Beaufort District Collection:

the Beaufort County Library's Special Local History Collection

and Archives unit.

Visit our Research Room located on the

2nd Floor, 311 Scott Street

Beaufort, SC 29902


Effective 2 January 2016 Customary Hours EXCEPT when otherwise noted:

Mondays & Thursdays 9 am - 5 pm

Fridays 9 am - 3 pm

Please note: Access to the Research Room and its staff on Tuesdays and Wednesdays is by advance appointment only. Contact us in advance to arrange an appointment for Tuesday or Wednesday access. We do not accept same-day appointments.




Known BDC Research Room Schedule Adjustments:

August 2016

  • Research Room is Closed Fri., July 22nd for staff training
  • Lunchtime closures, Noon to 1 pm, on the following public service days in August: 4, 5 ,8, 11, 12, 15, 18, and 19.
  • Due to scheduled staff absences, some services will not be available during August.

   Deadline July 30, 2016

Come see the Pollitzer Family panel exhibit on loan from the South Carolina Historical Society through 31 August 2016.  

Mondays - Fridays, 9 am to 5 pm.

"The Pollitzers arrived in the United States as immigrants fleeing the Austrian Revolution and over the next century, various members of this dynamic family helped create American political, religious, business and educational change.

Beaufort District Collection Staff:


Grace Morris Cordial, MLS, SL, CA Manager

Ashley Sylva, BA, Preservation Associate


Description of the Beaufort District Collection Services & Distance Reference and Obituary Services

"Virtual BDC":

Look under the "Local History"  tab on the Library's homepage 24/7/365

BDC's Digital Collections

About the Beaufort District Collection:

The purpose of the Beaufort District Collection is to acquire, preserve, maintain and make accessible a research collection of permanent value that records the history of the area of lowcountry South Carolina known as the old historic Beaufort District. We have biographies, nonfiction books, video materials and archival collections about local history including Gullah traditions, natural history, archaeology, genealogy, and other topics relevant to Beaufort, Hampton and Jasper Counties. The Research Room is intended to be used by customers who perform their own research. Our philosophy of service is to offer as many free services as possible to those who are interested in learning more about the history, culture, and environment of Beaufort District.

The BDC Research Room welcomes all visitors and researchers over the age of 12 years. We have space for up to 7 researchers at a time.  We want you to come use our resources and expertise.  But group visits must be scheduled in advance of the proposed group visit.  Please know that we may not be able to accommodate your request.  We will try, but staffing and the space constraints of our Research Room may not be sufficient to accommodate your request.

Besides managing BDC Research Room, we provide access to some of our materials and services through the “Virtual BDC:” this web page, the BDC Collection Services page, the Online Obituary Index, the Phosphate, Farms, and Family digital collection, the Lucille Hasell Culp Collection:  A Celebration of Beaufort, South Carolina, a selection of 300 images, the Local History and Nature web pages, our Connections blog,  our WordPress blog of lists of materials about particular people, places, and other topics, and Facebook.  For lists of librarian recommended materials on the people, places and topics important in Beaufort District's long and unique history, click here for "List of Local History Materials" brought to you by the Beaufort District Collection!"

"How to Credit Our Collections"

In addition, we select and stock books and DVDs in the "Local History"sections at each of the BCL branch libraries.  We provide access to the Ancestry Library Edition subscription database to visitors of our library facilities and microfilm to the Beaufort Branch and Hilton Head Island Branch libraries.  Plus, we coordinate or present programs about local history, archaeology, and our coastal environment, including the occasional instructional session about how to perform historical and/or genealogical research around the library system or for community groups.  

Select a topic:

Using the Beaufort District Collection

Beaufort District Collection Services

Beaufort County

Newspapers Obituary

Interested in obituaries from other parts of South Carolina?  Visit the "South Carolina Obituary Resources" page hosted at the State Library.


Local History and Nature Pages

View "Beaufort County History Moments"

Short video segments about aspects of our

local history and cultural heritage.

Remembering 9/11 -

Read transcripts from our own BDC Archives

Explosion 2: NEWWho Died in the 1893 Storm?

We have compiled a list of the known dead from Beaufort County Coroner Inquisition Records. 

BDC Docent Program

Special Collections volunteer work requires special people with special skills, aptitudes, and demonstrated behaviors of perseverance and fortitude. Call or e-mail the Beaufort District Collection Volunteer Coordinator  for details.  Perhaps, the BDC Docent Program isn't for you but you still want to help the Library by volunteering your skills and time? Other departments of the Beaufort County Library need volunteers.  


Contact other Branch Library Volunteer Coordinators for positions at their location. 


"Blast from The Past" Features:

  • Download of "Maroon Communities in South Carolina" lecture and Q & A session at USC-B North Campus by Dr. Tim Lockley in honor of Archaeology Month 2009

  • Listen to Marvin Bouknight's podcast about nature and his creative process getting  his book, South Carolina's Lowcountry ... Naturally in print.
Available on library computers only!

