Located in Columbia, the South Carolina Department of Archives and History (SCDAH) is a state agency responsible for collecting the valuable public records of South Carolina. The General Assembly established the Public Records Commission in 1891 to obtain copies of South Carolina records in the British Public Records Office and created the South Carolina Historical Commission in 1894 to preserve them. In 1905 the General Assembly expanded the mission of the Historical Commission, making it responsible for the state’s archives, and authorized the hiring of a full-time secretary to take charge of all noncurrent state government records. In 1935 the Historical Commission relocated from the State House to the World War Memorial Building in Columbia. Twenty-five years later, in 1960, the commission moved into a facility at the corner of Senate and Bull Streets. The name of the agency was changed to the South Carolina Department of Archives and History in 1967. Since 1998 the department has occupied a state-of-the-art building at 8301 Parklane Road, the Archives and History Center, which also houses the state’s Historic Preservation Office.
Services of the SCDAH encompass historic preservation, history education, historical research, publications, records management, and records conservation. As of 2006 the archives held over 27,000 cubic feet of records that spanned more than three hundred years of South Carolina history. In addition to state funding, the SCDAH receives support from a private nonprofit organization, the S.C. Archives and History Foundation.