The New South Newspaper, 1862–1866

About the Collection

Union postmaster Joseph H. Sears published the New South newspaper out of the post office building on Union Square in Port Royal, S.C., on a weekly basis beginning in March 1862. The paper was moved to the town of Beaufort sometime in 1865 and remained there until it ceased in 1867.

The New South offers a glimpse into an era of unprecedented social upheaval in the South Carolina Lowcountry. In the Battle of Port Royal Sound of Nov. 7, 1861, Union Navy forces seized control of Port Royal Harbor, and Beaufort District’s white residents fled in their wake. Union forces occupied the district through the end of the war. Officials confiscated the abandoned properties and resold them to former slaves and Northern cotton speculators. Abolitionists resettled in the area to provide aid to the newly emancipated slaves, who comprised the overwhelming majority of district residents, and to open schools such as the Penn School on St. Helena Island. In 1865, U.S. Army General William T. Sherman issued Special Field Order No. 15, which reserved for former slaves the islands from Port Royal to Charleston (President Andrew Johnson later revoked the order). The years immediately following the war saw Beaufort’s economy diversify, the district reorganize as Beaufort County, and African Americans and the Republican Party rise to political prominence, led by Hastings Gantt, Thomas E. Miller, and Robert Smalls.

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Acknowledgments

A number of people put a lot of work into making the 67 issues of The New South electronically accessible. Allen Stokes of the South Caroliniana Library suggested the collection for scanning and allowed us access to the papers for some time. Craig Keeney of the South Caroliniana Library helped with the metadata and wrote the “About the Collection.” Lisa Ressener (MLIS, 2006) and Deborah Green (MLIS, 2007) scanned the papers, creating TIFFs and JPEGs. Jennifer Quier (MLIS, 2007) OCR’d the JPEGs, making the collection full-text searchable. Deborah created the PDFs to load into the database. Stewart Baker (MLIS, 2008) and Deborah worked on OCR as well. Laura Coleman (MLIS, 2006) created the home page and Kate Boyd of Digital Activities loaded the collection into CONTENTdm and oversaw the project. The work could also not have been done without the help of Tony Branch, of the systems department, who is the systems administrator for the CONTENTdm database and helps to manage the computers and scanners in the Digital Activities Department.

Creating the Digital Collection

The newspaper issues were scanned on a flatbed Epson Expression 10000 XL photo scanner using SilverFast scanning software. Lisa and Deborah scanned the images as color TIFFs at 24-bit and 300 ppi. From the TIFFs they created high quality JPEGs and added preservation metadata to the TIFF and JPEG images. Jennifer Quier converted the JPEGs to text files using Omni Pro OCR software to provide full-text searchability. Deborah created PDFs using Adobe Acrobat. The PDFs and text files were then uploaded to CONTENTdm. The TIFFs will be maintained as the archival masters on a SAN server, backed up to DVD and tape.

Laura created a home page for the collection, and Debbie created the metadata in an Excel spreadsheet. The metadata records follow the Western States Best Practices Dublin Core format and were uploaded as a tab-delimited file at the same time as the images. Kate reviewed the collection and uploaded the images to the CONTENTdm database.

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