ACSC Annual Meeting at the Dole Institute

Exterior of the Dole Institute

In April, Dorothy Walker and Rebecca Denne attended the annual meeting of the Association of Centers for the Study of Congress at the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics in Lawrence, Kansas. The Dole Institute is one of the largest Congressional archives in the United States, and it has impressive programming that includes speakers, exhibits, and workshops. While Lawrence isn’t the easiest place to get to from Columbia, it was well worth the trip!

The Russell Window, which Sen. Dole donated in memory of his parents

    At the pre-conference, we participated in a Museum Hack workshop. Working with museum and archives professionals from across the country, we got hands-on practice with innovative and creative approaches to audience engagement with a collections focus.

The program opened with a conversational-style keynote with former Governor of Kansas and Archivist of the United States John Carlin. He and moderator Audrey Coleman, Assistant Director and Senior Archivist at the Dole Institute, discussed the challenges of electronic records management and public outreach efforts at the National Archives. We later attended a talk by former U.S. Senator Nancy Kassebaum Baker about her three terms, during part of which she was the only woman in the Senate, and her work building successful coalitions.

American flag stained glass which is also visible in the outside shot of the building

At other sessions, we learned about unique outreach activities at The Dole (check out their Easter Egg Roll), using exhibits to tell stories that engage communities (like “The League of Wives” project), and the challenges we all face archiving social media.

It was great to pick up new ideas and meet new faces! We also enjoyed reconnecting with old friends, including ACSC Executive Committee members (and SCPC alums!) Lori Schwartz and Debbie Davendonis.

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Digitizing the William D. Workman Jr. Papers Photographs: Second Phase Well Under Way

As of my last update, we had completed the first phase of our NHPRC-funded grant project (arrangement, description, and rehousing) and had begun the second phase (digitization). At that time, I had already finished scanning and creating metadata for over 400 photographs. In the past month, that number has grown to 1,600, including all of the slides, prints, scrapbook pages, and oversize prints that will be part of the digital collection. Only about 1,400 negatives remain to be scanned for the collection. We plan to make the first 500 of images available next week. We will then continue making these images available in sets of about 500, and plan to have a second batch of materials posted by mid-April.

Collection Highlight:

“Oil Well near Bucksport. Horry County, August 5, 1947”

Post and highlight selection by Mae Howe

 

Top to bottom: black-and-white illustration of eagle statue, text: "National Archives," divider, text: "National Historical Publications and Records Commission."Reprocessing and digitization of the William D. Workman, Jr. Papers photographs has been made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission.

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International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. According to the IWD timeline, it initially began in New York City as National Women’s Day in February 1908. Gradually, more countries began honoring the day and by 1914 IWD was observed globally. It was celebrated by the United Nations for the first time in 1975.

Recognizing women is especially important in archives because they have been historically underrepresented. We all know the saying that “behind every great man is a great woman.” Although many justifiably argue that the expression should be changed to “beside” or “in front of,” Workman was no exception to this adage. In honor of International Women’s Day, it is fitting to acknowledge the incredible women in William D. Workman, Jr.’s life: his mother, Vivian Virginia Watkins Workman, his wife, Heber Rhea Thomas Workman, and his daughter, Dorrill “Dee” Workman Benedict.

Workman’s travels with his family served as an excellent opportunity to capture South Carolina in his time. Throughout his collection, landscapes and monuments are sometimes captured as a backdrop for one of his loved ones. Two examples include photographs of his wife at Caesars Head State Park in 1947 and his daughter standing in front of Clark’s Hill Dam [now the J. Strom Thurmond Dam] in 1952 during its construction.

Vivian Watkins Workman, July 22, 1942

Workman’s collection includes several photographs of his mother, her family, and their home dating from the late nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. According to her obituary in The State, she was born on August 11, 1889, to James Newton and Florence Sharpe Watkins in Anderson, South Carolina. She married her husband, Major William D. Workman, Sr., in September 1913. They had two children, William D. Workman, Jr. and Vivian Virginia Workman. She passed away on June 27, 1981, at the age of 91.[1]

 

