What the BDC does is acquire, preserve, maintain and make accessible a research collection of permanent value which records the history and culture of the area of lowcountry South Carolina once called Beaufort District. (For those who may not already know, Beaufort District was almost 2000 square miles of territory roughly equivalent to the current county confines of Beaufort, Hampton and Jasper today.) We have biographies, nonfiction books, graphic materials, audio materials, and archival collections about local history including Gullah traditions, natural history, archaeology, genealogy, and other topics relevant to Beaufort, Hampton and Jasper Counties (SC) for researchers to use in our Research Room - and a smattering of basic historical information about other parts of our state. We have lots of content posted on the internet in the Virtual BDC. We offer programs and displays at other Library locations. We participate in community events and work closely with other cultural heritage agencies here in Beaufort County.
But above all we strive to be excellent stewards of the materials we hold in trust for our community: "Where Local History finds Safe Harbor."
The Research Room is intended to be used by customers over age 12 who perform their own research. Qualified staff are on hand to guide researchers through our resources, recommend research strategies, and brainstorm resolution to research problems. We offer limited services to customers who are unable to visit our facility. (Distance Reference Policy and fee structure)
The Beaufort District Collection Research Room is located in the Paul Siegmund Room on the 2nd floor in the Library building at 311 Scott St., Beaufort, SC 29902. (The 2nd floor has offices for Administration, Information Technology, Friends of the Beaufort Library, and the BDC).
It is not at all unusual for a special local history collection and archives department in a public library to have different hours than its parent organization. Our customary hours are currently Mondays, 9 am to 5 pm; on Thursdays, 9 am to 5 pm; and on Fridays, 9 am - 3 pm but there are adjustments to those hours from time to time. (See below).
As of 2 January 2016, access to the Research Room and its staff is by advance appointment only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (which is actually an extension of service. From most of 2015 when there was only one BDC staff person, the Research Room was open by appointment only three days each week: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays). Please Note: We are sorry that we cannot make same day appointments. Please be sure to contact us ahead of time to make the necessary arrangements. Call 843-255-6468 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
Changes to our customary schedule will be noted in the Library's social media whenever possible but please understand that our facility is located in a hurricane zone and unanticipated closures due to staffing challenges or weather challenges have and will occur. (Life happens.)
Known schedule adjustments in July (as of this writing):
Mon., July 4th - Library system is closed all day for Independence Day.
Thurs. July 7th - Research Room will be closed at Lunchtime, Noon to 1 pm. (Staff shortage)
Fri., July 8th - Research Room will be closed at Lunchtime, Noon to 1 pm. (Staff shortage)
Mon., July 11th - Research Room will be closed at Lunchtime, Noon to 1 pm. (Staff shortage)
Fri., July 22nd - Research Room closed all day for Staff Continuing Education training.