Collection Development and Acquisitions Policy

The mission of the South Carolina Historical Society is to collect and preserve manuscripts, documents, maps, charts, books, pictures, genealogies, and other materials bearing on the history of South Carolina; to encourage research in and study of its collections; and to publish material and otherwise promote dissemination and appreciation of the state’s history.

Criteria for determining whether material should be accepted:

  • The material is consistent with the society’s mission.
  • The material has a primary emphasis on South Carolina or South Carolinians and its/their role in the history of the United States.
  • The material is consistent with the collection goals.
  • The society can properly store and preserve the material.
  • The material will be utilized in the foreseeable future.
  • The material is not encumbered with conditions imposed by the donor regarding its future use, or
  • The use of the object is not restricted or encumbered by intellectual property rights (copyright, patent, trademark, or trade secret).
  • The use of the material is not restricted or encumbered by its nature (obscene, defamatory, potentially an invasion of privacy, physically hazardous).
  • The material is so unusual that it presents an exceptional opportunity for the society and thus should be given preferential consideration.
  • The acceptance of the material in all probability will not result in major future expenses for the society (for conservation or maintenance or because it opens a new area of collecting).

Items may be accepted as a:

  • Gift
  • Bequest
  • Purchase
  • Exchange

Other Considerations:

  • The title to every object accessioned must pass to the SCHS. Donors will be requested to sign a deed of gift giving the society sole ownership of the item/s.
  • Except in special circumstances, the SCHS will refrain from collecting photocopies of material held by other repositories and individuals. We will not accept collections which are closed to public access in perpetuity.
  • In the event that the SCHS determines previously accessioned materials are unsuitable for its collections, those materials will be de-accessioned in accordance with the board-approved De-accession Policy.

Cooperative Collecting:

The SCHS recognizes that other institutions collect in the same or overlapping areas, and that in some cases, there may be a more appropriate repository for materials offered to the SCHS. In the spirit of cooperation, opportunities to acquire such materials, as well as those not covered by the Collection Development Policy of the SCHS, will be referred to an appropriate repository. In the event that the legitimate collecting interests of the SCHS and another repository directly conflict, the SCHS will consider the best interests of the materials and the research community in pursuing an amiable resolution.