Digital South Carolina Encyclopedia

An online version of the South Carolina Encyclopedia launched on Wednesday, October 26, 2016. A joint initiative of South Carolina Humanities, the USC Univeristy Libraries, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the South Carolina State Library, the USC Press, the USC Center for Digital Humanities, and Southern Studies, the Digital South Carolina Encyclopedia builds on the 2006 print version edited by Walter Edgar. With more than 1800 entries — now enhanced with images, documents, and videos from various repositories around the state — the digital encyclopedia will serve as a one-stop resource for school children, teachers, members of the general public, and academic researchers.

A special launch event took place at 5:15 p.m. in the Thomas Cooper Library’s Hollings Program Room on Wednesday, October 26. Speakers at the launch event included University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides, the Director of the USC Institute for Southern Studies Bob Brinkmeyer, and Digital US South Project Coordinator Matthew Simmons.

The 1,120-page print South Carolina Encyclopedia was a joint project of South Carolina Humanities, USC Press and the Institute for Southern Studies. Since its publication in 2006, it has sold over 19.000 copies. The encyclopedia covers topics ranging from war and politics to the arts, recreation, agriculture, industry, popular culture and ethnicity. The digital version of the encyclopedia includes all of the original material from the print edition integrated with new multimedia resources.


Dr. Randy Akers, Executive Director of SC Humanities said, “In July, 1998, twenty-four brave Board Members voted to produce a South Carolina Encyclopedia. This 1.2 million dollar project was far and away the biggest undertaking in SC Humanities history. We wanted to contribute positively to our state, have a valuable resource for teachers and children, and have a resource for both South Carolinians and outsiders to use so they would know more about this great state. Eighteen years later, with the expertise and resources of the University of South Carolina and the talent of Walter Edgar and USC Press, the encyclopedia went online. It is amazing! Go to at your leisure and just browse. Please share this wonderful resource!”

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 22-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.