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"D" is for Dacus, Ida Jane (1875-1964)

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"D" is for Dacus, Ida Jane (1875-1964). Librarian. Dacus attended Winthrop and was one of three scholarship girls appointed to care for the school’s meager library. At the end of her junior year, she was asked to take over the library full-time. In 1902 she obtained her library certificate from Drexel Institute in Philadelphia and became the first professionally trained librarian in South Carolina. Dacus returned to Winthrop as head librarian where she worked until her retirement in 1945. In 1907 she inaugurated classes in library science, the first in reference (required of all freshmen) and a second in elementary library methods for schoolteachers. The courses became a model for librarianship around the country. In 1969 Winthrop dedicated its new library to honor Ida Jane Dacus, the pioneering librarian who devoted her life to furthering education in South Carolina.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar receivedhisA.B.degreefromDavidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.