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South Carolina Rare Books: Home

South Carolina Rare Books



The South Carolina State Library is committed to preserving the Rare Books Collection and making them accessible to the community.

The collection includes approximately 2,000 items, ranging from political speeches and periodicals to historical scientific works and literature.

Half of the Rare Book collection comes from the personal library of A.S. Salley, Jr., South Carolina’s first Historian and Archivist.

The Rare Book Collection can be searched in our online catalog, SCLENDS.

A selection of digitized materials from the Rare Book Collection can be accessed through the South Carolina Book Collection.


Featured Rare Book

The Woman’s Gift of Literature, Science and Morality

Edited by Cotesworth Pinckney

This month’s selection from the South Carolina State Library’s rare book collection offers a look at the domestic life of 19th century Americans. This small gilded volume, titled The Woman’s Gift of Literature, Science and Morality, was edited by Cotesworth Pinckney and published in 1851. The work features dating advice, poetry and religious tracts meant to encourage ladies to “do good, to be good, and to disseminate human happiness.” Small enough to fit in a pocket and covered in beautiful gold artwork, the book was designed to be an attractive and convenient tool for navigating a tumultuous society on the cusp of civil war.


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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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