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Inventory of the Alwyn Goldstein Papers, 1927-2010

Descriptive Summary

Abstract: Photographs, newspaper clippings, interview recording, memorials, and other papers of Alwyn Goldstein, proprietor of Alwyn's Department Store in Georgetown, South Carolina. Also included are records relating to Temple Beth Elohim, of which Goldstein was an active member.
Title: Alwyn Goldstein papers
Creator: Goldstein, Alwyn, 1915-2010
Date(s): 1927-2010  
Extent: 0.25 linear feet
(1 document box)
Repository: Jewish Heritage Collection, Special Collections, College of Charleston Libraries
66 George Street
Charleston, SC 29424
Phone: (843) 953-8016
Fax: (843) 953-6319
Call Number: Mss 1096
Language of Material: Materials in English

Biographical Note

Alwyn O. Goldstein (1915-2010) was born to Rosie Goldman Goldstein (1888-1980) and Max Goldstein (1891-1967), who owned and operated a clothing store on King Street in Charleston, South Carolina. As a child, Goldstein worked in his parents' store until he opened Alwyn's Department Store in 1938 in Georgetown, South Carolina. That same year, he married Thelma Engel (1815-1968), and the couple had two children: Roslyn and Steve.

The Goldsteins were members of Beth Elohim, and Alwyn was temple secretary from the 1960s-1980s and active in the brotherhood. Congregation membership declined after the 1950s, and by 2003, only five members remained, prompting them to consider selling the temple and using the funds for cemetery maintenance. During this time, Goldstein served as unofficial "rabbi," acting as the lay reader for shortened weekly services. In 2004, the congregation had grown to forty-seven, as a result of the recruiting efforts of a new member, Elizabeth Moses. For more information on the history of Beth Elohim and Georgetown's Jewish population, see the Institute of Southern Jewish Life's Encyclopedia of Southern Jewish Communities.

After the death of his first wife in 1968, Goldstein married Frances Ward (1921- ), a family friend. Together, they ran the store until it closed in 1989 after being badly damaged by Hurricane Hugo. Alwyn Goldstein died in 2010.

Collection Overview

Photographs, newspaper clippings, interview recording, memorials, and other papers of Alwyn Goldstein, proprietor of Alwyn's Department Store in Georgetown, South Carolina. Also included are records relating to Temple Beth Elohim, of which Goldstein was an active member. These records include meeting minutes, financial records, membership lists, and materials relating to the Beth Elohim Brotherhood.

Collection Arrangement

1.  Biographical, 1927-2010
2.  Newspaper clippings, 1938-2007
3.  Beth Elohim, 1921, 1960s-2003

Search Terms

The following terms have been used to index this collection in the Library's online catalog. They are grouped by name of person, family, or organization, by topical subject, by place, and by types of material.


    • Alwyn's Department Store (Georgetown, S.C.)
    • Goldstein, Alwyn, 1915- 2010
    • Beth Elohim (Georgetown, S.C.)


    • Jewish merchants--South Carolina--Georgetown
    • Jews--South Carolina--Georgetown


    • Georgetown (S.C.)--Commerce

    Types of Material

    • Clippings (information artifacts)
    • Compact discs
    • Correspondence
    • Financial records
    • Interviews
    • Memorials
    • Obituaries
    • Photographs
    • Minutes

    Related Resources

    Related Material

    Related materials in Special Collections include a 1995 oral history interview with Philip Schneider and Alwyn Goldstein (1035-004).

    Detailed Description of the Collection

    Close All | Open All

    1. Biographical, 1927-2010 

    General, 1935-2008   box 1 | folder 1

    Includes a Goldstein family tree, materials relating to Alwyn's Department Store, correspondence, and CD recording of a 2008 interview with Alwyn Goldstein conducted by his grandson, Keith Greenspon. In the interview, Goldstein discusses his father's (Max Goldstein) family history, his childhood in Charleston, and opening his own store in Georgetown. The interview is available online through the Lowcountry Digital Library.

    Photographs, circa 1927, 1940s-1983   box 1 | folder 2

    Includes a picture of Ralph, Alwyn, and Max Goldstein in front of the family store at 538 King Street in Charleston; family portraits of Alwyn, Thelma, Roslyn, and Steve Goldstein; interior and exterior photographs of Alwyn's Department Store at 914 Front Street in Georgetown; and photographs of Alwyn and Frances Goldstein.

    Memorials and obituary, 2010   box 1 | folder 3

    Includes a photocopy of Goldstein's obituary and copies of the memorials given by family and friends at his funeral.

    2. Newspaper clippings, 1938-2007 

    Alwyn Goldstein, 1938-2007   box 1 | folder 4

    Articles mostly relate to Alywn's Department Store.

    Roslyn Goldstein Greenspon, 1975-2002   box 1 | folder 5

    Articles mostly relate to her work with the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.

    Steven Goldstein, 1958-2001   box 1 | folder 6

    Friends, 1984-2003   box 1 | folder 7

    3. Beth Elohim, 1921, 1960s-2003 

    General, 1921, 1964-2003   box 1 | folder 8

    Includes mostly correspondence and newspaper clippings about the temple and its members.

    Meeting minutes, 1964-1984   box 1 | folder 9

    Financial records, 1983-1994   box 1 | folder 10

    Membership lists, 1960s-1987   box 1 | folder 11

    Brotherhood, 1963-1970   box 1 | folder 12-13

    Includes meeting minutes, member lists, and correspondence.

    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions

    This collection is open for research.

    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.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Alwyn Goldstein papers, College of Charleston Libraries, Charleston, SC, USA.

    Acquisitions Information

    Materials were donated by Alwyn Goldstein and Roslyn Goldstein Greenspon.

    Alternate Form of Materials

    Alwyn Goldstein interview available online in the Lowcountry Digital Library.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Sarah Dorpinghaus, August 2011.

    Encoded by Sarah Dorpinghaus, September 2011.

    Funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources supported the processing of this collection and encoding of the finding aid.

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