If you would like assistance in researching materials in our archives. Please complete our Research Request Form. Due to the complexity of some research requests, please allow 3 - 5 business days for handling.
Lander University is rooted in rich history. The university began as Williamston Female College in 1872 by the Reverend Dr. Samuel Lander in the small town of Williamston, South Carolina. The college was housed in an abandon hotel within the town’s center In 1898, the college became supported by the South Carolina Methodist Conference. The college later moved to Greenwood, South Carolina in 1904 and changed its name to Lander College to honor founder Samuel Lander upon his passing. The college remained a female only college until 1943 when the first male day students were admitted. In 1948, Greenwood County became interested in the college when the Methodist Conference began consideration of ending its support for the institution. Greenwood County obtained the college name and property from the Methodist Conference in 1951. In July 1973, the college became a state assisted institution. Lander College became Lander University on July 1, 1992.
(Corner stone laying in Greenwood by Dr. Samuel Lander - May 2, 1904)
The Lander University Archives serve as the institution’s memory and house university-related archival materials, including university catalogs; student handbooks; yearbooks dating back to 1923; student, faculty and university publications; and unique historical objects from Lander’s history. Other materials are maintained in archival storage and available for use by students, faculty, staff, and community members. Rare finds within the collection include Samuel Lander’s textbook, On Arithmetic, his 1872 personal diary, and some of Dr. Lander’s sermons.
Lander's archives house the Watson Collection, monographs and pamphlets collected by Harry Legare Watson (1876-1956), the former editor and publisher of the Index-Journal. The Watson collection contains over 800 volumes of books and magazines.
Dr. David Mash, Associate Director of Library Services and University Archivist
We believe in the importance of facilitating the dissemination of knowledge and information in order to provide a broad view of history. In doing so, we acknowledge that materials in our collection reflect the attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs of different times and should be considered records of the era in which they were produced. As they arose in different eras, they do not always represent the values that Lander University holds today.