The Archives & Special Collections area of the James H. Thomason Library is located on the second floor of the Russell-Arnold addition. Completed in 2006, the new facility includes a large reading room, exhibit spaces, and areas for storing and processing materials. Our mission is to preserve, organize, and make available various materials of a unique and valuable nature. Items are selected with particular attention to how they might support undergraduate research at Presbyterian College. The Archives is also the primary repository for the official records of the college, and thus serves as the institutional memory for the PC community.
The collection is roughly divided into two major components — the Presbyterian College Archives, which documents the history of PC and the individuals and other institutions associated with it, and special collections of books and papers dealing with the history of South Carolina and Presbyterianism. All material in Archives and Special Collections is accessible during Archives hours.
The Presbyterian College Archives contains papers, publications, photographs, clippings, and other materials which document the history, organization, and development of Presbyterian College. Because of the College’s close ties with the Presbyterian Church and Thornwell Home, the collection also includes materials on these institutions.
There is an additional section of the archives that contains materials related to Presbyterian College, but not produced by the various college offices. Among the collections in this section are the sermons and papers of William Plumer Jacobs and his father, Ferdinand Jacobs; Mrs. Lillian Brown’s World War II Bee-Mail Letters; and materials on Thornwell Orphanage. Also included in these collections is the Thomas and Ernest Arnold Collection, which contains items and research materials related to the families of Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, D. H. Hill, Robert Hall Morrison, and Thomas Arnold. Some of the photographs from this collection are available online at Eugenia’s Family Album. Furniture and other memorabilia from this collection are on display in the Jackson Permanent Collection. There is also a large collection devoted to the Jones and Raynal families. This was donated by Laetitia Jones Raynal, daughter of Dr. F. Dudley Jones.
The Library’s special collections contain a large number of fragile materials dealing with Southern history, religion and culture. Among these are the Jones South Carolina Collection (JSC), which contains over 1,400 volumes, and the Smyth Collection (SMC), which contains over 200 volumes. The Jones Collection was nurtured by late PC professor Frank Dudley Jones (1874-1946), and continued by his daughter, Louise Jones DuBose. It was later supplemented by materials donated by J. Isaac Copeland, a graduate of Presbyterian College and the former curator of the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Smyth Collection was the gift of Ellison Adger Smyth, president of Pelzer Mills in Anderson, and the son of Rev. Thomas Smyth, who was the longtime pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church in Charleston. The Special Collections area also contains a collection of rare historical pamphlets dealing with numerous aspects of antebellum Southern history, politics, and culture. Items in these collections are listed in the Library Catalog.
The Founder’s Library, a replica of the library of the college’s founder, William Plumer Jacobs, is housed in a separate room, which is furnished with much of Dr. Jacobs’ original furniture.
Monday - Friday
9:00am - 1:00 pm; 2:00 pm - 4:00pm
Most of the books in special collections are organized by subject and are listed in the library’s online catalog, ThomCat. In addition to these materials, there are separate collections of photographs, programs from College events, clippings, files on PC students, faculty, staff, alumni, and publications.
The historic records of the various offices at PC have their own organization scheme which may be explored in a visit to the Archives.
Archives and Technical Services Librarian