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Copyright © 1998
S. J. Coker

Selected South Carolina Archives

Before planning travel to any research facility, call to confirm they will be open during the time you plan to visit. The open hours shown here are subject to change without notice.

South Carolina Day

Camden & Kershaw County Archives & Museum
1314 Broad Street
Camden, SC 29020-3535
(803) 425-6050

Library/Research Collections
The collection includes manuscripts, city records, other public and private records, books, pamphlets, photographs, maps, newspapers, and reference materials relating to the history of Camden, Kershaw County, and South Carolina in particular. Types of information contained in the collection include coverage of genealogy, architecture, biography, Camden authors, military, southern studies, cultural studies, and medicine/health related subject matter

Genealogical Research
The Camden Archives & Museum is recognized throughout South Carolina and the southeastern United States as having one of the best research sections pertaining to genealogical research. The Archives & Museum houses a diverse collection of books, microfilm, maps, files, periodicals, and general reference materials which will aid visitors in their search for ancestry. The Camden Archives & Museum sets forth a policy of primarily collecting material which pertains to the northcentral section of South Carolina formally recognized as the Old Camden District. This area today encompasses several counties including Clarendon, Sumter, Lee, Kershaw, Lancaster, York, Chester, Fairfield, and Northern Richland County. The state libraries of the DAR and Colonial Dames XVII Century are part of the research collection.

Manuscript/Records Related
The Archives & Museum has a limited collection of manuscripts pertaining to local and county history, including material on individuals, families, organizations, and events. The staff will assist any patron in their research. The Camden Archives & Museum has a growing collection of newspapers, photographs, and maps. The newspaper collection consists of bound and microfilm formats, Microfilm rolls include several old Camden newspapers (including older issues of the present CHRONICLE INDEPENDENT). the microfilm collection also includes church records, census records, and (limited) county records. The Archives & Museum is home to a growing photographic collection, as well as other collections of items pertaining to personalities, scenes, and structures from throughout Kershaw County. The map collection has items from the Colonial period to the present day available for patron use.

The Camden Archives & Museum is also the repository for a limited number of city related records. These records are from the late 18th century, latter part of the 19th century, and early 20th century. Record types include City Minute Books, early ordinances, current ordinances, and other miscellaneous records.

Clarendon County Archives
P.O. Box 486
211 North Brooks Street
Manning, South Carolina 29102

The Clarendon County Archives and History Center is housed in the "Old Manning Library." Built in 1908 by the same architects who designed the Clarendon County Courthouse, the building was donated by Manning citizen, Moses Levi, in memory of his wife Hannah.

Although quite new for Clarendon County, the Archives has already accumulated a great deal of Clarendon County lore and their files are steadily growing. They are actively on the lookout for more information, photographs, and memorabilia which pertain to Clarendon County. At the present time, hours are: Monday - Tuesday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Wednesday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. If those hours are not convenient you may call the Archivist, Windy Corbett at the Archives (803) 435-0328 or at home (803) 478-4337 for an appointment. You can reach her by e-mail at fscorbett@InfoAve.Net. She will be happy to answer any questions about the Archives that you might have.

The Archives is in the process of collecting the histories of all of the churches in Clarendon County. Currently the archives holds books on First Baptist Church of Manning, Church of the Holy Cross, and on Manning United Methodist Church.

At the present time, the Archives has a collection of over 486 books. The oldest are the collection of books covering the Revolutionary records for South Carolina. Also available for research are The Official Records of the War of the Rebellion which is a collection of 75 books containing Civil War records. Mr. Norman McFaddin has donated many books of Clarendon County genealogical interest to the Archives, including one in particular with a listing of all WWI and WWII veterans from Clarendon County. The Archives also has books on the cemeteries which were covered with water when Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie were flooded.

Surnames on File at the Clarendon County Archives
Ardis, Bradham, Corbett, Holladay, Pettigrew, Thomas, Myers, Alexander, Belin, Blackwell, Bostick, Brogdon, Burch, Coleman, Connors, Dargan, Gambel, Gamble, Harrell, McWhite, Timmons, Wilson, Alston, Belton, English, Pack, Richburg, Cantey, Spry, Venning, Hemingway, Manning, Harvin, Durant, Witherspoon, Shaw, Nelson, Plowden, Allred, Fort, Grant, Beatson, Moore, Player, Bagnal, Rowe, Pack, Nettles, Ridgeway

South Carolina Department of Archives and History
8301 Parklane Rd.
Columbia, SC 29223

The South Carolina Department of Archives and History collects the permanently valuable state and county government records of South Carolina.

Land Records

  • Combined Alphabetical Index (colonial land records)
  • State Plats Combined Alphabetical Index 1784-1882
  • State Land Grants 1784-1870

Probate Records

  • South Carolina Will Transcripts 1671-1868
  • County Estate Files

Military Records

  • Audited Accounts for Revolutionary Services
  • Confederate Military Service and Pension Records

The State Archives maintains no family research files, nor does it collect genealogies or newspapers.

