COLUMBIA -- The South Carolina Political Collections — one of the largest political collections in the nation — will expand Monday, Aug. 6 when the University of South Carolina opens the Richard W. Riley Collection.
The collection, the culmination of five years of curation, details the life and public career of Richard Wilson “Dick” Riley, a former South Carolina state representative, senator and governor, and U.S. Secretary of Education.
“As a former South Carolina governor and state legislator, I am so proud to have my collection housed at one of the state’s premier public institutions of higher learning, the University of South Carolina, where I also graduated from the School of Law,” Riley said. “USC is a prestigious university, and its Hollings Special Collections Library is a jewel. The library’s political collections are an outstanding repository of documents that provide valuable, historical information about South Carolina’s leaders, government and political activities at the local, state and national levels.”
To celebrate the collection’s opening, Riley has invited former President Bill Clinton, for whom he served as a cabinet officer, to deliver special remarks at a private opening event Aug. 6 that will feature invited university and government officials and special guests.
It was in 1992 that his close friend and former Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton ran for president, with Riley serving as his South Carolina campaign chair. Clinton later tapped him for a presidential cabinet position.
The Richard W. Riley Collection is among the most comprehensive archives in the university’s S.C. Political Collections, with documents and memorabilia that chronicle Riley’s local, state and federal public service and work as a private citizen.
University Libraries staff have received materials from Riley since the 1990s. The vast archive contains more than 3,000 photographs; thousands of speeches with Riley’s handwritten edits; extensive research notes on policy development; considerable correspondence and news clippings; interviews with Riley and his wife Tunky Riley, their son, Ted, and Riley’s father, Edward P. “Ted” Riley; and printed campaign materials from Riley’s candidacies and his efforts for others, including Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and Al Gore.
Highlights of the Richard W. Riley Collection will be on display in the gallery of the South Carolina Political Collections in the Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library. The exhibit “Richard W. Riley: Statesman of Education” opens Aug. 6 for public view and remains open through Dec. 23. The Hollings Library is accessible through the university’s Thomas Cooper Library, and operates 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. weekdays.