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Charleston Library Society – Charleston, South Carolina


All Charleston Libraries | History of Charleston SC

Charleston Library Society – Overview

Now located at 164 King Street, the Charleston Library Society was established in 1748 by a group of 17 young men who earned their livelihoods in professions as diverse as planting to peruke (wig) making.

These men wished not only to keep abreast of the intellectual issues of the day but also to "save their descendants from sinking into savagery."


The society was "in a large measure, a social club" and by 1750 had about 160 members (Catalogue). It continues to be a membership library to this day, but guest memberships can be purchased per diem for five dollars.

The Charleston Library Society was either the seventh or eighth library to exist in South Carolina, and the second library to exist in Charleston. The Charleston Provincial Library, established in 1698, preceded it by a half century.

Charleston Library Society – History, Pictures

Charleston Library Society – Online Catalog


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