Heber Rhea Thomas Workman, Caesars Head State Park, 1947

Workman’s wife, Heber Rhea Thomas Workman, was born in 1918 to Heber and Ruth Thomas. In 1937, she graduated from Winthrop, where her papers are held. She then married Workman and had two children, William D. Workman III, and Dorrill “Dee” Workman.[2] She earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in English at the University of South Carolina and served as an English professor at Columbia College from 1957 to 1977.[3] During her tenure, she received several post-doctoral fellowships and became known as an expert in Irish History. As such, she gave many presentations and organized several noteworthy exhibits.[4] She also served as editor of South Carolina Magazine and was named S.C. mother of the year in 1978. She passed away in 1988 at the age of 69.[5]

Dorrill “Dee” Workman, Clark’s Hill Dam, 1952 [now J. Strom Thurmond Dam]

The Workmans’ daughter, Dee, left school after tenth grade to attend Columbia College at the age of fifteen and became the youngest college graduate in South Carolina when she earned her BA in English, with honors, at age eighteen.[6] After completing graduate work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she moved to Washington, D.C. to work for Sen. Strom Thurmond.[7] Her political involvement continued across all levels of government and led her to Mobil Oil Corporation, where she served as an executive. During this time, she worked closely with then-Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, John C. West.

By Mae Howe

Top to bottom: black-and-white illustration of eagle statue, text: "National Archives," divider, text: "National Historical Publications and Records Commission."Reprocessing and digitization of the William D. Workman, Jr. Papers photographs has been made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission.

 

 

[1] “Mrs. V. Workman of Greenville, Dies,” June 28, 1981.

[2] Colleen Bradley and Kelly Gilbert, “Biographical Note,” William D. Workman, Jr. Papers.

[3] Jane Odom, “Scope and Content Note,” Heber Rhea Thomas Workman Papers.

[4] “Dr. Workman S.C. Mother of the Year,” The State, Feb. 12, 1978.

[5] “Dr. Rhea T. Workman, retired professor, dies,” The State, September 19, 1988.

[6] Columbia College Bulletin, October 1963.

[7] Mary Terry, “Female Executive Enjoys High-Powered Lifestyle,” The State, 4 Dec. 1977.

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Reprocessing the William D. Workman Jr. Papers Photographs: First Phase Essentially Complete

I am thrilled to announce that after five months, the first phase of our NHPRC-funded grant project, Reprocessing and Digitizing the William D. Workman, Jr. Papers Photographs, is essentially complete.

In my last update, I had finished “rearranging the images in accordance with the processing plan, transferring them to more protective archival enclosures, and labeling them individually,” but the physical reprocessing of this subseries was not yet finished.

Since then, my revisions to the finding aid—including additions to the Scope and Content note—have been approved and incorporated into both the collection’s online PDF and its ArchivesSpace resource record. I have also labeled and renumbered the boxes and shelved the collection. Although I did not finish all of this by my personal “mid-January” deadline, we are still over a month ahead of our original deadline of March 16th.

A man in shirtsleeves holds a tanned alligator hide.

Benny “Alligator Man” Frank, posing with his tanned alligator hide in Walterboro, South Carolina.

I began digitizing images two weeks ago and have finished scanning and entering metadata for over 400 photographs. The collection includes about 3,500 images (slides, negatives, prints, scrapbook pages, and oversize prints). However, because we will not digitize any duplicates or images with questionable copyright, I estimate that the digital collection will consist of around 3,000 to 3,250 images. We plan to make these images available in batches of about 500, and hope to have the first set of digitized materials publicly available by the first week of March. 

By Mae Howe

 

Top to bottom: black-and-white illustration of eagle statue, text: "National Archives," divider, text: "National Historical Publications and Records Commission."Reprocessing and digitization of the William D. Workman, Jr. Papers photographs has been made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission.

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First Run of the Buses in Charleston

Last run of trolley cars in Charleston, Feb. 10, 1938

Eighty years ago tomorrow, what the News and Courier dubbed a “new era in public transportation” began in Charleston as trolley cars were replaced by motorized buses (“Program for Bus Service,” 1938). William D. Workman, Jr.’s collection offers images of the momentous event when, on February 10, 1938, Charleston’s 11 trolley cars made their final trip in a parade followed by the 13 new buses.

According to archivist and historian Nic Butler, public transportation in Charleston can be traced back to the first horse-drawn carriage service, which began in 1833. Over three decades later, after the Civil War, tracks were laid on the streets in downtown Charleston, and traditional four-wheeled carriages were replaced by a horse-drawn street railway system on December 15, 1866. This system was improved upon when the horse-drawn cars were replaced with electric trolley cars in the late 1890s.

