Drat! The BDC Research Room Is Closed. What can I do?

Actually, probably more than you think.

I'll be posting some strategies during the shutdown to publicize what your options are. Today's entry is about the "Virtual BDC."

While I was gathering up the statistics for BDC electronic resources for the South Carolina Heritage Health Index project currently underway through Clemson University, I was astounded by the number of hits received by the "Virtual BDC." I am very proud to share that last year (July 2009 - June 2010) the “Virtual BDC” had more than 30,000 hits.

Although I have a fairly large family, there's no way that this many hits are coming from only my blood relatives. Very few people have ever commented on the any of the 300+ blog entries in Connections, so I wasn't sure anyone was benefiting from the work that goes into maintaining it. I had even begun toying with the idea of stopping it before the figures came in. Man! did that idea hit the skids upon learning the "hits" figures.

So it seems quite reasonable to ask:

Q: What are the components of the "Virtual BDC?"

A: The "Virtual BDC" consists of these resources and guides to research created and maintained by Library staff which are available through the internet:

* The BDC home web page;
* The BDC services web page;
* this Connections blog;
* the digital “Phosphate, Farms & Family: The Donner Collection;”
* posted “Recommended Readings” lists. Scroll down to the section called “Local History Treasures brought to you by the Beaufort District Collection;”
* a variety of topics are discussed in the Local history & nature pages;
* and an Online Index to local newspaper obituaries.

Q: What's the best thing about "The Virtual BDC?"

A: "The Virtual BDC" is open 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week/365 days a year except in a Leap year, when it's 366 days! -- AND EVEN WHEN THE RESEARCH ROOM IS CLOSED TO RELOCATE UPSTAIRS! (I'm not shouting, just "emphasizing!")

Please give the components of the "Virtual BDC" a whirl while we're working hard to be good stewards of the materials in the Research Room that are entrusted to our care. I think that you'll be surprised by the depth and scope of information that you'll discover.

About the Author

Grace Cordial has been responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Beaufort District Collection at the Beaufort County Library since 1999.  The Beaufort District Collection exists to acquire, preserve, maintain and make accessible a research collection of permanent value which records the history, culture, and environment of our part of the South Carolina lowcountry.  Besides the research room, Cordial manages the “Virtual BDC:” the BDC web pages, the Online Obituary Index, two digital collections, a new BDC.BCL Facebook page, and the Connections blog.  
Among her duties is to coordinate or present programs about local history, Gullah culture, and our coastal environment, including occasional instructional sessions about how to perform historical and/or genealogical research.