Established in 1947, Historic Charleston Foundation is dedicated to preserving and protecting the architectural, historical and cultural character of Charleston and its Lowcountry environs, and to educating the public about Charleston's history and the benefits that are derived from preservation.
The Margaretta Childs Archives serves as the archives and library for Historic Charleston Foundation. At the core of the archival collection are property records that provide information about the history and architecture of houses, buildings, and plantations in Charleston and the Lowcountry. This includes narrative histories, deeds and titles, newspaper articles, archaeological reports, research notes, photographs and other images, architectural drawings, plats, and more. Additional collections include scrapbooks and vertical files documenting preservation and neighborhood revitalization efforts in Charleston; early HCF institutional records; extensive information related to properties currently or previously owned by HCF such as the Nathaniel Russell House Museum and the Aiken-Rhett House Museum; and the Hurricane Hugo Damage Assessment. The library contains books (including many rare books), pamphlets, technical reports, and videos pertaining to architecture, historic preservation, Charleston and South Carolina history, archaeology, building arts, decorative arts, and gardens/landscape architecture.