South Carolina Department of Archives and History


South Carolina Archives Summary Guide
to State Records


The Summary Guide to State Records is a listing of 5,480 record series that include approximately 23,906 cubic feet of paper records and 3,318 microfilm reels of state records.

Record series of 57 governors and 239 state agencies are represented.


Updates to the guide will be made monthly to reflect new accessions as records are transferred from agencies.




Using the Summary Guide            Technical Reference (terms and abbreviations)





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                    About State Government Records

State records make up the largest of the department's seven collections. Records document the history, creation, growth, and activities of the legislature and its committees, judicial system (excluding the circuit courts and some defunct courts, which are listed under county records), office of the governor, and independent state agencies, boards, and commissions. The records, which span from 1671 to the present, trace the state's early colonial development, its leading role in the American Revolution, its active participation in the events leading up to and including the Civil War and Reconstruction, and the social, economic, and political development of the state.



Among the many types of records are legislative files, minutes of governing boards and committees, legal opinions, narrative and statistical reports, policy and project files, correspondence and memoranda, published works, audio recordings of meetings and hearings, photographs, maps, and electronic records. Also included are military records; Confederate records; voter registrations; early wills, inventories, land grants, plats, marriage settlements; death certificates; and some birth, marriage, and death records transferred by the county and city health departments under the Department of Health and Environmental Control.



State records comprise 70 percent of the department's paper records, mostly original documents and volumes, as well as transcripts of original records. The department holds the collection of transcripts of public records completed during the Depression-era historical Records Survey, one of the projects sponsored by the Civil Works Administration and continued by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). In some cases, the original records have been lost or destroyed, and the WPA transcript remains the only existing copy.

For information on our search room services, please contact our research desk at 803-896-6104 or submit a research request.

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