We have maintained a relationship with the South Carolina Digital Library and its Lowcountry Digital Library (LCDL) arm since 2004 when we were one of two public libraries in the state asked to serve as a pilot project for the inclusion of special collections materials cared for by local institutions in the South Carolina Memory project. We digitized the 548 photographs in the Donner Collection as “Phosphate, Farms and Family” as that pilot project and more than a decade later, items in this collection are among the most popular in the LCDL.
We added 300 items from the Lucille Hasell Culp Collection as a supplement to the "Beaufort 300" project, a celebration of the town's tricentennial in 2011. Images from this collection are among the most consistently accessed digital items in all of the LCDL. Together our two digital collections garner almost 50,000 hits per year. Not too shabby considering that we contributed only 848 items out of the more than 65,000 records, 209 collections, and 280,000 page views last fiscal year.
In this very beneficial partnership, the Beaufort District Collection provides the content and subject classifications while the LCDL provides the technical know-how, metadata training, storage space for the digital items created, and preservation of the digital items at no charge to the Beaufort County Library. In return we get regional, state, and national exposure for our special collections materials through these digital portals. What does the LCDL get? Great quality outside-of-Charleston area content that helps them in securing grant funding to continue the LCDL. We are what helps them be a regional digital library.
On 10 December, we met with Heather Gilbert, head of the Lowcountry Digital Library for some metadata training and planning our digital projects for the next 2 years and to finalize arrangements to launch our latest projects. Take a look at Digital Collections #3 and 4: "Hurricane of 1893" photographs and a digital version of the rare Storm Swept Coast of South Carolina by Mrs. R. C. Mather booklet. Happy Holidays!
Reminder: The Library system is closed December 24 - 26 for Christmas holidays and Fri., January 1 for New Year's Day. All units will close at 5 pm on Thurs., Dec. 31st for New Year's Eve.