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Description of Irish Heritage Collection

The Irish Heritage Collection is a documentary record of the contributions made by Irish and Irish American participants in nearly 350 years of local, regional, and national history. It consists of public records, private papers, family letters.  The objective is to establish a central archive documenting the lives of both ordinary and extraordinary Irish Americans, and their contributions to the history Charleston, the Carolina Lowcountry, the State of South Carolina, and ultimately the United states of America.

This collection formally began in 2015 with the founding of the Irish and Irish American Studies Program at the College of Charleston. The initial portion of the catalogue emerged out of Denis Bergin’s donation of his own research records. We continue to seek private family papers and records from Irish and Irish American families. Our long-term goal is to include oral histories, manuscripts, artifacts, photographs, genealogies, memoirs, home movies, and other primary sources.

Located in Special Collections of the College of Charleston’s Addlestone Library, the Irish Heritage Collection is open to the public. Researchers can access inventories and descriptions of archival materials through the College of Charleston library catalog or the Special Collections homepage. A growing number of collection items and oral histories will be digitized and available for viewing online at the Lowcountry Digital Library.  And Irish-related materials in the South Carolina Historical Society’s extensive archive are being identified for researchers.