The goal of archival instruction sessions taught by Special Collections faculty is to give students the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to effectively and efficiently find, interpret, and use archives, manuscripts, and other types of unique primary sources. In addition to these archival literacy competencies, registration, proper handling of materials, research techniques, search strategies, intellectual property principles, and reproduction policies are highlighted.
Our sessions are tailored to the needs of particular classes or special interest groups and serve as an introduction to highlights from the holdings of both the College of Charleston and the South Carolina Historical Society related to a course topic. Special Collections archivists can also give informational seminars intended for departmental faculty and staff who wish to incorporate primary source materials into their course work.
After an archives instruction session, students will be able to:
If you would like to arrange for an instruction session, please contact our Manager of Research Services, Mary Jo Fairchild. Special Collections appreciates at least two weeks notice to arrange for instruction.
The Special Collections and SC Historical Society archives reading room and service desk are located on the third floor of the Addlestone Library. Our service desk is staffed by professional archivists and librarians at all times. Patrons are welcome to contact the Manager of Research Services for consultation on sources related to their topic of interest in advance of visiting.
For the most up to date information on the evolving access and availabilty of the reading room, please refer to the Special Collections website: Access to the Special Collections and South Carolina Historical Society Archives Reading Room
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 arrival, patrons are asked to register and to abide by rules to safeguard and preserve our holdings.
Additional information about hours, location, and visiting can be found on the Special Collections' website.
Located on the ground floor of 125 Bull St., the Phillis Wheatley Literary and Social Club Reading Room welcomes visits from students, staff, faculty, scholars, and the general public. Holdings in the Avery Research Center date from late eighteenth century to the twenty-first century and include documents, images, oral histories, audio-visual materials, printed materials, and cultural artifacts. The collections contain over 900 linear feet of archival holdings, more than 6,000 printed volumes, and over 1,700 hundred artifacts. The majority of the collection documents African American life in Charleston and the surrounding Lowcountry region. Major themes of the collections include education, civil rights activism, labor rights activism, and documentation of Gullah-Geechee culture.
The Avery Research Center reference staff provides research support services such as access to and assistance in using materials at the Avery Research Center. However, we do not conduct research for patrons. If you are unable to travel to Charleston, you may wish to consider hiring a local research assistant. The Avery Research Center does not employ nor negotiate contracts with independent research consultants.
All users of our collections are required to register at our reference desk. Registration requires that researchers agree to our reading room policies and procedures. Only then will permission to access archival collections and other materials at the Avery Research Center be granted. One form of current photographic identification is required. Processed manuscript collections and other cataloged items can be searched via the College of Charleston’s Addlestone Library’s online catalog.
For questions about our collections or reference/archival services email us at email@example.com or call us at 843-953-7608.