We Need YOU!

Do you love using Chronicling AmericaHas the work of the South Carolina Digital Newspaper Program (SCDNP) affected your research? Has the digitization and free online availability of historical South Carolina newspapers impacted your own work?  If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then we want to hear from you!

Here at SCDNP, we are preparing to apply for a 4th round of project funding and support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress to continue on with our great work of digitizing historical S.C. newspapers as a part of the National Digital Newspaper Program, and we need your help! As a part of our application, we would like to include letters of support from you: the people who use and benefit from Chronicling America and the South Carolina Digital Newspaper Program.

Some facts about our program:

  • By the end of our current grant cycle next summer, we will have digitized more than 300,000 pages from over 100 historical South Carolina newspaper titles dating between 1836 and 1922.
  • We have spoken to 75 audiences about our participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program, our contributions to Chronicling America, and ways to use digital newspapers to enhance research and learning.
  • 38 states and territories have participated in the National Digital Newspaper Program since its inception in 2005 and more are added each year.
  • Chronicling America currently has over 8 million pages of historical newspapers from around the country and is growing every day.

Supporters have written us over the years, saying how glad they are “to have more ways to research” thanks to the online availability of historical newspapers and how nice it is to do research “in the comforts of home.” One Chronicling America user said, “It is a most exciting time to be able to look back into history through newspapers to glimpse the world of our ancestors.” We would love to hear more about how the work of SCDNP has impacted you!

If you are interested in helping us by writing a letter of support for use in our application, please contact us (Virginia and/or Laura) so that we can talk with you further.

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Chronicling America, Digitized South Carolina Newspapers, and Common Core

Olde English Consortium Library Media Specialists Professional Development Conference

John Quirk of the South Carolina Digital Library

and Virginia Pierce of the South Carolina Digital Newspaper Program

SCDNP map

Map of Newspapers Digitized by the South Carolina Digital Newspaper Program

SCDNP has digitized or is in the process of digitizing newspapers from 80 newspaper titles covering more than 20 upstate and midlands communities that can be utilized by educators in the Olde English Consortium: including, Abbeville, Anderson, Batesburg, Camden, Cheraw, Chesterfield, Columbia, Dillon, Easley, Edgefield, Fort Mill, Greenville, Lancaster, Laurens, Lexington, Newberry, Pickens, Spartanburg, Union, Walhalla, Winnsboro, and York. Visit the SCDNP website for an up to date list.

To view the full list of digitized newspapers, visit the SCDNP website and look for the drop down lists seen below, titled Digitized Historic SC Newspapers Now Available in Chronicling America and Selected Newspaper Titles for Digitization, 2013-2015.tablelistscdnp

      

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers is an excellent resource for educators and library media specialists seeking to use a free, authoritative online resource in the classroom and to find primary sources for their lessons. Chronicling America will also be an excellent source for finding primary sources following Common Core State Standards in Literacy in History, Social Studies, Science, Reading, and the English Language Arts.

Using digitized historical newspapers in the classroom will help students:

  • analyze text.
  • assess and evaluate point of view.
  • integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats and media.
  • read and comprehend complex literary and information texts independently.
  • determine central ideas in primary sources and learn how to accurately summarize the theme.
  • distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.
  • compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.
  • integrate information from diverse sources into a coherent understanding of a topic.
  • gather relevant information from multiple authoritative sources, including digital sources, using advanced searching effectively, assessing the usefulness of each source in answering a research question, and using citations properly.
  • and use technology and digital media strategically and effectively.

SC State Standards in which educators and library media specialists can utilize primary resources of digitized South Carolina newspapers and national content in Chronicling America:

The student will demonstrate an understanding….

Standard 3-4:  …of life in the antebellum period, the causes and effects of the Civil War, and the impact of Reconstruction in South Carolina.

Standard 3-5: …of the major developments in South Carolina in the late 19th and the 20th century.

Standard 4-5: …of westward expansion of the U.S. and its impact on the institution of slavery.

Standard 4-6: …of the causes, the course, and the effects of the American Civil War.

Standard 5-1: … of Reconstruction and its impact on the U.S.

Standard 5-2: … of the continued westward expansion of the U.S.

Standard 5-3: … of major domestic and foreign developments that contributed to the U.S. becoming a world power.

Standard 5-4: … of American economic challenges in the 1920s and 1930s and world conflict in the 1940s.

Standard 7-4: …of the causes and effects of world conflict in the first half of the 20th century.

Standard 8-4: … of the multiple events that led to the Civil War.

Standard 8-5: …of the impact of Reconstruction, industrialization, and Progressivism on society and politics in South Carolina in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Standard 8-6: … of the role of South Carolina in the nation in the early 20th century.

Standard USHC-3: … of how regional and ideological differences led to the Civil War and an understanding of the impact of the Civil War and Reconstruction on democracy in America.

Below are a sample of the many topics addressed in these state standards can be researched by students in the classroom, or by teachers and library media specialists who want to share resources with students.

abolition, annexation of Texas, antebellum South Carolina, assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, assassination of Lincoln, the Alamo, black codes, boll weevil, John Brown, James F. Byrnes, Camp Jackson, child labor, civil war, C.S.S Hunley, cotton gin, Dred Scott, Frederick Douglas, W.E.B. Dubois, Freedmen’s Bureau, electricity and introduction of modern conveniences, Emancipation Proclamation,  Fort Sumter, free persons of color, fugitive slave laws, William Lloyd Garrison, Gettysburg, Homestead Act, influenza epidemic, Jim Crow laws, Kansas-Nebraska Act, labor laws, League of Nations, 1860 Election of Lincoln, President Lincoln, Mexican Cession, Missouri Compromise, Native Americans, Oregon Treaty, Panama Canal, phosphate industry, Plessy vs. Ferguson, prohibition, race, Radical Republicans, railroads, Reconstruction, Robert Smalls, sharecropping, slavery, Secession Convention, Sherman, slave codes, Spanish American War, States’ Rights, Harriet Beecher Stowe, temperance, textile mills, Ben Tillman, Sojourner Truth, Treaty of Versailles, Union blockade of Charleston, Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells, The West, women’s suffrage, The Great War (World War I), 13th Amendment, 14th Amendment, 15th Amendment, and the 19th amendment.

And there are so many other topics that can be researched. Really anything dating from the battle of the Alamo in 1836 to the circa 1920 passage of women’s suffrage and prohibition.

 

For tips on how to search Chronicling America…see our blog posts on

Helpful Tips on Using Chronicling America

Podcast Series on How to Use Chronicling America

 

Other resources helpful in utilizing Chronicling America content…

Find topics pages on American History in Library of Congress' Topics in Chronicling America

Find topics pages on American History in Library of Congress’ Topics in Chronicling America

 

NEH's Edsitement provides ideas on using digitized historical newspapers in lesson plans.

NEH’s Edsitement provides ideas on using digitized historical newspapers in lesson plans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out NEH's Edsitement Chronicling America portal which provides info on how to conduct research in Chronicling America.

Check out NEH’s Edsitement Chronicling America portal which provides info on how to conduct research in Chronicling America.

