Giving Opportunities

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

Your donations increase our capabilities and enhance our operations, making our goals a reality.

The Annual Fund

You can help the South Carolina Historical Society expand, preserve, and improve accessibility to the state’s largest private manuscript repository. In addition to supporting the historic Fireproof Building, your gift will protect books, letters, journals, maps, drawings, and photographs about South Carolina history. By giving to the society’s Annual Fund, you encourage pride and interest in the history of our great state and help guarantee our invaluable collection for future generations. Learn more about the 2018 Annual Appeal here.


The Fireproof Building Fund

The Fireproof Building is the largest and arguably the most significant “object” in the Historical Society’s collections. Since it was constructed in the 1820s, the Fireproof Building has undergone many repairs and renovations. The latest is the most comprehensive renovation ever undertaken: to revive and repurpose the building as a state-of-the-art museum of South Carolina history.


Adopt a Collection

The South Carolina Historical Society has many collections that need description, reorganization, and preservation in order to ensure they are accessible and receive proper care.


Estimated: $10,500

The papers, artwork, and photographs of prolific Charleston Renaissance artist, author, and poet John Bennett span from 1876 to 1967 and are among the largest and most valuable collections housed at the South Carolina Historical Society.

Greater access to the rich information contained in these letters, diaries, and works of art will be possible once the collection is rehoused and more comprehensively arranged and described. Preservation of fragile photographs, silhouettes, sketches, and scrapbooks will allow researchers and scholars to expand what is known about Bennett as well as other Charleston Renaissance artists and writers, including Dubose Heyward, Josephine Pinckney, and Laura Bragg.

Our estimated total includes time and supplies for re-housing and describing the contents.

Estimated total: $10,500

Adopt Collection

Vanderhorst Family Papers

Estimated: $7500

The Vanderhorst family papers (1689-1942) consist of correspondence, estate and plantation papers, as well as journals, diaries, genealogical materials, photographs, and sketches pertaining multiple generations of the Vanderhorst family and the people who shaped their experiences.

Greater access to the rich information contained in this large collection will be possible once the material is re-housed and more comprehensively arranged and described. Preservation of fragile photographs, sketches, and bound ledgers will allow researchers and scholars to expand what is known about important events that shaped the history of both South Carolina and the nation from the colonial era to the dawn of the twentieth century.

Our estimated total includes time and supplies for re-housing and describing the contents.

Estimated total: $7500

Adopt Collection

Sandy Island Plantation Journals/Almanacs

Estimated: $1,750

These three almanacs from 1792, 1797, and 1798 contain interleaved pages with handwritten plantation journal entries kept by Allard Belin for his plantation on Sandy Island near Georgetown, South Carolina.

The journal entries pertain to rice planting and harvesting, maintaining ditches and drains, planting corn and potatoes, problems with an overseer, as well as a list of the names of slaves and number of blankets they received.

These materials are frequently requested by researchers but we are unable to provide access due to their fragile condition.

Estimated total: $1,750

Adopt Collection

Handwritten Civil War Newspapers

Estimated: $2,500

The society holds several handwritten newspapers produced by Confederate soldiers during the Civil War.

The Rebel features a colorful masthead depicting a camp tent surmounted by the first official Confederate flag, the “Stars and Bars,” along with letters to the editor, advertisements, war news, weather observations, moral advice, and social notices. Another handwritten newspaper, the Rapidann, was produced by a South Carolinian soldier in a Confederate camp in Virginia.

The Prison Times, written by a Confederate prisoner of war, contains advertisements for tailoring, barbering, music, religious assistance, as well as debate and chess clubs. It also features poetry, a barracks directory, and descriptions of and comments on prison life. These items are in need of basic repairs and improved storage to ensure that they are preserved and accessible by generations to come.

Estimated total: $2,500

Adopt Collection

Donate Archival Materials

Family letters, photographs, business records, church registers, and club minutes are the historical treasures of the future. Such documents will one day provide valuable insight into the lives of South Carolinians.

The society provides a permanent home to materials from people all over the state and from all walks of life. Our collections are housed in acid-free archival storage and kept in a secure, climate-controlled environment. Donors may rest assured that their family, business, or organizational papers will be well preserved and made easily accessible for generations to come.

If you are considering an archival donation, please contact a member of our staff.

Manuscripts & Photographs

Virginia Ellison, Director of Archives and Research
843-723-3225, ext. 114

Published Materials

Molly I. Silliman, Librarian
843-723-3225, ext. 112

Estate Planning

The society’s endowment is critical to the future of our organization. A healthy endowment allows an organization to grow, to offer more services, and to continue collecting, preserving, and publishing the history of South Carolina.

The South Carolina Historical Society relies upon gifts from members’ estates to build its endowment and to undertake important projects. Please consider giving a gift of endowment or stock to guarantee our future.

To give a gift of endowment or stock, contact our director of development.