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Photographic Materials

From the Series:

Audio-Visual Materials includes a large subseries of Photographic Materials. The subseries is primarily arranged by image format and contains slides, negatives, prints, and scrapbook pages. It is secondarily arranged by county and topical content. The only exception is the scrapbook pages, which were left in their original order.

Workman was an amateur photographer. His collection includes thousands of images taken across South Carolina and feature prominent South Carolinians within and outside the state. Of the counties, Charleston in the late 1930s is particularly well documented, with significant series of images from the aftermath of tornadoes in 1938, which resulted in deaths, hundreds of serious injuries, and property damage exceeding $3 million; the Azalea Festival, which began in 1934 as a rival to New Orleans’s Mardi Gras festivities and ended in 1953; and Cromwell “Crumble” Alley, a slum occupied by African-Americans that was cleared to make way for Robert Mills Manor, a federally funded low-income housing project for whites. The topical subseries contain images from both World Wars, people such as James Byrnes, political life (notably the Dixiecrat Movement and Workman’s 1962 Senate campaign), and the creation of the Savannah River Plant. In 1984, a retrospective of Workman’s photographs, titled “Bill Workman’s South Carolina: Four Decades Through a Newsman’s Eyes,” was mounted at the Columbia Museum of Art. An assortment of prints selected for the retrospective, sponsored by Springs Industries, are present in both Photographic Materials and Oversized Prints. A master list of the images used in the exhibit and captions from the photographs are included in Cutlines.

Digitized recordings from sixty-five audio reels, chiefly political in nature, provide a chance to hear key figures in modern southern political history, among them Herman E. Talmadge, Sen. Edgar A. Brown, and George Wallace. The earliest reel in the collection is of a 1938 campaign speech by “Cotton Ed” Smith. There are several recordings from rallies and other events held during Workman’s 1962 Senate campaign. The recordings also include interviews with Workman by Mike Wallace and by Dave Garroway of NBC’s Today Show following the publication of his book The Case for the South. The subseries also includes audio cassettes and vinyl records. Two optical discs, housed with the other items of that format, appear to contain duplicates of some audio reel content.

The Sketches subseries include illustrations by political cartoonist Walt Lardner and by Fred Rhoads, an American cartoonist best known for his contributions to George Baker's comic strip Sad Sack. The sketches include representations of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Edgar Brown, James F. Byrnes, Robert Kennedy, and Workman during his 1962 campaign.


  • 1915 - 1997


Copyright of William D. Workman's papers has been transferred to the University of South Carolina.


From the Collection: 65 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