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Avery School Memorabilia collection

Identifier: AMN 1159

Scope and Contents

This collection was acquired through several donors, all with affiliations to the Avery Normal Insitute. These affiliates are either former students of the school or have familial ties with former students and faculty.

The Avery School Memorabilia Collection consists of four boxes holding ninety-four folders of Avery Normal Insitute and Avery High School memorabilia from 1865 through 1955, along with additional materials from 1982 and 2005.

  1. Administrative Records, 1865-1947, contains correspondence between the American Missionary Association and the faculty of the Avery schools. In addition, this series also contains photographs of faculty members, course and enrollment descriptions, and announcements forwarded to students and their families.
  2. Student Records, 1873-2005, contains a variety of program ephemera like commencement ceremonies, productions by the Avery Dramatic Club, Glee Club, Mixed Chorus, and several other groups. Additional materials belonging to this series includes handwritten sentiments from students, traditional memorabilia such as diplomas, year books, and photos.
  3. Avery Newspapers, 1888-1953, contains full installments, articles, and clippings from the Avery Echo, the Avery Tiger, and the Avery News, all of which were published within the institution.
  4. Miscellaneous Records, 1925-1982, contains items such as external newspaper references, letters and announcements from the city of Charleston, and publications produced by external organizations.


  • Creation: approximately 1865-2005
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1869 - 1954


Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the Avery Research Center's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Avery Research Center claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Historical Note

The Avery Normal Institute was established in 1865 by the American Missionary Association as a college preparatory school with a fifth year of teacher certification training. This fifth year was often referred to as a “normal” year. The Avery School’s Bull Street site opened for classes in 1868. Soon after, it received national appraisal as a developmental school with formidable efforts in guiding students for future professional endeavors. In 1947 the American Missionary Association endowed the school to the city of Charleston. It was here that the school was made public and renamed Avery High School. In 1954, Avery High School was closed by the city’s government officials following the ruling of Brown v. Board of Education.

These records can help identify nearly all former Avery students and faculty. Researchers can use this collection to locate specific individuals and their roles in the Institution, functions produced by the school and the city of Charleston, and ephemera that highlights the history of the Avery Institute.


1.25 linear feet (3 full Hollinger boxes and 1 half Hollinger box.)

Language of Materials



The Avery School Memorabilia collection contains documents that pertain to the activities at the Avery Normal Institute. These items include programs from musical and dramatic performances given by the students, commencements, invitations, dance cards and other memorabilia from extra-curricula activities. It also includes some copies of the Avery yearbook and student newspaper. Portions of this collection are available digitally on the College of Charleston’s Lowcountry Digital Library website.

Collection Arrangement

There are four series included in this collection: administrative records, student records, Avery newspapers, and miscellaneous records.

Acquisitions Information

Materials acquired through various donors.

Processing Information

Processed by Veer Mehta, October 2023.

Avery School Memorabilia collection, 1865-2005
Veer Mehta
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Repository Details

Part of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture Repository

125 Bull Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424 United States