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Robert Lee Oakman archive

Identifier: SCU-RBSC-2018-2

This collection contains manuscripts of Oakman’s innovative research as part of his dissertation and the creation of the Computer Science department at the University of South Carolina as well as manuscripts of Oakman’s books and computer programs, documents related to his frequent participation in international and national conferences, grant administration and teaching. Of particular interest are the various computer storage media within the collection. Beginning with early computing on punch cards and continuing through the development of the CD-ROM. Also included are materials related to Oakman’s personal interest in the Charleston Renaissance and stamps.

The 2019 Accession includes materials to complete the Robert Oakman Archive. Of special note is the inclusion of the framed Fold, Staple, Mutilate comic original art.


  • 1958-2017


Access Restrictions

Open to research

Publication Rights

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


24 boxes

1 oversize box

Biographical Note

Dr. Robert Lee Oakman (1941-2020) taught at the University of South Carolina, holding a dual-appointment in Computer Science and English. His area of focus in English was the Victorian era, with a particular interest in the works of Thomas Carlyle. In Computer Science, he was an early advocate for the use of computing in the Humanities and his doctoral thesis was centered on the computer-aided collation of the works of Carlyle. During his time at USC Dr. Oakman developed, with others, several computer programs designed to aid those who studied the Humanities. One of the earliest programs he created was URICA!, a program designed to facilitate the collation of literary works. LiveWriter was a program designed to let teachers review their students’ work as the students were writing it on their computer when the teacher’s computer was networked with the students’. LanguageWriter was designed to aid in learning a foreign language. MediaLink was a multimedia presentation tool that utilized hyperlinks embedded in the text to pull up images and other information. While this seems commonplace now, MediaLink was one of the first programs to enable this style of presentation, and directly influenced Microsoft’s development of PowerPoint. Dr. Oakman was active in attending conferences and presented at many of those he attended. He considers one of his greatest accomplishments to be his invitation to, and presentation at, the Library of Congress: Scholarship Today symposium, which featured a speech by Henry Kissinger. Beyond his interests in the Victorian era and the use of computers in the Humanities, Dr. Oakman was also passionate about the Charleston, SC Renaissance and he collected stamps, focusing on first day covers.


Gift, 2018

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

Robert Lee Oakman archive
Adam Crosby
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