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Welcome to our Online Catalog

To begin your search, click on one of the above options.

The catalog contains the records for a variety of items including documentation of historic buildings, photographs, books, and much more. The catalog currently represents a portion of the collections and is updated on a regular basis, so please check the catalog often. Contact the archivist/librarian if you cannot find what you are looking for.

To help maximize the results of your query, here are a few tips for searching the catalog:

  • Hover over a thumbnail image to see its caption.

  • Use Subjects and Search Terms for more focused results. Subject headings are derived from Library of Congress authorities. Search Terms include words, terms, and phrases that are specific to Historic Charleston Foundation, including street names. For example:

    • To find records for buildings that have been demolished, search the Subject “Lost architecture” and/or the Search Term “Demolished buildings, lost buildings”

    • To find records in which cars are featured, search the Subject “Automobiles” and/or the Search Term “Cars"
  • Search for a building by both its address and its common name(s) or alternate address(es). Also, use variations in spelling if you know them. For example:

    • 51 Meeting / Nathaniel Russell House

    • 14 Legare / Pineapple Gate House / Simmons-Edwards House

    • 102 Church / 36 Elliott

    • Theatre / Theater
  • To search by street address, omit street type, e.g., Street, Avenue, etc.

  • The abbreviations DYKYC and FOHG found in many Property File records stand for “Do You Know Your Charleston” and “Festival of Houses and Gardens.” (DYKYC was a series of newspaper articles. FOHG is Historic Charleston Foundation’s annual tour of houses.)

  • The Margaretta Childs Archives at Historic Charleston Foundation seeks to make items in its collections accessible to the public for research and educational purposes. Images and content may be protected by copyright or other restrictions, and may not be reproduced, transmitted, copied, or otherwise used without permission.

    Contact the archivist/librarian to request permission to reproduce any of the images or other items in the catalog. Usage and reproduction fees may apply.

    General Tips for Searching

    Keyword Search

    The Keyword Search button allows you to perform a general search across multiple fields for any catalog records online. Keyword searches use OR as the default connector between words (e.g. a search for Hanley Ranch will return records associated with Hanley OR Ranch). If you want to find records where both keywords are found, type in AND between the two words. To search for a specific phrase, be sure to put the phrase within quotes (e.g. "Rocky Pine Ranch"). You can also use the asterisk (*) as a wildcard (e.g. a search for histor* would come up with records containing history, histories, historical, etc.). Searches are not case sensitive.

    Advanced Search

    The Advanced Search button can help you be more specific with your search. You can search for a word or phrase within a particular search category or use multiple categories to further narrow down your search results. For example, searching White in the People field will bring up any records associated with a member of the White family, without having to sift through black & white photographs. You can also search People and Creator records through Advanced Search. Phrase searching with quotes and use of wildcards (*) are available in Advanced Search.

    Random Images

    The Random Images button is a great way to just browse the collection. Each Random Images page displays a random assortment of images from the records online. If something piques your interest, click the thumbnail to view a larger version of the image.

    Catalog Searches (Archives / Photos / Libraries)

    The catalog buttons can also help narrow down your search, by only searching with a selected catalog. If you only want to search for Photos, click the Photos button and type in your keyword(s) or phrase. You can also browse records within that catalog without performing a search. Phrase searching, wildcards (*) as well as AND/OR statements are available when performing catalog searches.

    Search by Term

    Visitors to your site who select Search by Term will have a quick way to search through your catalog records without having to know exactly what terms are in your collection. Each category in Search by Term can be expanded to display an alphabetical listing of associated items. Search by Term may be especially helpful for visitors doing genealogical research.