South Carolina Digital Library Resources

University of South Carolina Digital Collections homepage

University of South Carolina Digital Collections homepage

USC Digital Collections are housed in Hollings Special Collections Building at the University of South Carolina. USC works with curators from special collections libraries and faculty at USC to digitize the university’s holdings of photos, maps, rare books, letters, diaries, scrapbooks and more. Their mission is to increase access to holdings, enhance scholarship, support teaching, and to promote learning.

South Carolina Digital Library webpage

South Carolina Digital Library webpage

The South Carolina Digital Library is a statewide collaborative effort which brings together 200,000 items from more than 48 institutions across SC. Items are fully searchable and are organized by object type, geography, time period, holding institution.

The SC Digital Academy has free lessons plans that have used historical South Carolina online resources.

The SC Digital Academy has free lessons plans that have used historical South Carolina online resources.

 The SC Digital Academy is an initiative to help teachers incorporate digitized materials into their lessons based on state standards. Teachers can access these resources by grade level and by lesson plan as well as find numerous other helpful resources compiled here.

The K-12 Primary Sources Pilot Project was a collaboration between USC Digital Collections and a group of teachers.

The K-12 Primary Sources Pilot Project was a collaboration between USC Libraries and a group of teachers.

 The K-12 Primary Sources (Pilot Project) was also a collaboration between a group of South Carolina teachers and USC Libraries. It was an experimental, early effort which is searchable by standards indicators.

Additional Resources Available are:

•USC Moving Image Research Collection:  http://mirc.sc.edu/

•Library of Congress Teacher Resources:   http://www.loc.gov/teachers/

•Digital Public Library of America:  http://dp.la/

•Internet Archive:  http://archive.org

•Lowcountry Digital Library lesson plans:  http://lcdl.library.cofc.edu/lesson-plans

 

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A Mysterious Epidemic: Pellagra in South Carolina

Pellagra is almost unknown to the average South Carolinian today, but the disease was a major health crisis for South Carolina in the early twentieth century. The symptoms of pellagra include red and peeling skin, diarrhea and other stomach ailments, and progressive mental difficulties including dementia. Pellagra first appeared in the United States in 1902 and had existed in southern Europe for hundreds of years.

The disturbing and highly visible symptoms of pellagra led to panic about the disease, termed “pellagra-phobia” as reported in The Abbeville Press and Banner in 1912. Newspapers in South Carolina frequently reported on the devastating effects of pellagra in the state and were a valuable source of information about the disease.

awfuldisease

Headline in The Times and Democrat (Orangeburg, S.C.) from 16 Sept. 1909.

Although pellagra has very distinctive symptoms, the cause of the disease was mysterious to doctors.  Leading experts suspected that spoiled corn or corn liquor was to blame, while others theorized that it was spread by insects or contaminated water. These conflicting newspaper reports show the level of confusion and concern surrounding the nature of pellagra.

Pellagra was especially prevalent among the mill operatives and poor farmers of South Carolina. In 1915 The Pickens Sentinel reported on the high mortality rate of pellagra and noted the number of deaths in each county in South Carolina.  Due to the large number of affected citizens, pellagra experts from around the world arrived in South Carolina to discuss the disease and investigate a cure. The first pellagra conference occurred in 1909. The Spartanburg Pellagra Hospital, the nation’s first such institution, was established in 1914 to research the disease and treat citizens of the Upstate suffering from pellagra.

pellagraconvention

Headline in The Times and Democrat (Orangeburg, S.C.), 02 Nov. 1909

Dr. Joseph Goldberger solved the mystery of pellagra and established that it was a dietary disease. The U.S. Public Health Service sent Dr. Goldberger to South Carolina to study pellagra in 1914.  He examined places where pellagra was rampant like asylums and prisons.  Dr. Goldberger made the key observation that while many inmates of these places suffered from pellagra the nurses and guards rarely did. This fact convinced him that pellagra was not infectious or contagious and had to be caused by the poor grain-based diet fed to institutionalized people. Impoverished farmers and mill workers in South Carolina ate a similarly poor and unvaried diet.

Newcure

Headline from The Manning times (Manning, Clarendon County, S.C.), 17 Nov. 1915.

Dr. Joseph Goldberger demonstrated in a series of famous experiments that pellagra was related to poor diet.  Children at Epworth Orphanage in Columbia and patients at the Spartanburg Pellagra Hospital were given a special diet under Goldberger’s direction focused around fresh milk, eggs, meat and vegetables to prevent pellagra at these institutions.

ownacow

Article from the Abbeville Press and Banner (Abbeville, S.C.), 25 Aug. 1915.

Some leaders in South Carolina were resistant to this breakthrough because they were reluctant to admit that many South Carolinians suffered from a poor diet. The New-York Tribune noted Representative James F. Byrnes’ displeasure about national reports of famine and disease in the state in 1921. Despite these views, dietary treatment for pellagra was highly successful and the Spartanburg Pellagra Hospital closed in 1921. Unfortunately, pellagra continued to affect the many citizens of South Carolina that were unable to afford the balanced diet necessary to prevent the disease.

Dr. Joseph Goldberger died in 1929.  In 1937 the b-vitamin niacin was discovered to be the specific nutrient that prevented pellagra. The relative prosperity brought on by the Second World War and the introduction of enriched flour containing niacin eliminated pellagra in the South by 1945.

Note for further research: Pellagra can also be spelled “pellegra,” “pelagra” or “pelegra” in various South Carolina newspapers.

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A Royal Assassination

Ferdinand

Pictures of the Archduke and his wife in the Washington Herald (Washington, D.C.), June 29, 1914.

100 years ago this weekend, on June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife, Sophie, were assassinated in Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip, a Serbian nationalist. This act not only sparked immediate shock throughout all of Europe, it also triggered a rapid series of domino-like events leading to the outbreak of the First World War.

Word of the assassination quickly reached the United States as newspapers began picking up the story. For weeks, headlines were dedicated to the timeline of the fatal event; the life and legacy of Ferdinand; the culprits and their motives; and what it all meant for the future of European diplomacy.

The South Carolina newspapers were no exception; on July 1, just three days after the incident, the Watchman and Southron included a story on the “royal assassination” (although it didn’t appear until the last page of the issue). The same day, the Keowee Courier printed a similar story on its front page. By July 3, the Anderson Daily Intelligencer ran a front-page story with more details on the assassins as well as the funeral arrangements of the royal couple. Over the following months, the newspapers closely followed and reported on the turmoil in Europe and the eventual declarations of war.

Headline in the Watchman and Southron (Sumter, S.C.), July 1, 1914

Although the United States would not formally go to war for a few more years, the tales and events of the war were heavily documented by newspapers around the country. Coming into the centennial anniversary of World War I, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers can be an invaluable resource for finding contemporary, first-hand accounts of the war. Our topics guide on WWI provides some starting points such as key terms, important dates, and search strategies for getting the most out of historical newspapers. Also on this topics guide are some selected articles from South Carolina newspapers to help give a sense of how South Carolinians experienced the war.

Some other great resources for learning about the nationwide experience during the war would be the topics guide put together by the Serials and Government Publications Division of the Library Congress, “Topics in Chronicling America: The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.” as well as the blog post from EDISTEment, “The 100th Anniversary of the Great War.”

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Tips for Researching Your Upstate South Carolina Roots

Aull couple pic 61st anniversary

Jacob Luther Aull and Julia Ann Haltiwanger Aull celebrate their 61st wedding anniversary in Newberry county, S.C. in 1917.

