Research and Archives

The mission of the Avery Research Center is to collect, preserve, and promote the unique history and culture of the African diaspora, with an emphasis on Charleston, the South Carolina Lowcountry, and beyond

Avery Research Center is home to approximately 200 manuscript collections, varying in size from a few items to over 50 linear feet; over 4,000 photographs; hundreds of reels of microfilm, VHS tapes, clipping files, and digital formats. There are dozens of collections of artifacts ranging from those that document slavery to material culture from West Africa and an extensive sweet grass basket collection.

Processed manuscript collections and other cataloged items can be searched via the College of Charleston Library’s online catalog.

All researchers are required to register and make an appointment here.

For questions about our collections or reference/archival services email us using the contact form 

Image Credit Guidelines

For image and document permission fill out the reproduction and permission form

The following basic credit line must be used for each image reproduced, unless an alternative is provided.  

•    Courtesy Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC. 
•    We ask that you comply with these guidelines:
Published Materials: the credit line should appear on the same or facing page as the image or on a separate photo credits page. Each individual image must be credited properly.

Films, Filmstrips, and Video Presentations: include the credit within the “Sources for illustrations/Images” or “Credits” section of the production.
Exhibitions: the credit should appear in the exhibition area, preferably directly below or adjacent to the image. 

Web use: the credit should appear either adjacent to the image or in a “Sources of Illustrations/Images” section. 

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.