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Special Collections: Natural History and Gardening: Welcome

Resources in Special Collections and the South Carolina Historical Society Archives relating to natural history and naturalists in South Carolina and beyond.


Natural History and Gardening are subjects widely covered within the College of Charleston Special Collections and South Carolina Historical Society's holdings, complete with reference resources, rare books, manuscripts, and digitized materials.

The aim of this guide is to be an aid in searching through our collections and to reveal some examples of the variety of materials we have on natural history and gardening.

Special Collections is located on the third floor of the Addlestone Library and research hours are from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday.

Search Strategies

Finding Natural History and Gardening resources in our catalog:
It is rare for a single subject or keyword search to successfully pull up every resource available at the College of Charleston Libraries on a given topic. Be prepared to conduct several different searches using the online catalog.

Subject search:
Natural history
Natural history -- South Carolina
Birds -- South Carolina
Botany -- South Carolina

Keyword search:
Try to avoid being too specific when keyword searching. Sometimes the popular or alternative name for an individual, object, etc. is not the authorized name used in the catalog and will therefore not return some valuable resources to you. Be creative when searching and try to find the authorized name for whatever subject that interests you.

For example:
Popular name: Mark Catesby
Authorized name: Catesby, Mark, 1683-1749

Popular name: Michaux
Authorized name: Michaux, André, 1746-1802
Authorized name: Michaux, François André, 1770-1855

Popular name: Lily flowers
Authorized name: Liliaceae

Searching Special Collections & SC Historical Society

From the library homepage, click the Classic Catalog link:

Once you arrive at the Classic Catalog page, click on the Collection dropdown menu:

And select Special Collections & SC Historical Society:

You may now search as usual, but the results will only yield items found in Special Collections & SC Historical Society.

Best of luck in your searching and please feel welcome to contact us at Special Collections if you need any further assistance.


Photo: "Box 2, Slide 019" from the John Henry Dick Collection (College of Charleston Libraries)