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About this collection

In their own words, get a personal glimpse from residents of Columbia or Richland County into their experiences of life in the past! This collection of oral histories from 1985 to the present was collected by Richland Library staff and volunteers. Our oral history collection includes audio or video recordings as well as searchable transcripts of these interviews. This collection continues to grow, so check back for new additions.


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Technical guidelines for use

In order to provide these oral histories in a manner accessible to all users, transcripts have been prepared and added to the collection. To listen to or watch the oral history interview and read the transcript at the same time, first select the oral history to open the item. Then select the Play button, and click on the Text tab for a formatted full-text transcript of the interview.

Additionally, the transcripts have been prepared in a PDF format that can be downloaded and printed for convenience. To view these documents, select the transcript link on the right side of the oral history item page.


Guide to Richland Library Oral History Collection

Use this subject guide to explore the diverse collection of oral histories found in Local History in various formats.


Columbia Residents | Journalists | Library Employees


Columbia Residents


Interviewee Name(s)Life SpanProfessionDate of InterviewFormats Available

Ethel Berry
Willis Charles

Daughters of educator Cornell Alvin (C.A.) Johnson 2004-09-23 Transcript, DVD
J. Helena Beyersdorf-Cottle, Kathy Riley and Marie Toner   Representatives of the Family Shelter of Columbia, speaking on 25th anniversary 2004-10-28 Transcript, VHS
Ethel M. Bolden 1918-2002 Librarian in Richland School District One, former member of the Board of Trustees of the Richland County Public Library 1995-10-26 Transcript, VHS, DVD, Online
Thomasina Briggs
Elnora Robinson
Residents of the Waverly neighborhood 2001-05-24 Transcript, VHS, DVD, Online
Nobel Cooper, Sr.
Nobel Cooper, Jr.
Dentists; Sr. is a civil rights activist; Jr. is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Richland County Public Library 2002-02-07 Transcript, VHS, DVD, Online
Horace “Sally” Crouch 1918-2005 Army flight navigator, member of the Doolittle Raiders during WWII 1997-06-12 Transcript, VHS, DVD, Online
Curren R. Craft, John H. Gibson, Rev. H. A. Hinton, James H. Hopkins, Elliott Houser, Sr., Juliet Refo McClendon, and James Sulton   Longtime residents of Elmwood Park neighborhood 2007-05-17 Transcript, VHS
Jane Guignard Curry 1903-2002 Longtime resident of Columbia and Cayce 1999-06-23 Transcript, VHS, DVD, Online
Augustus T. “Gus” Graydon 1916-2007 Attorney, member of the Board of Trustees of the Richland County Public Library 1994-03-29 Transcript, VHS, DVD, Online
Daniel W. Hollis 1922-2008 Historian, Professor at USC, former member of the Board of Trustees of the Richland County Public Library 1999-08-11 Transcript, VHS, DVD
Brenda Jaco, Doyle J. Jaco, Jr., Bobby Giles, Romesa Windham, Martha Martin, Inez Hughes, and Jim Jaco   Olympia residents 2000-11-09 Transcript, DVD
Louis "Lou" Kaplan 1914-2010 Actor, founder of House of Fabrics 2006-04-06 Transcript, VHS, DVD
Florence Levy 1907-2013 Owner of Reliable Loan Pawn Shop, widow of Moe Levy owner of Moe Levy’s next door to Reliable Loan 2002-06-18 Transcript, VHS, DVD
Mary Gregory Lilliewood 1902-2002 Park Street resident 1995-04-20 Transcript, VHS, DVD, Online
Carrie Allen McCray 1913-2008 Writer 1999-08-18 Transcript, VHS
Julius Walker McKay 1923- Former Chairman of Richland County Council and former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Richland County Public Library 1996-05-23 Transcript, VHS, DVD, Online
John Allen Middleton 1954- Genealogist, longtime resident of Lower Richland County 1996-11-07 Transcript, VHS, DVD
Ruth Crary Miller 1898-1993 Teacher at Hyatt Park School in Eau Claire 1991-08-27 Transcript, VHS, DVD, Online
Martha Cunningham Monteith 1921- Speech pathologist 2005-12-01 Transcript, VHS, DVD, Online
E. Perry Palmer 1935-2010 Funeral home director 2002-12-09 Transcript, VHS
Robert Isadore “Tigue” Phillips 1913-2009 Entrepreneur, WWII veteran 2001-05-03 Transcript, VHS, DVD
Leon Ritter
Dorothy Ritter
1917-2010 1923-2009 Owners of Leon Ritter Furs of Columbia 2000-07-06 Transcript, VHS
Kenneth F. Sandiford 1921-2013 Coach, educator 1999-06-10 Transcript, VHS, DVD
Modjeska Simkins 1899-1992 Civil rights activist 1985-10-28 Transcript, Cassette, CD, Online
Edmund R. Taylor
Mary Herbert Taylor
Dr. Taylor is a physician and local historian. Dr. Taylor and Mary, his wife, are longtime Columbia residents 1999-09-01 Transcript, VHS, DVD, Online
Cecil J. Williams 1932- Photographer 2007-03-22 Transcript, VHS, DVD, Online
Edmund Yaghjian 1903-1997 Artist 1991-01 Transcript, VHS, DVD, Online

