The Charleston Museum Archives needs your help!

by Jennifer Sheetz, Archivist

The Charleston Museum Archives needs your help! We are asking for donations of older Charleston City Directories. Curators (among other researchers) use these resources almost daily to expand our knowledge of Charleston companies and families. More particularly, here at the museum, we use them to determine when establishments were in business as a means to determine the date of collection items – or even to just narrow the date range of an artifact. In addition, in the Archives, we use directories to not only determine date, but to identify and verify the location as shown in our photographs.

We already hold a fairly substantial run of the Charleston City Directory but there are several gaps in the series. Specifically we are asking for donations of any 19th century (1800s) or early 20th century directories. Our earliest directory is 1822 and there were several issued before then. If you have any of these and would like to donate them, we would be thrilled to accept them. We will not be able to accept donations of any directories that would be duplicated in the collection, as they do take up quite a bit of space.

We have included some images of what your City Directory might look like. Please keep in mind that older ones may have been re-bound at some point and might not have anything on the covers at all. Sometime in the late 19th and then on into the 20th century, advertisements were on both the outside and inside. And so the covers – both back and front – will look very “busy” but only the spine will indicate that it is a City Directory.

If you have any questions, please contact:
Jennifer Scheetz, Archivist, [email protected]
Jennifer McCormick, Assistant Archivist, [email protected]