The men protecting a car from the passing trolley demonstrates one of the many problems of electric streetcars on Charleston’s narrow streets.

The electric streetcars refined transportation when they were first introduced, but according to the News and Courier, as passenger automobiles became increasingly available, it became evident that a public transit upgrade would again be necessary in the near future (“From Omnibus to Omnibus,” 1938). Butler adds that the Charleston Transport Company’s purchase of a “motor omnibus” and a “taxicab style of motor car” in 1917 was “the beginning of the end for the trolley system.” 

Articles in the News and Courier reveal that Charleston tried to make the switch to motorized buses in the mid-1920s, but failed (“From Omnibus to Omnibus,” 1938). However, when the South Carolina Power Company purchased gasoline-powered buses in 1938, Charlestonians welcomed the sign of progress with open arms. The News and Courier reported that buses were considered “flexible vehicles” because they were not dependent on overhead wires and street rails. In addition to improved punctuality, the buses could also make additional stops on streets which never had trolley service (“Charleston Progresses,” 1938).

“New buses on the Battery, Feb. 10, 1938”

“First run of buses in Charleston, replacing trolley cars—Feb. 10, 1938”

The electric trolley cars had served Charleston for over 40 years when they made their final trip in 1938. After their last run, the News and Courier reported that the old cars were sold to consumers. Those in good condition were put to commercial and pleasure uses while others were salvaged for parts (“Program for Bus Service,” 1938). 

“1st bus passing last trolley in Charleston, Feb. 10, 1938”

By Mae Howe

 

Top to bottom: black-and-white illustration of eagle statue, text: "National Archives," divider, text: "National Historical Publications and Records Commission."Reprocessing and digitization of the William D. Workman, Jr. Papers photographs has been made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission.

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Gubernatorial Inaugurations

Since the state was settled by the English in 1670, South Carolina has had 93 governors—some of whose collections are held by SCPC. In 1865, James Lawrence Orr became the state’s first governor to be elected by popular vote. As Cole Blease Graham, Jr. notes in the South Carolina Encyclopedia, prior governors were appointed by the Lords Proprietors (1670-1719), the British crown (1719-1776), the General Assembly (1776-1865), and the president of the United States (30 Jun.-29 Nov. 1865). South Carolina’s gubernatorial election will take place this November.

According to South Carolina’s constitution, gubernatorial inaugurations are set for the “first Wednesday following the second Tuesday in January next after [an] election.” It seems a fitting time of year to acknowledge yet another contribution Workman’s collection adds to South Carolina’s photographic history: gubernatorial inaugurations of the 1950s. We are pleased to share images of James F. Byrnes’ inauguration in 1951, George Bell Timmerman’s inauguration in 1955, and Ernest F. Hollings’ inauguration in 1959.

Four men, two in judicial-style robes and two in suits and ties, stand at the front of a crowd. The South Carolina State House steps, upon which many people are standing, is visible in the background.

James F. Byrnes stands in front of the statehouse with Sen. Edgar Brown, former Governor Strom Thurmond, Lt. Gov. George Bell Timmerman, Jr., and Judge Charles Cecil Wyche, 16 Jan. 1951.

 

Timmerman stands in front of microphones and between the US and South Carolina flags. The State House is visible in the background, its steps filled with onlookers.

George Bell Timmerman, Jr. gives his inaugural address, 18 Jan. 1955.

 

Several men walk down the South Carolina State House steps while being photographed. Inauguration attendees look on.

“Inauguration of Gov. Ernest F. Hollings – [20] Jan. 1959; Descending (center) outgoing Gov. George Bell Timmerman Jr. and Gov. Hollings.”

By Mae Howe

 

Reprocessing and digitization of the William D. Workman, Jr. Papers photographs has been made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission.

Top to bottom: black-and-white illustration of eagle statue, text: "National Archives," divider, text: "National Historical Publications and Records Commission."

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National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (01/09/18)

In honor of National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, I’d like to highlight the images from William D. Workman’s collection that document the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).

Exterior views of a two-story brick building.

SLED headquarters and barracks in 1947.

According to Hugh Munn’s entry titled “South Carolina Law Enforcement Division” in the  South Carolina Encyclopedia, SLED was created in 1947 by executive order of then-governor Strom Thurmond. Loosely modeled after the Federal Bureau of Investigation, SLED replaced the South Carolina State Constabulary and served as a “crime-fighting organization with statewide authority.”