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Interviewee Name(s)Life SpanProfessionDate of InterviewFormats Available
Joe Daggett   News broadcaster 2006-08-03 Transcript, VHS
David Dodds, Robert Ford, Jim Paul, and Edward Sexauer   News broadcasters 2008-01-31 DVD
Alderman Duncan 1906-1998 Journalist and broadcaster 1992-04-09 Transcript, VHS
Robert “Bob” Fulton 1920-2010 Sports announcer 1985-05-23 Transcript, Cassette, CD, Online
Robert “Bob” Fulton 1920-2010 Sports announcer 2005-06-16 Transcript, DVD
Jim Gandy   News broadcaster, meteorologist 2008-04-23 DVD
Bob Hickman 1933- News broadcaster 2006-07-06 Transcript, VHS
Joe Pinner   News broadcaster 2008-01-10 DVD
David L. “Dave” Rogers 1929-2010 News broadcaster 2006-06-29 Transcript, VHS
Jim Seay 1936- News broadcaster 2005-05-05 Transcript, VHS
U. Eugene “Gene” Upright 1931- News broadcaster 2006-08-23 Transcript, VHS
Jim Welch 1940- News broadcaster 2007-10-04 Transcript, VHS, DVD

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Library Employees


Interviewee Name(s)Life SpanProfessionDate of InterviewFormats Available
Anne Bagwell, Margaret Claypool, Susannah Farley, Carolyn Flemming, Helen Ann Rawlinson, Margie Richardson, Ginger Shuler, and Jackie Sligh   Longtime employees with the Richland County Public Library 2008-02-28 Transcript, DVD
Clothilde Cammarata, Deborah L. Griffis, Diane M. Luccy, Juliet J. Payne, Quincy Pugh, DeBarbara Robinson, and Melissa Thigpen   Employees with the Richland County Public Library, leadership class participants 2007-09-18 Transcript, DVD
Mabel Craft 1929- Former employee of the Richland County Public Library 1998-10-15 Transcript, VHS, DVD
Derial Sanders Jackson 1922-2000 Former librarian with Richland County Public Library 1995-01-17 Transcript, Cassette, CD, VHS
Julian Kennedy 1909-2001 Former employee and volunteer with Richland County Public Library 1995-10-18 Transcript, Cassette
Anna Davis King 1914-2012 Librarian, Director of the Richland County Public Library 1993-11-04 Transcript, VHS, DVD, Online
Helen Law   Former employee of the Richland County Public Library 1994-06-24 Transcript, Cassette
Eliza Barron Macaulay 1908-2003 Former librarian with Columbia Public Library and Richland County Public Library 1995-07-13 Transcript, VHS, DVD
Roberta Jordan Meares 1910-2005 Former librarian with the Richland County Public Library, set up first libraries in Richland County Schools 1999-07-19 Transcript, VHS, DVD
David Warren, Gerda Kahn, Helen Ann Rawlinson, Paulette Rowell, and Ginger Shuler   Library director and administrative staff of the Richland County Public Library 2003-09-22 Transcript, VHS

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