Long ago you would not think of searching for resources without pulling out the drawer containing index card sized cards. It is still worth your while on your next visit to the South Caroliniana Library downtown Columbia on the campus of University of South Carolina to take time to go through the card catalog to see what may be there to help you in your genealogy. Not every resource has been added to the online catalog. The Book Division and the Manuscript Division both have a card catalog at the South Caroliniana Library.
So, what might you look for in the card catalog? Try to find resources that may document your ancestor or a former slave owner. Look up individuals or organizations or associations. These are a few helpful resource types you may discover that may have belonged at one time to people or organizations:
Journals or diaries
church histories or programs
bill of sale for a slave
compiled family history
Prepare before going
Compile a list of references to search for in the card catalog. Think of the ways that your ancestors or former slave owners may have been documented. Some ancestors were affiliated with organizations they depended on during the Jim Crow or Reconstruction Eras. They may be now extinct, and you may have never heard of them. It will not hurt to park yourself near the card catalog just to see what you things you may learn.
Bills of sale
Sometimes you may miss a resource in the online catalog and discover the item through the card catalog. The photograph included above shows the card catalog reference for Allen Vance. It leads to bills for sale and receipts for slaves from August 16, 1834 to June 21, 1860 in Laurens County, South Carolina.
Allen Vance was the brother of slave owner, Samuel Vance, who owned Beverly Vance (1832-1899). Allen was known to have traded a large quantity of slaves, and he could be the key to learning about the history of Beverly or his mother, Maria. They have been traced to 1868. Because not much documentation is available for Beverly or his mother, it is important to turn to researching the slave holding family to discover more.