October 2010

The Jones South Carolina Collection

The major book collection in our special collections area is the Jones South Carolina collection (JSC). The Jones family has a rich association with Presbyterian College. This history began when Rev. Frank Dudley Jones (1874-1946), who was then serving as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Clinton, began to teach at Presbyterian College in 1920. He soon resigned his pastorate, and remained on the PC faculty until his death in 1946.

Rev. Frank Dudley Jones

Rev. Frank Dudley Jones

Dr. Jones was directly responsible for our excellent South Carolina book collection. In 1923, Dr. Jones, who was teaching philosophy, psychology and Southern history at PC, gathered together all the books in the PC library that dealt with the history and literature of South Carolina. He found others that had been considered worthless, and had been stored in an attic. He fashioned these into a separate collection, to which he added books from his own personal collection and other books acquired by purchase and gift. Later, Dr. Jones’ daughter, Mary Louise Jones DuBose, who was head of the University of South Carolina Press, added more materials. Still others were added from the collection of PC alum J. Isaac Copeland, who for many years was the curator of the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. We continue to add South Carolina items to the collection today.

JSC bookcovers

JSC items

The Jones South Carolina collection currently contains over 1500 items, many of them quite rare. Among the earliest titles are William C. Davis’ “The Gospel Plan”, published in 1809; Thomas Cooper’s “Tracts on Medical Jurisprudence” (1819), “The Public Laws of the State of South Carolina” (1790) and Ramsay’s “The History of South Carolina” (1809). As has been the case from the beginning, these books are stored in a closed, climate-controlled room, and can be used by our students in Southern history and other researchers in the library, but may not be checked out.

Title page of Tracts on Medical Jurisprudence (1819)

Title page of Tracts on Medical Jurisprudence (1819)

Descendants of Dr. Jones have maintained close ties with the college over the years. Many of his descendants, among them five of his children, have attended the college. Two of his daughters, Laetitia Jones Raynal and Mary Louise Jones Dubose donated a number of family materials to PC which have been organized into the Jones-Raynal Collection in the college’s archives.