Where is Special Collections and Archives located?
Do I need to make an appointment to visit Special Collections and Archives?
What kinds of materials do you have in Special Collections and Archives?
Can I come browse the shelves in Special Collections and Archives?
Can I check out materials from Special Collections and Archives?
Can Special Collections and Archives help me find sources for my paper?
How can I find information on my ancestors in Special Collections and Archives?
Can Special Collections and Archives do genealogical research for me?
Why is it so cold in Special Collections and Archives?
How do I transfer my department's or campus group's records to the University Archives?
Because we are a small department, we prefer that you call us at (864) 294-2194 or e-mail Special Collections to schedule a visit ahead of time. We want to ensure that we have staff and materials available to meet your needs. Plus it will save you time!
We have many different kinds of materials! Our materials are maintained separately from the general library collections due to their age, uniqueness, fragility, significance and format. While the strength of the collection is in nineteenth century materials, we have materials as old as a piece of an ancient cuneiform tablet and from as far away as Japan and China. We have over 18,000 books; as well as manuscripts, newspapers and periodicals, scrapbooks, photographs and postcards, maps, and digitized materials.
- Our Book Collections include the Furman Collection, the South Carolina Baptist Historical Collection, and the Special Collections Book Collection.
- Our Manuscript Collections include the papers of important figures in South Carolina Baptist history, Furman University history--including the papers of many Furman family members--and Greenville history. The South Carolina Poetry Archives also include a collection of the manuscripts of poets connected to South Carolina by birth, residency, or subject matter.
- Our Newspapers and Periodicals Collection includes collections of Baptist Newspapers and Periodicals, Furman Student Publications, Nineteenth Century American Newspapers and Periodicals, Women's Popular Magazines from the Nineteenth, Twentieth, and Twenty First centuries, and a collection of AIDS and Sexuality Periodicals.
- Our Scrapbook Collection contains scrapbooks from Furman University, the Greenville Woman's College, the Greenville community, South Carolina Baptists, and the Georgia-Pacific Corporation Paper Production Facilities.
- Our Image Collections contain Postcard Collections, Images of Furman University, Images of the Greenville Woman's College, and Images of Greenville.
- Our Map Collections include maps of South Carolina, the United States, and various regions of the World.
- Our Digital Collections, available through LUNA, include selected photographs of Furman University's Old Main campus and new campus, images of Special Collections' Coin Collections, selected Furman Family Letters, materials from the Greenville Woman's College, Furman University yearbooks and Greenville Woman's College course catalogs, Furman student newspapers The Hornet and The Paladin, selected images from the Furman Glass Plate Negatives, and selected postcards from our Postcard Collections. Other collections accessible through LUNA only with a Furman University login and password are the Furman Trustees Minutes, Special Collections South Carolina Sheet Music, Ware Family Manuscripts, Travels of Robert Tucker slides, recordings of the Religion in Life Lecture Series, and recordings from the Furman Oral History Project.
Special Collections' materials are stored in the Fred W. Symmes Archives and are not open for browsing. They are stored this way due to concerns about their fragility, age, significance, and uniqueness.
However, though you cannot browse our shelves, you can browse our collection online. Books in our collection are listed in the library's online catalog, and can be isolated from listing in the General Collection by selecting "Special Collections" from the drop-down menu immediately below the search fields. Other materials stored in Special Collections are listed on our website. Once you find what you are looking for, you can request the materials at the window in Special Collections and Archives and we will bring them to you to use in the William Gilmore Simms Research Room.
Materials stored in Special Collections and Archives, with the exception of our microfilmed South Carolina Baptist Church records, are not available to be checked out. This limitation is due to the age, uniqueness, fragility, significance and format of our materials. Restricting our materials' use to the William Gilmore Simms Research Room allows us to better preserve them for future scholars to use.
Yes, we can. A large part of our work in Special Collections and Archives is providing reference services for students, faculty, staff, and the general public. Our materials are very versatile: even if you're not sure Special Collections will have anything helpful for your work, we encourage you to ask us. We might surprise you!
If we can't find the source you're looking for in Special Collections, we will help you find it online or through Inter-Library Loan. While the size of our department sometimes means that amount of time we can spend doing research for the public is limited, Furman students are always entitled to our help.
If you know or suspect that your ancestors were Baptists who lived in South Carolina, our collection of South Carolina Baptist Church Records on microfilm includes the records of over 500 individual churches in South Carolina. The records reach as far back as 1736 and frequently include the names of church members. They are also the only part of our collection that we loan out. The records can be requested through your local university's or public library's Inter-Library Loan department.
Furman University also maintains a subscription to Ancestry.com, which is a great starting point for family researchers who have a Furman University login and password or are visiting the library.
Unfortunately, Special Collections and Archives is not equipped to operate like a genealogical library. While we can provide general reference services for patrons, we are not able to research specific names or places.
The temperature and humidity in Special Collections and Archives are carefully monitored and maintained to ensure that our materials remain in the best condition possible for as long as possible. The ideal conditions for preservation are between 55 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit and 45% and 55% humidity. If you think you might be chilly, we recommend bringing a jacket when you visit us.