South Carolina's Flagship University

Coleman Karesh Law Library

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Special Collections

South Carolina Legal History Collection

Housed in a room at the south end of the 1st floor of the Law Library, the South Carolina Legal History Collection encompasses both primary and secondary published sources dealing with the legal, constitutional and political development of the state. In addition, it contains portraits, papers and memorabilia. While the displays will be of interest to all, the fundamental purpose of the collection is to support scholarly research.

The Legal History Room is open for viewing or research whenever Reference staff is on duty. Circulation of material from the collection is restricted. Click here for a selected annotated bibliography of material included in the Legal History collection.

Rare Books

Almost all items owned by the library published before 1909 are housed in off-site storage. The titles are listed in the online catalog. Please consult Reference staff for access to these materials.


A significant portion of the Law Library's collection is in microform, housed in cabinets at the southwest corner of the first floor. There is a microform reader/printer close to the reference desk. Much of the microform collection can be accessed through the online catalog. However, certain materials can only be accessed using published indexes. See Reference staff for assistance.

The Digital Collection at the University of South Carolina School of Law

The Digital Collection of the Coleman Karesh Law Library at the University of South Carolina School of Law holds images of artwork held by the Law School. The artwork depicts lawyers, jurists, political figures, legal thinkers and scholars prominent in South Carolina legal history from the beginnings of the Carolina colony in the 1660s to the present.

A Nineteenth Century Law Library: The Colcock-Hutson Collection

The Colcock-Hutson Collection consists of 419 books that had been part of the library accumulated by five generations of Colcocks and Hutsons, lawyers who lived in Beaufort, Jasper, and Hampton Counties from 1744 to 1939. This historical collection was donated to the library by Charles Cook in 2007. It is a snapshot of past legal practice and it gives current lawyers and law students an insight into the working law libraries of the past.

Pre-1918 Briefs and Records Collection

Please see the Reference staff for assistance with this collection.

Finding aid for the print collection of South Carolina briefs and records.

Memory Hold The Door

In 1958, the South Carolina Bar Association and the Law School Faculty established the memorial repository "Memory Hold The Door". The University of South Carolina provided a memorial book of finest quality and its handsome glass-topped mahogany repository. To see Inductees and more information go to Memory Hold The Door.