The Reunion of Upcountry Families is happening this week in Easley, S.C. and, in honor of the conference, we want to share some resources that might help you hard working genealogists who are researching your family history in upstate South Carolina.

The SCDNP has digitized many historic newspapers from the western counties of SC including newspapers published in Abbeville, Anderson, Easley, Laurens, Newberry, Pickens, Walhalla, and Winnsboro. To see the full list of SC papers that are available for searching and browsing in Chronicling America, visit this link.

manholdingbaby

Mr. R. G. Smith of Dry Creek Dairy Farm in Newberry, S.C. holding his son, circa 1915.

There is a wealth of genealogical data in the newspapers ranging from wedding anniversary announcements, obits, birth announcements, marriage notices, community snapshots, veteran bios, local happenings columns, family reunions, and much more. You might be surprised to find gems of family history in the biographical pieces of more than 125 local townsmen of Anderson county in the 1896 Souvenir edition of the Anderson Intelligencer. Or find a male ancestor who was featured in a 1910 Memorial Day edition in the Fairfield news and herald (Winnsboro, S.C.) titled Living Fairfield Veterans, Brief Sketches of their Lives Together with Many Incidents of the War as Told by Themselves, Containing Much History Never Published Before.

elamtempletonhenry

Private Elam Templeton Henry who was wounded at 1st Manassas in the Civil War. One of more than 100 bios of Fairfield County, S.C. veterans featured in a 1910 memorial edition.

In this fascinating edition, more than 100 veterans’ lives and experiences of the Civil War (I know…War Between the States) are captured. Could one of them be your ancestor? Some kinsmen moved north and west from South Carolina and can be found in newspapers in other states who contribute content to Chronicling America. For example, native South Carolinian Kelly Miller of Fairfield county, a contemporary of W.E.B. Dubois and Booker T. Washington, is covered in many newspapers across the nation but very few in SC newspapers of the time. Other citizens who left South Carolina like the famed Manse Jolly of Anderson county who moved to Texas and died shortly after the war. Manse Jolly’s obit is a good reminder of close family connections that were kept between relatives who stayed in South Carolina and those who moved elsewhere. Less notorious citizens might be discovered in the pages of other state’s newspapers.

All of this content is both keyword searchable (advanced searching available) and browseable (ability to read whole issues cover to cover). For tips on how to search Chronicling America, read one of our previous posts on Using Historic Newspapers for Genealogical Research.

We are continuing to add content from the upstate for this latest round of NEH funding. We will be adding digitized newspaper content from upstate communities like Greenville, Union, Spartanburg, and York. To see a full list of the titles we will be adding in 2014 and 2015, visit our SCDNP website at http://library.sc.edu/digital/newspaper.

Good luck diving into this rich, free resource. Let us know if you find a fascinating new lead on your family history!

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Fighting for Equal Rights: Anita Pollitzer

Anita Pollitzer in Woman’s Enterprise (Baton Rouge, LA), March 10, 1922

The youngest of three sisters, Anita Pollitzer was born on October 31, 1894 in Charleston, South Carolina. After graduating from Charleston’s Memminger Normal School in 1913, she attended Columbia University, graduating with her bachelor’s degree in fine arts in 1916. (She would also later earn her master’s degree in international relations from Columbia in 1933.) Often noted for her work as a photographer and her close friendship with fellow artist Georgia O’Keeffe (whom she had met during college), it was during her time as an undergraduate student that Pollitzer become involved in the suffrage movement. Pollitzer joined the National Woman’s Party (NWP) after graduating from college and went on to hold several offices within the party throughout her lifetime. She quickly became a strong voice for the movement, lobbying across the nation for suffrage and equal rights for women.

During her college years, Pollitzer worked alongside her two older sisters, Carrie and Mabel, promoting women’s suffrage at the local level. Joining the NWP only fueled Anita’s fire further, providing her with additional support as she traveled throughout her home state. Unlike other women’s rights organizations, the NWP not only encouraged equality for women, but also focused on obtaining the passage of a constitutional amendment that ensured suffrage for women. In her early party membership, Pollitzer worked closely with fellow members of the party’s South Carolina branch to spread their message. While traveling all around the state, their sessions at times drew so many people that the crowds had to be split in two and NWP members would present concurrent speeches to attendees both inside the original meeting space and outside on the street.

Anita’s involvement with the NWP continued to expand over time. She began traveling across the country to speak to fellow party members, participate in protests, and lobby for the ratification of a suffrage amendment. Pollitzer spent time working in Washington, D.C. for the headquarters of the party directly underneath one of its founders, Alice Paul. By 1920, Pollitzer was dedicating much of her time to meeting with representatives in different states, urging them to vote for the ratification of the 19th amendment which would guarantee women the right to vote. In early 1920, the Washington Herald included a small blurb about a meeting with an Oklahoma Senator who promptly wrote a telegram “urging ratification of the suffrage movement” following his time with Pollitzer. One of Anita’s most impressive efforts took place a few months later in Tennessee where, after talking with her, the state’s representatives voted to endorse the amendment, making it the 36th state to do so, which was the final vote needed to add the amendment onto the Constitution. An article in the Washington Herald from August 1920 talks about the efforts of Pollitzer and her fellow activists and the influential role they played in getting the 19th amendment ratified.

Pollitzer’s work in Connecticut is noted in the Edgefield Advertiser (Edgefield, S.C.), October 20, 1920

Even as suffrage was achieved for women in 1920, Pollitzer continued her mission for equal rights for many more years. In 1921, she served in her first official position for the NWP as a member of the Executive Council. The next year, Anita made the headlines of the Laurens Advertiser for her work in Illinois trying to establish a statewide chapter of the NWP. Continuing to work her way up in the party, Pollitzer became the party’s National Chairman in 1945, succeeding only Alice Paul. Pollitzer spent the remainder of her life advocating for women’s issues. She worked with Paul to organize the World Women’s Party, fighting for recognition of women’s equality with the United Nations. Pollitzer also played influential roles in advocating for the Equal Rights Amendment and the National Fair Labor Standards Act.

Related Resources:

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Chronicling America Workshop

Last week, the SCDNP team traveled to Winnsboro, South Carolina to host a workshop for the Fairfield County Genealogical Society. Laptops in hand, the excited attendees used the hour to learn more about our digital newspaper program and to get hands-on experience navigating and searching Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, a database of over 7 million historical newspaper pages.

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Virginia Pierce, SCDNP Project Manager, and Craig Keeney, SCDNP Co-Principal Investigator, lead a hands-on demonstration of Chronicling America. (Photo courtesy Laura Blair)

The SCDNP team focused the workshop on showing attendees some useful tips and tricks for searching the database, especially while doing genealogical research. The team also highlighted some of the newest South Carolina titles added into Chronicling America, including several newspapers from Fairfield County.

Fairfield_MemorialEdition

The front page of the News and Herald’s 1910 Memorial Edition issue.

Fairfield County newspapers are chock full of interesting contemporary stories as well as rich histories of the county’s communities and people. Virginia Pierce, SCDNP Project Manager, found some great examples to show off at the workshop including the 1866 “Historical Sketches of Fairfield District”“Personal Reminiscences: Prominent Men of Western Fairfield, Who Lived Long Ago,” an article from 1880; a letter to the editor of the Fairfield News and Herald in 1899 entitled, “Old Brick Church”; and a 24-page Memorial Edition of the News and Herald in 1910.

