I am going to let my Facebook Post of April 1, 2023 set the stage for what I tried to accomplish on the social media platform last month.
April 1, 2023 - Overview: BDC's Monthly Overview for April 2023: April is another busy month in the BDC.
I'm helping out at Lobeco Branch until 5 pm today. Staff shortages within the Library system is an ongoing challenge - No fooling.
I will be at the "Breathing Democracy into Spaces: 1st SC Volunteers of African Descent Symposium" on Saturday, April 8th.
April is National Poetry Month and we celebrate National Library Week and Preservation Week before month's end. Accordingly, I will do my best to highlight these three themes this month.
Join us on Monday, April 17th for the "What's in Your Attic?" program with South Carolina Historical Society's Virginia Ellison - no sign up needed - in honor of Preservation Week.
The next day registration will open for the Operation Jackpot local history program with author Jason Ryan.
I am thrilled that this year the long-delayed "Beloved BDC Docents" get together (originally planned for April 2020) will happen. The docents seldom cross paths with each other, yet their individual projects are critical to the BDC's goal of preparing materials for access.
Just so you know: I won't be writing a "Uniquely BDC" post on Monday, April 3rd nor a "Finding Aid Friday" post on April 7th because I won't be in the office either day. In fact, if you come to any part of the Library system on Good Friday, April 7, 2023 you'll be alone. It's a County holiday and all units of the Library will be closed.
April 10, 2023 - "Uniquely BDC: Materials Monday" is a continuation of yesterday's post.
The only library sharing copies of The Palmetto Poet: Samuel Henry Rodgers a book edited by Walter Ioor Rodgers, Sr. of poems found in Rodgers' diaries, those published in newspapers or found among his personal papers, along with some newspaper editorials is the Beaufort County Library. The BDC has a copy for permanent retention plus there are a few copies in the local history sections at the Branch Libraries for you to check out. No other SCLENDS library system has this book of poems.
Furthermore, the only place in SCLENDS with copies of the Palmetto Post newspaper on microfilm is the Beaufort County Library. The only place in Beaufort County Library with some original issues of the Palmetto Post (courtesy of a donor) and a decent microfilm reader/printer to review the Palmetto Post microfilm is the BDC Research Room.
A little about the Palmetto Poet: Samuel Henry Rodgers (1845 - 1919) spent his early years in Charleston. He served in the 23rd South Carolina Regiment in Charleston, at the Battle of Gettysburg, and returned to South Carolina to participate in the defense of Charleston. He was awarded the Confederate Gold Medal by the Sons of the Confederate Veterans. His journalism career began with the Charleston News and Courier. In 1878 he moved his young family to Beaufort in order to found a newspaper called the Beaufort Crescent. Three years later he moved to Port Royal to found the Palmetto Post. He moved back to Beaufort in 1904. Two years later the Palmetto Post was consolidated with the Beaufort Gazette as Rodgers was a part owner of the Beaufort Gazette Publishing Company. Rodgers remained a Beaufort resident until his death on 12 December 1919. His body is interred in the St. Helena's Episcopal Churchyard.
April 17, 2023 - "Uniquely BDC: Materials Monday" Publications by K-12 students tend to be held only in local collections. For example, the Beaufort County School District and the Port Royal Sound Foundation series called River of Words: Musings on Port Royal Sound through Poetry and Art is held only by the Beaufort County Library.
The BDC Research Room has a permanent copy of each volume for the years 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020, and 2022. We share additional copies 2022 volume through the local history sections at the BCL Branch Libraries. We would be happy to accept donations for 2019 and 2021 if someone happens to have a clean copy.
Mark my words: The only place where students included in the volumes will find their work today, tomorrow, indeed 20 or 50 or even 100 years from now - will be in the Beaufort District Collection of the Beaufort County Library. It is our mission to acquire, preserve and make accessible local history materials from today for present and future researchers.
