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About College of Charleston Repositories

Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture

The Avery Research Center’s mission is to collect, preserve, and promote the unique history and culture of the African diaspora, with an emphasis on Charleston, the South Carolina Lowcountry, and beyond. As a part of the College of Charleston’s Library system, the Avery Research Center’s archival collections, museum exhibitions, and public programming reflect these diverse populations as well as the wider African Diaspora.

Special Collections

The 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’ holdings include over 600 manuscript collections related to the history and culture of the South Carolina Lowcountry, the institutional records of the College of Charleston, and more than 40,000 rare books and pamphlets.

Reparative Description


The College of Charleston’s archival staff are committed to representing the contents and creators of our holdings accurately and respectfully. Despite these efforts, users may encounter offensive or harmful language in the College repositories’ descriptive records. Archival descriptions for collections processed in the past may contain terminology that is racist, sexist, oppressive, and/or exclusionary. It is our responsibility to review and repair offensive language and ensure that those represented in our holdings are respectfully and ethically described.
To learn more about our commitment to inclusive description, or to share feedback regarding oppressive terminology in our collection records, please visit the College of Charleston Archival Repositories Reparative Description Project.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I use this Site?

To search all collections, type a keyword into the search bar. For Advanced Search functionality, use the “+” icon to add additional search fields. Click on any of the tabs above to browse holdings by collection, digital objects, subjects, names, or record group. If browsing by collection, results can be narrowed by repository or subject by clicking the unit name or subject facets on the left.

What is a Finding Aid?

Finding aids are detailed inventories of unique collections that provide information about the creation, historical context, and contents of primary source materials.

Where are the digital materials?

To access digital materials search the Lowcountry Digital Library (LCDL). Selected digital objects are also available via this site under “digital materials.”

Who do I contact if I have questions?

If you have questions about a collection, note the repository that the collection is housed in and click on their name to access their contact information. You can also access the list of repositories by clicking here.