Local History

Mills Atlas Beaufort District Map

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Beaufort District Collection

The Beaufort District Collection acquires, preserves, maintains and makes accessible a research collection of permanent value which records the history of the area of lowcountry South Carolina known as the old historic Beaufort District. It is intended to be used by customers over age 12 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 County.

The Beaufort District Collection is located in the Paul Siegmund Room on the 2nd floor at 311 Scott St., Beaufort, SC 29902. As the special local history collection and archives for the Library system, we keep our own hours. Visit the Research Room Mondays and Fridays, 10 am - 5 pm; As of March 9, 2015, access to the Research Room and its staff is by advance appointment only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursday. Call 843-255-6468 or e-mail gracec@bcgov.net to schedule an appointment.  Changes to our customary schedule will be noted in the Library's social media.

Local Obituary Index

The Local Obituary Index is substantially drawn from the microfilmed newspaper collection of the Beaufort County Library. However, some local newspapers have started up since 2006 for which there are no microfilm archives. Trained obituary index docents capture published obituaries from locally based online newspapers whenever possible. The collection consists of newspapers published in Beaufort County (SC) but is not complete. There are no holdings prior to 1862, and the holdings of some titles, especially those of the nineteenth century, are incomplete.

The newspaper collection includes papers from 1862 to the present. At this time, the obituary index consists of citations to select Beaufort County newspapers from 1862 - 1992. There are some citations from October 2007 to 2008. This is an ongoing project with new citations being added on a regular basis. Our goal is to provide obituary indexing for all our local newspapers but the task is arduous. Our trained obituary docents are working towards full coverage. Contact the Beaufort District Collection for more information.

Donner Digital Collection

This collection of 548 photographs comes from two albums of family photographs created by Conrad Munro Donner (1844 – 1916), a peripatetic engineer from the Hamburg-Altona area near the border between Denmark and Germany who had an active interest in photography. Self-taught, the bulk of his images reflect his experience of lowcountry rural life in Beaufort County, SC near the turn of the 20th century.

Lucille Hasell Culp Digital Collection

“The Lucille Hasell Culp Collection - A Celebration of Beaufort, South Carolina” contains a selection of 300 images, primarily photographic negatives, from the much larger Lucille Hasell Culp Collection. Here one finds selected images of enduring historical value to Beaufort, such as those relating to community and military events, built structures that are no longer extant or greatly altered, iconic architecture, commercial activities, natural vistas, and daily life, 1941 – 1999. Most of the images were taken in the immediate area of the City of Beaufort, S. C. during from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s.

Local History and Nature Pages

A collection of web pages prepared by library staff on a variety of topics related to Beaufort County, including: Gullah Language and Culture, Food Specialties of the Lowcountry, Pirates of the Lowcountry, and many, many more.


Latest update: 23 July 2015