South Carolina Department of Archives and History

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South Carolina Department of Archives and History
South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Image used by permission.

Contact Information[edit | edit source]

E-mail: Genealogy Research Request Form, Genealogy Research Request Form Instructions

8301 Parklane Road
Columbia, SC 29223


Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  Closed on Sundays, Mondays, and State Holidays

Directions, map, and public transportation

Directions: How to find the SC Dept. of Archives and History
Map: Google map
Public transportation: CMRTA bus route 23 or 23A stops at Farrow and Parklane. Walk south on Parklane to the History Center.

Internet sites and databases:

  • On-line Records Index
    • Records of Confederate Veterans 1909-1973
    • Criminal Court Records
    • Index to Multiple Record Series ca. 1675-1929
    • Legislative Papers 1782-1866
    • National Register of Historic Places
    • Plats for State Land Grants 1784-1868
    • School Insurance Photographs 1935-1952
    • Will Transcripts 1782-1855
  • Digital Collections
    • Confederate Pension Applications, 1919-1938
    • Insurance file photographs of public schools, 1935-1952
    • Grand Jury Presentments to the General Assembly, 1783-1877
    • Colonial Plats
    • National Register of Historic Places
    • Will Transcripts, 1782-1855
    • Militia Enrollments of 1869

Collection Description[edit | edit source]

The Archives houses original South Carolina documents, as well as microfilms of federal and British government records. Starting 1671, it has land records, citizenship records, court records, military records, treasury records, General Assembly records, constitutional officers, state agency records, and records of the secretary of the province and state. Also includes over 3,000 cubic feet of manuscript county records. Sources of most interest to genealogists include federal and state census records, county probate records, county land records, family histories, cemeteries, tax records, newspapers, county equity court records, and state death certificates. South Carolina required marriage licenses beginning in 1911 and birth and death certificates beginning in 1915.[1]

Tips[edit | edit source]

First-time visitors must register.

Guides[edit | edit source]

The South Carolina Archives & History Center official guides:

Additional guides:

  • Holcomb, Brent H. et al. South Carolina Miscellaneous Records & Genealogical Records of the South Carolina Archives. Hartsville, S.C.: Old Darlington District Chapter, SCGS, [1995?]. Audio cassettes. FHL US/CAN Audio no. 18 pt. 1, pt. 2, supp.
  • Lesser, Charles H. Sources for the American Revolution at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Columbia, S.C.: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 2000. FHL Book 975.7 J53L


  • Lesser, Charles H. The Palmetto State's Memory: A History of the South Carolina Department of Archives & History, 1905-1960. Columbia, S.C.: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 2009. Free online version.

Alternate Repositories[edit | edit source]

If you cannot visit or find a record at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, a similar record may be available at one of the following.

Overlapping Collections

  • National Archives at Atlanta (i.e. Morrow), federal censuses,, military, pensions, bounty-land, photos, passengers arrival indexes, naturalizations, Native Americans, African Americans, workshops.

Similar Collections

  • South Carolina Historical Society, Charleston, SC, diaries and papers, plantation, business, and church records, maps, plats, genealogies, 30,000 photos, 50,000 books, pamphlets, and serials.
  • South Carolina Genealogical Society has a modest collection of family histories, genealogies, state and county record abstracts, county histories, local histories, and church histories.
  • Family History Library, Salt Lake City, 450 computers, 3,400 databases, 3.1 million microforms, 4,500 periodicals, 310,000 books of worldwide family and local histories, civil, church, immigration, ethnic, military, and records pertaining to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  • Daughters of the American Revolution Library, Washington DC, Revolutionary War and colonial period, including family and local histories, cemetery transcriptions, Bible records, 15,000 genealogical membership applications.
  • Dallas Public Central Library Texas, 111,700 volumes, 64,500 microfilms, 89,000 microfiche, and over 700 maps, marriage, probate, deed, and tax abstracts in book form, or microfilm of originals for some states, and online databases.

Neighboring Collections

Sources[edit | edit source]

  1. Genealogy Resources at the Archives, accessed 23 March 2021