Reading Room Policies

Reading Room Policies

SIGNING IN: All visitors to the SCHS are required to sign the register at the door, and to identify themselves as members or non-members of the Society.

CATALOG ROOM: After signing in, patrons will proceed to the catalog room where they will find terminals for searching our online catalog. A coat rack and lockers are also found in this room.

LOCKERS: Like most manuscript archives, we require that patrons store all bags, purses, cameras, and like materials in a locker before proceeding to the reading room. This measure is designed to ensure the security of our collection and of your belongings. Patrons are asked to bring only a pencil (no pens) and writing materials into the reading room. Laptop computers are also permitted. Please note that cellular telephones, cameras, scanners and other such devices are prohibited in the reading room.

FOOD & DRINK: Food and beverages are not permitted in the reading room. Patrons may leave such items in their lockers in the catalog room. There are numerous restaurants in our neighborhood, and the library staff can offer some dining suggestions. Washington Park, which is contiguous to the Fireproof Building, provides an ideal picnic location during fair weather.  

CALL SLIPS: The manuscripts, pamphlets, and rare books in our collection are located in closed stacks and are not open to browsing. Patrons must fill out a call slip for each item they wish to view and present it to the librarian on duty in the reading room in order to access these materials. Call slips are available on-site in the catalog room. If you would like to prepare call slips in advance, you can print and fill out the SCHS Call Slips form prior to your visit.

READING ROOM: Once patrons have signed in and placed their non-essential items in a locker, they may proceed to the reading room. The books in this area are open for browsing. Patrons viewing manuscript items will be asked to leave all boxes at the main desk and to take only one folder at a time to their seat. This measure is designed to ensure that the proper arrangement of the materials is maintained.

PHOTOCOPIES: There is a self-serve copy machine in the reading room. Copies are $0.35 per page for members and $0.40 for non-members. Patrons may make copies from books, but we require that you ask for assistance before attempting to copy manuscript items. If copies of numerous pages or items are desired, patrons can request a copy order form and have the staff perform the work.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Unauthorized photography of manuscript or printed materials in our collection is not permitted. Similarly, photography of the interior of the Fireproof Building is prohibited without the prior consent of the South Carolina Historical Society.

RESEARCH HELP: If you require special assistance in conducting your research or have in-depth questions, we encourage you to make an appointment to speak with a member of the staff.