We are excited that you are interested in visiting the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture. Please click the headings below to find out more about us and our services.

Location: 125 Bull Street Charleston, SC 29424

Hours: The building and reading room is open Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The archives/reading room is available for appointment only. See below for additional information.

Due to programming we may have extended hours to accommodate. For the holiday schedule we follow the College of Charleston’s schedule, please see schedule here. The Center may also close for special events and will be indicated on the home page of the website. 

Parking: Parking is available in the five (5) visitor spots outside of our building. Once you get in the building you will be provided with a permit to put on your dashboard.

There is also two-hour street parking, please be aware of any restrictions due to street sweeping or other issues.

Are you visiting the city and looking for attractions and restaurants? Check out the Avery Research Center’s tourism guide for more information.

    The Avery Research Center invites scholars, students, and the general public to access the center’s archives on a self-guided tour of the historical site – the former Avery Normal School founded in 1865. We are located at 125 Bull Street in downtown Charleston. Tours begin on the first floor. Admission is free however, donations are welcomed. 

    Weekdays @ Avery: The public is invited to join us for a self-guided tour on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m..; 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
    Advance registration requested.

  • NOTE: DUE TO STAFFING, AS OF JUNE 1, 2023, WE ARE NO LONGER ACCEPTING GUIDED TOUR REQUESTS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.  We encourage you make a reservation for a self-guided tour
  • Guided Tour Guidelines
    • The Avery Research Center is currently offering guided tours by appointment.
    • This offering is required for groups over 5 people. Request a guided tour here, please select Tour from the drop down and respond to the questions.
    • All tours of Avery Research Center must be scheduled in advance with at least two (2) weeks notice. Large groups (15+) will usually be split. Scheduled tours over 30 minutes late may not be accommodated. If there are any members of your group who cannot stand for a 15-minute period, let the Center know ahead of time how many people will need chairs.
    • For school field trips, teachers and group coordinators are required to provide chaperones for every student group, with one chaperone per ten students.
    • Please provide advance notice to Avery Research Center if your school field trip has a specific area of interest.

The Avery Research Center is a three-storied facility located a few blocks from the main campus at the College of Charleston. In addition to housing its staff and storage facilities for collections, the facility houses a variety of meeting rooms, gallery spaces, and exhibits. Access to the Center is located on the parking lot entrance and is handicap accessible. An elevator is available and bathrooms are located on each floor.

First Floor

Administrative & Staff Offices

Phillis Wheatley Literary & Social Club Reading Room


SMART Classroom

Community Gallery

Second Floor

Staff Offices

Changing Gallery

Archival Storage (not publicly accessible)

Avery Classroom Permanent Exhibit- Avery: The Spirit that Would Not Die

Permanent Exhibits-Denmark Vesey, Philip Simmons, Gullah Geechee, Middle Passage and Early Charleston History

Third Floor

Library (not publicly accessible)

Benjamin and Jeanette Cox Gallery

McKinley Washington Auditorium

The Phillis Wheatly Literary and Social Club Reading Room is now open by appointment only. The reading room is open from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. See more information here.

The Avery Research Center offers specialized instruction and archival workshops. See available options here.

The Avery Research Center maintains several galleries and public program spaces. Each year, the Center develops exhibitions from its rich archival, art, and rare manuscript collections and hosts temporary art exhibitions featuring prominent and burgeoning artists from South Carolina and throughout the African diaspora whose work supports the Center’s mission. Topics covered on our tours include these areas as well as the history of the Avery Normal School, the establishment of the Avery Research Center, and the history and culture of African Americans in the Lowcountry. The Avery Research Center holds an institutional membership with the National Association for Interpretation and has a full time Certified Interpretive Guide on staff. See updates on exhibitions.

MUSEUM TOURS: The Avery Research Center offers self-guided tours Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1030AM-12PM and 2PM-330PM. For large groups we ask you limit 25 people or fewer per time slot for self-guided tours. Due to staffing shortages Avery will not be offering guided tours to the general public until further notice.

ARCHIVES: Researchers must have a consultation BEFORE making a research appointment.