James H. Thomason Library


Collection Management Policy: Special Collections



The Special Collections area is part of the Thomason Library. It has been established to preserve and provide access to rare materials dealing with South Carolina history and Presbyterianism.


Materials in the Special Collections area of the Thomason Library are intended to support research in the following broad areas:

South Carolina: including history, literature, natural history, religion, and education. Among the materials already in the collection are a large number of rare pamphlets, including minutes of various societies like Bible and temperance societies, speeches, sermons, school and college catalogs, etc.

A subset of materials in the South Carolina collection will be devoted to materials on cotton mills, and will include items from the various branches of the Bailey Family of Clinton and Clinton Mills.

As a general rule, items on South Carolina genealogy will not be collected unless they are related to people or families significant in the life of the College.

Presbyterianism, especially in South Carolina. This includes such materials as sermons; local church histories; works dealing with area ministers and other church leaders; and minutes and publications of church governing bodies at all levels.

The Civil War. A major focus here is on Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson and the related families of Graham, Hill, Morrison and Arnold.

Records Policy

In general, the collection will be limited to images and documentary materials (both published and manuscript) that support student and faculty research. Artifacts and other objects will only be retained if they are deemed to have a significant relationship to other items in the collection.

In the case of materials given by a private donor, a deed of gift form shall be completed. No materials shall be taken that are to be closed to the public in perpetuity; all restricted materials will be designated with an opening date. Materials shall not be taken on loan, except for use in special exhibits; in these cases, a loan agreement will be signed.


The Archives shall make it a general policy to promote broad use of its collections. Catalogs and other finding aids will be developed to ensure easy access to materials. Published materials, such as newspapers, catalogs, yearbooks, etc., shall be accessible to all. In some cases, the donor may place time or other restrictions on access to certain materials. In rare cases where information is deemed confidential by the staff, every effort will be made to extract or copy relevant non-confidential information from the document.

The holdings of the Special Collections area shall not circulate. Photocopying of materials will be permitted except where restrictions are in place or where photocopying might damage the materials being copied.

The Archives does not hold copyright on donated photographs. Researchers are responsible for obtaining the appropriate permission and are responsible for conforming with the laws of libel, copyright, and literary property rights. Researchers may order copies from Special Collections for a fee. Those reproducing the photograph should give appropriate credit to Presbyterian College.

Deaccessioning Policy

The Special Collections area reserves the right to deaccession materials at a later date if, upon reappraisal, they are no longer considered to be of enduring value, or do not fit into the existing collection guidelines. Duplicate materials may be routinely discarded. In some cases, if deaccessioned materials are of value, they may be offered to rare book dealers, with the resulting funds added to the Library's book fund.

In disposing of privately donated materials, staff will abide by the wishes of the donor. In the case of materials given by a private donor, every attempt will be made to return the article to its original owner or to find a suitable institution to permanently house the article.

Review of Collection Policy

This Collection Policy shall be subject to periodic review and revision.


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