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Pierce and Keeney answer individual questions. (Photo courtesy Laura Blair)

During the last part of the workshop, the SCDNP team provided individual assistance while attendees practiced their own searches. As the genealogists searched their family names and communities, the team offered guidance and answered questions. A great time was had by all!

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Finding Solomon Northup in Chronicling America

Thanks to the Academy Award-winning film 12 Years a Slave, the story of Solomon Northup, a free African American who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the mid-1800′s, has been receiving lots of attention lately. But is this the first time Northup’s tale has made headlines? It doesn’t appear so!

Our colleagues at the Vermont Digital Newspaper Project recently wrote a blog about finding Solomon Northup and his story in the historical newspapers made available through Chronicling America: “Vermont papers printed articles about Northup’s rescue and also covered the subsequent arrests and trials of his kidnappers and the man who sold him into slavery.” Check out their post, “Vermont Papers Tell the Story of Solomon Northup,” to learn more.

Vermont watchman and State journal (Montpelier, Vt.), February 10, 1853

The folks from EDSITEment at the National Endowment for the Humanities have also written about using Chronicling America to locate stories about Northup’s life and his memoir, which was first published in 1853. Read their post to see what they found in the newspapers and some of the useful searching tips they used.

What can you find about Solomon Northup in the newspapers? Leave us a comment and let us know!

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Hot Off the Press: More S.C. Newspapers Added to Chronicling America

We’re happy to announce that more historical South Carolina newspapers have been added to Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers! With new content from Newberry and several new titles from Abbeville, there are now 65 newspaper titles published in South Carolina between 1836 and 1922 that are freely available and full-text searchable on Chronicling America.

NewberryHN

Front page of The Herald and News (Newberry, S.C.) from May 5, 1916.

Here are the newest South Carolina newspapers in Chronicling America:

The herald and news (Newberry, S.C.), 1916-1922
This adds on to the 1903-1915 run of this title that has already been on the site.

The banner (Abbeville, S.C.), 1846-1847

The Abbeville banner (Abbeville, S.C.), 1847-1869

The independent press (Abbeville C.H., S.C.), 1854-1860

Abbeville press (Abbeville, S.C.), 1860-1869

The Abbeville bulletin (Abbeville, S.C.), 1865

The Abbeville press and banner (Abbeville, S.C.), 1869-1922

The Abbeville messenger (Abbeville, S.C.), 1884-1887

In addition to these new S.C. papers, titles from several other states have also been added to the site including the first content from the most recent states to join the National Digital Newspaper Program: Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, and North Carolina. Chronicling America is continually adding more newspaper pages so be sure to spend some time browsing the titles as the site reaches over 7 million pages!

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An Air of Festivity: Planning Your Thanksgiving

As Thanksgiving dinner approaches, last-minute questions always arise: What should be on the menu? What about the table decorations? How does one actually cook a turkey? What are the appropriate place settings? A quick Google search for the answers to these questions (and others) may be the most tempting approach, but this holiday season, why not try more “tried and true” solutions to your food queries and turn to South Carolina’s historic newspapers instead? These papers are chock full of recipes, menus, and even party-planning and decorating advice for the holidays! We found a few examples to get you started:

“A Thanksgiving dinner should have an air of festivity, but at the same time it should not be too heavy or involve too much work in its preparation.” Some pretty sound advice from an article in the Manning Times printed in November 1921. Even the article’s headline offers helpful guidance for the meal: “A Thanksgiving Turkey Has No Real Substitute.” And if these words of wisdom aren’t enough, this article goes on to include “a simple thanksgiving menu,” a recipe for stuffing, detailed directions on baking a turkey, and the proper way to prepare giblet gravy.

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Thanksgiving Proclamation cartoon in a Davis, Roper and Company advertisement in the Laurens Advertiser.

While still in the planning mode, take a look at this 1916 issue of the Laurens Advertiser which offers four possible Thanksgiving menus, all starting with an appetizer and ending with an after-dinner coffee. Also try this “Hints for Housewives” section of the Edgefield Advertiser which provides an article on delivering “A Simple, Satisfactory Dinner” for Thanksgiving. Included in this feature from 1900 are a menu, suggestions for table arrangements, and recipes for cranberry pie, pumpkin pie, salted nuts, Thanksgiving pudding, and ribbon jelly. As you get closer to the holiday, check out “The Holiday Housewife’s Plans” in this issue of the Edgefield Advertiser from 1897 that details how to break up the cooking and baking across several days in preparation for the meal.

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See four potential dinner menus for a Thanksgiving meal in this feature by the Laurens Advertiser.

The turkey is, of course, typically the star of the show at Thanksgiving. When you’re ready to tackle the main event, this 1897 article in the Edgefield Advertiser shows readers just as its title suggests: “Various Ways of Cooking a Turkey.” But what to do with all that turkey left in the aftermath of a holiday meal? The Anderson Intelligencer answers this question in an article featuring several recipes in which leftover turkey can be incorporated.

If turkey isn’t your thing, never fear! Orangeburg’s Times and Democrat was one step ahead of you with their 1908 article, “Hog Killing Time.” Full of “good old Southern recipes,” this write-up provides several recipes to “make all sorts of good things” from a hog including pork chops, hog feet, liver mush and more.

Want more Thanksgiving recipes and ideas from newspapers around the country? Check out the Vermont Digital Newspaper Project’s Flickr page as well as these great blogs posts: “Holiday Foodways” from the National Endowment Humanities and “Across Texas, Across Time: Newspaper Recipes for Your Thanksgiving Table” by the Texas Digital Newspaper Program. Also try searching or browsing on your own through the papers in Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers for more great advice and recipes for the holidays.

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Extending Our Reach

As many of you know, we were recently awarded a third grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to continue our great work with the National Digital Newspaper Program for two more years (you can read more about this here). From now through 2015, we will be working to digitize another 100,000 pages of historic South Carolina newspapers and make them available in Chronicling America.

Starting a new grant cycle means the selection of a new round of newspaper titles to work with during these next two years. While not an easy process, it was the goal of our team and our Advisory Board to choose titles that would extend our work geographically and temporally. We are very excited to announce the titles that have been selected! Drum roll, please…

2013-2015 Newspaper Titles to Be Digitized

The Bamberg herald (Bamberg County)
The Beaufort Republican and sea island chronicle and related titles (Beaufort County)
Cheraw gazette and related titles (Chesterfield County)
The Dillon herald (Dillon County)
Greenville enterprise and The southern enterprise (Greenville County)
The Camden journal and related titles (Kershaw County)
The Batesburg advocate (Lexington County)
The Lexington dispatch (Lexington County)
The Spartan and The Carolina Spartan (Spartanburg County)
The weekly Union times and related titles (Union County)
The county record (Williamsburg County)
Yorkville enquirer (York County)

Click on our map to get more information regarding specific titles and dates as well as to see how our new titles will help us represent even more areas of South Carolina. (Blue markers indicate newspaper titles we have already digitized since 2009; yellow markers indicate the new titles for this upcoming cycle.)

Also, check us out in a recent podcast from the University of South Carolina’s Division of Information Technology. We give some insight into what we do as well as what we love about our job (which was hard to narrow down into just 5 minutes!). You can listen to the podcast here.

