Institute for the Study of the Reconstruction Era (ISRE)


USCB Historic Beaufort Building

The purpose of the Institute for the Study of the Reconstruction Era (ISRE) is to fulfill the mission of the University of South Carolina Beaufort through programs that grow out of the extraordinary history of the post-Civil War Reconstruction Era, especially the fundamental role played by Beaufort and the South Carolina Lowcountry in that story.

The ISRE develops and presents programs that:

• Enrich course offerings at USCB

• Help K-12 teachers gain fluency in historiography and pedagogy related to Reconstruction

• Support the work of community organizations

The Institute also facilitates scholarly research and presents public events that focus on the social, economic, cultural and political history of the Reconstruction Era in the United States and the Lowcountry region.

LEARN MORE About the Reconstruction Era


Upcoming and Recent Events

*** Coming later this Fall - dates for our spring symposium and other exciting events from the Institute for the Study of the Reconstruction Era. Stay tuned!

Spring 2024

Breathing Democracy into Spaces: 1st South Carolina Volunteers of African Descent. Friday April 19, 2024 | 6pm - 8pm (Opening Reception). Saturday, April 20, 2024 | (am - 4pm (Exhibits, Presentation Sessions). USCB Center for the Arts - 805 Carteret St., Beaufort, SC. Free and open to everyone! For more information and to register for this event, go to

Fall 2023

ISRE and Wesley United Methodist Church FlyerClick to view PDF

Summer 2023

Conducting Oral History Interviews

Ronni Wilson, Asst. Director for Communication, USC Visitor Center, while working for the Institute for the Study of the Reconstruction Era (ISRE), conducts oral history interviews with graduates of Rosenwald School, Lincolnville Elementary in Lincolnville, SC during a community celebration on July 01, 2023. Lincolnville, SC is an historic black community formed during Reconstruction near Summerville, SC. This program was conducted in conjunction with the Lincolnville Historical & Preservation Society.


Dr. Valinda Littlefield Gives Keynote

Dr. Valinda Littlefield, Interim Director of the Institute for the Study of the Reconstruction Era (ISRE), gives the Keynote Address during "Recovering Reconstruction: A Community Workshop in Augusta, GA" on July 08, 2023.


ISRE Partners with South Carolina Council Group Walking Outdoors

ISRE partnered with South Carolina Council for African American Studies to host an African American historic sites professional learning opportunity for South Carolina teachers. In June, 18 elementary, middle and high school teachers from public schools across South Carolina explored Beaufort's impactful history in a week-long immersive learning experience focusing on the period from 1861-1900. It included interactive lectures, site tours, and lesson plan strategies that the teachers took home to their students.


Contact Us

Valinda W. Littlefield              

Interim Director of the USCB Institute for the Study of the Reconstruction Era
Associate Professor, History

1106 Carteret Street
Beaufort, SC 29902
Office: 843-521-3115
Valinda W. Littlefield