Archival Projects

Avery and Liberatory Literacies: Commemorating 160 Years of Black Education   


The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the College of Charleston’s Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture a $2 million grant to support the collection and preservation of the South Carolina Lowcountry’s social and cultural history.


Outcomes of the four-year project will include, but are not limited to:


  • Processing, describing and digitizing of selected historic manuscript and audiovisual collections from the Avery Research Center for public use
  • Increased community engagement in the Avery Research Center’s archives and programming
  • Creating accessible and creative interpretations of the Avery Research Center’s histories at the intersections of art, public history and archives/museum studies

Documenting the Arc Oral History Project


The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation’s new “Broadening Narratives” grant, a groundbreaking
collections initiative that illuminates underrepresented stories. Grants total $579,000 to ten organizations in the Lowcountry of South Carolina and Chicago;
Five Lowcountry-based grant recipients to each receive a range of $25,000 to $100,000 to fund new projects.


We are one of only five organizations in Lowcountry to receive this grant ($100,000), which will help fund the conducting of and making accessible video oral history interviews. The interviews will be with those who spearheaded the call for justice between 2014 and 2020, beginning with the formation of Black Lives Matter Charleston in late 2014 through the local George Floyd protests and civil unrest that marked the Summer of 2020.

Congrats to the other four Lowcountry recipients, Coastal Carolina University’s Joyner Institute for Gullah Studies, Drayton Hall Preservation Trust, Harbor Historical Association / South Carolina Maritime Museum, and the Penn Center.  

Documenting Black Charleston: Providing Access to Black Life in the Lowcountry 


Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina awarded $685,000 to 37 nonprofit organizations in the Tri-County region that are Black-led and/or Black-serving in an effort funded by Facebook to support innovation, creativity, and resiliency in Black communities.


The Avery Research Center will be using the Coastal Community Foundation’s Facebook Grant for Sustaining Black Communities funds ($20,000) to digitize some of its vulnerable photograph collections, including the Coards Studio photographs and records and the photographs in the Walter N. Boags collection. Some items, such as the negatives in the Boags collection, are degrading and in urgent need of digitization to preserve the historic images.


MUSEUM TOURS: The Avery Research Center is currently open for guided tours by appointment and self-guided tours on selected days.

OPEN HOUSE: The Avery Research Center currently offers self-guided tours on the second Wednesday of the month. Advance registration required.

ARCHIVES: Researchers must schedule a consultation BEFORE making a research appointment.

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