Welcome to the law library’s Legal History Room. The Legal History Room is located on the second floor of the law library. The South Carolina Legal History Collection includes both primary and secondary published sources dealing with the legal, constitutional, and political development of the state. The collection also contains portraits, papers, and memorabilia.
The History Room contains historical materials, such as early SC congressional documents and the works of American revolutionary Thomas Paine.
It contains histories of specific South Carolina towns, counties, and even rivers.
It contains the proceedings of the Committee to Make A Study of the Constitution of South Carolina.
The collection contains books on historical subjects by contemporary authors, such as books on South Carolina Civil War hero Robert Smalls.
It contains the collection of South Carolina attorneys’ memorial biographies known as Memory Hold The Door. The volumes are rotated one by one in the Memory Hold The Door display case in the library’s reading room on the second floor and a page is turned every day.
The Legal History Room also contains numerous portraits, photographs, and memorabilia.
South Carolinians featured in our collection of photographs and portraits include:
The Honorable Matthew J. Perry, Jr., prominent civil rights attorney and South Carolina’s first African-American District Court Judge;
John Rutledge, one of the drafters of the first South Carolina Constitution and one of the first justices of the United States Supreme Court;
John C. Calhoun, South Carolina legislator and Vice-President during the administration of Andrew Jackson;
Mrs. Ida Salley Reamer, who graduated from the UofSC School of Law in 1922 as first in her class;
Charles Pinckney, a statesman and politician during South Carolina’s Colonial period;
James Louis Petigru, Solicitor and then Attorney General of South Carolina, who made the first effort to codify the laws of the state.
The collection also contains a portrait and several pieces of furniture from the office of James F. Byrnes, former Governor of South Carolina, and appointed to the United States Supreme Court by President Franklin Roosevelt.
The History Room contains photographs and memorabilia from the law school’s early days, including several composite class pictures and a photograph of Daniel Pope, the first Dean of the law school.
The collection also includes 1982 photographs of the members of the United States District Court of South Carolina and the United States Supreme Court.
The Legal History Room includes two display cases that feature rotating history exhibits.
One of our favorite collections in the history room is comprised of two cabinets of judicial figurines collected and donated by Judge Bert Goolsby when he retired from the South Carolina Court of Appeals.
Another of our historical treasures is an antique rug that was housed in the Dean’s Office in the old law school. During the move to the new location, it was taken to be cleaned and restored.
Print resources from the Legal History Room are included in the law library’s online catalog system. Library personnel can retrieve materials for patrons. Circulation is restricted for some items in the collection.