The South Carolina Encyclopedia

The South Carolina Encyclopedia

Walter B. Edgar, University of South Carolina - Columbia


The definitive sourcebook for clear, concise information on all things South Carolinian

The South Carolina Encyclopedia is a comprehensive single-volume reference for just about anything anyone would want to know about the Palmetto State's rich cultures and storied heritage, from prehistory to the present day. The encyclopedia is the result of a six-year collaboration between the Humanities Council SC, the Institute for Southern Studies at the University of South Carolina, and the University of South Carolina Press. Under the editorial direction of distinguished historian Walter Edgar, five hundred ninety-eight contributors have come together to write more than one million words depicting the representative people, places, and things that define South Carolina.

The encyclopedia is an authoritative, entertaining compilation of essays on a broad array of topics ranging from war and politics to arts and recreation, from agriculture and industry to popular culture and ethnicity. Among the nearly two thousand entries are such diverse subjects as the Boykin spaniel, John C. Calhoun, Sarah Moore Grimké, Hootie and the Blowfish, Indian mounds, Matthew J. Perry, Rainbow Row, Surfside Beach, and white lightning. The palmetto bug, Lizard Man, and okra are all here, as are hurricanes, the Orangeburg Massacre, and yellow fever. Included as well are essays on every South Carolina county, every town with a population of two thousand five hundred or greater, and all elected governors and U.S. senators from the state. Famous figures and infamous characters, historic events and tragic moments, celebrated creatures and provocative lore, staple crops and new industries, the encyclopedia catalogs all of this and much more.

As diverse as the populations that live within the thirty-one thousand square miles that make up the Palmetto State, the entries included in The South Carolina Encyclopedia were chosen to best represent the many facets of our shared experiences that remind us of who we are, where we come from, what we have in common, and why we are distinctive.

The South Carolina Encyclopedia is a comprehensive introduction to the state for students and newcomers, and a treasure trove of rich details and lively insights for those already steeped in South Carolina's history and culture. With its accessible format, four hundred black-and-white and forty color illustrations, and seventy-eight original maps, this volume invites a broad readership and placement in classrooms, libraries, archives, government offices, businesses, economic development agencies, media newsrooms, and—of course—home bookshelves. As the single most inclusive reference for all things South Carolinian, this truly is a people's encyclopedia.