USC Aiken Archives
The USCA Archives officially dates from 2005. That year, Jane H. Tuten, Director of the Gregg-Graniteville Library, employed an archivist to collect and arrange the University of South Carolina Aiken’s archival documents and draft policies for their use. Academic Council approved the use of summer school money for startup costs. Since then the Library has funded the cost of supplies and equipment for the project and renovated a designated area within the library to house the archives. To begin the process of identifying and arranging the University’s documentary heritage, Tuten hired Alexia Jones Helsley – an archivist with over 30 years experience with the South Carolina Department of Archives and History and a part-time lecturer in history for USCA.
USCA is a four-year accredited liberal arts institution. Part of the University of South Carolina, USCA opened in September 1961 with 139 students. By contrast the fall 2015 enrollment was 3,448. Originally housed in Banksia, a renovated mansion that now houses the Aiken County Museum, USCA moved to its present 144-acre location on University Parkway in 1972. USCA constantly ranks as one of the top public baccalaureate colleges in the South.
The USCA Archives currently houses records of the school’s first two chancellors, the faculty assembly, student publications, institutional self-study and other key series. In addition, the archival collection includes hundreds of photographs of faculty, staff, students, university buildings, and student activities, athletic media guides, departmental newsletters, commencement programs and materials collected to document the history of Aiken County.
While the archives is still a work in progress, the archivist has arranged and filed major series and prepared preliminary finding aids. The archives is open by appointment only. Please contact Alexia Helsley, USC Aiken Archivist or Natalia Bowdoin, USCA Interim Library Director, to schedule a research visit or submit a research question.