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University Libraries - Inventory of S.C. Church Archives

Inventory of S.C. Church Archives

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About the Collection

A historical records survey known as the Inventory of Church Archives was completed by W.P.A. workers between 1937 and 1939. The original survey sheets are held in the Manuscripts Division of the South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia. In 1980, the collection was microfilmed by the South Carolina Historical Society, Charleston, through a grant from the South Carolina Committee for the Humanities, an agent of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Inventory of Church Archives survey sheets are available for forty-two of South Carolina’s forty-six counties. Surveys for Chester, Edgefield, Fairfield, and Georgetown are not extant. The questionnaires provided the means by which information was systematically gathered on African-American and white churches in both rural and urban areas, including address, date organized, building description, construction date, and, of primary importance, listings of any known church records.

An index to churches included in the Inventory of Church Archives is available in Richard N. Côté’s Local and Family History in South Carolina : A Bibliography (1981).



Henry Fulmer, Curator of Manuscripts at the South Caroliniana Library, suggested this collection and allowed the Digital Activities Department access to it for scanning. Brian Briones (MLIS,2009) and Denise Keating (MLIS,2009) created the metadata for the records in an Excel spread sheet. The metadata records follow the Western States Best Practices Dublin Core format. Brian and Denise scanned the photographs on a flatbed Epson Expression 1000XL Photo scanner, using Silverfast scanning software. They 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. They also uploaded the JPEGs to the CONTENTdm server. The TIFFs will be maintained as the archival masters on a SAN server, backed-up to DVD and tape. Denise also created a home page for the collection. 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.