We are the Beaufort County Library's Special Local History Collection

and Archives.

Visit our Research Room located on the 2nd Floor, 311 Scott Street

Beaufort, SC 29902


New Hours 3/9/2015:

Open most Mondays 10 am - 5 pm

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays

by Advance Appointments only

Open most Fridays 10 am - 5 pm

Known Schedule Adjustments:

Closed for Lunch, Noon to 1 pm on the following dates:

  • Monday, Oct. 5th
  • Friday, Oct. 9th
  • Monday, Oct. 12th
  • The Library system will be closed Wed., Oct. 7th for Staff Development Day.

Beaufort District Collection Staff:


Grace Morris Cordial, MLS, SL, CA Manager

Ashley Sylva, BA, Preservation Associate


Click here for a description of the
Beaufort District
Collection Services



Fall 2015 BDC Programs

Scheduled for October in the 2nd Floor Gallery:

POSTPONEMENT due to inclement weather:

"What the Heck Is It?"with

Dr. Jon Leader and Dr. Eric Poplin

is postponed.

"Well-Dressed Marine of 1915"

Learn about Marine Corps Fashion

with Living Historian David Smoot!

Tues., Oct. 20, 6 pm

"Reconstruction History Long Neglected, Ignored" Exhibit on Loan from the USCB Libraries through Fri., Oct. 30th; Open Mondays - Fridays, 10 am - 5 pm except Wed., Oct. 7th

"Virtual BDC":

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

Connections blog

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.

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, Trainings, Community Relations & Scheduled Tours

"Well-Dressed Marine of 1915"

Learn about Marine Corps Fashion with Living Historian David Smoot!

Tues., Oct. 20, Beaufort District Collection, 6 pm

(Postponed due to inclement weather)

The Beaufort District Collection and Beaufort Chapter, ASSC Present:

"What the Heck Is It?" with Dr. Jon Leader and Dr. Eric Poplin

is being rescheduled. Stay Tuned!


The Beaufort District Collection, USC-B Libraries, USC-B,

and the Beaufort County Historical Society Present:

"The History of Beaufort County South Carolina," vols. 2 & 3 by

Dr. Larry Rowland and Dr. Steve Wise


Sunday, Nov. 8th at 3 pm, USC-B Performing Arts Center, 801 Carteret Street, Beaufort

Thursday, Nov. 12th at 4 pm, USC-B South Library, New River Campus

Thursday, Dec. 3rd at 4 pm, Hilton Head Branch Library, 11 Beach City Road

No Reservations Necessary!


Now on display! Mondays - Fridays, 10 am - 5pm in the 2nd Floor Gallery

"Reconsruction History Long Ignored Neglected: Are We Finally Ready to Talk?"

from USC-B Libraries

BDC Programs, Outreach & Trainings Tally for 2015 so far - 972

Complete description of the
Beaufort District

Collection Services




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