The Special Collections Department of the College of Charleston was founded to support the teaching and learning mission of the College of Charleston and to promote scholarship on the South Carolina Lowcountry and the broader Atlantic World. It is located on the third floor of the Marlene and Nathan Addlestone Library. Its holdings include over 600 manuscript collections related to the history and culture of the South Carolina Lowcountry, the archives of the College of Charleston, the Spoleto Festival Archives, and more than 40,000 rare books and pamphlets.
The primary mission of Special Collections is to evaluate, acquire, organize, preserve, and make available regionally significant and/or rare printed and archival materials to support the college curriculum and student, faculty, and patron research. Special Collections faculty and staff are committed to utilizing a collaborative, multi-faceted approach in support of that mission and are dedicated to employing established best practices to enhance access to our collections.
Special Collections envisions itself as an incubator for research through the stewardship of and access to the diverse histories of our institution, communities, and beyond. We encourage curiosity, enhance discovery, stimulate critical thinking, and provide innovative and collaborative approaches to scholarship, access, and pedagogy.
Everyone is welcome to visit Special Collections on the third floor of the Addlestone Library. While the majority of our holdings are not open for public browsing, retrieval of materials by our staff usually takes only a matter of minutes. Upon your arrival, you will be asked to comply with the following policies: