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      USC library houses rare books, special collections

      In addition to the rare items, the library also offers a golden standard with its green theme.

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Vice President Joe Biden will soon make a stop in the Capital City. Biden will participate in the dedication of the Hollings Library on the USC campus. The library, housing some historical and highly-valued collections.

      Rare books and special collections are just a few of the valuable treasures on display inside USC's new $18 million Hollings Library.

      "To have over 100,000 volumes in a rare book collection, that's pretty unusual," said Dean of Libraries Tom McNally.

      McNally calls the unusual collection "priceless treasures" that need to be preserved.

      "It puts us in a very elite company," said McNally.

      Just as elite are the new digital collections. The library offers a high-tech device, helping to create digital versions of maps and other rare materials. The machine is helping scholars and the public find answers in the blink of an eye.

      "Every person comes to the library with a question; "Why?" And so we want those people to have access to those collections," said McNally.

      The library also houses a collection from state politicians. Manuscripts from former governors and prominent leaders are available, by the touch of a button.

      Patrick Scott, who oversees the rare books, says the library makes South Carolina attractive globally.

      "This is the only nationally ranked library in the state," said Scott. "And the collections here are nationally known and internationally known," said Scott.

      In addition to the rare items, the library also offers a golden standard with its green theme. The buildings' architects say there's great detail in the design.

      "The carpet that you see is green labels, made out of recycled materials," said architect Eugene Bell. "And the amount of construction waste we recycled 94 percent everything that would have normally gone to a landfill."

      Officials hope the salvaged stacks of literature, will ensure the historical findings remain a part of the present.