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SCDNP Spotlight, Part 2

Here at SCDNP, we are proud to be a member of the National Digital Newspaper Program, a nationwide project that currently supports 36 states and territories digitizing historic newspapers and enhancing the way we see our nation’s history. Like us, many of these statewide projects not only contribute digitized newspaper images to Chronicling America, they also spend time creating added value resources such as LibGuides, podcasts, instructional videos, and blogs (just to name a few!). Over the next several weeks, we thought we would take some time to put the spotlight on some of these great resources from our fellow NDNP partners around the country.

Hawai’i Digital Newspaper Project

Since 2008, the University of Hawai’i at Manoa has been digitizing their state’s historic newspapers as part of NDNP. In addition, they have developed several resources highlighting the content in Hawaii’s newspapers. A few of these resources include a blog where they highlight unique articles and advertisements as well as post program updates; an excellent subject guide with tips for searching newspapers and topic guides; and a Flickr page with some fun and interesting images from Hawaii’s newspapers.

See this ad for walrus teeth and many more fun newspaper clippings on HDNP’s Flickr.

Texas Digital Newspaper Project

Hosted by the University of North Texas Libraries, this state project began working as an NDNP member in 2007. Since that time, they have built upon the NDNP foundation and have worked with institutions across Texas to create their own digital newspaper repository representing the entirety of the state. Through The Portal to Texas History, TDNP makes their newspapers freely available, and in February 2013, they reached the awe-inspiring milestone of digitizing over 1 million newspaper pages! Check out their blog to learn more about their project and view all of their newspapers in the Portal.

Tennessee Newspaper Digitization Project

The Tennessee Newspaper Digitization Project is a joint effort between the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the University of Tennessee and has been a part of NDNP since 2010. Tennessee keeps up a great blog that not only highlights content such as articles and ads, but also looks at all things newspaper-related such as these recent posts about newsies and typesetting. Check out their whole blog to read these and other great posts!

Stay tuned over the next few weeks as we continue to highlight some of the great work happening across the country by member institutions of the National Digital Newspaper Program. Read Part 1 of this series here.

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SCDNP Spotlight

Here at SCDNP, we are proud to be a member of the National Digital Newspaper Program, a nationwide project that currently supports 36 states and territories digitizing historic newspapers and enhancing the way we see our nation’s history. Like us, many of these statewide projects not only contribute digitized newspaper images to Chronicling America, they also spend time creating added value resources such as LibGuides, podcasts, instructional videos, and blogs (just to name a few!). Over the next several weeks, we thought we would take some time to put the spotlight on some of these great resources from our fellow NDNP partners around the country.

Indiana Historic Newspaper Digitization Project

Hosted by the Indiana State Library, this state project is dedicated to using its digitized historic newspapers to bring history to the “Hoosier masses.” Among other resources, the Indiana project maintains a blog that highlights interesting newspaper articles and stories. One of their more recent blog posts tells about the history of the Indianapolis Leader, the city’s first African-American newspaper which started in 1879. Follow this link to read the blog post about the paper and check out their whole blog to see what all is happening in Indiana.

Vermont Digital Newspaper Project

In 2010, the University of Vermont Libraries began working with several other institutions around their state to make historic newspapers freely accessible as part of NDNP. They, too, keep an active blog that showcases interesting articles and stories from VT newspapers as well as updates on the project and fun things their staff are doing. They recently wrote a great blog post about a popular opera house in Bennington, VT which resulted in this fantastic poster!

NDNP in Ohio

 The Ohio Historical Society has been working since 2008 to contribute content to Chroncling America as part of NDNP. They have created several great resources to help users delve into historic newspapers. One great resource is their list of several subject guides which provide important information and dates as well as suggested search terms for topics widely covered by Ohio newspapers. Additionally, they developed an 11-part video series that covers the basics of how to use Chronicling America as well as advanced tips for getting more out of your searches. You can view the first video, a brief introduction to the series, below: 

Stay tuned over the next few weeks as we continue to highlight some of the great work happening across the country by member institutions of the National Digital Newspaper Program.

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The Heart of the Grand Strand: Myrtle Beach

The summer is in full swing and many are making plans to stick their toes in the sand with the sound of crashing waves in the background (or at least dreaming of it).  Hitting the beach is a common getaway during the summer months and many know that one of the most popular tourist destinations along the East Coast for beach-goers is right here in South Carolina: Myrtle Beach.  Seeing several million visitors each year, Myrtle Beach sits at the heart of the Grand Strand and boasts an array of tourist attractions in addition to its sandy beaches.

In our lifetime it seems Myrtle Beach has always been the epitome of a beach destination; however, for all its popularity and success, Myrtle Beach has a relatively short history that dates back to right before the turn of the 20th century.

An aerial view of Myrtle Beach circa 1940. (via WPA Photograph Collection, South Caroliniana Library)

Situated in Horry County, the Myrtle Beach area remained uninhabited and unchanged for most of its early life. Due to its remote location, few Europeans attempted to colonize the area. It wasn’t until the 1880′s that the location began to see some settlement activity when the Burroughs & Collins Company out of Conway decided to buy land in the area for timber and set up a logging camp. Employees at the camp headed to the nearby beach on their days off. Additionally, the company built a railroad from Conway to the coastline in order to extract the timber. Once the railroad was in place and word spread of access to the coast, development in the area quickly picked up.

Initially the location didn’t have a formal name, and locals simply referred to the new train stop as New Town (perhaps in contrast to nearby Conway’s nickname of Old Town). A contest was eventually held for people to originate a name.  The winning contestant drew inspiration from the popular plant in the area, the wax myrtle, and the name Myrtle Beach was born.

The “Personal” section of the Marlboro Democrat (Bennettsville, S.C.) mentions a family vacationing at the beach in 1903.

Aside from the business potential, the Burroughs & Collins Company realized the possible tourist potential in this new area. In 1901 they built the area’s first hotel, the Seaside Inn.  A bathhouse and pavilion shortly followed. The company also began selling beachfront properties for twenty-five dollars. Throughout the summer months of the early 1900′s, the mention of Myrtle Beach in local newspapers quickly rose as families began traveling there for recreation and relaxation. The area soon became a popular destination spot, especially for those living in nearby South Carolina towns who could easily travel to the beach on a short train ride.  As early as 1902, the Watchman and Southron (Sumter, S.C.) included Myrtle Beach (via Conway) under their “Week-End Rates From Sumter to Popular Summer Resorts.” Advertisements for hotels also begin to appear in papers around the state, enticing tourists to come and stay on the “Finest Strand on the Atlantic Seaboard.”

By the 1920′s, other developers saw the opportunity in the growing seaside town and began to further develop the area with hotels and golf courses, all aimed at vacationers. Myrtle Beach became a popular spot, seeing even conventions and conferences come to town such as ones for the South Carolina Press Association and the [South Carolina] State Dental Association.

An article in the Watchman and Southron (Sumter, S.C.) draws attention to the upcoming South Carolina Press Association convention in Myrtle Beach in 1922.

