Skip to main content

Alwyn Goldstein papers

Identifier: Mss 1096

Collection Overview

Papers of Alwyn Goldstein of Georgetown, South Carolina. Materials document Goldstein’s personal and professional activities and interests. Papers contain biographical materials, correspondence, research files, printed materials, photographs, family scrapbooks, and family photograph albums. Also included are materials relating to Alwyn’s Department Store and various administrative records of Temple Beth Elohim. Please note that, where possible, original folder titles have been retained.

The collection contains assorted biographical materials including birth certificates, marriage licenses, memorials, obituaries, and genealogical materials. Also included are Alwyn's Department Store records, such as deeds, financial and mortgage documentation, architectural drawings, contact cards, business cards, letterheads, as well as various artifacts, including a glove stretcher, a pushke (charity box), and a ring size fitter. There are also Temple Beth Elohim administrative files including membership lists, Brotherhood correspondence and minutes, congregational minutes, financial records, and several editions of Rocket to Mars and Into the Underground Kingdom, Hebrew School textbooks. There is also incoming and outgoing correspondence, organized chronologically from 1945 to 2010, regarding family, Alwyn's Department Store, and Temple Beth Elohim matters. Also included are a small number of research files containing poems, jokes, "Alwynisms," Yiddish history, and materials relating to A Portion of the People: Three Hundred Years of Southern Jewish Life, an exhibition and book produced by McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina. There are also printed materials including clippings and postcards relating to Jewish history, Georgetown history, Alwyn's Department Store, and Goldstein family members. Also included are black-and-white and color photographs predominantly depicting Goldstein family members, Georgetown residents, and Georgetown and Charleston, South Carolina businesses. There are also family scrapbooks, arranged chronologically from 1920 to 2006, containing clippings and other printed materials relating to the Goldstein family. Also included are Goldstein family photograph albums, arranged chronologically from 1909 to 1983, containing images of various Goldstein family members and friends.


  • Creation: 1886-2014


Language of Material

Materials predominantly in English; some materials in Hebrew

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research, with the following exception: USB flash drive: “Georgetown Temple Beth Elohim History,” 2010, box 6, folder 2. Access is restricted as materials in this series are currently unprocessed. Materials are not available in their original format and must be reformatted to digital access copies.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the College of Charleston's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. Special Collections claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Biographical Note

Alwyn Goldstein (1915-2010) was born in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 4, 1915, to Rosie Goldman Goldstein (1888-1980) and Max Goldstein (1891-1967). Throughout his childhood and adolescence, Goldstein worked at his parents' clothing store on King Street in downtown Charleston. In 1938, he relocated to Georgetown, South Carolina, and opened Alwyn's Department Store on Front Street. That same year, he married Thelma Engel (1915-1968), and the couple raised their two children, Rosalyn (b. 1939) and Steven (b. 1945), in the coastal town. In 1940, Goldstein was drafted to the United States military for pre-induction, nearly causing him to close out his business at a loss, but was ultimately not called to serve, affording him the opportunity to continue operating the store. From the 1960s to the 1980s, Goldstein was secretary of Georgetown’s Temple Beth Elohim and was active in the Temple Brotherhood, a committee that provided financial and grounds maintenance assistance to the congregation. After the death of his first wife in 1968, he married Frances Ward (1921-2011), a family friend. Together, they ran the store until it closed in 1989 after being badly damaged by Hurricane Hugo. Goldstein was an active lay leader in Congregation Beth Elohim all the years he lived in Georgetown and, as membership dwindled in 1990s, served increasingly as the unofficial "rabbi." In 2004, Goldstein and his wife moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, where he lived until his death in 2010.


6.25 linear feet (9 document boxes, 1 carton, 24 scrapbooks, 6 photograph albums, 6 objects, 1 oversize paper folder, 1 USB flash drive, 1 CD, 1 videocassette)


Biographical materials, correspondence, research files, printed materials, photographs, family scrapbooks, and family photograph albums of Alwyn Goldstein of Georgetown, South Carolina. Also included are materials relating to Alwyn’s Department Store and various administrative records of Temple Beth Elohim.

Collection Arrangement

  1. Biographical materials, 1915-2010
  2. Alwyn’s Department Store, 1897, 1942-2007
  3. Temple Beth Elohim, 1964-2003
  4. Correspondence, 1945-2010
  5. Research files, 1950-2014
  6. Printed materials, 1896-2014
  7. Photographs, 1886-2010
  8. Family scrapbooks, 1920-2009
  9. Family photograph albums, 1909-1983

Acquisitions Information

Materials were donated in 2010 and 2017 by Roslyn Goldstein Greenspon.


No further accruals are expected.

Related Materials

Related materials in Special Collections include the oral history interview with Philip Schneider and Alwyn Goldstein (Mss 1035-004).

Separated Material

The books Charleston Directory, 1860 and The Owlet, 1935 have been removed and catalogued separately. The book Maps and Views to Accompany Message and Documents, 1856-7 and accompanying documentation has been removed and processed separately.

Processing Information

Originally processed by Sarah Dorpinghaus, August 2011. Reprocessed by Sam Sfirri, December 2019.

Inventory of the Alwyn Goldstein Papers, 1886-2014
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Special Collections
College of Charleston Libraries
66 George Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424
(843) 953-8016
(843) 953-6319 (Fax)