Please remember that the following counties suffered major losses of their pre-Civil War records: Abbeville, Beaufort, Chesterfield, Clarendon, Colleton, Georgetown, Lancaster, Lexington, Orangeburg, and Richland. A list of professional genealogical researchers is available upon request.

Furman University
James B. Duke Library
Information: 864-294-2190

Furman University is one of the oldest colleges in South Carolina and the 64th oldest in the nation. Founded at Edgefield, South Carolina, in 1826 as an academy and theological institute, the school was chartered as a full-fledged University in 1850 and moved to Greenville.

In addition to its primary mission, the library serves as a selective U.S. Government Document Depository for the 4th Congressional District of South Carolina and as the official archives for both the South Carolina Baptist Convention and for the University.

The Special Collections Department serves as the official archives for both the South Carolina Baptist Convention and for Furman University. It also relates to the South Carolina Historical Society.

The Library also acquires, organizes and makes available to the public, a variety of primary and secondary research materials documenting the history of Baptist in South Carolina and Furman University.

University of South Carolina
Greene Street
Columbia, South Carolina 29208
Tel: 803-777-3142
Fax: 803 777-4661

South Caroliniana Library
Tel: (803) 777-5183
Fax: (803) 777-5747

Manuscripts Division
The Manuscripts Division of the South Caroliniana Library collects and preserves a wide variety of unpublished materials significant to the study of history and culture in the Palmetto State.

Holdings include letters, diaries, and other personal papers; records of businesses and organizations; and broadsides and other ephemera reflecting political, commercial, and leisure activities. The visual images collection includes photographs, prints, postcards and other material that document the people, buildings, and landscapes of the region.

Manuscripts Division holds various unpublished genealogical files documenting connections among families of South Carolina and beyond. Frequently consulted research files include the Leonardo Andrea, Bessie Lee Garvin, and Louise K. Crowder genealogical collections. A microfiche index to W.P.A. cemetery inscriptions is available in the repository. Other finding aids to search include the surname index to the Andrea collection, a list of churches surveyed by the W.P.A. Inventory of Church Archives, and lists of many of the unpublished cemetery records held by the Library are included in Richard N. Côté's Local and Family History in South Carolina: A Bibliography (1981). Finding aids to other genealogical collections are available in the repository and, in part, online (USCAN search tips for genealogical materials). Although the Library staff cannot undertake genealogical searches for users, a list of researchers for hire is available upon request.

Government Documents Department
Depository for U.S. Federal publications, documents for the European Community, and the United Nations. Provides valuable research material in nearly every subject area. Vast statistical collections, including census materials, provide data that are not available from other sources.

Map Library
Worldwide coverage of road and city maps, national and state maps, topographical maps, and travel and guidebooks are included in this collection. All U.S. Geological Survey maps are collected, as well as South Carolina aerial photographs.

Rare Books and Special Collections
This collection holds old and rare editions including material in the areas of natural history, literature, early science, American history, Scottish Literature, and the history of books and printing.

Special Collections University Archives
The University of South Carolina Archives and Records Management Program is a unit of the South Caroliniana Library. The University Archives houses official records and other historical items documenting the University's history. Archives materials can not be checked out, though most items can be photocopied.

Nineteenth Century Records: Includes manuscripts and other documents on student activities, student discipline, academics, and the faculty.

University Publications: Includes student publications (The Gamecock, Garnet and Black), and alumni and employee-related publications.

Photographs: Includes 19th and 20th century photographs of university students, faculty, grounds, and activities.

Coleman Karesh Law Library
Special Collections
Tel: 803-777-5944
South Carolina Legal History Collection
Housed in a room at the south end of the first floor of the Law Library, the South Carolina Legal History Collection encompasses both primary and secondary published sources dealing with the legal, constitutional, and political development of the state. It contains, in addition, portraits, papers and memorabilia. While the displays will be of interest to all, the fundamental purpose of the collection is to support scholarly research.

The Legal History Room is open for viewing, or research, whenever Reference staff is on duty. Circulation of material from the collection is restricted.

Rare Books
Almost all material published pre-1850 is housed in closed stacks. These titles are listed in USCAN, the online catalog. Please consult Reference staff for access to this material.

A significant portion of the Law Library's collection is in microform, housed in cabinets at the southwest corner of the first floor. There are microform reader/printers close to those cabinets. Much of the microform collection can be accessed through USCAN. However, certain materials can only be accessed using published indexes. See a reference staff member for assistance.

USC Online Library Catalog (USCAN)
USCAN is an online system for locating library materials in the University of South Carolina System Libraries. It includes books, journal titles, government documents, visual materials, microforms, etc. USC Online Catalog searches all the USC campus libraries (indicated by PC), all the libraries on the Columbia Campus (indicated by TC) and the Center for Research Libraries in Chicago (indicated by TC), the Law Library (indicated by LW) and Aiken Technical College (indicated by TS).

USCAN also provides access to the indexes to articles, specialized databases and to some other university and college library catalogs. The indexes to articles cover a wide range of disciplines and help you locate articles on a particular topic.