A crowd enjoys the shoreline at Myrtle Beach. (via WPA Photograph Collection, South Caroliniana Library)

Although F. G. Burroughs (of Burroughs and Collins Company) had been the first to see the business potential in the area, it had also been his dream to see a resort town on the East Coast halfway between Miami and New York. After his death in 1897, his sons carried out his plan, developing the area and turning Myrtle Beach into one of the most popular seaside destinations in the country.

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New News for the Newspapers!

We are very excited to let you know about several new developments with our program!

  • First off, we are thrilled to announce that we have been awarded additional funding from the National Endowment for Humanities to continue as a partner in the National Digital Newspaper Program for a third grant cycle. This means that over the next two years, we will be bringing you even more South Carolina titles and newspaper pages! We cannot thank NEH enough for allowing us to continue this great work we love doing, and we are so happy to keep working with them, the Library of Congress, and our fellow NDNP partners across the country. We are also pleased that Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, and Mississippi will be joining the program and will start contributing content over the next year. To learn more about the recent awards granted by NEH, read their recent press release here: http://ow.ly/nzVm2
  • Secondly, we have sent off our last batch of newspaper pages to the Library of Congress for this second grant cycle. Over the last two years, we have digitized 100, 323 pages. While most of these are already available in Chronicling America, the entirety will be available by the end of the year once this last batch is processed by LC.

    Laura, Metadata and Outreach Specialist, places the last batch of digitized newspaper pages in the mail to the Library of Congress.

  • Thirdly, the Library of Congress updated Chronicling America this week and the site now boasts over 6.6 million newspapers pages and over 1,000 titles from across the country.  Several new South Carolina titles were added including ones from the Newberry, Pickens, and Winnsboro areas among others. View this list to see all 58 titles from S. C. now available for viewing: http://ow.ly/nzVbd
  • Lastly, as we look to the future, we hope to find new sources of funding outside of NEH to continue digitizing historic newspapers from around the state. Our partnership with NEH and LC has built a fantastic foundation for making these invaluable newspapers more widely available to the public, but our work thus far has only accounted for a small percentage of the numerous South Carolina newspaper titles. For only $1 a page, we can continue digitizing newspapers and making them freely available. If you have titles you would like to see, please consider helping us find additional funding avenues. Feel free to contact our team by email or phone if you have any questions or would like more information.

Contact Info:
Virginia Pierce, Project Manager, piercev@mailbox.sc.edu
Laura Blair, Metadata & Outreach Specialist, blairla@mailbox.sc.edu
(803)777-0735 

We thank everyone who plays a part in this great program from those who fund us to those who listen to our presentations to those who surf the pages in Chronicling America (and all those in between!). We are excited to keep moving forward!

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Last Man Standing: The Search for the Oldest Revolutionary Veteran

By the mid-1800s, the reality began to set in that the number of Revolutionary War survivors was quickly diminishing. As people began inquiring about the remaining veterans still living across the country, many newspapers took to the task of finding out exactly who was left of those who had bravely fought in the country’s war for independence. Throughout the next few decades, newspaper writers used several means to gather information on the surviving veterans including researching pension records, printing inquiries in papers, and simple word of mouth. Although none of these methods were error-proof, they did shine some light on the fast-fading era of revolutionary heroes.

The Daily Phoenix (Columbia, S.C.) reported in July 1865 on what was believed to be the only four remaining veterans of the Revolutionary War.

In 1843, a list circulated in newspapers throughout the country of over 100 surviving Revolutionary War veterans. A little over twenty years later, in July 1865, the Daily Phoenix out of Columbia, S.C. printed a small paragraph stating that according to pension records, only four soldiers from the Revolutionary War remained alive. The write-up included the soldiers’ names, dates of birth, and potential whereabouts. Just over a year later, in October 1866, the Daily Phoenix printed the death notice of a man (not mentioned in the previous article) who had fought in the war. And by December 1866, the paper had received word that another soldier who had not been previously listed was also still alive. However, by February of 1867, the death notice written for Samuel Downing presumed that with his passing no other veterans “who actually bore arms” in the war survived. In 1869, the Daily Phoenix printed a conclusive article stating that there were no longer any soldiers on the pension list (there were, however, many widows and children still recorded).

A photograph of Samuel Downing who was thought to be the last Revolutionary War veteran at the time of his death in 1867. (via americanrevolution.org)

Over the next couple of years, newspapers reported that more veterans were still living who had not been previously recorded on the pension rolls.  In 1870, the Anderson Intelligencer wrote about John Kitts, a Revolutionary soldier who had recently been received by the President and members of Congress in recognition of his service to the country. In 1871, the Daily Phoenix included a brief paragraph stating that two more soldiers were alive, but only one, D. F. Bateman, was on the pension list.

In 1871, the Daily Phoenix (Columbia, S.C.) prints that another two veterans remain alive.

Around this same time, a newspaper reporter from Birmingham inquired with the London Times to see if any British veterans remained. In June 1869, the Anderson Intelligencer published the reporter’s findings which stated that a veteran who had served as a drummer boy in the war was still alive.

As the numbers dwindled of those who actively fought, focus turned toward others who had some sort of connection to or memory of the war.  In 1868, the Anderson Intelligencer reported on an African-American man known as Old Father Robinson living in Detroit. Robinson had been born on the plantation of a Colonel in 1753 in Maryland. When the Colonel went to serve in the Revolutionary War, Robinson served alongside him as his bodyguard and was present for Cornwallis’ surrender at Yorktown which ended the war.

The Anderson Intelligencer (Anderson Court House, S.C.) reports in 1884 on the surviving widows.

There were also many widows and children of soldiers still living and wives of soldiers could continue collecting their husbands’ pensions from the government even after their passing. In 1884, the Anderson Intelligencer reported that 82 widows remained on the pension lists. In 1890, the Keowee Courier stated that only 25 were still alive. And by 1899, only 5 widows from the pension list were known to still be alive. As pointed out in the article, over 115 years had passed since the end of the war but since many older veterans had married younger women, the government was still paying pensions even a century later.

Using the newspapers alone, it becomes clear that conclusively finding the “last man standing” from the Revolutionary War is not as easy as it may seem. The topic is still contested today of just who was the last surviving veteran of the war. Try searching Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers to locate more articles about survivors of the Revolutionary War. Use a combination of words such as “revolution,” “veteran,” “pension,” or “widow” to locate different results.  Let us know in the comments below if you locate anything of interest!

 

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Using Historic Newspapers for Genealogical Research

Historic newspapers are valuable resources for genealogical research.  Rich with all types of information, newspapers can be useful in locating material regarding families and ancestors.  19th and 20th century newspapers devoted a lot of their print space to local and state events.  Social occasions, business advertisements, marriage announcements, real estate transfers, and death notices are a few examples of the many types of information that can be found within historic newspapers.

Many newspapers included a “Local and Personal” section like this one from the Keowee Courier (Pickens Court House, S.C.). Among other things, these sections detailed social events, meetings, and travel for the local community.

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers has made researching newspapers much easier.  Long gone are the days of indexing names in newspapers on microfilm; with Chronicling America, not only can research be conducted at the convenience of a personal computer (and for free!), these digitized newspaper images are full-text searchable as well as downloadable.

