Please Come for an "Evening with the BDC"

"An Evening with the Beaufort District Collection"
Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009
6 pm - 8 pm
Performing Arts Center, 801 Carteret Street, Beaufort
USCB North Campus

If you've been reading this blog or our webpages, you are probably aware that we've been trying to move for years now. Here it is, 8 years later and we're still stuck in the same room, with the same amount of storage space, trying to properly house about twice the "stuff."

Luckily, others feel our pain. The BDC is very fortunate to have three organizations ready and willing to help us raise the funds required for us to take proper care of the irreplaceable historical materials in our Research Room. We are very fortunate that fine researchers are willing to share their experiences with those irreplaceable historical materials with you.

The Public Library Foundation of Beaufort County, the Friends of Beaufort County Library, and Historic Beaufort Foundation have joined together for a fund-raising event to purchase appropriate archival compact shelving for the 2nd floor of the Scott Street Library building. The construction phase of the renovation is finished, and all that remains to be done is to raise $85,000 for the necessary shelving and storage systems.

We surely could use some of your money!

On Wednesday evening, September 30th, from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m, all of those who care about the preservation of the written and photographic historical record of our nationally significant region are encouraged to join us for a special evening with Dr. Larry Rowland, Beaufort County’s preeminent historian.

Dr. Rowland will speak to the importance of the documents that tell the story of our region’s history, with a special emphasis on the history of the library and the loss of critical records over the years. Photographs will illustrate key documents in the collection that will be the basis of Dr. Rowland’s talk.

We sincerely thank Dr. Rowland for donating his time and services to our cause.

Dr. Rowland will be joined by Historic Beaufort Foundation Executive Director Evan R. Thompson, who will articulate the critical need to ensure that the Beaufort District Collection of the Beaufort County Library is moved to a spacious second-story room with state-of-the-art shelving. The collection has outgrown its first-floor room at the downtown branch. (Look for the images with the word "squish.")

We sincerely thank Mr. Thompson for donating his time and services to our cause.

Once funds are raised and the new Beaufort District Collection storage facilities are complete, the Beaufort Museum’s archival collection will be able to be permanently housed as part of the public library collection. The Beaufort Museum’s archival collection includes historic deeds, letters, journals, diaries, books, maps, pamphlets and other memorabilia that will become publicly accessible through this effort. The creation of a one-stop archive of historical information will ensure that Beaufort’s story will be preserved and reach a wide audience.

We're stuck, folks and we need your help very badly. We cannot properly house our current BDC holdings in our 1st floor space. We certainly cannot accession the Beaufort Museum's archival collection until the relocation of the BDC to the 2nd floor occurs. And, don't forget, we've been working on getting the Lucille Hasell Culp Collection arranged and organized so the public can see her images of mid-20th century Beaufort. We must have space to properly store those thousands of negatives properly. We cannot relocate the BDC to the 2nd floor without the installation of a mobile, high storage capacity compact shelving array. We cannot buy the storage without raising $85,000. And we can't raise $85,000 without your help.

We seek additional sources of revenue when we can. For example, the Beaufort County Library, Historic Beaufort Foundation, Penn Center and the Bluffton Historical Preservation Society recently filed a joint grant application to hire a professional archivist to properly catalog a significant part of our respective collections covering the period 1840 - 1915. (We find out on Nov. 30th whether or not our application is successful). However, no money for compact shelving is forthcoming from Beaufort County government, and few state or federal grants offer money for archival shelving storage systems such as we need.

So if you can, please join us on Wednesday evening. Bring a friend. No contribution will be too small to help preserve our archival heritage. Every contribution to the compact shelving fundraiser will be appreciated because every dollar gets us one dollar closer to buying what we need to properly house and share the unmatchable history of this place and its people.

I hope to see you Wednesday evening, at the Performing Arts Center, beginning at 6 pm. 

View the presentation on why the Beaufort District Collection needs compact shelving.

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.