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About the Manuscript Collection

About | Manuscripts | University Archives | Rare Books | Genealogy | Oral History

The Winthrop University Manuscript Collection (over 1500 collections) contains private papers donated to the Archives by individuals and records from organizations and businesses. These collections not only document local, regional, and state history, but also transcend South Carolina’s borders to include collections that are of broader historical interest.

A few of the major focal points and divisions of the Manuscript Collection includes:

  • Women’s History - The study of Women’s History is a natural focus of the Manuscript Collection with Winthrop University being founded as a Women’s College in 1886 and remaining so until Winthrop became a coeducational institution in 1974. Many Winthrop graduates, local persons, and organizations have gone on to perform active and important roles as leaders and participants in clubs and organizations, home extension, social work, politics, religion, business, art, education, civic and charitable affairs, and other activities which have helped shape our state’s history. The letters, diaries, research, speeches, clippings, photographs, memorabilia, and other types of material that have been collected through the years is of interest and importance for those wanting to document the role women have had in shaping South Carolina’s rich history. View Women's History page here.
  • Clubs and Organizational Records - Includes minutes, financial records, correspondence, publications, reports, articles, photographs, and other records pertaining to local, state, and national clubs and organizations.
  • 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st Century Personal Records - The personal records includes journals, diaries, reminiscences, photographs (1850s on), scrapbooks, correspondence, and etc. that document the everyday lives of South Carolinians. Of particular interest are the many Civil War diaries and reminiscences in the collection.
  • Family History Collections - Many of the Family History papers housed in the Archives document the history of the local and regional communities through the lives of families that live and lived in the area. These collections posses such items as photographs, correspondence, diaries, journals, financial records, memorabilia, as well as many other types of records documenting their everyday lives.
  • Collections of Prominent Authors - Many of these collections contain such items as published and unpublished manuscripts, galleys, notes, research materials, correspondence, fan mail, and etc.  pertaining to the fictional and non-fictional work of various authors. Within the Archives are such collections as the Nathan Asch Papers, the Matt Christopher Papers, the Grace Freeman Papers, as well as of many other talented writers.
  • Faculty, Alumni, and Former Student Papers - This collection consists of personal and professional records produced by faculty, alumni, and former students outside of Winthrop. These papers document the lives, careers, and the areas of research of these individuals.  
  • Oral History - Recorded interviews concerning various topics, including life at Winthrop, the Catawba Indians, World War II, women in politics and society, African-American South Carolinians, and the Veterans History Project.
  •  Caroliniana Files - Thousands of newspaper clippings, articles, pamphlets, brochures, and etc. highlighting interesting South Carolina personalities and topics.
  • Genealogy- Lineage charts, legal records, letters, diaries, biographical sketches, memoirs, and other records on more than 1,000 family surnames.
  • Photographs - The photograph collection is interspersed throughout the manuscript collections to keep them within the context of the collections with which they arrived. These photographs are of varying topics which document the lives or themes of the individual collector or collections. One collection of special interest is the John R. Schorb Papers with photographs ranging from the 1840s to the early 1900s.
  • Memorabilia - Like the Photographs, memorabilia is not separated to form its own collection to keep it within the context of the collection with which it arrived. The memorabilia includes many types of objects and relics ranging from a large cardboard cutout of James Dean in the Blair Beasley Papers to several 4,000 year old Cuneiform Clay Tablet.

Types of Manuscripts Collected

    The Archives collects a wide variety of source material useful for research and consultation, including correspondence (family, personal and business), diaries, journals, reminiscences, speeches, photographs, scrapbooks, tape recordings, films, memorabilia, and records of clubs and organizations.

Who May Use the Collection

    Scholars, students, members of the community, or the general public may use archival collections provided they adhere to the regulations of the Archives. These regulations have been formulated to provide for the security and permanent preservation of deposited records and to facilitate the use of collections. Conditions restricting  the use of collections may be imposed by the donor. As a security measure, a Winthrop University identification card or a scheduled appointment will be required to access the Archives collection. Researchers must call, write, or email before arriving at the Archives so that we may better serve you.

How You Can Help

    The best way to convey your family’s experience and history is with the preservation of documentary evidence. In this way, the memory of your participation will become a permanent record of your contribution to the cycle of history.
    If you have any material, or if you know someone who has, please call (803-323-2334), write or email the Winthrop University Archives.   A final note: Please don’t throw away any records. If you have any doubt about their historical value, contact the Archives first.


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