Even though some of the offerings in Holly Segar’s shop in downtown Aiken are rare and expensive, she wants her customers to enjoy a hands-on experience.
“Everything is accessible,” said Segar, who opened Caroliniana at 311 Hayne Ave. S.W. in September. “You can look and hold and touch.”
In the front of the store, there are small pieces of antique furniture and primitive decorative items made by artisans.
In the back, there are high-end collectible books.
“They really are the main focus of the business,” Segar said. “At the moment, we have a first of edition of Mark Twain’s 'Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.' We also have vintage cookbooks that go back to the 1800s, and we did have a book about Aiken County.”
In addition, South Carolina land deeds from the 1700s, archives that document African-American history and old photographs of Aiken can be found at Caroliniana.
What is available in the shop “changes constantly,” Segar said. “I do a lot of shows, and I am constantly buying things. A lot of it goes quickly.”
Segar is a native of Aiken and a 2005 graduate of the University of Connecticut.
She formerly worked for England-based Peter Harrington, one of the leading rare book dealers in the world.
“I was their children’s literature expert,” Segar said. “They are very corporate in their structure, and I didn’t want to be in the corporate world. That’s why I decided to leave. Most of my family lives in Aiken, so it made sense to come back here.”
She is a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America.
“My specialty is Disneyana,” Segar said.
Disneyana is a term used to describe toys, books, animation cels and other items produced and/or licensed by the Walt Disney Company.
Because of stormwater pipe, sewer line and water line work being done on Hayne Avenue, Caroliniana doesn’t have regular hours of operation yet. But anyone who would like to visit the store can call Segar at 860-713-8066.
As of Nov. 10, Segar said, Caroliniana’s hours will 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.