The Charleston Archive is the sister department of the South Carolina History Room of the Charleston County Public Library(CCPL), and is located within the library system’s Main branch at 68 Calhoun Street in Charleston, South Carolina. Unlike other local archives that house private materials-–such as diaries, letters, and photographs that focus on specific individuals or families-–the Charleston Archive focuses on public history. In other words, we collect and preserve unique manuscripts, rare books and pamphlets, prints and photographs, and other materials that document the political, economic, cultural, and topographical history of the city and county of Charleston.

We think it’s important to share this material, in a “virtual” sense, with the community at large rather than simply keeping it under lock and key. Charleston has such a rich and diverse heritage of history, but much of it is unfamiliar to the vast majority of the public. Our mission is to promote a broader knowledge of the primary resources that allow us to peek back into the crevices of history, and to help foster a greater awareness of the need to preserve our own history for the future.

Research at the Charleston Archive

The Charleston Archive is open from 9:00 a.m. to :00 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday and 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Wednesday (library holidays excepted). Walk-in queries will be accommodated as staff scheduling permits. To schedule an appointment, please contact the staff (see below).


The Charleston Archive is a traditional closed-stack archive. Patrons can access the materials through the staff, but they are not permitted to browse the collections. This measure is enforced to ensure the long-term protection of the archival materials.

Katie Gray
(843) 805-6967

Molly French
South Carolina Room Librarian/Archives Assistant
(843) 805-6956

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