The Waring Historical Library – Charleston, South Carolina - Atlas Obscura

The Waring Historical Library

Dedicated to the history of the health sciences. 


The Waring Historical Library is the special collections and rare book library for the Medical University of South Carolina.

Named for Joseph I. Waring, Jr., the first director of the Historical Library, the library houses books, journals, manuscript items and museum artifacts deal with the history of the health sciences.

Though dry in name, the library contains some fascinating medical objects that are anything but boring, including amputation saws, a box of artificial eyes, bone scrapers, and whatever horrific items the “Artificial Urethral Sphincter” and “Bermingham Nasal Douche” are.

Although materials do not circulate, researchers are welcome and encouraged to make appointments for research, and stop-in visitors are also welcome. The Waring includes the Macaulay Museum of Dental History, the MUSC University Archives, and the MEDICA digital library.

Know Before You Go

The Waring Historical Library is located at 175 Ashley Ave. adjacent to St. Luke's Chapel. There is no available parking, but street parking is available at metered spots along Ashley Ave. and Bee St. The nearest parking garage is Rutledge Tower, with entrances on Rutledge Ave. and Ashley Ave.

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