The Camden Archives and Museum collection contains records relating to the history of Camden District and modern-day Kershaw County.
The archives contains a diverse collection of books, microfilm, maps, files, periodicals and general reference materials which will aid visitors in their research. We primarily collect material pertaining to the north-central section of South Carolina formerly recognized as the old Camden District. This area today encompasses several counties including Clarendon, Sumter, Lee, Kershaw, Lancaster, York, Chester, Fairfield and northern Richland County. The South Carolina Daughters of the American Revolution Library and the Colonial Dames XVII Century Library are also located at the archives. As a city department, the Archives is home to the City of Camden's historical records.
A Partial Listing of Archival Collections
- Adoption Records
- Applications for Commitment
- Church Records
- Death Certificates
- Surname Index
- Vertical File Index
Services and Fees
Visitors are welcome to use the resources of the archives at no charge and staff is available for assistance. Photocopies are $0.25 per sheet. Our archival collection is not online at this time.
For researchers unable to visit the Archives, our staff can provide single copies of wills, bible records, obituaries, newspaper articles and SC death certificates (1915-1949) for $5.00 per copy, which includes mailing costs. Intensive genealogical and historical research is available for $20.00 per hour plus copying and postage costs. Researchers may submit known information and their specific requests via email, telephone, or the USPS.
Archivist - Research
Camden Archives and Museum
1314 Broad Street
Camden, SC 29020-3535
Adoptions: The Mayfield Children's Home, later known as The Kershaw County Children's Home, operated in Camden from the 1930s to the 1980s. Many adoptions occurred at the Home and the known surviving records from the 1930s through the 1950s are housed at the Camden Archives and Museum. These records are restricted to family members and are not available to the general public.
Church Records: The Archives has microfilmed records of the following Kershaw County Churches. Our collection also contains published histories of many churches and of cemetery surveys. Some individual Family Bible Records may be located in our Surname Files.
- Antioch Baptist Church, 1824-1885, Kershaw County
- Baptist Missions Among the Southern Indians Before 1855, Herring, Robert Lee, Jr.
- Blaney Baptist Church, Elgin
- Historical Commission of Southern Baptist 1905-1975
- First Baptist Church, Camden, 1810-1838
- Minutes and Register of black members 1869-1902
- Minutes and Register 1837-1936
- Miscellaneous Church Papers
- Flat Rock Baptist Church, 1809 and 1814-1852, Kershaw County
- Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church Records, Rolls, Minutes, Deacon’s Minutes, 1837-1969, Kershaw County
- Swift Creek Baptist Church, Minutes Book from 1827-1868, Boykin
- United Methodist Church Records, 1890-1993 – Lyttleton Street, Camden
- Liberty Hill Presbyterian Church Records, June 1871-1893
- Presbyterian Church (USA) – Montreat, N.C.
- Protestant Episcopal Church, Grace Episcopal, 1870-1898, Camden
- Protestant Episcopal Church Parish Register 1830-1948
- Vestry Minutes 1830-1898
- Vestry Minutes 1892-1941
- Vestry Minutes 1942-1959
Commitment Records: The Camden Archives has records from the Kershaw County Probate Court from 1881-1930 for people committed to the South Carolina State Hospital from Kershaw County. These records are the original commitment applications filed in the Probate Court.
Death Certificates: We have microfilm of all SC death certificates between 1915-1949.
Newspapers: The Archives has copies of the following newspapers on microfilm. Microfilmed copies of all South Carolina newspapers can also be located at the South Caroliniana Library at the University of South Carolina. Many South Carolina newspapers published prior to c1950 can be accessed online at Historic Newspapers of South Carolina. The 2016-2018 issues of the Chronicle-Independent are available at the Archives and online as searchable PDFs.
- The Camden Chronicle—(November 6, 1891-2008)
- The Camden Confederate—(November 1, 1861-December 11, 1863)
- The Camden Gazette—(April 11, 1816-February 7, 1822)
- The Camden Journal—(1826-1847, 1850-1851, 1852-1859, some issues missing)
- The Camden Chronicle Independent—(1981-present)
- The Camden Independent—(1978-1981)
- The Camden News—(1956-1958)
- The Kershaw News Era, Kershaw, SC—(May 2, 1902-January 29, 1936 Miscellaneous issues, July 1,1987-June 30, 1993)
- The Lee County Vindicator—(1902-1905)
- The People Newspaper—(February 4, 1904-May 27, 1909)
- The Camden Daily Journal (1864)
- The Camden Commercial Courier (1837-1838)
- Journal & Confederate: Tri-Weekly; Weekly Journal (1865-1871)
- Kershaw Gazette (1873-1887)
- Southern Chronicle & Camden Aegis (1824)
- Southern Chronicle (1824-1825)
- Bethune Observer (1914-1923)
- Wateree Messenger (1888-1935)
Obituaries: Camden Archives and Museum has an extensive obituary collection on people who died in Kershaw County. We maintain hard copies of all obituaries published in the local newspaper from 1979 to the present. We have microfilm of local newspapers from 1891 to the present and miscellaneous obituaries are located in numerous other collections. Contact the archivist to see if we have a record of a specific person.
Surname Index: These files contain an assortment of loose materials such as genealogical research, newspaper clippings, and copies of various documents relating to the surname.
Vertical File Index: These files are subject and corporate files. They contain collected data such as newspaper clippings, historical articles, copies of maps and other related items.
Wills: The Archives has copies of transcribed Kershaw County wills probated between 1775-1853. However, these same wills can be accessed online at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. For wills probated after this date, please contact the Kershaw County Probate Office at (803) 425-1503.