24 April 2017

BDC@ HHI: Preservation Drop In

As the Library system’s special local history collection and archives, we preserve materials in the Beaufort District Collection (BDC) each and every day. Our highest priority is to be good stewards of the cultural heritage materials entrusted to us for the community. Therefore we must be up-to-date on preservation thought, practices, and techniques. 

Do you have precious books, letters, diaries, photographs, prints and drawings, or objects like maps, paintings, quilts, baptismal gowns, ceramic vases, sets of china, silverware, or pieces of furniture that you hope others will love in 50 years as much as you do now? Multiply the number of items in your possession by the number of people in your neighborhood, this county, this state, etc.  The obvious conclusion is that an enormous number of culturally significant items held by individuals, families, and communities are in need of basic preservation. 

Part of being a good cultural heritage materials steward is sharing our knowledge about preservation practices with the community in order to empower you to better protect your own treasures. Preservation can get complicated because different materials require different conditions and treatments.  Nevertheless, some general principles can mitigate a host of potential problems. For example, the unholy trinity of degradation, that is, heat, light, and humidity, must be closely monitored and managed to minimize natural decay of materials.  A simple practice of keeping lights at the lowest level sufficient for the job at hand can actually slow down the rate of decay.  Humidity, always a concern in coastal South Carolina, must be controlled to prevent mold growth, corrosion, drying and cracking, warping, buckling and/or flaking of precious material.  Proper storage matters – a lot!  

BDC staff has years of practical experience preserving paper-based materials, such as books, magazine articles, photographs, postcards, and illustrated prints.  A growing portion of our holdings arrives in the form of film and digital materials formats, that is, DVD, cassette audio-tape, VHS tape, CD, microfilm, and film negatives.  Although the scope of the BDC is on the people, places, events, and themes relating to this area, we welcome the opportunity to share our knowledge and experience with preservation of specific formats with you as our contribution to “Preservation Week 2017.” 

Drop by Hilton Head Branch Library to learn what we can do, individually and together, to preserve our personal and shared collections.  Together we can save our personal history for those who will come after us.

21 April 2017

Preservation Week 2017: Drop-In

As sincere and trained stewards of cultural heritage, Beaufort District Collection staff believe that memories and treasures should last a lifetime and be passed on to future generations, either within a family or via reputable institutions.

The Heritage Health Index survey (2005) revealed shocking statistics about the dire state of preservation of cultural heritage. A key conclusion of the survey was that people at all levels of government and the private sector must take responsibility for the survival of these collections. An essential step is strengthening everyone’s awareness of the importance and scope of preservation needs. The American Library Association and partner organizations have responded to the call for action with a week dedicated to heightening awareness of practical practices and techniques to insure that memories and treasures will last a lifetime and will be passed on to future generations in better condition because of those behaviors. 

In other words, Preservation Week inspires actions to preserve personal, family, and community collections in addition to library, museum, and archive collections. It also raises awareness of the role libraries and other cultural institutions play in providing ongoing preservation education and information. The Beaufort District Collection promotes Preservation Week to highlight what we can do, individually and together, to preserve our personal and shared collections.

The BDC has marked Preservation Week with local programs each year since its inception. This year, we're having a Preservation Day Drop-In in the lobby of the Hilton Head Branch Library at 11 Beach City Road. Ashley and I will be on hand, 10 am to 2 pm on Wednesday, April 26th, to answer questions and distribute hand-outs to folks interested in learning how to better take care of their own family treasures.

Like all BDC programs this is an opportunity to learn something on a specific topic offered at no charge to anyone interested in dropping by with their questions about how to take good care of their "stuff."

Please share far and wide!

06 April 2017

"Tide of Death" returns to Beaufort Branch

Oh the wind did blow so high 
And de storm was all abroad
But yet we recognize in it
The wonderful power of God.

Beaufort County experienced a lot of damage last October but Hurricane Matthew was a baby storm in comparison with the most devastating natural disaster to ever befall Beaufort District. 

