South Carolina Archives, Libraries, and Societies

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This entry was originally written by Johni Cerny and Gareth L. Mark for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
SouthCarolina sil.png
the South Carolina Family History Research series.
History of South Carolina
South Carolina Vital Records
Census Records for South Carolina
Background Sources for South Carolina
South Carolina Maps
South Carolina Land Records
South Carolina Probate Records
South Carolina Court Records
South Carolina Tax Records
South Carolina Cemetery Records
South Carolina Church Records
South Carolina Military Records
South Carolina Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
South Carolina Archives, Libraries, and Societies
South Carolina Immigration
African Americans of South Carolina
South Carolina County/District Resources
Map of South Carolina

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

8301 Parklane Center
Columbia, SC 29223

Publishes The New South Carolina State Gazette. The South Carolina Department of Archives and History collects non-current public records, including county and district records, colonial and state records, federal census records and indexes, colonial land records indexes, military records, and a large microfilm collection of genealogical and historical information. The Department of Archives and History also produces the Combined Alphabetical Index (see Background Sources for South Carolina), which can be accessed online at Currently, the online version of 293,212 items includes Index to Multiple Record Series, ca. 1675'1929; Will Transcripts, 1782'1855; Confederate Pension Applications, 1919'1926; Plats for State Land Grants, 1784'1868; Legislative Papers, 1782'1866; Criminal Journals, 1769'1776. Other record categories included in the online index will be referenced in various sections of this chapter. The Archives & History website does not feature scanned images of historical or genealogical documents. Copies of documents and limited search requests can be ordered by e-mail. The holdings of the South Carolina Department of Archives & History appear in A Guide to Local Government Records in the South Carolina Archives (Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1988). An updated version of that publication appears online at

South Carolina Genealogical Society

P.O. Box 16355
Greenville, SC 29606-16355

Publishes The Carolina Herald.

South Carolina Historical Society

100 Meeting St.
Charleston, SC 29401

Publishes South Carolina Historical Magazine. The South Carolina Historical Society maintains a library with a large collection of genealogical and historical records and publications. An extensive online catalog of manuscripts, books, and family histories (60,000 records) can be searched at

South Caroliniana Library

University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208

The library has a Book Division with over 75,000 volumes in book or microform and a Manuscript Division with over 1.3 million manuscripts (see Manuscripts). The Division holds unpublished genealogical files documenting connections among families of South Carolina and beyond with collections of Leonardo Andrea, Bessie Lee Garvin, and Louise K. Crowder. A short list of finding aids to the genealogy collection appears online at with instructions to contact the library for information not available online.

Charleston Library Society

164 King St.
Charleston, SC 29401

The Charleston Library Society, the third oldest library in the United States, was founded in 1748 and began collecting books, magazines, and pamphlets by subscription. Although virtually destroyed in 1778, the collection has been rebuilt and includes some valuable eighteenth-century newspapers, as well as Charleston City Directories dating from 1782.