Beaufort County Library Logo

Beaufort District Collection 

2nd Floor, 311 Scott Street

Beaufort, SC 29902


Please Note: Although we share the same building with Beaufort Branch Library, we are separate units of the Library system and have different hours of operations.

Customary Research Room Hours

Mondays through Fridays

10 am - 5 pm

 Current hours of other parts of the BCL

Heads up: The Library is closed

Wed., Oct. 8th Fall Staff Development

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.

Remembering 9/11 -

Read transcripts from our own BDC Archives


Grace Morris Cordial, MLS, SL, CA

Historical Resources Coordinator & Manager

Charmaine Seabrook Concepcion, MA

Preservation Associate

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.

  Two BDC blogs: Connections

Lists of Materials

on Local History Topics

BDC@ The Branches

Local History Series:

October Programs Celebrate

Archives Month and Archaeology Month


4th Annual Behind-the-Scenes Tour

Sat. Oct. 11, 1:00 - 2:30pm

Limited space Register NOW!

255-6468 cseabrook@bcgov.net

"Creating the Carolinas" Exhibit

Courtesy of South Carolina Historical Society

Now Open

Archaeology Month:

Sat., Oct. 18th - "What the Heck is it?"

Noon - 3:00pm

Oct. 22nd - Prof. Chris Judge,

"Yamassee Indians" Coastal Discovery Museum

at Noon

Oct. 22nd - Prof. Chris Judge,

"Woodland Period in SC" BDC at 6 pm

Free SC Archaeology Posters While They Last!


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

(Call 255-6446 to arrange tours and presentations)

During October we focus on Archaeology Month, Archives Month, and this year, we host a traveling exhibit from the South Carolina Historical Society about establishing the state’s boundaries.

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  

To celebrate SC Archives Month:

Event Name: Archives and the Natural Environment Tour

Short Description of Event: Our annual Archives Month behind-the-scenes tour highlights items about plant and animal life, naturalists, conservation, agriculture, recreation, and land use this year. Allow 1.5 hours for the presentation and tour. Age 12 and above.  Limit of 15 registrants.  No walk-ins.

Time and Date of Event: Saturday, October 11 at 1 pm

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

Price of Event: Free but advance registration required. Registration opens September 2nd.

Contact info: Charmaine Concepcion 843-255-6468, cseabrook@bcgov.net

To celebrate SC Archaeology Month:

Archaeology Month programs are co-sponsored by the Beaufort District Collection, Beaufort County Planning, Coastal Discovery Museum, and the Beaufort and Hilton Head Chapters, ASSC.

Event Name: “What the Heck Is It?” – Take 2

Short Description of Event: Bring your artifacts for identification by archaeologists Dr. Eric Poplin and Dr. Jon Leader. Session ends at 3 pm.

Time and Date of Event: Saturday, October 18 at Noon

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

Price of Event: Free

Contact info: Charmaine Concepcion, 843-255-6468, cseabrook@bcgov.net

Website:  beaufortcountylibrary.org


Prof. Chris Judge, USC-Lancaster

Event Name:  Yamassee Indians Archaeology Month Lecture

Short Description of Event: Learn about the archaeology of the local Yamasee Indians from 1684 up to the start of the Yamasee War, the most significant Native uprising of the early colonial period from Professor Chris Judge, USC- Lancaster.

Time and Date of Event: Wednesday, October 22 at Noon

Location of Event:  Coastal Discovery Museum, 70 Honey Horn Dr, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926
Price of Event: Free; Reservations are required.

Contact info: Natalie Hefter, 843 689-6767, ext. 223, nhefter@coastaldiscovery.org

Website:  coastaldiscovery.org

Event Name:  Woodland Indians Archaeology Month Lecture

Short Description of Event: Between 1000 BC and AD 1200 Native American societies in South Carolina introduced the bow and arrow, expanded recently invented clay pottery traditions, began growing native crops in gardens and buried certain individuals with great fanfare and effort. Archaeologists call these societies "Woodland" and new research across the Carolinas is shedding new light on these people. Prof. Chris Judge, USC-Lancaster will explore these topics.

Time and Date of Event: Wednesday, October 22 at 6 pm

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

Price of Event: Free

Contact info: Charmaine Concepcion, 843-255-6468, cseabrook@bcgov.net


Complete description of the
Beaufort District

Collection Services




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