A man in a white dress shirt and tie sits at a desk.

The first chief of SLED, Joel D. Townsend, at his desk on August 13, 1947—the year of the agency’s founding.

Workman’s collection contains photographs of the original headquarters and barracks,some of the organization’s founding members (including its first chief Joel D. Townsend), and a scientific criminal investigation seminar conducted at the SLED barracks in 1956.

A man in a dark suit stands at a podium in front of a blackboard.

Governor George Bell Timmerman, Jr. giving a lecture at the Law Enforcement Seminar.

According to “Police Going to School,” an article published on December 10, 1956, in The Columbia Record, the seminar was the “first of its kind.” Led by SLED officials, it provided training for South Carolina law enforcement officers on aids to investigation, interrogation, and examination. Some of the training programs documented in Workman’s photographs include polygraph machines, ballistic examinations, chemical testing, diving gear, and K-9 units.

In addition to the SLED photographs discussed above, Workman also captured images of law enforcement officers from the Charleston Police Department in 1937, the South Carolina Forestry Commission in 1951, and the Barnwell Police Department in 1952.

By Mae Howe

 

Top to bottom: black-and-white illustration of eagle statue, text: "National Archives," divider, text: "National Historical Publications and Records Commission."Reprocessing and digitization of the William D. Workman, Jr. Papers photographs has been made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission.

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Reprocessing and Digitizing the William D. Workman, Jr. Papers Photographs: Happy New Year!

 

Two small children and a woman, all in winter dress, stand in front of a tree. The ground is covered in snow. A goose or duck is seen walking through the foreground. Charleston harbor or a beach appears to be visible in the background.

Heber Rhea “Tommie” Workman and children, 1940s

The first three months of our NHPRC-funded grant project, Reprocessing and Digitizing the William D. Workman, Jr. Papers Photographs, have been highly productive. As a result of Mae’s diligent and efficient work, the project is more than a month ahead of schedule. That makes the New Year a happy one for this project director.

As Mae wrote in her last blog post, she has finished reorganizing over 3,000 photographs and moved them into better storage enclosures. She has also added a lot of topical information about the photos to the finding aid, which will make it easier for users to locate relevant images in the collection. During the first part of January, we’ll finalize these changes and update the finding aid and other collection access points.

January also marks the start of the project’s next phase:  creation of a digital collection of the images. Mae will scan photos, enter metadata, and prepare a digital collection webpage. After we start uploading images, we will invite people to add information about them in the digital collection’s comments section. This will be SCPC’s first time crowd-sourcing information about collection materials. We are interested to see how it goes.

Top to bottom: black-and-white illustration of eagle statue, text: "National Archives," divider, text: "National Historical Publications and Records Commission."By the time this project concludes in August 2018, the Workman Papers photographs will be easier to use than ever before. We are grateful for the National Historical Publications & Records Commission’s support in making this rich trove of materials easier for scholars, students, and other users to engage with, whether they’re in our reading room or their living rooms. (Speaking of the reading room, the Hollings Library will reopen at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 2.)

Happy New Year!

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Reprocessing the William D. Workman Jr. Papers Photographs: Rehousing Almost Complete

In my last update, the reprocessing of the William D. Workman Papers’ photographic materials was well underway. I had finished rearranging and rehousing all of the slides, standard prints, and contact prints and had begun working on the negatives.

Three different sized boxes for housing photographic materials sit open on a table. Enclosures containing negatives are visible in the boxes. In front of each box is an example of the type of enclosure it contains.

The three different kinds of enclosures we used for negatives. From left: four flap enclosures for damaged negatives, acid-free envelopes for standard-size undamaged negatives, and sleeves and envelopes for undamaged 35 mm negatives.

This photographic subseries has about 2,000 negatives that are divided into two primary groups—damaged and undamaged—according to their level of deterioration. The undamaged negatives are also divided by size into 35 mm protective enclosures and standard archival envelopes. Initially, I hoped to finish rehousing at least half of these negatives by the end of the year. However, I am happy to report that I have already completed this step.

The flaps of a four flap enclosure sit open to show a negative with visible emulsion bubbling inside.

A damaged acetate negative inside of its four-flap enclosure. This type of enclosure gives damaged negatives stability and protection from further damage.

