04 October 2015

October is Archives Month

During October each year we observe Archaeology Month, Archives Month, and Family History Month. Today’s theme is Archives Month.

Although the noun “archives” has several meanings, the definition most relevant to the management and daily operation of the BDC is “a facility in which records of permanent historical, cultural, or evidentiary importance are preserved, providing a means through which present and future generations may gain knowledge of and maintain continuity with the past.”

The Beaufort District Collection is a combination of a traditional library and a closed-stack archive. Customers can browse the materials in the public area of our Research Room but access to materials in the locked storage area occurs only through the staff. In other words, customers they are not permitted to browse the collections in the storage area. This measure is enforced to ensure the long-term protection of the special collections and archival materials.

Every day our staff of two manages archives of donated materials from individuals and organizations that demonstrate contributions of enduring local historical and cultural value to our area. Our new Preservation Associate, Ashley Sylva, is working hard to learn how we do things here in Beaufort County Library. She’s learning more each day about the array of resources we make available to the researchers who visit our facility or who access our digital offerings.

I have long been a member of the South Carolina Archival Association and I attended our Annual Conference on October 2nd in Columbia. The theme this year was "Connecting Archives With Your Community." Dr. Nic Butler, who’s presented local history programs here on The Planter and Fort Lyttelton, was the keynote speaker. His job at Charleston County Public Library is to build a bridge between a history hungry public and the resources in the Charleston Archive with the ultimate goal that the value and appreciation of archival resources will lead to sustained funding and preservation of critical materials. I picked up a few pointers on how to better connect the Beaufort District Collection resources with our history loving residents and visitors.  

A “Behind-the-Scenes" Tour is the best way to understand what it is we do in the Library system's special collections and archives unit. If you’re interested in getting a guided tour of our archives now is the time to schedule. October is the only time of the year that we offer tours of our closed stack area for individuals. Opportunities for tours occur on Oct. 15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, and 29. This is your chance to venture into the inner sanctum with BDC staff to see what goes on behind the closed and locked door! Members of the general public older than 12 who are interested in learning more about our holdings are welcome. To sign up: call 843-255-6468 or e-mail asylva@bcgov.net

We try to share facets of our work our Research Room displays and via social media.
·         On display now are selective items from our holdings on the topic of the USMC Recruit Depot Parris Island.
·         Be sure to keeping reading Connections and to make certain you see some of the “good stuff” we share through the Beaufort District Collection.  
·         Become our Facebook friend. I post something every work day about local history, Gullah culture, archaeology, genealogy or natural history.

Reminder: We have some adjustments to our customary public service schedule during the month of October. We close Noon to 1 pm for staff lunch on Monday, Oct. 5, Friday, Oct. 9 and Monday, Oct. 12. The entire Library system is closed all day Wednesday, Oct. 7 for Staff Development Day.

  Heads up: The next BDC local history program is "The Well-Dressed Marine of 1915" with Dave Smoot, Tuesday, October 20th at 6 pm in the Beaufort District Collection!

02 October 2015

Postponement: "Got Artifacts?"

Due to the inclement weather, "What the Heck Is It?" originally set for tomorrow, Oct. 3rd is postponed. Stay tuned for the new date and time. 

01 October 2015

BDC October Programs

October is Archaeology Month

During October each year we observe Archaeology Month, Archives Month, and Family History Month: three themes that the BDC has traditionally commemorated. Over the course of October, Connections will touch on each of these themes. Today's theme is Archaeology Month.

To be frank, Archaeology Month 2015 is different than all the previous Archaeology Months we've celebrated here at Beaufort County Library. For more than a decade, Ian Hill, Historic Preservationist in the Beaufort County Planning Department, and I coordinated Archaeology Month programs but he retired in June. His retirement along with a jam-packed October schedule of events, including the Centennial Celebration at Parris Island, the Arkhaois Film Festival, “Pat Conroy at 70” and a significant family event, took up most of the potential programming dates in October. 

Alas not all is lost. The Beaufort Chapter, Archaeology Society of South Carolina is still partnering with the BDC. Join us on Saturday, October 3rd for the Third Annual “What the Heck Is It?” session. Bring your artifacts for identification by renowned South Carolina archaeologists, Dr. Jon Leader and Dr. Eric Poplin. The program begins at 10 am and ends at 1 pm. 

Our South of the Broad River colleagues in the Hilton Head Chapter, ASSC is holding their "What the Heck Is It?" session on Saturday, October 17th from 1 pm to 4 pm at Coastal Discovery Museum.

As mentioned above, the annual Arkhaois Cultural and Archaeology Film Festival gets underway at the Coligny Theatre on Hilton Head Island, Oct. 22 – Oct. 24. Among the films set for screening are ones about Beaufort County archaeology, Fort Frederick and Sea Island Secrets.    

All of these Archaeology Month events are free and open to the general public.

Drop by the BDC Research Room or one of our branch libraries to pick up a copy of the 2015 Archaeology Month poster, “Yemasee War: 1715-1717” while supplies last.  

Heads up: We have some adjustments to our customary public service schedule during October. The Research Room will be closed Noon to 1 pm Monday, Oct. 5; Friday, Oct. 9; and Monday, Oct. 12 for hourly staff to get lunch.  The Library system is closed all day Wed., Oct. 7th for Staff Development.  (10/01/2015 4:00pm - The SCAA Un-Conference originally scheduled for October 2nd has been postponed due to inclement weather. The Research Room will be open 10 am - 5 pm on Friday, Oct. 2nd after all). 

27 September 2015

Artifacts Identified ... for Free!

Got an artifact (or two or three) lying around your house that you're just dying to know more about? Bring it (or them) to one of the free "What The Heck Is It?" sessions being held by the local Archaeological Society of South Carolina chapters to commemorate South Carolina Archaeology Month. 

  • The BDC and the Beaufort Chapter, ASSC are hosting a session on Saturday, October 3rd from 10 am to 1 pm. Two of our favorite archaeologists, Dr. Eric Poplin and Dr. Jonathan Leader, will be available to identify your artifacts.

  • South of the Broad River residents may prefer to take their artifacts to the session at Coastal Discovery Museum on October 17th, 1 - 4 pm. The Hilton Head Island Chapter, ASSC is sponsoring this session. Dr. Poplin and Dr. Leader will be there to assist you. 

Psst! At the NOB session, we'll have copies of the 2015 South Carolina Archaeology Month posters to give away ... while supplies last.