The Davy-Jo Ridge Library Fund was established at the University of South Carolina's Thomas Cooper Library in March 2006. The fund's anonymous donor wished to honor Ms. Ridge who was a long-time administrator at the Library. The focus of the fund will be to support the acquisition, preservation, and display of materials on the natural history of the Americas, especially the Southeastern United States with emphasis on the life and works of John James Audubon.
Materials acquired through the fund will be identified in a way to show recognition and appreciation for the honoree's support of and commitment to the University Libraries.
Davy-Jo Ridge and Audubon
Ms. Ridge recalls, "I grew up in Walnut Hill, a large farm, in Oconee County and from childhood watched birdlife and maintained bird feeders in our yard.
"I really did not know much about John James Audubon until I came to work at the University of South Carolina Libraries. There I looked at the large folio edition of Birds of America that South Carolina College purchased in 1832 as one of four subscribers in South Carolina.
"I became more interested in Audubon and his work when Mr. Toombs and I visited Mrs. Jennie Haddock Feagle who had an original Wild Turkey print and wanted to give it to the University Library.
"In 1985, the 200th anniversary of Audubon's birth, Thomas Cooper Librarypublished my book A Load of Gratitude: Audubon and South Carolina. It is possible that had Audubon not come the South Carolina in the 1830s and became a friend of Dr. John Bachman in Charleston who encouraged his interest in birds, Audubon might not have finished that magnificent work. He later published an octavo edition of the Birds of America in 1840 which is owned by Rare Books And Special Collections."
Additional contributions to honor Ms. Ridge are welcome; please contact us.