Penn School: Experiment in Freedom Video

Mary Long's Yesteryear: Penn School: Experiment In Freedom traces the history of the Port Royal Experiment and the establishment of Penn School, one of the first schools in the South for freed slaves. For more than 100 years, the school has played a historic and vital role in the lives of the South Carolina sea Island people. The program follows the history of the center, from its founding to its role in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

Copies of the video are available through the Local History sections at our branch libraries. Some branches have VHS and DVD versions; some branches have only VHS; some branches have only DVD. Call numbers: 975.799 PEN or 370.9757 MAR

For the more research minded person willing to do a bit of work, the BDC has a bibliography of resources we have about Penn Center in the Research Room. All you have to do is ask. Call us at 470-6525 or e-mail me at

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.