South Carolina

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Discover you family history through historical newspapers at
South Carolina

South Carolina has a lot of online archive material to offer, and a lot of places offering it. Spend some time and look around at several intriguing sites. 

The South Carolina Department of Archives & History is the official state repository with numerous links to online content. The list of Digital Collections is a good starting place, with details of the few collections fully available online, including:
  • Confederate Pension Applications, 1919-1938
  • Insurance file photographs of public schools, 1935-1952
  • Grand Jury Presentments to the General Assembly, 1783-1877
  • Colonial Plats
  • National Register of Historic Places
  • Will Transcripts, 1782-1855 
  • Militia Enrollments of 1869
Other digital resources at the Archives include: 
  • Governors' Portraits
  • Central Corrections Institution
  • Currency
  • Great seal of the Lords Proprietors
  • Miscellaneous Plats
  • South Carolina Highway Patrol
  • Town and Township plans

There's also a smallish but lovely group of Collection Curiosities, digital images of odds and ends from the Archive holdings. 

For you family history/genealogy types, check out the Online Records Index. This is a terrific name-searching tool that will point you towards offline records for wills, births, land sales, slave holdings, and a whole lot more. Covers the 1600's to the 1970's. A particularly nice touch...the search box automatically list all names that match the first few letters you type. You can find details of the types of records at the Guide to Collections and can search SCArchCat, the full archives catalog, as well. 

The archives also maintain a sort of mini-Wayback Machine for state government websites no longer in existence. A few other online resources are:
  • Historic Contexts/Survey Reports
  • Historical Markers Database
  • National Register Records
  • Research Guide
  • Survey Finding Aid Index
There's also something called ArchSite, which appears to be a mapping application for historical properties in the state, but truth is, the system is rather poorly described. You have to register in order to use the service here. 

Another good resource is the South Carolina Digital Library, a portal of content from schools, libraries, archives, museums, and other  institutions throughout the state. This seems to be an active site that frequently adds several types of new content: 
  • Audio
  • Books
  • Images
  • Manuscripts
  • Maps
  • Newspapers
  • Objects
  • Pamphlets
  • Sheet Music
Then there's SCIWAY, which sure looks like it's about SCIence, but is actually the SC Information Highway site, and lists a whole lot of Carolina archive activity for both online and offline resources:

SC City and County Archives
  • Camden Archives and Museum
  • Clarendon County Archives and History Center
  • Georgetown County Digital Library - historical collection of the Georgetown County Public Library
  • Greenville County Historical Records - deeds, probate estate papers, district court records and more
  • Historical Center of York County
  • Karpeles Manuscript Museum - Charleston
  • Marion County Archives & History Center
  • Pickens County Library System's Photos
  • Salley Archives of the Orangeburg County Historical Society
  • Spartanburg County Public Libraries - Kennedy Room of Local and South Carolina History
  • Tompkins Library - Edgefield - 803-637-4010
  • William B. Coxe Collection: Photographs of Early Greenville, South Carolina - Greenville County Historical Society

SC State Archives

  • South Carolina Department of Archives and History
    – Online Research
  • South Carolina Digital Library - online collections from SC schools, libraries, archives, and museums - includes photos, letters, maps, and more
  • South Carolina Historical Society - Charleston
  • South Carolina State Depository Shelflist Database - USC Aiken
  • South Carolina State Document Depository Program - Columbia - SC State Library
  • Southern Revolutionary War Institute - York

SC Federal Archives

  • Federal Depository Libraries in South Carolina
  • US Federal Depository Shelflist Database - USC Aiken

SC College and University Archives

  • Benedict College - Columbia
    – Archives
    – Collections
  • Bob Jones University Archives - Greenville
  • The Citadel - Charleston
    – Archives
    – Guide to the Collections
  • Clemson University Special Collections
  • College of Charleston
    – Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture
    – Jewish Heritage Collection - oral histories of SC Jews
  • Converse College Archives & Special Collections - Spartanburg
  • Francis Marion University Arundel Room - Florence
  • Furman University Special Collections and Archives - Greenville
  • Lander University Archives - Greenwood
  • Limestone College Archives - Gaffney
  • Presbyterian College Archives and Special Collections - Clinton
  • Southern Wesleyan University Clayton Family Research Room - Central - genealogical resources
  • University of South Carolina Collections - Columbia
    – Digital Collections
    – Educational Film Collection
    – F. Scott Fitzgerald Collection
    – G. Ross Roy Collection of Burnsiana & Scottish Literature
    – Irvin Department of Rare Books & Special Collections
    – Moving Image Research Collections
    – South Carolina Legal History Collection
    – South Carolina Political Collections
    – South Caroliniana Library
    – William Gilmore Simms Collections
  • University of South Carolina Aiken Archives
    – Aiken County History Archive - photographs and newspaper clippings
    – Gregg and Swint Papers - documents and memorabilia of the Graniteville Company
  • University of South Carolina Lancaster - Native American Studies Archive
  • Winthrop University Archives and Special Collections - Rock Hill
  • Wofford College Collections - Spartanburg

SC Archive Organizations

  • Palmetto Archives, Libraries, and Museums Council on Preservation

That should keep you busy for a while!

More historical archives and research materials can be found at these excellent resources:

 Historical Newspaper Archives       

 Genealogy Tools                                US Historical Newspapers        

 European Historical Newspapers        International Historical Newspapers

Court Record Searches                        Public Records Searches