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Patents for Historical Research

R.M. Cooper Library - a Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC)

patent drawings

R.M. Cooper Library has represented South Carolina as a Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC), formerly known as a Patent and Trademark Depository Library or PTDL) since 1992. By participating in this program administered by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), we maintain a collection of materials and offer services for all South Carolina residents. The collection includes a number of comprehensive indexes to historic patents.

In addition, the South Carolina Inventors 1796-1896 database contains information about inventors who lived in South Carolina, as well as their inventions. Use this database to help patrons:

  • Find a patent issued to their ancestor
  • Create a lesson plan for elementary school students
  • Tie in to events such as the annual Invention Convention held in Greenville
  • Homeschool– Maybe they’d like to add an activity related to the history of technology
  • Research the history and impact of an invention such as the cotton gin


Consult our Biography & Genealogy guide for additional resources.