Skip to main content


From the Collection: Nineteen feet of material, chiefly 1979 to 1992, provides valuable information about Patterson’s public service in South Carolina and Washington, D.C. Public papers primarily document Patterson’s service in the General Assembly and Congress. Personal papers, which make up the bulk of the collection, include material on her campaigns for office, family, civic involvement, and education.

Among the Public papers, Topical files demonstrate the range of issues Patterson was involved in while serving in the state Senate and in Congress. While state senator, Patterson served as chair of a Study Committee on Hunger and Nutrition. The committee looked at the situation and resources available in South Carolina and at efforts in other states to address similar problems.

As a Member of Congress, Patterson’s legislative interests, as detailed in the collection, included banking issues, budget reform, and veterans’ affairs. In addition, she was active in issues directly affecting her district, including funding for the proposed Southern Connector highway in Greenville County and the Greenville-Spartanburg airport, the establishment of BMW’s North American manufacturing headquarters in Greer, and trade policy affecting the textiles industry. In August 1992, Patterson was unanimously elected Chair of the Textile Caucus. She noted three priorities: educating members of Congress on textiles issues, building coalitions in Congress, the Executive Department, and within the textile industry to “move forward when needed,” and searching for “new means of accomplishing our goals.” However, her defeat in the 1992 election cut short her efforts as leader of the Caucus.

Personal papers consist primarily of campaign records, 1975 to 1994, with the bulk of the material dating from Patterson’s races for Congress in 1986, 1988, 1990, and 1992. The campaign files demonstrate the publicity efforts, fundraising, and strategy used in her campaigns. Materials include event planning files, issue files, Democratic Party campaign and Get Out the Vote strategies, and polls and other research. Included in the 1992 campaign materials are files on Bill Clinton’s campaign, for which Patterson served on the One Woman/One Vote National Women’s Advisory Committee. Also among the Personal Papers are records of the Transportation 2000 Committee, to which Patterson was appointed shortly after leaving Congress. The committee was to advise the state Department of Highways and Public Transportation and charged with studying South Carolina’s transportation needs for the next decade, particularly focusing on funding. Vertical File Materials contain information gathered by SCPC relating to Patterson and may duplicate information already present in the collection.

Audiovisual materials include a large number of photographs, including many of Patterson’s childhood and her family, as well as audio and visual recordings, which consist primarily of campaign commercials and debate appearances (see item-level listing in the collection inventory). Clippings document Patterson’s family, her races for office, and her public service.


  • circa 1930-2016


From the Collection: 19 Linear Feet

Repository Details

Part of the South Carolina Political Collections Repository

Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library
1322 Greene St.
University of South Carolina
Columbia SC 29208 USA