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South Carolina Rare Books Collection: Rare Book Collection

Detail of Magnolia flore albo from Mark Catesby's Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands.

About the Collection

The Rare Book Collection is comprised of approximately 2,000 rare, fragile, oversized, and special items ranging from political speeches and periodicals, to historical scientific works and literature. Approximately half of the Rare Book Collection comes from the personal library of Alexander S. Salley (1871-1961), South Carolina's first archivist.

The Rare Books collection was formed following the opening of the South Carolina State Library building in 1970. The South Carolina State Library recognizes the need to preserve the rare and fragile materials in our collections, and have housed the Rare Book Collection in archival storage cabinets for protection against environmental factors. Additionally, UV filtering lights have been installed in the area, and measures have been taken to house the most fragile items in archival phase boxes and folders.

Rare Book Collection Resources

Image (top): Detail of Magnolia flore albo from The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands, 1771, by Mark Catesby.

SC State Library Information


Many South Carolina State Library programs, resources and services are supported in whole or in part by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.

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