Newsletter of the University South Caroliniana Society
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Grant Projects Nearing Completion by Scott D. French
If you passed through the Kendall room of the South Caroliniana Library in 1998, you probably noticed the ongoing project that has the room so askew. Two 18-month grant projects, sponsored by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), began in December of 1997. Under the supervision of Henry Fulmer, Head of Manuscripts Division, the projects will be completed in May 1999.
Meg Moughan, head of the NHPRC grant "Accessing the Emerging South: A Project to Enhance Access to Unprocessed Manuscript Collections in the South Caroliniana Library," is currently working with Assistant Archivist Terry Lipscomb, and new graduate assistants Ryan Semmes and Amy Schoettingare. Moughan and her team are close to completing the processing and description of the fifteen collections designated in the NHPRC grant.
FROM "CULTURAL CROSSROADS" GRANT PROJECT
List of births and deaths among the African-American slave communities at Richfield plantation (ca. 1854-1856), and at Mt. Pleasant plantation (ca. 1854) from the Glover family papers.
Above pages from volume titled
"Record of Births and Deaths on Wrightfield, Richfield,
and Mt. Pleasant Plantations,
Commencing Jan. 1852 - [through 1862]"
The Glover family owned properties
in Colleton and Beaufort Counties.
Collections which have been processed and for which there are detailed inventories include papers of the Christenson Family, James Coker, John Gary Evans, Blondelle Malone, Wyndham Meredith Manning, William Doyle Morgan, Stanley Fletcher Morgan, and Thomas Eveleigh Richardson. Processing continues on the papers of author Elizabeth Boatwright Coker, former South Carolina Speaker of the House Mendel Lafayette Smith, newspaper editor Samuel Lowry Latimer, and the Columbia based Christian Action Council. Upon the completion of the project, these valuable collections will provide researchers with further insight into South Carolina history from Reconstruction through the Civil Right's movements of the 1960s.
The two-phase NEH grant "Cultural Crossroads: 18th- and 19th-Century Plantation Systems and Social Order in South Carolina, A Project to Enhance Access to Manuscript Collections," has also accomplished a great deal in the past year. Scott French, head of the
"Emerging South" grant project will provide researchers with further insight into S.C. history from the Reconstruction era through the Civil Right's movement.
NEH grant, working with returning graduate assistants Aimee Barry and Darrick Hart, has almost completed the re-housing of over five hundred of the South Caroliniana Library's most heavily used collections.
FROM "CULTURAL CROSSROADS" GRANT PROJECT First page of letter, 12 Mar. 1861, Washington, D.C., from Confederate "Commissioners to Government of United States," John Forsyth and Martin I. Crawford to U.S. Secretary of State William Henry Seward. From letterbook (3 March - 6 May 1861) of Robert Augustus Toombs (1810-1885), U.S. senator from Georgia, and member of the Confederate Cabinet.
This volume documents diplomatic correspondence exchanged between the governments of the United States and the Confederacy during the early months of the Civil War.
In addition to re-housing the collections, the NEH grant is funding the conversion of the card-catalog collection descriptions for inclusion in the library's electronic catalog. Using old card-catalog records, French and his students are creating electronic records that allow remote users to access descriptions of the library's collections. These electronic records provide potential researchers access to collection descriptions that previously could have only been accessed by visiting the library in person.
During the record conversion process, French and his students are expanding collection descriptions to include aspects that have been previously overlooked.
Second page of above letter, 12 Mar. 1861, from Robert Toombs letterbook.
This expanded access will allow researchers to locate information relating to under-represented source material for fields of study such as African-American Studies and Women's History. With the help of SCL Electronic Archivist Brian Cuthrell, the newly created electronic records are being added to USCAN, the University's electronic library catalog. This expanded catalog will allow researchers to access the SCL's collections from around the city, state, and nation via the internet.
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