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Columbia, SC Historical Digital Collections

The following digital collections represent a broad picture of the history of Columbia, South Carolina, from the 1800s to the end of the twentieth century. A special thanks to the City of Columbia, Richland Library, USC Libraries, South Carolina State Museum, South Carolina State Library, and the South Carolina Department of Archives and History for making these collections available online.

This collection contains letters and other materials surrounding the life of five-term U.S. congressman David Wyatt Aiken, who biographers have styled "South Carolina's Militant Agrarian." Born in 1828 in Winnsboro (Fairfield County, S.C.), Aiken served as a colonel in the Confederate Army and later went on to serve in the S.C. House of Representatives. He was a member of the Agricultural and Mechanical Society of South Carolina and served on the executive committee of the National Grange. From 1877 until 1887, he represented South Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Diamond Fields

In the Early 1870s, one of the greatest diamond rushes began in South Africa after the discovery of a valuable diamond on the Orange River. This collection consists of five items that represent some of the earliest publications describing the diamond fields of South Africa. Published between 1870 and 1917, this collection of monographs, essays, and pamphlets reflect the excitement generated by one of the greatest mineral discoveries of the late 19th century.

manuscript

This collection contains diaries, travelogues, ledgers, correspondence, inventories, plats, sketches, architectural drawings of Charles Drayton III and others, relating mainly to affairs at Drayton Hall and other family plantations. Collection also includes artwork, reflections on eighteenth century literature, deeds, newspaper clippings and photographs. 

 

The Dreamkeepers Collection contains photographs of some of the most significant African-Americans in Georgetown County, including Joseph H. Rainey, the first African-American to serve in the United States Congress. Founded in 1978, the Committee for African American History Observances (CAAHO)

Late 19th and early 20th century photographic images of Due West Female College students and campus life. The DWFC opened in 1859 and was funded by a joint share-holding company, men mostly associated with the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. The purpose was to give young women equal educational advantages with young men and to provide those of the church and the community an adequate education under Christian influences and environment. The DWFC operated in conjunction with the all-male Erskine College until 1904, when it became the Woman's College of Due West.

 

Burson Photographs

E.E. Burson worked as a photographer in Denmark, South Carolina, and the surrounding areas of Bamberg County approximately between the years of 1905 and 1920. Burson not only worked in his Denmark studio, but he also photographed town scenes and nearby Voorhees College. Burson’s work is notable because he captured images of both white and African-American townspeople.

woman on horse drawn carriage

E. T. Start of New York State moved to Camden, South Carolina in 1903, as the photographer at the Kirkwood Hotel. Photographing the Winter Colony and local scenes, he spent time in Camden until c. 1945. This collection of 200 photographs includes images of people, animals, and houses in Camden, S.C., in particular horse-drawn vehicles, horseback riding, polo, the house "Bohemia," and much more.

Edwin Hughes Collection

The Edwin Hughes Collection is a large collection containing a wide variety of materials, including correspondence, scores, photographs, concert programs, magazine and newspaper clippings, published materials, and scrapbooks. There are also materials relating to classes Hughes taught and organizations in which he was active. The collection gives us an interesting and detailed picture of the life of Edwin Hughes from the turn of the twentieth century until his death in 1965.

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