Before diving in to the over 6 million newspaper pages made available on the site, here are a few things to keep in mind when conducting genealogical research with historic newspapers:

1. Try searching variations of names.

Oftentimes, full names are not printed in historic newspapers in the same way they are today.  Men’s first names are sometimes shortened (i.e., William is printed as Wm.) or only initials are used (i.e., William Jonathan Taylor is printed as W.J. Taylor).  In some cases, married women are listed under their husband’s name (i.e., Mrs. William Taylor).  Additionally, the spelling of many family surnames has changed over time.  With these in mind, do not be afraid to search variations of first and last names to see what kind of results turn up.

This listing of candidacy announcements in the Edgefield Advertiser (Edgefield, S.C.) shows the different ways names can be listed as well as the possibility for misspellings.

This article in the Watchman and Southron (Sumter, S.C.) illustrates how surnames can be spelled in different ways even within the same article.

2. Be aware of historic terminology.

Language changes over time, so it is important to understand that some terms considered commonplace today were not used when these newspapers were printed.  In the same respect, many terms used then have now become obsolete.  For example, searching for a marriage announcement may not produce many results if using the terms “marriage” or “wedding” as these words were not always used; try including older words such as “nuptials” or “hymeneal” in conjunction with a family name for possible results.  When you do locate results, take note of the terms used for use in later searches.

3. Limit the date range to narrow the results.

When searching for a specific event or person, try altering the date range by using the “Advanced Search” tab.  Dates can be limited to a range of years or to a set of specific dates.  The database of newspapers in Chronicling America covers 87 years, so even if the exact date is unknown, narrowing the search to a five-year, ten-year, or even twenty-year period will narrow the results.

4. Be patient.

Research takes time.  While Chronicling America makes historic newspapers much more accessible than ever before, the research process still requires time and patience.  Although every newspaper page is run through OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology to enable keyword searching, this process is not 100% accurate meaning errors will occur.  Additionally, the Chronicling America database is continually growing and evolving; new pages and titles are added on a regular basis along with new states contributing content.  A search that produces limited or no results may generate more once new content is added.

5. Keep up with what you find.

When doing any type of research, it is important to document relevant findings and results.  Within Chronicling America, there are several ways to keep up with pages or articles of interest.

  • Persistent link: each newspaper page has a persistent link listed underneath the viewer; copy and save this link in order to return to that exact page.
  • Clip image: when viewing a newspaper page, an icon in the upper right-hand corner of the toolbar features a pair of scissors. This will “clip” the page as currently seen in the viewer. This is helpful to capture headlines, short articles, images, and advertisements. A great feature with clipping images is that it also keeps the persistent link and other citation information with it.
  • PDF: along the toolbar of the page viewer is a “PDF” icon; clicking this opens up the entire current newspaper page in PDF format.  Right-clicking on this PDF image allows for saving the whole page to a desktop or flash drive.

Have you used Chronicling America for genealogical research? What kind of results did you find? What other tips would you give researchers for using this database?

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From Socialization to Social Change: Women’s Clubs of South Carolina

Throughout the 1800s, women in the United States began to push the societal boundaries placed upon them by moving outside of the home.  Women started to become more outspoken and organized, thus making them more visible.  Even before the Civil War, women began campaigning for the right to vote and advocating for the antislavery movement.  The Civil War brought further progression as women took on various types of war work, further expanding their roles.  In the aftermath of the war, organized clubs quickly became an outlet for many women in South Carolina.

An announcement in the Keowee Courier on November 11, 1920 for an upcoming meeting of the Once-a-Week Club, a women’s club in Seneca.

Initially, many women’s clubs were channels for socialization; it was a time for women to be out of the home and among other women who shared similar thoughts and experiences.  Women also used the time for intellectual improvement, dedicating much of their meetings to continued education.  Focusing on literature, history, and arts, many of these women met under the title of literary clubs.  Through the socialization and study aspects, their main purpose was self-improvement.

While studying was originally thought to be simply a method of self-improvement, it also helped connect club women to the larger world around them.  They quickly saw their potential, recognizing that their organizations could not only be a means of improving their own lives, but could also affect the lives of those around them.  Clubs gradually moved from just reading and discussing social issues to actively participating in the communities around them.  From social events to philanthropic activities, organized women’s clubs became an avenue for women to enact change and reform.

In South Carolina, several small women’s clubs met on a regular basis in communities all across the state by the end of the 19th century.  In 1898, many of the local clubs joined together to form the South Carolina Federation of Women’s Clubs (SCFWC) as a part of the national movement known as the General Federation of Women’s Clubs.  Responding to the call of Mrs. J. H. Adams, president of the Once-a-Week Club out of Seneca, representatives from nineteen organizations met in June to create the SCFWC, a federation that was “to bring together the several women’s clubs of the State for mutual benefit.”  Following the first meeting, the Anderson Intelligencer printed a detailed account of the event.

A call from Mrs. J. H. Adams appeared in the Anderson Intelligencer on March 3, 1898. The proposed club federation would “uplift women socially and intellectually.”

Through the federation, women’s clubs could participate in statewide activities, bringing events to their local communities.  One such event was the traveling library.  Members from each participating club donated books to create a library that would travel between clubs across the state.  Modeled after the efforts of women’s clubs in other states, the traveling library, although administered by the club women, was open to the public of each town that hosted it.  In 1899, the Keowee Courier printed a letter from Mrs. Coleman, president of the SCFWC, about the idea of the traveling library.

The New-York Tribune highlights the philanthropic efforts of the SCFWC in August 1902.

Other philanthropic activities the members of SCFWC took on included providing scholarships for young women to attend college and a traveling exhibit of handmade arts and crafts.  Each local club continued to meet on a regular basis, and the SCFWC met annually in different cities around the state, an event that was often written about in the state’s papers.  By the 1920s, they were holding annual conventions that lasted two to three days.  Through their local organizations, and with the support of the statewide federation, women advocated within their communities for many issues from healthcare for children to education for young women.  As the clubs gained traction in the early 20th century, many women began using their club participation as a platform to fight for social reform on larger scale, advocating for equality through the passage of a suffrage amendment among many other issues.

An article about the annual convention of the SCFWC appears in an Arizona newspaper, the Weekly Journal-Miner, in 1911.

While individual clubs were often made up of women from similar backgrounds and social statuses, diverse populations of women were represented in clubs throughout the country.  An influential group in South Carolina, black women formed their own clubs and eventually followed in similar footsteps to the SCFWC by creating an umbrella organization of African American women’s clubs.  Forming the South Carolina Federation for Colored Women’s Clubs (SCFCWC) in 1909, these women advocated for gender equality as well as civil rights and racial equality.  In addition to supporting the fight for women’s suffrage, they also campaigned for issues relevant to the black population of the state such as better education, integration of schools, and ending racially-motivated violence.

Cayton’s Weekly, a newspaper out of Seattle, Washington, highlights the efforts and activities of the SCFCWC in their September 21, 1918 issue.

One particular cause the SCFCWC fought for in South Carolina was better health and sanitation for the state’s African American community. In 1915, the Manning Times printed an article describing a speech given at a meeting on the importance of promoting health knowledge.  The SCFCWC also held annual conventions when delegates from member clubs would meet and discuss important topics and decide on possible activities for the upcoming year.

A headline in the Southern Indicator, an African American paper out of Columbia, about the 1915 annual convention of the SCFCWC.  Click the picture to read the entire article.

Included in the “Local News” section of the Southern Indicator is a mention of some of the delegates who attended the 1915 convention.

