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.

Information for Donors

Looking for information on staff, governance, financial status, and/or donor privacy? Please click the “About the Society” button below.

About the Society

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. Click below to donate to our 2024 Annual Fund!


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. Help us maintain this historic building by donating to the building fund!


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.

Listening to Silences: Digitizing Slave Records in the Society's Collection

Estimated: $20,000

The SCHS proposes to digitize over 8,000 pages of 18th and 19th century manuscripts that describe the experiences of enslaved persons in South Carolina.

Using the Society's publication "Slave Records in the Manuscript Collection of the South Carolina Historical Society: A Catalog", the Society plans to digitize eighteenth and nineteenth century manuscripts materials that bear witness to the lives and experiences of enslaved persons in South Carolina. Through this project, scholars, genealogists, students, and educators will have unlimited access to letters, diaries, ledgers, images, and ephemeral objects through the College of Charleston’s Lowcountry Digital Library (LCDL), a branch of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).

Estimated total: $20,000

Adopt Collection

Ship's Log, 1812-1816

Estimated: $10,000

This ship’s log, 1812-1816, from the James Smith Colburn papers, documents voyages between major United States ports, such as Boston and Charleston, and European ports. It also records a voyage from “Rochelles” to Norfolk by the brig Apollo, possibly a former British privateer captured during the War of 1812.

The binding is missing and the pages have surface dirt, embedded grime, staining, and losses throughout. Pages are brittle and are severely water damaged, mold damaged, and pest damaged. Some pages have shattered, and numerous fragments break off when pages are turned. Safe handling is impossible. Treatment will include surface cleaning pages to reduce surface dirt, mending pages as necessary, rebinding, and digitization.

Estimated total: $10,000

Adopt Collection

Mary Wilson Ball Paintings

Estimated: $1,500 per painting

A Charleston watercolor artist and miniaturist, Mary Wilson Ball (1892–1984) was a member of the Carolina Art Association and studied under Alice R. Huger Smith. She also trained as a topographical draftsman in Atlanta and worked with the Army and the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads in Washington, DC.

Ball frequently painted in the Plein Air style. Due to this and other unknown storage conditions before arriving at the Historical Society, the paintings were exposed to excessive moisture, heat, and organic elements. Conservation would allow the true vibrancy and depth of the colors of her paintings to be as she intended and ensure the continued existence of her beautiful and underappreciated works for future generations.

Estimated total: $1,500 per painting

Adopt Collection

Plat and Indenture, 1756

Estimated: $3,000

This indenture, lease and release with plat pertains to North Santee River land, in former Craven County, conveyed by Jonathan and Jepthah (or Jephthah) DuBose to Andrew Rembert.

The pages of this document have surface dirt, embedded grime, tears, losses, creases, and possible water damage. Treatment will include surface cleaning pages to reduce surface dirt and mending pages as necessary.

Estimated total: $3,000

Adopt Collection

Camp Main Plantation Journal

Estimated: $45,000

Kept by Thomas L. Horry of Camp Main Plantation, this journal lists the names of freed persons and records their working hours on this Georgetown County plantation in the years directly following the Civil War.

Greater access to the rich information contained in this journal, which is part of the Doar-Middleton families papers, will be possible once it undergoes conservation treatment for extensive pest, water, and mold damage.

Estimated total: $45,000

Adopt Collection


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: $7,500

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 rehoused 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: $7,500

Adopt Collection

Archival Supplies

Support the South Carolina Historical Society's archives by shopping our Amazon Wish List! These materials, including archival boxes, photo pages, and file preservers, play an important role in our mission to "expand, preserve and make accessible our collection; to improve knowledge of and encourage focus, interest and pride in the history of our state." Additionally, several of these items are disaster recovery supplies in case of a hurricane or other emergency situation.

Click the link below to view our Wish List and thank you for your continued support of our collections!

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.

The society is dedicated to expanding the stories represented in its collections to be more inclusive of diverse communities in South Carolina. We encourage individuals, families, businesses, and organizations with archival materials reflecting the experiences of women, people of color, LGBTQ+, those with disabilities, Native Americans, and other diverse local communities from around South Carolina to contribute materials to the SCHS!

If you are considering an archival donation, please contact one of the staff members listed below.

Manuscripts & Photographs

Virginia Ellison, VP of Collections
843-723-3225, ext. 114

View Deed of Gift for Manuscripts & Photographs

Published Materials

Molly I. Silliman, Senior Archivist
843-723-3225, ext. 112

View Deed of Gift for Published Materials

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 Chief Development Officer, Taryn Mason.