Using the Beaufort District Collection Research Room Welcome to Beaufort County Library’s Beaufort District Collection (BDC). We offer a research collection of permanent value which focuses on Beaufort District history, culture, and environment.  At various points in the past, Beaufort District included all or parts of current Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton and Allendale counties.  General coverage is granted to the rest of South Carolina. The Beaufort District Collection is staffed by one full-time reference librarian/archivist and one full-time preservation associate.  We also have specially trained docents who assist with special projects. 

Materials may not be removed from the Beaufort District Collection.  However, duplicate copies of some titles are available through the "Local History" sections at the Branch Libraries in Beaufort, Bluffton, Hilton Head, Lobeco and St. Helena.

Most of the printed items held within the BDC may be photocopied in the Beaufort District Collection room, pursuant to U.S. copyright laws.  However,some materials owned by the BDC cannot be duplicated due to the fragility of the materials.  If you want to make photocopies of or use an electronic or digital means of acquiring a copy of a resource housed within the BDC, you must ask for permission to do so from the Historical Resources Coordinator.

We grant permission to reproduce images from our Beaufort District Collection under limited criteria.  Please consult with the us about how to obtain permission to reproduce images owned by the Beaufort County Library. 

Prudent researchers contact libraries, archives and museums before traveling to do research. Staff vacancies may affect access to the BDC since our first priority is being good stewards of the research materials for which we are responsible.  Many of Beaufort’s family and public records prior to the 20th century were lost to fire, war, and neglect. Staff will be happy to discuss existing resources that are relevant to your research and potential strategies for accommodating the significant loss of our records. Our telephone number is 843-255-6468; e-mail address is gracec@bcgov.net.



The Research Room will be closed Monday, September 5, 2016 to observe Labor Day.

To acquaint yourself with usual and customary procedures for gainin

g access to archival records, please take a few moments to read the "Using Archives: A Guide to Effective Research" from the Society of American Archivists.


Refusal to follow any of the rules listed below may result in denial of the use of the materials

in the Beaufort District Collection's Research Room.

1) Only notepaper and essential personal reference books will be permitted at research tables.

2) Pencils are permitted.  Do not use pens or markers while in the BDC.

3) Be advised that the library keeps records of research room attendance and research topics.

4) Materials may not be removed from the BDC. 

5) If you want to make photocopies of or take photographs of materials, digital or film based, ask for the permission or assistance of Beaufort District Collection staff.

6) Use care when handling the materials.  Keep them clean and free of stray marks.           

7) Do not lean on materials, make marks on materials, write notes on top of materials, or rest books or other items on materials. 

8) Theft or mutilation of library materials is a crime that is prosecuted.

9) Some materials in the BDC are restricted materials.

10) The Library reserves the right to inspect all notes, photocopies, and personal reference books before the researcher leaves.

11) The Library reserves the right to require a patron to submit to a search of his or her person conducted by a police officer, upon sufficient grounds. 

BDC Programs, Trainings, Community Relations & Scheduled Tours

Thus far in 2016: 142 and counting!

"Hurricanes of Beaufort's Past" with Grace Cordial - 11 people

"Researching African-American Roots" with Kim Morgan and Akosua Moore - 41 people

"Battle of Purysburg" with Dan & Rita Elliott, a BDC@ BLU program - 26 people

"Gen. Stephen Elliott" with Neil Baxley, a BDC@ BEA program - 19 people

"Preservation Week Drop-In" at Beaufort Branch - 30 people; handed out 17 packets of information

"A Yankee Scholar" Author Book Talk with Bob Hester - 4 people

"Battle of Sadkeche" with Dr. Jon Marcoux, a BDC@ BEA program - 30 people

"A Yankee Scholar" Author Book Talk with Bob Hester, a BDC@ BLU program - 4 people

  BDC@ Community Engagement total for 2016 thus far - 295 people

Living History Civil War Encampment at the Arsenal - March 12 in collaboration with the Beaufort History Museum and Penn Center - 160 People stopped by our table to talk BDC/Library!

Charleston Genealogy Society - March 16  - 10 family historians got a tour of our facility and learned a bit about our services

Confederation of South Carolina Historical Societies Landmark Conference - March 23 - 30 cultural heritage stewards toured our facility and explored some of our treasures

Opening of the Beaufort History Museum's "Beaufort Reconstruction: Islands of Hope in a Sea of Distress" - June 8th - Saw the finished product including many images from our holdings

SC Humanities Council Opening Reception - June 9th - 20 people stopped by our display to ask questions There's no way to know how many of the other 400 estimated participants actually saw the display June 10th & 11th. We, of course, hope that a lot of them became more aware of the Library's support for local history and about Library services and programs.

"Beaufort District and the US Constitution" at Santa Elena History Center, Wed., Sept. 21st at 4pm

BDC Programs, Outreach & Trainings Tally for 2015 - 1202

Complete description of the
Beaufort District

Collection Services




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