Winthrop University
Ida Jane Dacus Library
Archives and Special Collections
Rock Hill, SC 29733-0001

Archives and Special Collections
The Winthrop University Archives is the depository of historically valuable university records and records relating to South Carolina history. The Archives' purpose is to provide physical protection for these materials and to make them available to students, faculty, alumni, scholars and members of the community who are interested in researching and writing about the history of Winthrop University or South Carolina. As the memory center for all university records of historical significance, the Archives preserves a variety of materials relating to the origin and development of Winthrop, and to the achievements of its officers, faculty, staff, alumni and students. Of special significance are records of correspondence, speeches and business files which document the work of the University and its components. The Winthrop University Archives also collects and preserves records relating to the history of South Carolina such as Civil War letters, plantation journals, World War II diaries, photographs and scrapbooks. Located on the ground floor of Dacus Library, the Archives Department is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. All research must be done in the archives reading room. No items may be checked out.

Noteworthy Special Collections

CLAN MacLELLAN IN AMERICA, INC., 1981-s.f. Collection, 1894, 1903-1987. 4 ft.
The Winthrop Archives is the official repository for materials relating to the Scottish clan. Books, family history, research notes, newspaper clippings, and an alphabetical directory of the clan members.

FRAYSER, MARY ELIZABETH, 1875-1968 Papers, 1841-1970. 10 ft.
Home economist and club woman. Correspondence, speeches, reports, clippings, minutes, histories, family histories, constitutions and bylaws, membership lists, program notes, and other papers, relating to her work with the South Carolina Extension Service (1927-1947), her involvement with the South Carolina Council for the Common Good (1935-1952), the South Carolina Federation of Women's Clubs (1926-1952), the South Carolina Status of Women Conference (1945-1952), the South Carolina Division of the AAUW (1929, 1935-1949), the South Carolina Interracial Institute (1938-1942), the South Carolina Division of the Southern Regional Council (1944-1951), the South Carolina Conference of Social Work (1936-1967), to promote social and economic legislation and participation by women in public affairs; and her interest in libraries and work in the movement for the support of public libraries in South Carolina (1925-1970). Correspondents include G. H. Aault, Evan Chesterman, Wil Lou Gray, Sarah Hughes, Christine South Gee, and Maude Massey Rogers.

HUTCHISON FAMILY Papers, 1785-1968 (mainly 1785-1935). 1 ft. (in part photocopies).
Diaries, journals, speeches, correspondence, family history material and financial papers, concerning the personal and business affairs of a Rock Hill family. Subjects include colonial life in the Carolinas, the ante-bellum plantation system in South Carolina, post-Civil War cotton farming, especially the Rock Hill Cotton Mill, and Rock Hill during WWI. There is also material concerning relations and negotiations with the Catawba Indians, since David Hutchison, a family member, was one of several commissioners designated by the South Carolina legislature to investigate Catawba land claims and leasing practices; and historical sketches of Glencairn Gardens, the White House and the Oakland Avenue Presbyterian Church, all located in Rock Hill. Correspondents include Jude Grimke, A.E. Hutchison, David Hutchison, Hiram Hutchison, James Moore, John N. Morehead, and Thomas Spratt.

MASSEY, MARY ELIZABETH, 1915-1974 Papers, 1848-1974. 9 ft.
Professor of history at Winthrop College (1952-1974). Biographical data, correspondence, speeches, newspaper clippings, lecture and teaching materials, research notes, professional files, rough notes, drafts of journal articles and books, and copies of historical manuscripts from other repositories. The collection pertains to Massey's teaching and publishing activities, especially concerning the Civil War; her involvement with professional organizations including the Southern Historical Association of which she was president from 1972-1973; her membership on the Advisory Council of the Civil War Centennial Commission; and her relationship and communication with members of the history profession. Correspondents include Fletcher Green, Allan Nevins, Bell I. Wiley and T. Harry Williams.

South Carolina Historical Society
100 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Tel: 843-723-3225
FAX: 843-723-8584
Publications: South Carolina Historical Magazine and The Caralogue

Research Library
Home to nationally renowned collections, the Society's holdings reflect the passions, view points, textures, and tempos of the daily lives of all South Carolinians. From pre-colonization to the present, there are the writings of governors, generals, poets, farmers, and merchants; the letters and diaries of women, soldiers, and travellers; the research of historians and genealogists and the records of plantations and churches. Call to confirm that the Research Library will be open before planning extended research trips to the Society.

Research Catalogs of the South Carolina Historical Society
The catalogs of the the Society's SC Research Library have been updated and upgraded. It is now possible to search.

  • Manuscripts
  • Genealogy
  • Plats from the H.A.M Smith collection
The catalogs contain descriptions of SCHS holdings and not the document themselves. For access to the information, visit the SCHS library in Charleston, or submit a research request via the US Postal Service. Directions for submitting research requests are available when viewing the online catalog records.

This page has been accessed times since December 8, 1998.
Copyright © 1998 S. J. Coker