Placing Your Family Papers in a Manuscript and Archive Repository

Your family’s history is important to you. The advantages afforded by memory and history to individual persons can also be extended to multiple generations of a family with links to its own past preserved in a manuscript repository. To a large degree, your family’s memory lies in its papers—the original letters, diaries, photographs, certificates, and other documents that you and your relatives have produced and collected over the years. These documents give vital and unique testimony to the life and achievements of your family.

Your family’s history may be important to your community as well. Whether or not members of your family attained a degree of fame, they have shared in the heritage of a certain place and time. Your family’s papers can also be part of your community’s collective memory.

Most of us lack the resources or expertise to properly preserve our own family papers. Fortunately, the South Carolina Historical Society is a place that is in the business of preserving history. We serve as a steward of our state’s past.

What can the South Carolina Historical Society do for you?

The research library of the South Carolina Historical Society is a place where historically significant documents are housed and cared for. If your family’s papers are appropriate for the society’s collection, you stand to gain many benefits. The society can provide the papers with environmentally controlled storage, freeing up your own space. We can safeguard the papers by overseeing their handling and use. More importantly, we can provide research access to the valuable information the papers contain to you, your family, and to the scholarly public. By placing your family’s papers in the archives of the society, you take an important step toward their preservation—and you assure that the memories they contain will be kept alive.