Sea Island Hurricane of 1893: A Guide to Resources

Yesterday, 35 people attended our BDC@The Branches program for the Bluffton Branch History Book Club session on The Great Sea Island Storm by Bill and Fran Marscher. We even had some folks sitting in the hall. Bratton DeLoach and I were delighted to have such a crowd! I showed images of some of our BDC holdings relating to the Hurricane of 1893 that devastated this area - and now everyone who came knows that I don't think much of our former governor, Benjamin Tillman.

(What a mean and hateful man he was. And, yes, that is a moral judgment - which I will stand by!)

I've compiled a guide to resources about the storm that I used to prepare the review and program. Halle Eisenman, who's still doing double-duty as Reference Manager at Hilton Head Branch and webmistress, posted the guide post haste in one component of the "Virtual BDC," viz., "Local History Treasures Brought to You by the Beaufort District Collection" within the librarian-chosen "Recommended Reading" page. (There are 6 components of the "Virtual BDC" in all).

Q: How do you find the "Virtual BDC?"
A: Start at our Library's homepage, that is, at

Option 1: Choose the "Local History" tab. It's the third one in the blue row of column headings.

5 of the 6 components of the Virtual BDC are accessible through the "Local History" tab. Here you'll find direct links to the BDC homepage, Local Obituary Index, Connections, the Donner Digital Collection of phosphate industry and early 20th century farming, and the index to the 50+ Local History & Nature pages. But there's more...

Option 2: See the "Quick Links" section in the left column under the tan Library Catalog box? Recommended Reading is among the choices. Click Recommended Reading.

About 1/2 way down, you'll see a section labeled: "Local History Treasures Brought to You by the Beaufort District Collection." There are 35 (as of today) lists of materials about people, places, and topics important to Beaufort District's history within these guides. The one on the "Sea Island Hurricane of 1893" posted just this morning has a red "New!" beside it.

Taken together, the "Virtual BDC" got approximately 50,000 hits last FY year. Please help me make that 60,000 for this FY by taking a few minutes to explore the offerings.

Given that there is a big push for "Participatory Librarianship" these days, I'd love to get your comments on how to improve and enhance our current offerings within the "Virtual BDC." Contact me at or make a comment to this post.

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.