Skip to Main Content
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.
CofC Logo

Special Collections: Jewish Heritage Collection

Guidelines for access, resource descriptions, and subject guides at the College of Charleston Special Collections

Jewish Heritage Collection

Research Resources

To view Jewish Heritage Collection archival materials and related sites, click on the links below:

Lowcountry Digital Library: browse this site for a sampling of Jewish Heritage Collection materials. Enter the search terms of your choice, for example: Jewish Heritage Collection Oral Histories; Zionism; Holocaust; William A. Rosenthall.

William A. Rosenthall Collection: in 2007 Special Collections, Addlestone Library, College of Charleston, was pleased to accession the papers of William A. Rosenthall, rabbi, scholar, and collector of Judaica. This site provides collection resources as well as news about uploads of material.

A Synagogue a Day: this tumblr shows images from the William A. Rosenthall collection. Click on “Archive” to see the whole run of images posted to date.

Holocaust Archives: follow this link to see a catalog listing of the collections in our Holocaust Archives, Special Collections, Addlestone Library, College of Charleston.

Holocaust Memorial Quilt: the quilt is housed at the Charleston County Public Library. To view materials from the College of Charleston’s Holocaust Archives, coupled with narratives of Charleston-area survivors, please check out this interactive site that displays the quilt online.

Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life: South Carolina is among the states featured in the institute’s encyclopedia of southern Jewish communities.

Electronic Journals relating to Jewish history and culture can be found in the College of Charleston Library Discovery database. These include American Jewish History; Jewish History; A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies and Gender Issues; Journal of American Ethnic History; Journal of Modern Jewish Studies; Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion; Contemporary Jewry, and others.

Jewish Heritage Project: one of the world's oldest and most active organizations dedicated to enriching the literary bookshelf with works of literature related to Jewish history and culture

American Jewish Archives’ database of First American Jewish Families searchable by name.

About JHC

The Jewish Heritage Collection documents the Jewish experience in South Carolina from colonial times to present day. The archives grows out of an active program of collection, field work, and public education that was inaugurated in January 1995 by the Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina, the College of Charleston’s Jewish Studies Program, and McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina. Project staff spearheaded research and development of a major museum exhibition, A Portion of the People: Three Hundred Years of Southern Jewish Life, that opened at McKissick in January 2002, beginning a two-year national tour. In 2000 the collection’s scope expanded to include the Holocaust, with contributions from survivors, liberators, and other eyewitnesses with ties to South Carolina. In 2007 Irene Rosenthall, widow of Rabbi William A. Rosenthall, donated her husband’s world-class collection of Judaica, assembled over his lifetime, as well as his professional and research papers.

Located in Special Collections on the third floor of the College of Charleston’s Addlestone Library, the Jewish Heritage Collection includes oral histories, manuscripts, artifacts, photographs, genealogies, memoirs, home movies, and other primary sources. 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 have been digitized and are available for viewing online at the Lowcountry Digital Library.


Image: Jewish Synagogue, Dallas, Tex, from the William A. Rosenthall Judaica Collection - Postcards, College of Charleston Library

Exhibition Sites

JHC Oral History Archives

The Jewish Heritage Collection Oral Histories, archived in Special Collections at the College of Charleston’s Addlestone Library, offer an inside perspective on the lives of Jewish residents of South Carolina’s cities and small towns. The majority of interviews focus on first- and second-generation Americans of the twentieth century, and address topics such as immigration, assimilation, antisemitism, Jewish/African-American relations, making a living, and religious life. The collection also includes interviews with World War II liberators and survivors of the Holocaust who have come to live in South Carolina, as well as a variety of presentations and panel discussions that cover subjects relevant to the history of Jewish South Carolinians. Click here for a comprehensive list of oral history interviews available. Many oral history interviews are also digitized on the Lowcountry Digital Library

To request a transcript and/or audio file, contact oral history archivist Alyssa Neely at or 843.953.8028, or call Special Collections 843.953.8016.

Field Work Files

The Jewish Heritage Collection field work files include unpublished memoirs; family and congregational histories; genealogical material, photocopies of documents, photographs, and scrapbooks; community and synagogue programs and directories; cemetery surveys; inventories from other archives; and newspaper and magazine articles. Files are accessible by visiting Special Collections or by contacting Dale Rosengarten at 

Selected Sources: Children and the Holocaust