Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Addlestone Library is open to the College of Charleston community and affiliates via card access. Visitors may access Addlestone Library Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm, and must present a government issued ID and sign in upon entry.
United States Founding Documents
Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence expresses the ideals on which the United States was founded and the reasons for separation from Great Britain.
United States Constitution
The Constitution defines the framework of the Federal Government of the United States.
America's Founding Documents: The Constitution of the United States
Curated by the National Archives, this site includes everything you need to know about the Constitution of the United States - what it said, how it happened, how it was made, biographical information about the framers, and more. Also included is a full transcript and scholarly articles about the Constitution's ratification, basic facts, and an analysis of typographical errors in the document.
President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 announcing "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free."
The Emancipation Proclamation
From the first days of the Civil War, enslaved people acted to secure their own liberty. The Emancipation Proclamation confirmed their insistence that the war for the Union must become a war for freedom. It added moral force to the Union cause and strengthened the Union both militarily and politically. As a milestone along the road to slavery's final destruction, the Emancipation Proclamation has assumed a place among the great documents of human freedom.
The Federalist Papers
The Federalist, commonly referred to as the Federalist Papers, is a series of 85 essays written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison between October 1787 and May 1788. The essays were published anonymously, under the pen name "Publius," in various New York state newspapers of the time.
Library of Congress: Full Text of the Federalist Papers
The Federalist Papers were written and published to urge New Yorkers to ratify the proposed United States Constitution, which was drafted in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787. In lobbying for adoption of the Constitution over the existing Articles of Confederation, the essays explain particular provisions of the Constitution in detail. For this reason, and because Hamilton and Madison were each members of the Constitutional Convention, the Federalist Papers are often used today to help interpret the intentions of those drafting the Constitution
African American Freedom Struggle: Freely Available
Umbra Search African American History
Umbrasearch.org brings together hundreds of thousands digitized materials from over 1,000 libraries and archives across the country.
Digital Exhibit: Freedoms Gained and Lost
An original exhibit hosted by the College of Charleston Libraries, "Freedoms Gained and Lost: Forging Citizenship, Transforming Labors, and Negotiating Solidarity in Reconstruction Era South Carolina" showcases the documentary heritage of Reconstruction and the post-emancipation era in South Carolina and the Atlantic World and is informed by cultural heritage objects from repositories across the region.
Digital Exhibit: African Passages, Lowcountry Adaptations
An online exhibition series about the history of slavery, plantations, and the trans-Atlantic slave trade from the Atlantic World to Charleston and the South Carolina Lowcountry.
Digital Exhibit: After Slavery
This online exhibition and educator resource series focuses on the complex history of emancipation and the period of Reconstruction that followed the American Civil War. After Slavery showcases a rich collection of source materials organized for high school and college/university classroom use.
Oral Histories: Somebody Had to Do It
"Somebody Had To Do It" examines the history of school desegregation in South Carolina and the U.S. South. This online exhibition features oral histories with Black Americans who were the “first children” to integrate public schools in the mid-twentieth century. It also includes an essay by Somebody Had To Do It project director and “first child” Millicent E. Brown, historic context by Jon Hale and Clerc Cooper, and an interactive map and timeline.
African American Freedom Struggle: CofC Login
College of Charleston Libraries offer access to some of the most essential primary source materials documenting slavery, abolition, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and the Black freedom struggle in the 20th century. Just login with your CofC credentials!
Indigenous Peoples' Rights and Justice: Freely Available
DPLA Primary Source Set: The American Indian Movement, 1968-1978
Includes 14 primary sources from the American Indian Movement, links to additional resources, and a teaching guide.
Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian-Native Knowledge 360
Provides educators a brief introduction to important topics and approaches to teaching about Native American life, cultures, and communities.
Native American Records at the National Archives (Part 1)
Among the billions of historical records housed at the National Archives throughout the country, researchers can find information relating to American Indians from as early as 1774 through the mid 1990s. The National Archives preserves and makes available the documents created by Federal agencies in the course of their daily business.
Featuring Native American art and culture, this award-winning quarterly magazine engages its readers with diverse articles about the fascinating and often overlooked histories of American Indian nations and the contemporary challenges facing Native peoples across the Western Hemisphere. From Alaska's Native villages to the Andean communities of South America, American Indian tells inspiring and enlightening stories illustrated with glorious photography. A special feature includes a showcase of the NMAI's current programs, events, and special exhibition or project themes.
Native American Studies Archive at USC-Lancaster
The Native American Studies Archive seeks to acquire, preserve, catalog, organize, and disseminate information relating to Native American history and culture, with emphasis on South Carolina and surrounding areas.
American Indian Boarding Schools (Digital Public Library of America)
Throughout the nineteenth century, boarding schools were established to educate and assimilate American Indian children according to US cultural standards and values. These schools, predominantly run by Christian missionaries, were often funded by the federal government and worked to “civilize” Native American children, forcing many to abandon their names, cultures, and identities in the process. This collection of photos and documents shows what life was like for the many children enrolled in American Indian boarding schools.
Indigenous Peoples' Rights and Justice: CofC Login
College Quick Links