2nd Floor, 311 Scott Street

Beaufort, SC 29902


Customary Research Room Hours See Changes during the Holidays (see below)

Mondays through Fridays

10 am - 5 pm

 Current hours of other parts of the BCL

Holiday Schedule:

The Research Room will be closed at lunchtime - Noon to 1 pm- on Dec. 22 and Dec. 23.

The Library system will be closed Christmas Eve, Dec. 24th and Christmas Day, Dec. 25th.

The Research Room will be closed on Dec. 26th due to lack of staff.

The Library system will be closed New Year's Day, Jan. 1.

The Library system will be closed Mon., Jan. 19 to observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

We are the Special Collections and Archives unit of the Beaufort County Library. We focus on the heritage and history of the people, places, culture, and natural environment of our part of lowcountry South Carolina!

Archives operate under different rules than libraries.  Read this online pamphlet from the Society of American Archivists to understand what you can expect in an archives.


Grace Morris Cordial, MLS, SL, CA

Historical Resources Coordinator & Manager

Charmaine Seabrook Concepcion, MA

Preservation Associate  (temporarily re-assigned Nov. 1, 2014 to Lobeco Branch Library to cover chronic staff shortage)

"Creating the Carolinas" Exhibit

Courtesy of

South Carolina Historical Society

Open until 30 January 2015

Lecture Series

Register for Dr. Rowland's lecture on
"The Treaty of Beaufort". (Registration is required. gracec@bcgov.net; 255-6468)

BDC@ The Branches

Local History Series returns in January 2015

We blog:

See Pictures of our programs and events on

Click here for a description of the
Beaufort District
Collection Services

"Virtual BDC" is available 24/7/365 : Look under the "Local History" tab on the Library's homepage.

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 librarian and one full-ime 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.  owever,some materialsowned 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. 

Researchers are strongly encouraged to contact the BDC staff before travelingto theBeaufort District Collection 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. The BDC 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.

To acquaint yourself with usual and customary procedures for gaining 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 , Outreach, Public Relations & Scheduled Tours

(Booking for 2015 Now: call 255-6446 to arrange tours and presentations)

Event Name: “Creating the Carolinas” South Carolina Historical Society Traveling Exhibit

Short Description of Event: Learn how troublesome establishing our state boundaries was and about the role that the Treaty of Beaufort of 1787 played in this traveling exhibit on loan from the South Carolina Historical Society. 

Time and Date of Event: Mondays – Fridays, 10 am – 5 pm; October 1, 2014 - January 30, 2015

Location of Event: Beaufort District Collection, 2nd floor, 311 Scott Street, Beaufort, SC 29902

Price of Event: Free

Contact info: Grace Cordial, 843-255-6468, gracec@bcgov.net  

Registration is now open for this extra special event, the third and final lecture in the "Shaping of South Carolina" exhibit series. Beaufort's own, Dr. Larry Rowland, lectures on The Treaty of Beaufort. Registration is required and space is limited. Contact gracec@bcgov.net or call 255-6468 for details and seat number.

Complete description of the
Beaufort District

Collection Services




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Beaufort County Library, 311 Scott Street, Beaufort, SC 29902 || Telephone: (843) 255-6465
Fax: (843) 255-9508