On a single terrifying night in late August 1893 a cataclysmic hurricane ripped through the islands and lowlands of South Carolina and Georgia drowning thousands and leaving tens of thousands more destitute. Although largely unknown outside our region,  the Great Sea Island Storm of 1893 still remains the fifth most deadly hurricane in US history. The Library’s Beaufort District Collection Manager, Grace Cordial, will share photographs, diary accounts and other rare materials about the night that death came to call in the final program in the pilot Beaufort History Museum/Beaufort County Library local history series. Space is limited. Closed when full. Registration required at https://beauforthistorymuseum.wildapricot.org/event-2516200 Update: April 14, 2017 - ALL seats have been taken! On the day of the event, walk-ins will be accommodated first come, first serve for any reserved seats not occupied by the reservation holder at 1:55 pm. No one will be admitted once the program begins at 2 pm. 

Please note: This program concludes the pilot season of the Beaufort History Museum/Beaufort County Library local history series. There will be no BHM/BCL programs during the Summer months.

02 April 2017

BHM/BCL Series Lecture Reminders

The successful Beaufort History Museum / Beaufort County Library local history series, coordinated by the Beaufort District Collection, continues.


We do hope that you are among the 70 people who signed up to attend the BHM/BCL lecture about Harriet Tubman on Tues., April 4th. Don't forget to print out your ticket and confirmation e-mail. Please note: If you are not in your seat at 1:55 pm, then your seat may be given to another person. Details are on the event registration page at https://beauforthistorymuseum.wildapricot.org/event-2499875

Mary Rivers LeGree will lecture on Gullah history and culture on Thursday, April 20th. Registration is required and once the 70 seats are taken, registration will close. Check availability at https://beauforthistorymuseum.wildapricot.org/event-2506104Update: April 6, 2017 - ALL seats have been taken! On the day of the event, walk-ins will be accommodated first come, first serve for any reserved seats not occupied by the reservation holder at 1:55 pm. No one will be admitted once the program begins at 2 pm.

Grace Cordial will reprise "Tide of Death: Northern Beaufort version" on Wed., May 3rd. It's been a few years since this presentation was done at Beaufort Branch. Even if you attended this lecture in the past, you might enjoy attending again. For example, if you attended the "Tide of Death" presentation at Bluffton Branch or at Hilton Head Branch, those were focused on what happened south of the Broad River. This version of the lecture focuses on what happened north of the Broad River. If you're new to the area or just curious, come learn about the biggest natural disaster to ever befall Beaufort County. Monitor the Beaufort History Museum's event notices for the opening of registration.  Update 4/4/2017: Registration is now open: https://beauforthistorymuseum.wildapricot.org/event-2516200

30 March 2017

BHM/BCL: Gullah History and Culture

The highly successful Beaufort History Museum / Beaufort County Library local history series continues on April 20, 2017.  Mary Rivers LeGree, a native St. Helena resident, will discuss the origins of Gullah history and culture on the isolated sea islands of South Carolina. Learn how large concentrations of Africans on St. Helena, Daufuskie,  Johns, Kiawah, Port Royal, Edisto and Wadmalaw islands influenced the history of this region and transformed culture. This lively presentation will expose you to Gullah cultural practices.

Mary Rivers LeGree's early years were spent in the Rivers's family compound on St. Helena Island. She was educated in New York City and graduated from the University of Detroit. Upon retirement in 2004, LeGree came home to live on family property that had been purchased by her ancestors shortly after the Civil War. She is a past Planning Commissioner for St. Helena District.  LeGree led the way for a reconstituted St. Helena Community Preservation Committee in 2007. The SHCPC is a 12 member board to review development projects proposed for St. Helena island.

Registration is required. Seats tend to go quickly. Sign up at https://beauforthistorymuseum.wildapricot.org/event-2506104. Registration is closed when full.

Please note: The "Harriet Tubman" lecture by Andrea Allen is almost full. Seats are almost gone at the time of this post.  https://beauforthistorymuseum.wildapricot.org/event-2499875 

The Beaufort District Collection coordinates the BHM/BCL for the Library system.