Walker Local and Family History Center
You can also access a wealth of resources online including:
- the Online Obituary Index. You may request copies of the original obituaries.
- genealogy databases which are free for Richland Library Card holders.
- the Local History digital collection which includes Columbia City Directories and Confederate rolls
If you reside outside of Richland County, you may apply for a card for $65 dollars a year.
- 1 Contact Information and Hours
- 2 Calendar and Events
- 3 Resources
- 3.1 Research Guides
- 3.2 Vital Information
- 3.3 Biographies
- 3.4 Cemeteries
- 3.5 Churches
- 3.6 Databases and Software
- 3.7 Directories
- 3.8 Hardware and Equipment
- 3.9 History Local
- 3.10 Maps
- 3.11 Microfilm
- 3.12 Military History
- 3.13 Newspapers
- 3.14 Periodicals
- 3.15 Ethnic Research
- 3.16 Vertical Files
- 4 Services
- 5 Resources in the Local Area
- 6 Links
- 7 References
Contact Information and Hours
Location & Map:
- Richland Library
1431 Assembly St.
Columbia, SC 29201
- Take the escalator or elevator to the third floor.
- Get directions to Richland Library (Google).
Phone: (803) 929-3402 See also Call a Librarian.
E-mail: Email a Librarian
Mon-Thu: 9:00am - 9:00pm
Fri-Sat: 9:00am - 6:00pm
Sun: 2:00pm - 6:00pm
Calendar and Events
- Walking In the Past Lane - We bring a new and interesting slice of history every 1st Thursday, Local History Room, Main Library, 6:00
- Sept 5: Alexia Helsley discussing her new book "Wicked Columbia."
The following resources are available to patrons on site:
- FamilySearch Catalog: The Walker Local and Family History Center has the ability to order any of the films and fiche available through the FamilySearch Catalog.
- Holcomb, Brent Howard. Marriage and death notices from Columbia, South Carolina, newspapers, 1792-1839. Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1982
- Holcomb, Brent Howard. Marriage and death notices from Columbia, South Carolina, newspapers, 1838-1860 : including legal notices from burnt counties. Columbia, South Carolina: B. H. Holcomb, 1988.
- Richland County marriages 1911 - present.
Our online obituary database contains obituary and death notice information from the Columbia, SC newspapers:
- The State (1892-present)
- The Palmetto Leader (1925-1928, 1930, January-April 1931); Columbia’s foremost African-American paper
- Obituary Index to The State for World War II servicemen killed in action (1941-1949)
- Christian Neighbor 1884 - 1885
These newspapers may contain statewide obituary and death information. Click the Request tab for ordering information.
- Our collection includes cemetery surveys for Richland, Lexington, Newberry, Fairfield, Sumter, Kershaw and Orangeburg counties. Many other counties are also represented in the collection.
The collection includes several Columbia church histories in print and in our vertical files.
- Clayton, J. Glenwood, ed. Journal of the South Carolina Baptist Historical Society Volumes 1-28. Greenville, South Carolina: South Carolina Baptist Historical Society, 1975-200.
- Fairfield Baptist Association minutes: 1928 - 1952.
Databases and Software
The following databases are available through Richland Library. For more information see: Genealogy Resources
- Accessible Archives
- America's Obituary and Death Notices
- Ancestry Library Edition (inside library access only)
- Heritage Quest
- South Carolina Historical Newspapers Collection
City directories offer an alphabetized listing of residents and businesses as well as a street-by-street listing of occupants. We maintain a print collection of Columbia City directories from 1859 - present, with gaps. Richland County directories are available from 1962 - present. We also have Lexington County directories from 1966 - present. However, the Lexington County areas of Cayce, New Brookland and West Columbia are covered in earlier Columbia Directories.
We also have a searchable digital collection of Columbia City Directories starting from 1859. This collection is made possible through by Richland Library and University of South Carolina Libraries. Check back often as this collection is always growing.
Hardware and Equipment
1. Two computers are available with access to Ancestry, HeritageQuest, Accesible Archives and Newsbank.
2. A public scanner is available for scanning documents and books.
3. A scanning microfilm machine is available for the public to use.
4. The library sells USB devices if needed.
- Hennig, Helen Kohn. Columbia, Capital City of South Carolina 1786-1936. Columbia, South Carolina: The Columbia Sesqui-Centennial Commission, 1936
- Public depository for The State newspaper. Microfilm holdings are available from 1891 - present.
- Palmetto Leader 1925 - 1957.
- Columbia Daily Register July 28, 1875 - Dec 3, 1898.
- Christian Neighbor 1884 - 1885.
- Sanborn fire insurance maps.
- WPA Tombstone Inscriptions.
- Wallace papers.
- Secretary of War. War of Rebellion Official Records of The Union and Confederate Armies. Government Printing Office, 1880-1901 (reprinted by National Historic Society, Harrisburg, PA, 1971)
World War I
World War II
- Selected Obituaries of World War II Veterans. Columbia, South Carolina: The State, 1992-2012
Wells, Lawrence K, and Brent H. Holcomb, ed. South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, Vol. 1-20. Columbia, SC, USA: SCMAR, 1973-1992. The volumes of The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research include a wealth of resources for South Carolina genealogy. Some of the many types of records included are Bible records, biographies, marriage records, obituaries, wills and deeds. Indexes through Volume XL are available on site. A searchable online database for Volumes I-20 can be found at Ancestry.
- It was the service of African Americans in servitude that turned the little community near Taylor's Hill into the city of Granby which became the capital city of South Carolina.
- Deas Moore, Vennie. Black America Series: Columbia, South Carolina. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing, 2000
Staff Research Specialties
Resources in the Local Area
- Columbia, South Carolina
- Richland County, South Carolina
- South Carolina
- The Dead Librarian - Helping South Carolina family historians find free, online information.
- Hennig, Helen Kohn. Columbia, Capital City of South Carolina 1786-1936. Columbia, South Carolina: The Columbia Sesqui-Centennial Commission, 1936, See page 303.