The goal of archival instruction sessions taught by Special Collections faculty is to give students the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to effectively and efficiently find, interpret, and use archives, manuscripts, and other types of unique primary sources. In addition to these archival literacy competencies, registration, proper handling of materials, research techniques, search strategies, intellectual property principles, and reproduction policies are highlighted.

Our sessions are tailored to the needs of particular classes or special interest groups and serve as an introduction to highlights from the holdings of both the College of Charleston and the South Carolina Historical Society related to a course topic. Special Collections archivists can also give informational seminars intended for departmental faculty and staff who wish to incorporate primary source materials into their course work.

After an archives instruction session, students will be able to:

  • Describe the procedures for using Special Collections and archives in order to properly access and handle primary source material in the holdings of both the College of Charleston and the South Carolina Historical Society
  • Apply evaluative criteria in order to identify if source material is a primary, secondary, or tertiary information
  • Search archival holdings in the online catalog and finding aids in order to retrieve holdings information necessary for completing call slips

If you would like to arrange for an instruction session, please contact our Manager of Research Services, Mary Jo Fairchild. Special Collections appreciates at least two weeks notice to arrange for instruction.

Research Services

We support research for the College of Charleston community as well as the public and welcome all inquiries. We can provide collection overviews, instruction on how to locate materials in the collection, and answers to basic research questions. For in depth queries we recommend that researchers visit Special Collections and make arrangements to view materials that will assist in their project. If you are unable to do your research on-site, Special Collections staff can provide a list of independent research consultants. Please note that this list is not an endorsement of the quality of the researchers’ work, and Special Collections is not responsible for any arrangement made with independent researchers. Such arrangements, including the character, extent, and cost of the work, are purely private, contractual matters between the independent researcher and you. It also is up to you to determine whether or not the researcher’s experience and qualifications meet your needs.