Although I finished rearranging the images in accordance with the processing plan, transferring them to more protective archival enclosures, and labeling them individually, the physical reprocessing of this subseries is not yet complete. Since my initial processing plan has undergone slight revisions throughout its implementation, it needs to be reviewed and approved by my supervisors. Then, I need to add my processing plan to the finding aid and update its scope and content note to accurately reflect the photographic subseries. Finally, I need to update the collection’s ArchivesSpace record, label and renumber the boxes, and shelve the collection.

By mid-January, I hope to have all of these tasks completed so that I can begin the next step of this project: digitization. 

Reprocessing and digitization of the William D. Workman, Jr. Papers photographs has been made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission.

By Mae Howe

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Herb Hartsook: Reflections on a Career

Herb Hartsook

Herb Hartsook

Dean of Libraries Tom McNally has pleased us all by the announcement that Associate Director Dorothy Walker will succeed me as Director of SCPC.  I retire at the end of December and Dorothy will take over on January 2.  Her expertise, judgment, and demeanor make her the perfect choice.  Good things are in the offing.  I’m sure you join me in my excitement to see where Dorothy will lead SCPC. 

I hope you will indulge my reflections on 38 years spent helping to preserve the history of our state.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my career and will miss the work and even more, the interaction with donors, co-workers, and the scholars that use our collections. 

Dorothy Walker

Dorothy Walker

I was a part of the first generation of formally trained archivists.  I graduated with a degree in History–The Administration of Archives from the University of Michigan and came to South Carolina in November, 1979, to accept a job with the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

In 1979, the state Archives was a large organization with a terrifically bright group of young middle-managers.  I received priceless mentoring from these archivists during my four years overseeing work on the pre-Civil War papers of the state legislature.  When an opening occurred at the South Caroliniana Library as its Curator of Manuscripts, I jumped at the opportunity to return to academia and work with their remarkably rich and diverse holdings. 

Olin D Johnston

Olin D. Johnston

SCL was all I had hoped for.  Their largest collection, the papers of former governor and US senator, Olin Johnston, consisted of over 500 feet of materials which basically was untouched since they were acquired after his untimely death in 1965.  The Johnston collection became my special project.  I stole time from my routine duties to work with it, not knowing that I was setting the stage for the remainder of my career at USC Libraries. 

USC approached Senator “Fritz” Hollings in 1989 seeking his papers.  Over the next two years, I schooled myself in the nascent archival specialization of congressional collecting, while helping then library dean George Terry to develop USC’s proposal.  Hollings’ decision and Terry’s vision has resulted in the SCPC that we know today — numerous diverse collections documenting modern society and government, housed in a state-of-the-art building. 

Hollings’ papers form our signature collection and I am proud to have devoted so much of my life to documenting his work and contributions to South Carolina and the nation. 

Regular readers know my blogs typically reflect something current, so I’ll digress from this reflection for a moment.  I recently spoke with Dr. Alan Blum, a distinguished medical doctor who has created a remarkable archive at the University of Alabama documenting smoking in America.  He sent me a copy of a letter to the editor he had written as a teenager in 1964.  He had attended a rally in Woodmere, NY for Senate candidate Robert Kennedy.  His letter excoriated the audience for their rude welcome of one of the speakers,

Fritz Hollings

Gov. Fritz Hollings, 1960

the former governor of South Carolina (a handsome, dynamic, movie-star type whose name escapes me.  The jeers which greeted him all came after the mention of the words “South Carolina.”  Shocked, I looked around, and to my amazement saw about 100 teenagers throughout the crowd booing away at this person they had probably never heard of.  To those northern teenagers, the mere mention or association of “the South” connoted, simply, “bad.”  Does this myth of the southern states being so anti-progress, anti-liberal, and especially anti-civil rights actually pass for fact in the mind of the so-called more aware and more keenly intellectual northerner? 

Hollings is a powerful speaker so I was not surprised that Dr. Blum, on learning that we held the Hollings Collection, was immediately transported to a chill autumn day and memories of Hollings’ eloquent support for his friend, Bobby Kennedy.  All this brings me back to my joy and pride in reviewing my career and my association with Sen. Hollings and our other donors. 

I have enjoyed writing my various blogs and sharing my experiences and thoughts through these posts.  And I will miss the good work done in SCPC and the relationships that we craft with our donors in documenting their careers and contributions.  Best wishes to our fine staff and our wonderful donors! 

Hartsook and Hollings

Herb with Fritz and Peatsy Hollings in April 2000

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