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Winthrop University
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Louise Pettus Archives and Special Collections

About the Archives

The Winthrop University Archives collects and preserves records relating to South Carolina history. Of special interest to the Archives are:

  • records of families, individuals, organizations, and businesses that have contributed to the history of the Catawba region
  • personal papers of women and records of women’s organizations significant in documenting the contributions of women to the state’s history
  • papers of Winthrop’s trustees, faculty, staff, and alumni who have material documenting their professional activities or relating to Winthrop’s history
  • records not falling within these categories if they have historical significance and would otherwise be lost or destroyed without efforts to preserve them.

Authorization Statement
*Ratified by the Winthrop Board of Trustees on January 29, 1977

   The President and Board of Trustees of Winthrop University, a state institution chartered and supported by the state of South Carolina, recognizing the unique place the University has had in the history of the state, in higher education in the southeast, and the value of an archives in preserving a true and accurate history of the University, its alumni and their accomplishments and the institution’s place in the community, state and region, declare it to be the policy of the University to preserve its organic records of permanent value to document the origin, growth and future development of Winthrop as an institution of higher learning. It is therefore the duty and responsibility of all officers, members of the faculty, administrative and supervisory personnel and employees of the University to become familiar with and adhere to the following guidelines and regulations concerning records created in the conduct of University business and subject to the provisions of the South Carolina Public Records Act. (Statutes at Large, LVIII, 350-355).

The Purpose of the Archives

    The purpose of the Archives is to provide physical protection for historically valuable materials and to make them available to individuals interested in researching and writing about the history of South Carolina.

    Collections, numbering over 1600, that have been deposited in the Archives come from a variety of sources, including the personal papers of D.B. Johnson, Robert  McFadden, Thomas S. Gettys, Mary Elizabeth Massey, Mary Frayser, Jesse Huey Laurence, Nolan Pliny Jacobson, Juanita Goggins, and many others. Organizational records include those of the South Carolina Home Economics Association, the York County Democratic Party, the Episcopal Church Home for Children in York , the Perihelion Club of Rock Hill and the state branch of the National Organization of Women, among others.

The Winthrop University Archives and Special Collections is the repository for historically valuable records relating to the history of Winthrop University, women, and South Carolina, particularly the heritage of the Catawba Region (Chester, York, Union and Lancaster counties) . Such items as letters, diaries, photographs, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, and organizational files make up the bulk of the collection.

    The Archives' purpose is to provide physical protection for these materials and to make them available to students, faculty, staff, alumni, scholars, and members of the community who are interested in researching and writing about history. As the memory center for all university records of historical significance, the Archives preserves a variety of materials relating to the origin and development of Winthrop, and to the achievements of its officers, faculty, staff, alumni and students. Of special significance are correspondence, speeches and business files which document the work of the University and its components. The Archives also collects and preserves records relating to the history of South Carolina such as Civil War letters, plantation journals, World War II diaries, photographs, and scrapbooks. In addition, the Department also houses a collection of oral history tapes and rare books.

    As part of its purpose, the Archives also publicizes the availability of this material through a wide variety of media and is involved in conducting public programs that draw on and highlight the Department’s resources.  The Archives staff is available for various programs and presentations to classes, schools, community groups, and other interested parties.

GINA PRICE WHITE is the Director of Archives and Special Collections at Winthrop University and a native of Chester County, S.C. where she was previously Local History Librarian at the Chester County Library and is past President of the Chester County Historical Society. She is a Winthrop graduate with a degree in history. She worked as a student employee in the Archives 1981-1983, began her professional career at Winthrop in 1986 as the Assistant Archivist, and became the Director in 2003. She has presented numerous programs on the Winthrop Archives, Winthrop history, the conservation and preservation of documents and photographs, Chester County history, York County history, oral history, and how to research family history. She is co-author of  Palmetto Women, Along the Catawba Region, and Chester County, S.C., and has written articles on Chester County history, Winthrop history and Catawba regional history. 
Phone: 803-323-2210 | Email:

ANDREW DONALD JOHNSTON is the Assistant Director of the Winthrop University Archives and Special Collections. He began as a graduate student employee in the Archives 2003-2005 and has worked as a full time Archivist since 2005. He earned BA degrees in History and Political Science and a MA in History from Winthrop University. Special interests in the field of History include South Carolina History predominantly Loyalism in South Carolina during the American Revolution. 
Phone: 803-323-2302 | Email:

KAITLIN BURDETTE is an Archivist in the Archives and Special Collections at Winthrop University and has worked in Dacus Library since 2008. She is a native of Lancaster, SC, and a Winthrop graduate with a B.S. in Business Administration. Her hobbies include a great love of reading and martial arts.
Phone: 803-323-2193 | Email:

BRITTANY PIGFORD is an Archivist in the Archives and Special Collections at Winthrop University. She began her career at Winthrop in 1995 as a student and also a student worker for Dacus Library. Upon earning her BA in History in 1999 she started working full time for the circulation department at Dacus. She has interned and volunteered for the McCelvey Center of York County. Her special interests in History are Southern History especially early colonization as well as Civil War and Reconstruction. She lives in Fort Mill, S.C. with her husband, son and two step children.
Phone: 803-323-2227 | Email:

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