Explore Richland County history online
There are several public domain books about Columbia and Richland County history that are available to view online. Most can be downloaded and read on a computer or reading device. We have put together a list of those books for easy access. Richland Library has also digitized several pamphlets from our book and vertical file collections on our Digital Collections page.
- Memorabilia and anecdotal reminiscences of Columbia, S. C.
This memoir by Julian Selby was published in 1905.
- Random Recollections of a long life 1806-1876
Edwin Scott's memoir is often referred to for information about early Columbia families.
- Souvenir of Columbia, SC 1903
This pamphlet published beautiful pictures of Columbia's most famous landmarks.
- History of Columbia, SC Greek American Colony 1884-1934
Historical information about Columbia's Greek population.
- The burning of Columbia: a review of northern assertions and southern facts (1866)
This report identifies all the claims of damage during Sherman's march through Columbia.
- My life in the south
Freedman Jacob Stroyer describes his life as a slave and freedman in lower Richland county.
- Sack and destruction of the city of Columbia
William Gilmore Sims account of the burning of Columbia.
- Designs from the work of Frank P. Milburn, Columbia, SC architect
Milburn was well known for designing many Columbia buildings including: St. Peter's Church, Union Station and the South Carolina State Capitol.
- Annual Catalog of Benedict Institute, Columbia SC 1883-1884
This catalog lists teachers, students and the classes taught at Benedict College.
- 40 years a review of the work at Benedict College 1911
Rare history of Benedict College.
- Who burnt Columbia
Another account of the burning of Columbia by James Gibbes
- The improvement of Columbia, SC
This report by the Kelsey design firm provides an early account of the Columbia park system.
- Columbia Anatheum rules and regs
The Anatheum was an antebellum social organization that provided lectures and reading opportunites for members.
- The plan and address adopted by the citizens of Columbia, SC 1862
This report lays out a plan to help wounded Civil War soldiers.
- Bench and bar v1
John Belton O'Neall's biographical sketches of South Carolina's lawyers and judges. Published in 1859/
- Columbia, the capitol city of South Carolina: Its History, Resources, Developement and Enterprises
This 1904 publication was illustrated and complied by W. S. Kline and published by the R. L. Bryan Company of Columbia, S.C.
- Rural Carolinian
llustrated magazine of agriculture, horticulture and the arts, 1869-1876 - Volumes 1-7.
- The Revised ordinances of the City of Columbia, 1907
Acts and parts of acts of the General Assembly relating to the town and city of Columbia.