The Charleston Library Society is a cultural institution for life-long learning, serving its members, the Lowcountry community, and scholars through access to its rich collection of books, manuscripts and archival material and programs promoting discussion and understanding of the ideas they contain.
Established December 28th, 1748 by nineteen young gentlemen of various trades and professions wishing to avail themselves of the latest publications from Great Britain, the Charleston Library Society paved the way for the founding of the College of Charleston in 1770 and provided the core collection of natural history artifacts for the founding of the Charleston Museum (the first in America) in 1773.
In 1914 the Library Society moved to its current location at 164 King Street. This was the first building to house their collection that was designed and built for the Society. In this new building, members like DuBose Heyward, John Bennett, Beatrice Witte Ravenel, Albert Simons, Josephine Pinckney, and many others, studied and read and wrote, diligently weaving the cultural fabric of 20th-century Charleston.
They offer educational opportunities to children, students of all ages, and adults, lectures and programs on topics related to literature, history, and the book arts, programs that offer life-long learning opportunities to the community, and a scholarly work environment for researchers and students.
- Monday - Friday 9:30AM - 5:30PM
- Saturday 9:30AM - 2:00PM
- Sunday CLOSED