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The Civil Rights Movement in South Carolina: Primary Sources: Libraries/Archives

Finding Primary Sources
in the Catalog

Books may contain primary sources. Try adding terms like these to your catalog keyword searches:

  • correspondence   
  • diaries  
  • "personal narratives"   
  • sources

Historical persons may be authors: King, Martin Luther, Jr.

Their writings may be collected as "The Papers of ..."

as Primary Sources

Our library has bound volumes/microfilm of many magazines dating back to the late 19th century.

Search for articles using these indexes (they generally don't include the full text of articles, but may link to other sources):


Defining a Primary Source

"A primary source is a document, image or artifact ... created contemporaneously with the event under discussion." (Williams, Historian's Toolbox, 2nd ed., p. 56)

Primary sources are evidence from participants  in or  eyewitnesses to an event.


  • Diaries, letters, speeches, memoirs/autobiographies, oral interviews, newspaper & magazine articles...
  • Images: photographs, sound & video recordings, maps...
  • Artifacts: coins, receipts, schedules, tombstones, furniture, jewelry, DNA evidence...
  • Public records: birth, death, probate, census records; court cases, official government documents...
  • Creative works:  paintings, movies, statues...


  • Original manuscripts or records
  • Authoritative transcriptions in printed volumes or digital form
  • Reproductions--digital, microfilm, facsimile...


Newspapers: Microfilm

Microfilm and scanner/readers are located on the west side of Cooper Library's 4th (main) floor. Help with using microfilm is available at the Library Services Desk.

Anderson Intelligencer Aug. 14, 1860 - Aug. 1906; Jan. 1914 - Jun 1916 

Anderson Independent-Mail Apr. 1929 - present

(Anderson) People's Advocate 1892, 1893, Jan. - Oct. 4, 1897

Camden Chronicle Nov 6, 1891 - Mar 24, 1960

Charleston News & Courier Jan. 1873 - Sep. 30, 1991 

Charleston Post & Courier Oct. 1991-- present 

Chester Reporter Mar. 7, 1874 - Jun. 27, 1906 

(Clemson) Messenger Apr. 1954 - Sep. 1999 

(Clemson) Daily Messenger Sep 1999 - present 

(Clemson University) Tiger 1907 - present 

(Columbia) State Feb. 1891 - present

(Columbia) Palmetto Leader 1925 - 1957  

Georgetown Times Jun. 17, 1868 - Dec. 31, 1904

Greenville News 1900 - present

Orangeburg Times-Democrat Aug. 15, 1879 - Dec. 1974

Pickens Sentinel Sep. 7, 1876 - Sep. 28, 1933

Rock Hill Evening Herald Jan. 1880 - Dec. 1974

(Walhalla) Keowee Courier 1849 - 1976

Government Documents
as Primary Sources

Official records of governments are primary sources. 

  • Cooper Library is a depository for US Federal & SC state documents. 
  • State documents & Federal documents issued since 1976 are listed in the library catalog.
  • Both collections are shelved on the 3rd floor of Cooper Library, with their own call numbering systems.

 Please contact a librarian for help with locating documents.