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Louise Pettus Archives and Special Collections


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.