The Records Center houses a variety of records generated by departments and divisions of the City of Charleston, which may be of use for both historical and contemporary research. These records document the City’s organizational history and provide important insight into the social, political, and economic history of Charleston.
In 2002, the City transferred some of its older collections to the Charleston County Public Library (CCPL) in order to make the documents more widely available. A list of these records is located on the library website at City of Charleston Records.
The following gives a broad overview of the records held by the City of Charleston and available for research at the Records Center at 2 George Street. Researchers are welcome to make appointments to view many of our records; however, some research requests may require a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
These files are a useful source of knowledge for anyone seeking a broad overview of a particular subject, person, or place of significance to the City. While largely a collection of newspaper clippings, the General Files also contain many original City documents.
The General Files of the City Records Center contain information on:
In 2002, many Charleston Orphan House records over seventy-five years were transferred to the South Carolina Room of the CCPL, where records are processed and open to researchers. Records that were less than seventy-five years old at the time remain with the City’s Records Management Division. Depending on age, the records on file at the Records Center are subject to the following restrictions:
Many of the public records frequently requested from the City Records Center are actually issued by other government agencies.