April 24, 2023 - "Materials Monday: Uniquely BDC in National Poetry Month": The Research Room is the only place that you'll find In Some Time's Rain: Poems from Beaufort Community AIM Project, edited by Linda Shillman (1979). From the verso of the title page: "The poems in this anthology were written by the members of the creative workshop taught by Shaun Farragher, poet in residence with the Beaufort Arts-In-Motion project." AIM was sponsored by the SC Arts Commission and funded through the Emergency School Aid Act. The local project was one of only 15 Special Arts Projects in the US.
Poets included Edna Pudas, Augusta Vella, JoAnn Atwood, Aileen McGinty, love lee, Bluette Linda Jones, Walter Dennis, Carol Tilton, Zoe Farragher, Linda Shillman, and Shaun Farragher. Walter Dennis would continue to write poems. We have 23 of his books of poetry here in the Research Room - most of which are "Uniquely BDC" eligible titles.
"Black History Note" Wednesdays posts:
April 5, 2023 - "Black History Note in National Poetry Month:" [A poem] "Forgotten Moments" by Ronald Daise
Only few remember.
A history of a people has been hushed, been stilled -
Yet only few weep.
Only few sing the old songs
Or recall precious moments.
Time, progress and shortsightedness are silencing a heritage!
Precious memories, though,
Are like the lyrics of old slave songs.
They should not be
In the minds of
They should linger --
From generation to generation --
Lending meaning to the past,
Nurturing strength and hope
For the future.
From: Reminiscences of Sea Island Heritage: Legacy of Freedmen on St. Helena Island by Ronald Daise (Sandlapper Publishing, 1987). There are plenty of copies of this title available within SCLENDS.
April 12, 2023 - "Black History Note in National Poetry Month:" Mama’s Pearls by Patricia Bee is a book of poetry that captures the essence of Gullah culture. The author is a native of Beaufort and wrote this book of poetry to serve as a manual for living and to honor her ancestors. Almost every poem is accompanied by historical photos of African American adults and children as well as a bible verse.
April 19, 2023 - "Black History Note in National Poetry Month:" Amy Jenkins Bassett wrote Mulberry Wine: A Selection of Poems about Growing Up in the South (2010) sponsored by the Beaufort Three-Century Project. Bassett was bred, born and reared in Beaufort, SC but left to finish high school and go to college. Like many Beaufort natives, she worked her way back to her hometown - and found it quite changed. She was inspired to write a poem about what she observed.
So much fertile, tree-strewn land
was carelessly dug up
Became unearthed sand
or red, wet clay tracks
Under unsightly stacks
Of cut down timber
Felled too soon
With an ear-splitting boom
To make room
For new dwellers
Big city fleers
Come to stake claim
in our domain.
Old cotton fields
And indigo patches
Were forced to yield
To concrete covers
Foundations for lovers
Of modern edifices
No matter the sacrifices
Of the old settlers
Or the histories erased
What mattered was
Had to be placed.
The foliage withered
The fauna scattered -
Became stealthy runners
Who sought hasty refuge
From the rapid deluge
Of crafty newcomers.
The villagers were distraught
But it was for naught
Immigrants poured in
With money to spend
The landscape quickly changed
Evolved into estranged
Separate razed lots
By greedy developers
With deep money pots.
Gates went up
Guard houses were erected
To shield the privileged
Who had to be protected.
Exclusion tactics were detected
But couldn't be proved
By those who were moved
Without a thought
From land often stolen
Or too cheaply bought.
This then became the new Beaufort
A pristine seaside haven
For the tourist
Or cunning maven
Clamoring for change
On a new range.
So much for the acres
Of my grandfather's time
So many dispersed
For love of a dime. (pp. 65 - 67).
I could also have used this entry in the "Uniquely BDC" series as the only copies of this title are held in the BCL.
"Finding Aid Friday" posts:
April 14, 2023 - "Finding Aid Friday:" A notice for the upcoming "Ribaut Road Revisioning" Public Symposium next week reminded me to remind you that the Research Room has a Properties in the Right of Way, SCDOT Photograph Collection, 1960, 1969, 2003 that we got via transfer from the South Carolina Department of Archives and History twenty years ago. The 63 photographs and 1 letter refer to widening projects in the 1960s along SC 281 (Ribaut Road) and US Highway 21.
