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Reference and Conducting Research

The Waring Historical Library has a variety of online resources to assist you in your search of its collections. If you would like to visit the Waring to view its collections, be sure to plan your visit and make an appointment with the Library's staff.

Statement of Harmful Content in the Waring's Collections

The Waring Historical Library’s holdings may contain resources that could be offensive and/or harmful. Historical records can, and often do, contain content that illustrates a harmful, stereotyped, and/or offensive outlook, particularly when the collection focuses on often uncomfortable topics related to medical care, medical educational practices, and medical experimentation. While the Library does not condone any harmful and offensive content that may be found in our collections, we have a strong belief in and commitment to furthering and expanding knowledge about the history of health sciences in South Carolina.

Part of this commitment includes stewarding our resources in a way that will be as respectful to our community, especially those who have experienced acts of violence, hate, and aggression. We respect those who were depicted then and who are affected now by these hurtful and harmful representations. For without proper acknowledgement and discourse, the harmful imagery and language used can be problematic in overcoming systemic racism, prejudice, and oppression even as it appears in archival institutions and collections. We, therefore, affirm our belief in and commitment to providing a comprehensive view of our community and history, and in facilitating access to resources in our holdings as equally, equitably, and respectfully as possible.

In preserving historical documentation and ensuring access, we support the research fundamental to furthering important national conversations about history and historical interpretation, social justice, and equity.

Doing so means that there is ready access to materials that you might find disturbing to view and read.


The MUSC Libraries discovery system provides access to descriptive catalog records for materials in the Waring's holdings. To find materials at the Waring, or to perform an advanced search all MUSC Libraries' holdings, please visit the MUSC Library Catalog.

Digital Collections

The Waring Historical Library Digital Collections include artifacts, oral histories, photographs, rare materials, manuscripts, and print materials relating to the history of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and the health sciences in the state of South Carolina, the Southeast, and the 18 and 19th century Atlantic World.

The Waring Historical Library Digital Archives is a partner of the South Carolina Digital Library (SCDL), which provides free online access to historical material, from over 40 South Carolina cultural heritage institutions, documenting the history and cultures of South Carolina, and adheres to digitization and metadata guidelines established by the consortium. The historical collections are also accessible through the online repository of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), which has a mission to expand the “crucial realm of openly available materials, and make those riches more easily discovered and more widely usable and used,” through scholarly discovery, transformative uses of digitized cultural heritage, and by being an advocate for a strong public opinion in the 21st century.

Finding Aids

The Waring Historical Library creates and maintains descriptive guides for its manuscript and archival collections. The Library provides online access to a growing list of its collection finding aids for its archival and manuscript collections, which provide context and background to each collection as well as guidance to the arrangement and organization of the collection contents.


MEDICA@MUSC provides access to MUSC's growing body of scholarly work, which includes articles, posters, theses, and dissertations produced by faculty and students of MUSC. Not only does MUSC’s institutional repository help to promote open scholarly communication and preserve enduring access to MUSC's scholarly work, it improves the visibility of MUSC’s body of research to its local community and the broader academic enterprise through open access. New additions to MUSC's institutional repository can be found in MEDICA@MUSC, which is powered by Digital Commons while some of the existing content, currently moving over to MEDICA@MUSC, still lives in CONTENTdm. For more information about the institutional repository and contributing your work, please visit MEDICA@MUSC.

The MUSC COVID-19 Archive Project

The MUSC COVID-19 Archive Project seeks to document life of the university, its students, faculty, and staff, as well as individuals connected to healthcare in South Carolina during the COVID-19 pandemic. Interested contributors are invited to journal about their lives in audio, video, poetry, art, song, and traditional written entries. Featured submssions are accessible on the MUSC COVID-19 Archive Project Blog.

Oral Histories

Established in 2008, the Waring Historical Library’s oral history program captures MUSC’s history in the words of employees and alumni who witnessed or participated in that history. The interviews consist of relevant memories concerning the evolution of the institution, the development, growth and changes in educational, clinical, and research programs, the contributions of women and minorities, as well as MUSC’s impact on local, state, and national events.

The library's Oral History page provides a list of available collections, including collection finding aids and online accessibility, where applicable.


The Waring Historical Library holds thousands of images relating to the Medical University and the history of health sciences in South Carolina. The photographs relating to the history of the University portray faculty, staff and students buildings and campus events. Other photographs in our collection can be found in Waring Historical Library manuscripts and include images of Lowcountry-area hospitals, Charleston County Health Department, pellagra patients in Columbia, health care providers in various venues, and more.


175 Ashley Avenue | MSC 403 | Charleston, SC 29425 | (843) 792-2288