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Pat Conroy archive

Identifier: SCU-RBSC-2014-3

This collection documents the life and work of Pat Conroy (1945-2016), considered to be one of the preeminent figures in contemporary Southern literature. Born in 1945, Conroy has written best-selling novels and memoirs as well as poetry, essays and screenplays and even a cookbook, The Pat Conroy Cookbook: Recipes of My Life (1999). His works are primarily autobiographical in nature. His experience as the oldest of seven children born to an abusive Marine father inspired his works The Great Santini (1976), The Death of Santini (2013). He attended and played basketball at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, inspiring his works The Boo (1970), Lords of Discipline (1980) and My Losing Season (2002). His time teaching African American students in a two room school house on Daufuskie Island, South Carolina in 1970 was the basis for his work The Water is Wide (1972). His other works are also informed by his lived experiences, including his marriages, parenthood, the loss of his own parents and sibling, familial strife (The Prince of Tides, 1986 and My Reading Life, 2010) and his sense of place (South of Broad, 2009) which is apparent in his writings about his adopted home town of Beaufort, SC and his time spent in Rome, Italy (Beach Music, 1995). The collection contains manuscript material from each of Conroy’s works, including unpublished works. Conroy is unable to type and writes each draft in long-hand and sends these drafts out to a typist. These typed drafts are also included. The collection also contains professional and personal correspondence and personal journals kept by Conroy. The collection also contains correspondence, journals, financial and legal information, photographs and clippings and documents relating to Pat Conroy’s life and the lives of his immediate family. Also included in the archive are the papers of Conroy’s high school English teacher and mentor, Eugene Norris. Norris’s papers contain material relating to his relationship with Conroy as well as papers relating to the early Civil Rights Movement and the desegregation of Beaufort schools. Of particular note are the papers of Reuben G. Holmes, a businessman and inventor in Civil War Beaufort, SC included within the Norris papers. Also of note, the archive contains the papers of Donald Conroy, Pat Conroy’s father. Don Conroy was the inspiration for Pat Conroy’s title character in The Great Santini and his abusive relationship with his children is a major theme in Pat Conroy’s works. A large portion of Don Conroy’s papers relate to his military career, however, of particular note are the scrapbooks kept by Don Conroy as the Conroy family archive, referred to as the “Arcs” and explained in detail at the beginning of the Donald Conroy Papers series. Additional notes and description occur at the beginning of series in the finding aid. All unique folder titles and usages recorded in quotes are Conroy’s own and have not been supplied by the processors.


  • 1850


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

All rights reside with the creator. For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections.


96 boxes


Organized in twenty series: I. Biographical material; II. General material; III. Manuscripts; IV. Screenplays; V. Other Writings; VI. Journals; VII. Correspondence; VIII. Financial and Legal; IX. Photographs; X. Clippings; XI. Magazines; XII. Manuscripts by others; XIII. Audio Visual; XIV. Realia; XV. Oversize; XVI. Norman Berg Related Material; XVII. Eugene Norris Related material; XVIII. Donald Conroy Papers; XIX: 2016 Addition; XX: 2018 Addition.

Related Materials

Eugene Norris related materials are also located in the Millen Ellis Papers, 1962-2005, at the Caroliniana Library at the University of South Carolina.

Reuben G. Holmes related material can be found in the Christensen Family Papers, 1806-1999, at the Caroliniana Library at the University of South Carolina.

Repository Details

Part of the Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections Repository

Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library
1322 Greene Street
Columbia SC 29208 USA
(803) 777-3847

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