Be sure to make an appointment in advance as we are equally mean to everyone regardless from whence and how far you have come before getting to our Research Room door. No appointment; no access. Call 843-255-6468 or email email@example.com to make the necessary arrangements. April 21, 2023 - "Finding Aid Friday:" I was pleased to be an invited guest at a Clover Club meeting a few weeks ago. I try to go every 2 to 3 years to express appreciation for their support of the BDC and of the Library through the years. At that time, a member donated a copy of the Club's constitution to us that we have added to the Club's records. The Historical Note of the Clover Club of Beaufort South Carolina, 1891 - Finding Aid explains the close ties between the Club and library services over the past 130 or so years. April 28, 2023 - "Finding Aid Friday:" Olivia and I revisited the Beaufort County Library, 1914 - Finding Aid. We have received some additions since it was first posted in 2018. The latest revision of the document reflects those accretions to the Library system's records stored and preserved in the Research Room.
In honor of National Library Week:
April 24, 2023 - Traditionally the American Library Association's State of America's Libraries Report is released on the Monday of National Library Week. This year is no exception. Read the report . It includes a section about the Top Ten Frequently Challenged Books of 2022. ALA's stand on "The Right to Read" is clear. Read it for yourself. Today also happens to be "Right to Read Day". To learn more those about organizations fighting against banning books and censorship.
April 25, 2023 - ALA President Lessa Kanani'opua Pelayo-Lozada sent out a letter of encouragement to library workers to remind us that we are doing good work in spite of considerable challenges. National Library Workers Day is a day to recognize and highlight the critical role library workers play in keeping Beaufort County Library and libraries across the country up and running and serving our communities.
The BDC has 9 people actively involved in our public facing and behind-the-scenes work. Indeed, I am very grateful for the unpaid assistance of Deborah, Joe, Kathy, Laura, Peggy, and Nancy; the quite likely underpaid assistance of Val and the definitely underpaid assistance of Olivia who together provide invaluable time, effort, and energy to the BDC by helping me bring history to life in ways large and small. I am #9: I am overworked trying to keep the other 8 straight :) - truly I would be lost without them. Bottom line folks: There's more to the story but libraries work because we do.
April 26, 2023 - "Black History Note on National Library Outreach Day (formerly National Bookmobile Day): Today celebrates all forms of library outreach and the dedicated library professionals who meet their patrons where they are. We honor Mrs. Wilhelmina Barnwell and Mrs. Ethel Bailey who started bookmobile services on St. Helena Island by loading up their car trucks with books so that Black islanders would have access to library materials.
Former bookmobile staff include Mrs. Olive Fordham, Mrs. Maisie Pugh, Mrs. Agnes Sherman, Natalie Lane, Rosa Cummings, Paul Sayers, Jeanette Parker, Sharon Mosley, and Amanda Brewer (who still oversees current bookmobile operations in her position as Library Director). Current BCL bookmobile staff riding the roads with materials to share are Lyndsay Malphrus, Tracye Blue, Andrew Newell, and Lakota Stevens.
JSYK: Better connection with the public is part of the Library system's latest strategic plan. For the record, the BDC has always been out among the historic/heritage communities. Even though the BDC is the smallest public service unit of the Library system, the BDC has participated in 7 outreach activities in the past 12 months: WAHHI; several historic marker installations; Stuarts Town events; Institute for the Study of the Reconstruction Era events and I prepared and delivered a presentation at Coastal Discovery Museum in addition to keeping the Research Room open for in-person researchers and coordinating 3 series of local history programs.