Despite success in social reform, membership and enthusiasm for women’s clubs slowly fell off in the latter portion of the 20th century.  However, the dedication of club women in South Carolina truly provided much needed assistance and advancements to the population of the state.  Through the work of their clubs, these women were able to ensure a powerful place in the landscape of their communities, states, and the nation.

The historic newspapers in Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers are a wealth of information about women’s clubs in South Carolina.  Try narrowing the search to include only papers from South Carolina and search for individual club names such as the Once-a-Week Club, the Tuesday Afternoon Club, or any others.  Also using variations of the terms “state federation of women’s clubs” or “South Carolina federation of women’s clubs” when searching through “all states” will bring up results showing how the federation’s news spread across the country.

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5 Tips for Undergraduate Research in Chronicling America

The South Carolina Digital Newspaper Program (SCDNP) here at USC makes historic newspapers in South Carolina freely accessible and full-text searchable through a partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Library of Congress (LC). We are part of the National Digital Newspaper Program, in which we contribute digitized newspaper content to a free, online database, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

What can you expect to find in Chronicling America?

  • žLocal historical events, žSouth Carolina History, žUnited States History, and some international history.
  • Researching the Civil War, Reconstruction, World War One, Women’s History, African-American History? Read contemporary articles that were published as events happened.
  • Find articles on your topic in other newspapers published in 31 other states and D.C., and in over 6 million newspaper pages all in one full text searchable database.
  • Think there’s just history in Chronicling America? Not so. The types of information you might find in Chronicling America is expansive. Majors in disciplines such as Journalism, English, Political Science, Business, Education, History, Theater, Art, Cinema, Anthropology, and others can find great primary source information on their topics in Chronicling America.

 

Here are a few tips to get you started using the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers and historic SC newspapers in the South Carolina Digital Newspaper Program.

 5 Tips for Research in Chronicling America

1. You can find the South Carolina Digital Newspaper Program and Chronicling America online a few different ways.

  • Look for Chronicling America: Historic America Newspapers in Article Databases. Find it alphabetically or by looking at databases under the categories for History or Newspapers.
  • Of course, just googling “chronicling america” or “south carolina digital newspapers” will also work.

 

Not sure where to begin?

Use these program resources to help you get started with your research.

SCDNP LibGuide is a great place to get started if you want to research SC history. There are SC History Topic Guides on the Civil War, African-American History, Reconstruction and more; an updated list of digitized newspaper titles, Helpful Tips for Searching Chronicling America, and a historic timeline of newspaper articles to give you an idea of what you might find in the newspapers.

 

Topics in Chronicling America, which covers American history topics, is another great place to get started. You can peruse topics guides on particular subjects and read historic newspaper articles on almost 100 topics: like Butch Cassidy and the Hole in the Wall Gang, Early Cinema, the Chicago Black Sox Scandal, the Emancipation Proclamation, Yosemite National Park to name just a few.

 

2.  Developing Good Search Skills to Use Chronicling America

 

3. Organizing content you find in ChronAm as you perform research.

  • Create a folder on your Desktop, and save articles to that folder.
  • Make a word document and copy and save the persistent links to be used in citations when you are writing your paper.
  • You can download an entire page as a pdf and save it for later reading.
  • Use the Clip Image feature when you want to zoom in on a particular image or article on a page. You can then download it to your folder.

 

4. How to properly cite content used in Chronicling America.

Newspaper content in Chronicling America is copyright-free because content pre-dates the 1923 copyright law. However, although all newspaper content included in Chronicling America is copyright-free, don’t forget that you still need to cite sources you use in your research. Here are two examples, using Chicago/Turabian and MLA citation styles, that you might follow when citing an article you have found in Chronicling America. Persistent links are provided on each newspaper page that will always take you back to the content, if you save it while doing your research.

 

Chicago/Turabian citation example

“The Duties of the Hour.” South Carolina Leader, October 7, 1865. From the Library of Congress website Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83025783/1865-10-07/ed-1/seq-2/

 

MLA citation example

“The Duties of the Hour.” South Carolina Leader 7 Oct. 1865. From the Library of Congress website Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83025783/1865-10-07/ed-1/seq-2/. 26 Mar. 2013.

 

5. Evaluating Chronicling America as a good source for information.

  • Although newspapers are quality primary sources, keep in mind that the content is not always objective, but can be biased and subjective based on the writer’s point of view, the newspaper’s political views at the time, and the historical context in which an article is written.
  • Don’t just take our word for it. Ask yourself the same questions you would for any other online resource: who is the organization that makes Chronicling America available? is the site updated regularly? Why does the Library of Congress makes this info available? Are there any pop-ups and advertisements on the site? Is the information on the site free? Does Chronicling America check out as a quality source for information to you?

Need more help? Contact us and we would be glad to give you some more pointers and guidance on researching the newspapers. You can find our contact information on our SCDNP webpage under Contacts, http://library.sc.edu/digital/newspaper/index.html.

You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@UofSCDigColl) and find out the latest in digitized collections at the university.

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Extra! Extra! Chronicling America Reaches Six Million Pages!

As of Monday, March 18, 2013, the team at the Library of Congress has made some enormous improvements to Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.  Adding over 800,000 new pages to the database, the site now holds over 6 million pages of freely available and full-text searchable historic newspapers from 1836-1922!  This update includes new content from states already represented on the site, papers from new states (Indiana and North Dakota), and newspapers in French and Spanish from Louisiana, Arizona, and New Mexico.  The update contains around 33,000 new pages from South Carolina, including some additions to titles already on the site as well as some brand new titles.  It also includes the first content from South Carolina to predate 1860.

Front page of the June 14, 1922 issue of The Manning Times, a new South Carolina title added to Chronicling America.

 

Here are the most recent additions to South Carolina newspapers:

Edgefield Advertiser (Edgefield, S.C.), 1836-1863
This expands upon the run of the Edgefield Advertiser that was already available on Chronicling America from 1863 to 1922.

The Laurens Advertiser (Laurens, S.C.), 1913-1922
This expands upon the run of The Laurens Advertiser that was already available on Chronicling America from 1885 to 1913.

The Manning Times (Manning, Clarendon County, S.C.), 1885-1922

The Pickens Sentinel (Pickens, S.C.), 1913-1922

The Sumter Banner (Sumterville, S.C.), 1846-1855

The Fairfield Herald (Winnsboro, S.C.), 1866-1876

The News and Herald (Winnsboro, S.C.), weekly edition, 1876-1881

The News and Herald (Winnsboro, S.C.), triweekly edition, 1877-1900

The upgrade to Chronicling America also brings about some enhancements to the layout and functions of the website.  Two noticeable changes can be seen when looking at a single newspaper page.  The viewer now includes a thumbnail of the newspaper page in the upper right hand corner; when zooming in and out on a page, this thumbnail image helps provide further navigation.  Beneath the image, a full citation for that particular page is listed, including the page’s persistent link.

This screenshot shows some of the enhancements added to Chronicling America including a thumbnail viewer and full citation.

Many other changes were put into place including additional support for viewing the site on iPhones and iPads as well as lots of upgrades behind the scenes.  Be sure to head over to Chronicling America and see all the new improvements for yourself! Which of these new South Carolina titles are you most excited about? Do you think some of these additions will help you when using the site? Let us know in the comments section!

 

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