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black and white photograph of an observatory

In 2011 Robert B. Ariail donated an extraordinary collection of historical astronomy to the University of South Carolina and the South Carolina State Museum. Over the past half-century, Mr. Ariail built a collection that encompassed both historic telescopes and astronomical instruments, now at the State Museum, and more than 5,000 rare books and other published items, now housed in the University's Irvin Department of Rare Books & Special Collections.

woodcut illustration of a woman sitting at a writing desk

The University of South Carolina libraries have been acquiring works by Scottish authors since the early nineteenth century. With the addition of the extensive G. Ross Roy Collection in 1989, South Carolina now has major research holdings across a wide range of Scottish writing. Indeed, in the words of one recent visitor, it is "the best Burns collection in North America."

copper plate engraving of a globe

In the late 16th century, the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) established two observatories on the island of Hven, near Copenhagen.  This section from Jean Blaeu’s Grande Atlas, from the French version issued in 1663, describes and illustrates Brahe’s astronomical instruments. Blaeu’shandcolored copper-plate engravings were revised from wood-cuts originally published in Brahe’s own Astronomiae Instauratiae Mechanicae (1598), with the descriptions in Latin; an English translation from Brahe’s 1598 text is available from the Danish Royal Library.

USC Medical School Historical Collections

This collection gives an indication of the kinds and numbers of medical books in the hands of physicians in South Carolina and reflects the education and training of doctors during the 18th and 19th centuries.

William Ancrum Papers

 
Formerly owned by wealthy Charleston merchant William Ancrum (ca. 1722-1808), this single volume (171 pages, bound in vellum) contains both a letter book and financial accounts that reflect the financial impact of the American Revolution on this South Carolina businessman and planter.

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