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Sources for Historical Research

        History and Genealogy, 1790-1989

    The city transferred many of its older records to the Charleston County Public Library in 2002, in order to make the documents more widely available to historians and genealogists. A list of these records can be found on the library website at City of Charleston Records.
    City Publications
        City of Charleston Yearbooks (published 1880-1951)    

            Journals of the City Council of Charleston (published 1883-2002) 
            Codes of Ordinances of the City of Charleston (published 1783-1985)   

A number of city publications can be found in area libraries. Check the catalogs of the Charleston County Public Library, College of Charleston Library, and others for availability.  


        Maps and Plats, 1698-1989 

        Charleston Orphan House Records, 1790-1979

    All Charleston Orphan House records over seventy-five years old were transferred to the South Carolina Room of the Charleston County Public Library in 2002. A short history of the Charleston Orphan House and a description of the records can be found in the Records of the Commissioners of the Charleston Orphan House, 1790-1951. The library collection also includes published histories of the Charleston Orphan House. 

    Charleston Orphan House and Oak Grove Files, 1926-1955

Records which were less than seventy-five years old at the time of the 2002 transfer have remained on deposit at the Records Management Division. To protect the privacy of former residents, access to these files is restricted until the records reach seventy-five years of age. The records may be viewed at Records Management, or redacted photocopies may be obtained:

By a former resident, upon presentation of a photo ID

By a relative of a living former resident, upon presentation of a photo ID and a power of attorney from the former resident

By a relative of a deceased former resident, upon presentation of a photo ID and a copy of the death certificate of the former resident  
By other persons with a court order allowing access to the records, upon presentation of a photo ID and a copy of the court order

Local Institutions and Agencies 

The following directory, A Guide to Charleston Area Archives, Libraries and Museums, 2015, provides names and contact information for archives, libraries, museums, and records repositories in the Charleston area.