South Carolina Historical SocietyEdit This Page

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South Carolina Historical Society


Contact Information



100 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29401-2215
Telephone:  843-723-3225    Fax:  843-723-8584

Library Hours:[1]  Tuesday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.; Saturday 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.; Holidays.

Directions, maps, and public transportation:[1]

Follow Interstate 26 east to the end and take the Meeting St./Visitor Info exit. Turn right onto Meeting Street and continue for approximately 1.5 miles. The Fireproof Building, home of the South Carolina Historical Society, will be on the left at the corner of Meeting and Chalmers Streets. See Google Map.
Parking: The South Carolina Historical Society does not have its own parking facility. Metered street parking is available in the surrounding area, and the city operates several public parking garages in the vicinity. Parking is also available in the Charleston County Garage on the right side of Meeting Street just past Hibernian Hall.

Internet sites and databases:

Collection Description

The Society has a non-lending library with 60,000 historical records, manuscripts, books, photos, and family histories.[2] Includes diaries and papers, plantation, business, and church records, maps, plats, genealogies, the Civil War, and local/state/regional histories. 30,000 photos, 50,000 books, pamphlets, and serials. Their vertical files are on subjects like architecture, African-Americans, churches, and localities.

Their manuscript collection does not include original public or civic documents, such as vital records, taxes, military records, or court records, except as printed or microfilm copies.


The Library is open to everyone. Non-members pay $5 (U.S.) per day.


  • Vertical File Guide Jan 2010 with topics like African Americans, business, cemeteries, churches, forts, history, Native Americans, and plantations.

Alternate Repositories

If you cannot visit or find a source at the South Carolina Historical Society, a similar source may be available at one of the following.

Similar Collections

  • Historical Charleston Foundation
  • South Carolina Department of Archives and History

Neighboring Collections

  • Charleston Library Society
  • Charleston County Public Library
  • Charleston Museum Archives
  • Charleston County Clerk of the Court
  • Charleston County Register of Deeds
  • Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina Archives, Dalco Historical Soc., Charleston, colonial parish records.
  • Repositories in surrounding counties:  Berkeley County, Georgetown County, Colleton County, Dorchester County.
  • South Carolina Genealogical Society, Edgefield, has a modest collection of family histories, genealogies, state and county record abstracts, county histories, local histories, and church histories.
  • South Caroliniana Library (Univ. of SC, Columbia) 75,000 books/micrifilms, 1.3 manuscripts including genealogies, and the notable collections of Leonardo Andrea, Bessie Lee Garvin, and Louise K. Crowder.
  • South Carolina State Museum, Columbia, Revolutionary and colonial, antebellum, Civil War, post Civil War, African American history.
  • Repositories in other surrounding states: North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee.
  • National Archives Southeast Region (Atlanta) (i.e. Morrow), federal censuses,, military, pensions, bounty-land, photos, passengers arrival indexes, naturalizations, Native Americans, African Americans, workshops.
  • State Library of N. Car., Raleigh, family history, Bibles, marriage, death, newspaper, deeds, photos.
  • North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, census, military, courts, bond, deed, estate, vital records, wills.
  • Georgia Archives, Morrow, genealogies, county histories, newspapers, tax digests, private papers, church records, cemeteries, Bible records, a few municipal records, census, maps, land plats, photographs, Georgia Confederate service and pension records, colonial, headright, and bounty land grants, land lottery, and Georgia county records.
  • Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, vital records, censuses, county records, tax lists, local histories, school censuses, military records, Native Americans, newspapers, obituary lists, and maps.
  • Dallas Public Central Library Texas, 111,700 volumes, 64,500 microfilms, 89,000 microfiche, and over 700 maps, marriage, probate, deed, and tax abstracts in book form, or microfilm of originals for some states, and online databases.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Visit Us" South Carolina Historical Society at (accessed 12 May 2011).
  2. Alice Eichholz, ed., Redbook: American State, County, and Town Sources, 3rd ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 603. (FHL Book 973 D27rb). WorldCat entry.


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