With 350 years of state history comprised in rare books, manuscripts, and visual materials, the South Carolina Historical Society is the state’s largest and oldest private archive as well as a modern historical museum.

Founded in 1855, the organization’s preservation, exploration, and interpretation of the state’s historical legacy continues to benefit generations of learners. Its mission is “to expand, preserve and make accessible our collection; to improve knowledge of and encourage focus, interest and pride in the history of our state.”

The Fireproof Building

The newly remodeled, repurposed Fireproof Building is the home of the Historical Society headquarters. The National Historic Landmark houses a new, state-of-the art museum with interactive exhibits that showcase South Carolina history, culture, and arts. Designed by Robert Mills and constructed between 1822 and 1827, the Fireproof Building is believed to be the first of its kind constructed in the United States.

The Archives

The Historical Society archives are housed in the Special Collections area of the College of Charleston’s Addlestone Library. The nationally renowned collections contain records of the lives, passions, struggles, and viewpoints of South Carolinians from the colonial era to the present. Hundreds of researchers come from around the world each year to use the collections.

Access to our collection is paramount; expansion of our collection is essential.

The South Carolina Historical Society is a private, nonprofit organization that depends upon the generosity of its members to preserve and extend awareness of South Carolina history.

Your annual membership makes each day possible


Learn more about the South Carolina Historical Society staff

Our Staff