2015 marked the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Avery Normal Institute and the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture at the College of Charleston. In June, Avery opened a new permanent exhibition in their 19th century classroom gallery that explores over one hundred and fifty years of Avery history. The panel display features a wide selection of archival documents and photographs, tracing Avery’s history from its origins as a school for Black Charlestonians starting in 1865, to its current form as a center for promoting the history and culture of the African diaspora in the Charleston area and beyond. The Avery Research Center also launched a companion online exhibition hosted by the Lowcountry Digital History Initiative (LDHI), “Avery: The Spirit That Would Not Die, 1865-2015.” The online version allows visitors to dig deeper into Avery’s rich history by connecting to additional archival collections available online through the Lowcountry Digital Library (LCDL), including the newly available Septima P. Clark Papers, ca. 1910-1990.
Guided tours of the Avery Research Center are available Monday through Friday at 10:30am, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, and 3:30pm. For more information about Avery’s hours, visit the website (http://avery.cofc.edu/) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Avery Research Center will be closed for renovations to its historic building March 2017 through November 2017. Select materials from Avery’s collections will be displayed in Addlestone Library’s Special Collections and the collections will be available to researchers by appointment only during this time. Explore the online exhibition today!