Skip to main content

1886 Earthquake Photographs

Identifier: SCL-VM-201710013

Collection of photographs and photomechanical images documenting the destruction caused by the 1886 earthquake in Charleston, Summerville, Aiken County, Berkeley County, and Charleston County, S.C.

W.J. McGee, one of the first employees of the U.S. Geological Survey, compiled the following materials on the earthquake which struck near Charleston, S.C. McGee’s observations were rewritten for the 1887-1888 USGS report by Clarence E. Dutton, later published as The Charleston Earthquake of August 31, 1886. In 1986, Kenneth E. Peters and Robert B. Hermann compiled and published McGee’s material, with that of South Carolinians Earle Sloan, Gabriel E. Manigault, and others who corresponded with and assisted McGee, in First-Hand Observations of the Charleston Earthquake of August 31, 1886, and other Earthquake Material (South Carolina Geological Survey, Bulletin 41.)

E.P. Howland was McGee’s photographer; Sloan and Manigault secured photographs taken by LaGrange Cook, J.A. Palmer, and William E. Wilson.


  • 1886

Conditions Governing Access

Open to research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or use materials beyond personal research must be obtained from the Director of the South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, 910 Sumter Street, Columbia, SC 29208.


65 See container summary (Photographs, woodcuts, collotypes, and drawings.)

Physical Location

This collection is held by the South Carolinina Library. Contact the library at 803-777-3132 or to inquire about scan-and-deliver options or to set up a research appointment. Please provide at least three business days’ notice for in-person appointments.

Repository Details

Part of the South Caroliniana Library Repository

910 Sumter St.
University of South Carolina
Columbia SC 29208 USA
(803) 777-5747 (Fax)

Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script