Access to the Special Collections and South Carolina Historical Society Archives Reading Room
The Special Collections and the South Carolina Historical Society Archives Reading Room is open by appointment only.
Appointment options and procedures may change as institutional policies develop, best practices continue to emerge, or where circumstances merit adjustments.
- All in-person research will be by appointment only. Walk-in appointments will not be permitted.
- To be eligible for conducting research on-site, patrons must have proof current status as a:
- College of Charleston student, faculty member, or staff person
- South Carolina Historical Society member
- College of Charleston Friends of the Library member
- Occupancy in the Reading Room will be limited to two researchers at any given time
Pre-visit: Research Consultations and Appointment Scheduling
- To submit a request for research or an on-site appointment, contact Special Collections at https://speccoll.cofc.edu/about/contact-us/. Please include the following information:
- What topic are you researching?
- What information do you want to find?
- A preliminary list of collections/items do you wish to consult/access? If possible, please provide the title, call number, or any other additional information relating to your request.
- Appointments will only be confirmed after a scheduled consultation with a designated staff archivist or librarian.
- Consultations will take place either via Zoom (preferred) or phone
- The consultation will be used to determine if your research needs can be satisfied remotely first.
- If staff determine that in-person research is necessary, we will reserve one or more appointment slots for you. Staff will also follow up with you via email to finalize the list of collections/items you will be examining on-site. No materials (including reading room books) will be pulled “spur-of-the-moment” during the in-person appointment.
- Please note that appointments must be scheduled a minimum of 1 business day in advance of the visit.
- There are a total of 4 appointment slots available for each day.
- Only one researcher per appointment slot will be permitted. Appointment intervals are 3 hours each (9:00 – 12:00 and 1:00 – 4:00)
- There is time allotted after each appointment interval for staff to disinfect high-touch surfaces and patron workspaces.
- A researcher may schedule consecutive sessions. However, researchers with consecutive scheduled sessions will be required to leave the Reading Room between the hours of 12:00pm – 1:00 pm.
- All researchers must complete a pre-registration process prior to arrival on-site. Archives staff will share this with researchers once their appointment is confirmed.
During the Visit
- All patrons with confirmed in-person research appointments will be required to comply with all safety and security guidelines established by the College of Charleston, the College of Charleston Libraries, Special Collections, and the South Carolina Historical Society. These guidelines will be sent to researchers via email prior to their appointment. Failure to comply with these guidelines will result in the immediate termination of the research appointment and the request for the researcher to leave. If you are not feeling well or are otherwise unable to keep your appointment, please respect everyone’s safety and contact our staff to cancel or reschedule your appointment.
- Researchers will be provided with a confirmation email prior to their appointment. Please be prepared to show proof of that confirmation email to public safety when entering the building (either printed out or be able to pull the e-mail up on your mobile device).