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lantation journals, family papers, maps and plats, historic photographs - Lowcountry archives hold resources which may open important research windows for African American genealogy.



The archives featured here hold collections which are essential for research in the Lowcountry.

Click on the links below to learn more about each archive, view featured documents and collections, search online catalogs, order copies, or plan your research trip!

South Carolina Historical Society Building

South Carolina Historical Society

Charleston, SC

The South Carolina Historical Society is the state's oldest and largest private repository of books, letters, journals, maps, drawings, and photographs about South Carolina history.

Notable Collections:

  • Plantation Records
  • Post-Emancipation Records
  • Maps and Plats
  • Photographs

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Charleston County Public Library

Charleston, SC

The Charleston County Public Library is an especially rich resource for South Carolina history and genealogy research.

Notable Collections:

  • Wills
  • Estate Inventories
  • Church Records
  • Historical Newspapers on Microfilm
  • Freedmen's Bureau Records
  • City of Charleston Birth, Death Records
  • City Directories

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Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture

Charleston, SC

The mission of the Avery Research Center is to collect, preserve, and document the history and culture of African Americans in Charleston and the South Carolina Lowcountry.

Notable Collections:

  • Personal and Family Papers, Local African Americans
  • Brown Fellowship Society Papers
  • Harleston Funeral Home Records

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College of Charleston Special Collections

Charleston, SC

The primary mission of College of Charleston Special Collections is to evaluate, acquire, organize, preserve, and make available rare printed and archival materials. Its holdings include the College archives, rare books, and manuscripts.

Notable Collections:

  • Personal and Family Papers
  • Family Photographs, Scrapbooks
  • Plantation Records
  • Local Genealogies

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South Caroliniana Library at USC

Columbia, SC

Researchers from around the world visit the Caroliniana Library to study the books, newspapers, manuscripts, pamphlets, serials, maps, audio recordings, and visual images preserved therein.

Notable Collections:

  • Plantation Records
  • Post-Emancipation Records
  • Maps and Plats
  • Photographs

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South Carolina Department of Archives and History

Columbia, SC

The South Carolina Department of Archives and History (SCDAH) is caretaker to 325 years of government records and historic documents. Their mission includes preservation of historic sites and buildings, education, records management and records conservation.

Notable Collections:

  • SC Wills, Probate Records
  • Bills of Sale
  • State and Federal Census Records
  • Colonial, State and County Records
  • Vital Records
  • Land Grants, Maps and Plats

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Rare Book, Manuscripts and Special Collections Library, Duke University

Durham, NC

The holdings of the Special Collections Library range from ancient papyri to records of modern advertising. They number more than 300,000 printed volumes and more than 20 million items in manuscript and archival collections.

Notable Collections:

  • Plantation Records
  • Family Papers
  • Maps and Plats
  • Photographs

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The Wilson Special Collections Library, UNC

Chapel Hill, NC

The Wilson Special Collections Library, located on Polk Place at the heart of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus, is home to the University Library's North Carolina Collection, Rare Book Collection, Southern Folklife Collection, Southern Historical Collection, and University Archives and Records Management Services.

Notable Collections:

  • Plantation Records
  • Family Papers, Diaries, Journals
  • Maps and Plats
  • Photographs, Moving Images

Read More...

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