guide to the Collections in the Library of Congress compiled by John R. Sellers and Patricia Molen van Ee in 1981. The bibliography contains approximately 2,000 maps and charts. Over the next several years many of the maps and charts in this bibliography will be added to the online collection each month. This collection contains more than sixty maps of South Carolina.

Selected highlight from this collection:

Cities and Towns

This category includes maps that depict individual buildings to panoramic views of large urban areas. These maps record the evolution of cities illustrating the development and nature of economic activities, educational and religious facilities, parks, street patterns and widths, and transportation systems.

A selection of highlights from this collection includes:

Civil War Maps

This presentation contains approximately 2,240 Civil War maps and charts and 76 atlases and sketchbooks that are held within the Geography and Map Division, 200 maps from the Library of Virginia, and 400 maps from the Virginia Historical Society. This presentation includes more than 130 maps of South Carolina.

A selection of highlights from this collection includes:

Military Battles and Campaigns

This category contains maps showing campaigns of major military conflicts including troop movements, defensive structures and groundworks, roads to and from sites of military engagements, campsites, and local buildings, topography and vegetation. Some of the maps are manuscripts drawn on the field of battle, while others are engraved including some that have manuscript annotations reflecting the history of the battle or campaign. Browse this category by location to locate more than 190 maps of South Carolina.

Panoramic Maps

The panoramic map was a popular cartographic form used to depict U.S. and Canadian cities and towns during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Known also as bird's-eye views, perspective maps, and aero views, panoramic maps are nonphotographic representations of cities portrayed as if viewed from above at an oblique angle.

Selected highlight from this collection:

Rochambeau Map Collection

This collection contains cartographic items used by Jean Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau (1725-1807), when he was commander in chief of the French expeditionary army (1780-82) during the American Revolution. The maps were from Rochambeau's personal collection, cover much of eastern North America, and date from 1717 to 1795. This collection contains four maps of South Carolina.

Sanborn Maps

The Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps Online Checklist provides a searchable database of the fire insurance maps published by the Sanborn Map Company housed in the collections of the Geography and Map Division. The online checklist is based upon the Library's 1981 publication Fire Insurance Maps in the Library of Congress and will be continually updated to reflect new acquisitions. Browse the collection by location to locate more than 130 maps for South Carolina.

A selection of highlights from this collection includes:

Transportation and Communication

These maps document the development and status of transportation and communication systems on the national, state, and local level. Transportation maps can depict canal and river systems, cycling routes , railway lines and systems, roads and road networks, and traffic patterns. Communication maps illustrate the location and distribution of telegraph routes, telephone systems and radio coverage.

A selection of highlights from this collection includes:

The Library oversees one of the largest collections of motion pictures in the world. Acquired primarily through copyright deposit, exchange, gift and purchase, the collection spans the entire history of the cinema. The following moving image collections contain materials related to South Carolina.

America at Work, America at Leisure: Motion Pictures from 1894 to 1915

Work, school, and leisure activities in the United States from 1894 to 1915 are featured in this presentation of 150 motion pictures. Highlights include films of the United States Postal Service from 1903, cattle breeding, fire fighters, ice manufacturing, logging, calisthenic and gymnastic exercises in schools, amusement parks, boxing, expositions, football, parades, swimming, and other sporting events.

Selected highlight from this collection:

Theodore Roosevelt: His Life and Times on Film

This presentation features 104 films which record events in Roosevelt's life from the Spanish-American War in 1898 to his death in 1919. Besides containing scenes of Roosevelt, these films include views of world figures, politicians, monarchs, and friends and family members of Roosevelt who influenced his life and the era in which he lived.

Selected highlight from this collection:

The Library of Congress holds the nation's largest public collection of sound recordings (music and spoken word) and radio broadcasts, some 3 million recordings in all.

American English Dialect Recordings: The Center for Applied Linguistics Collection

This collection contains 118 hours of recordings documenting North American English dialects. The recordings include speech samples, linguistic interviews, oral histories, conversations, and excerpts from public speeches. Browse the collection by location to locate thirteen recordings from South Carolina.

A selection of highlights from this collection includes:

Florida Folklife from the WPA Collections, 1937 to 1942

The collection is a multiformat ethnographic field collection documenting African-American, Arabic, Bahamian, British-American, Cuban, Greek, Italian, Minorcan, Seminole, and Slavic cultures throughout Florida. It features folksongs and folktales in many languages, including blues and work songs from menhaden fishing boats, railroad gangs, and turpentine camps; children's songs, dance music, and religious music of many cultures; and interviews, also known as "life histories".

A selection of highlights from this collection includes:

Southern Mosaic: The John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip

A multi-format ethnographic field collection that includes approximately 700 sound recordings, as well as photographic prints, fieldnotes, dust jackets, and other manuscripts documenting a three-month, 6,502-mile trip through the southern United States collecting folksongs. Browse the collection by location to locate more than fifty items for South Carolina.

Voices Remembering Slavery: Freed People Tell Their Stories

These interviews, conducted between 1932 and 1975, capture the recollections of twenty-three identifiable people born between 1823 and the early 1860s and known to have been former slaves. The almost seven hours of recordings were made in nine Southern states and provide an important glimpse of what life was like for slaves and freedmen. Included in the collection are six interviews from South Carolina.

A selection of highlights from this collection includes: