Carnegie Library Buildings in South Carolina

Between 1905 and 1916 sixteen cities or towns in South Carolina applied to the Carnegie Corporation for grants to aid in the construction of public library buildings. Fourteen* of the applicants received grants ranging from $5,000 to $18,700. Between 1905 and 1920 thirteen new public library buildings were designed, constructed and opened to the public. Each community receiving a grant had to agree to provide a suitable site and annual support from tax sources amounting to ten percent of the grant. All of the Carnegie public library buildings in South Carolina were built to house city or town library service. With the extension of library service to the entire county or region, eight of these buildings became too small and were replaced with new buildings. Five of the buildings are still in use though they have been extensively renovated and in some cases expanded by additions. All of the buildings are still in existence.

Community Opening Year Replace by new building
Anderson (Anderson County Library) 1908 1971
Beaufort (Beaufort County Library) 1918 1964
Gaffney (Cherokee County Public Library) 1914 1972
Greenwood (City & County Library) 1917 1958; 1978
Marion (Marion County Library) 1905 1930; 1976
Spartanburg (Spartanburg County Public Library) 1905 1961
Sumter (Sumter County Library) 1917 1968
Camden (Kershaw County Library) 1916 1973

*The Charleston Library Society (not a public library) received a grant of $5,000 to aid in the construction of a $75,000 building in 1914.

Carnegie library buildings still housing public library service:

Community Opening Year
Darlington (Darlington County Library) 1920
Honea Path (Branch of Anderson County Library) 1908
Kingstree (Williamsburg County Library) 1917
Union (Union County Library) 1905
Latta (Dillon County Library) 1914

Estellene P. Walker,
"So Good and Necessary a Work": The Public Library in South Carolina, 1698-1980
(Columbia: South Carolina State Library, 1981), p. 53.

A note on the text

Read more about:

back home