The Charleston Archive at the Charleston County Public Library houses a number of photographs, prints, and other images relating to Charleston. NOTE: Access to these images is by appointment only.

These materials can be grouped into the following categories:

Photographs from the City of Charleston 

A collection of several hundred images representing a variety of city officials, public buildings and grounds, and civic events from the 1930s to the 1980s.

Cooper River Bridge Photographs

A collection of approximately 600 images of the construction of the first Cooper River Bridge in Charleston, 1928-1929. NEW: View these images at the Lowcountry Digital Library.

Charles N. Bayless Photographs

A collection of approximately 1,750 images of buildings in downtown Charleston, taken between 1979 and 1988 as part of a photographic project funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. NEW: View these images at the Lowcountry Digital Library.
Photos from the Records of the Historic Preservation Planner, BCD-COG: A collection of 985 images of historic buildings and sites, taken between 1970 and 1981 as part of the application process for the National Register of Historic Place. NEW: View these images at the Lowcountry Digital Library.

Jack Keilen Slide Collection

John J. (“Jack”) Keilen (d. 1999) was a native of Pittsburgh and received a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. He came to Charleston during the mid-1940s, working first for West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company and later Charleston Rubber Company. An avid amateur photographer throughout his life, Mr. Keilen took several thousand of photographs during his annual vacations around the world. The present collection consists of nearly 600 color slides taken around Charleston and the Carolinas between 1944 and 1990. NEW: View these images at the Lowcountry Digital Library.

Photographic Passbook from the South Carolina Interstate and West Indian Exposition

A collection of approximately 1,250 small photographic portraits of person who purchased season passes to the South Carolina Interstate and West Indian Exposition that was held in Charleston in 1901-1902.

Clippings from Nineteenth-Century Illustrated Newspapers 

Approximately one hundred printed illustrations taken from mid- to late-nineteenth-century publications such as Harper’s Weekly Magazine, Harper’s Monthly Magazine, and Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper.