Materials about Hilton Head Island in the BDC

As most readers of this blog already know, "the Beaufort District Collection (BDC) 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."

Our goal is to bring the past to the present by managing the BDC research room, stocking the local history sections at the branch libraries with appropriate materials customers can check out and review at their leisure, posting useful local history content on the web via our part of the Library’s website and writing this blog, and coordinating local history programs throughout the Library system. In other words, the BDC serves the Beaufort County Library as a separate division, quite apart from the Beaufort Branch Library.

(Indeed, we share the 311 Scott Street building with the Beaufort Branch Library, but so does Library Administration, Technical Services, the Interlibrary Loan department, the IT folks, and the "Friends of the Beaufort County Library" organization. Do any of these departments/groups concentrate all their efforts on just Beaufort Branch Library? No. And neither does the BDC. The 7 functions simply share one very overcrowded street address. However, the challenges of having so many separate functions coming out of one overcrowded building is a topic for another day!)

Yes, the BDC collects materials about Hilton Head Island and other localities south of the Broad River just as it collects materials about Big Estates, Bluffton, and Gopher Hill as part of the historical story of Beaufort District.

A particular treasure of the BDC is the Nancy Ciehanski Papers, an archival collection that illuminates Mrs. Ciehanski's active involvement in creating the Town of Hilton Head Island 26 years ago. The State recognized the historical value in making her papers accessible for present and future study when they awarded us a SHRAB grant in 2004 to do the necessary archival arrangement work to help researchers learn more about creating a new town in a booming coastal area.

You can learn about some of the materials we make available through the Beaufort District Collection and its services about the “History of Hilton Head Island” sitting right there at your computer.

Some of you may have even attended the recent BDC Archaeology Month program "Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Heritage Corridor,” with native Islander,Emory Campbell and Michael Allen, National Parks Service held on October 13th. We hope to bring other local history related programming during 2010, so keep your eyes peeled for future announcements.

Please investigate how the BDC helps the customers at all the branch libraries learn about the history, culture, and environment of the wonderful place we all ive. As always, call me at 470-6525 or e-mail me at gracec@bcgov.net if you have any questions.

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.