- Debbie Bloom
On June 23, 1926 the Jefferson Hotel hosted a grand Southern Bell Telephone Company affair honoring Columbia's original telephone subscribers. The 1880 subscribers were mostly deceased but family members, the governor and city officials were on hand to celebrate Columbia's telephone subscriber pioneers. Listed in the first telephone book were eleven city residences, including the governor's mansion. Lorick and Lowrance were among the first businesses to dial up, as well as attorney F.W. McMaster, cotton buyer P.H. Haltiwanger and ice dealer C.C. Habenicht. The State Lunatic Asylum also had a telephone but only in the female building. It is not clear if that is an indication of a woman's capacity to talk or if that was just a convenient location. In all 63 businesses, government entities and homes were listed in Columbia's first telephone directory.
- Debbie Bloom
Richland Library has a diverse collection of historic photographs organized into sets on Flickr. This collection includes late 19th- and early 20th-century photographs of Columbia, the Columbia Army Air Base, historic places of Eastover, and images of obituaries from World War I servicemen published in The State newspaper. Please contact the Walker Local and Family History Center at (803) 929-3402 for permission to use these photographs.
A collection of over 100 programs dating from 1921 to 1999 from productions at the historic Town Theatre in downtown Columbia; which occupies the oldest community theatre building in continuous use in the United States. Full programs can be viewed online, hosted by South Carolina Digital Library.
Richland Library has recorded more than 70 conversations with Columbia personalities. We have made a selection available online for download through OverDrive. Contact the Walker Local and Family History Center at (803) 929-3402 for more information about our oral history collection.
This collaborative collection gives a broad picture of the history of Columbia, South Carolina from the 1800s to the end of the twentieth century through maps, photographs, directories and a selection of Columbia city minutes. Made available by the Richland Library, the City of Columbia, USC Libraries, South Carolina State Museum, South Carolina State Library, and the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
This searchable collection of Columbia City Directories from 1859 is an invaluable source for historians and genealogists. City directories offer an alphabetized listing of residents and businesses as well as a street-by-street listing of occupants. This collection is made possible through by Richland Library and University of South Carolina Libraries. Check back often this collection is always growing.
A selection of lithographs featuring Columbia, South Carolina during the Civil War and Reconstruction eras, including the Wade Hampton mansion and gardens, Columbia after Sherman’s march, and images of the State House and grounds. Originally published in Harper’s Weekly and Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly between 1860 and 1894.
- Debbie Bloom
Columbia city officals anxiously tested the first new "mechanical signal" on Monday, November 6, 1922. The new device was located at the intersection of Gervais and Sumter. Officials announced that "the green light gives drivers the right of way and the red light calls for a stop". Four officers and a megaphone were available at the intersection to instruct "drivers of all kinds of vehicles."
- Laura Morris
The Richland Library is teaming up with Richland County Council to help connect citizens with their neighbors and other community influencers at a series of meet and greets in January and February.