The Special Collections Department of the College of Charleston was founded to support the teaching and learning mission of the College of Charleston and to promote scholarship on the South Carolina Lowcountry and the broader Atlantic World. It is located on the third floor of the Marlene and Nathan Addlestone Library. Its holdings include over 600 manuscript collections related to the history and culture of the South Carolina Lowcountry, the archives of the College of Charleston, the Spoleto Festival Archives, and more than 40,000 rare books and pamphlets.
The primary mission of Special Collections is to evaluate, acquire, organize, preserve, and make available rare printed and archival materials. Its faculty and staff are committed to utilizing a multi-faceted approach in support of that mission and are dedicated to employing modern archival practices to enhance access to our collections. These include online access to collection guides, a robust digital library, physical and online exhibits, and a commitment to public programming and education outreach.