April 27, 2023 - The BDC is part of the Library team and sometimes we share brochures or flyers to distribute at Branch programs. There are two such instances this week. Lobeco Branch is hosting an Heirs Property Law Talk on Saturday. I sent Chantal, the Lobeco Branch Manager a digital copy of the BDC's Heirs Property brochure to distribute as she sees fit. Also on Saturday, the St. Helena Branch Library is hosting a sweetgrass basket demonstration. I sent Candy, the St. Helena Branch Manager, a digital copy of the BDC's flyer about sweetgrass baskets books.
April 27, 2023 - Here for you for more than a century. There's more to the story of the Beaufort County Library than you might think....
April 28, 2023 - See the dated entry under "Finding Aid Friday" above.
April 29, 2023 - Fun Facts for the Final Day of National Library Week: Statistics from 100 years ago for our predecessor institution, the Beaufort Township Library, as given in the records preserved here in the BDC Research Room. Reminder: Access to the BDC Research Room is by advance appointment only. Contact us to make the necessary arrangements: firstname.lastname@example.org or 843-255-6468. We respond during our customary business hours.
Just Because Posts:
April 9, 2023 - In what has become something of a tradition, I share "At Easter Dawn" by Samuel Henry Rodgers (1845 - 1919). Rodgers wrote the poem and printed it in his newspaper, the local Palmetto Post newspaper for the first time in 1905:
Sweetly the birds are singing
Sweetly the bells are ringing;
On Easter morn.
And the words that they say,
On this Easter day,
Are, "Christ the Lord is risen."
Birds! forget not your singing
At Easter dawn;
Bells! be ye ever ringing
On Easter morn.
In the spring of the year,
When Easter is here,
Sing, "Christ the Lord has risen."
Buds! ye will soon be flowers
Cheery and white;
Snowstorms are changing to showers,
Darkness to light.
With the awakening of spring,
Oh, sweetly sing,
"Lo! Christ the Lord has risen."
Easter buds were growing
Easter lilies were blowing
By the water's flow.
All nature was glad,
Not a creature was sad,
For Christ the Lord had risen.
April 13, 2023 - Beloved docent Kathy Mitchell has completed indexing the obituaries in the Beaufort Gazette for the year 1991: She added 939 new entries to the Library's Online Obituary Index (OOI). Due to her work and the work of her predecessors that began with Virginia Adams in the early 1990s, there are now almost 30,000 entries in the OOI. Ms. Virginia, mother of BCL's own Dennis Adams, worked the project until her eyes no longer worked. Her mantel was picked up and carried forth by other beloved BDC Docents: Carol, Merle, Laura, Jan, Nelson and most recently, Kathy. I thank each and every one of you, Beloved Docents, past and present, living and dead, for your dedication and persistence in competently performing your volunteer duties in the BDC. Together we bring history to life in ways large and small.
April 19, 2023 - 250 years ago today: "The shot heard around the world:" The Battles of Lexington and Concord signal the official start of the American Revolution. The BDC has a number of materials related to the American Revolution in our area.
April 20, 2023 - In honor of National Volunteer Week: The BDC Research Room is very lucky to have 6 talented volunteer "Points of Lights" at the moment. Their names are Deborah, Joe, Kathy, Laura, Peggy, and Nancy. Each has a project that contributes to the BDC's goals and mission to provide access to research materials about local history. In ways large and small, they help us spread light onto the long and storied history of Beaufort District, its peoples, its places, and its challenges through time. I don't know what I would do without them. Let's give three cheers for these dedicated, loyal, and skilled Beaufort County Library volunteers: Hip! Hip! Hooray! Hip! Hip! Hooray! Hip! Hip! Hooray! Thank you, Beloved BDC docents.
April 23, 2023 - Happy Birthday, Will Shakespeare (1564-1616)! Alas a Shakespeare Folio would not meet our collection development policy. But we do have a vertical file about an author who questioned your authorship of it for me to highlight today!
Charlton Ogburn (died 19 October 1998 in Beaufort, South Carolina) was an American journalist and author, most notably of memoirs and non-fiction works. After a stint in the Army, he joined the State Department specializing in Southeast Asian affairs. He wrote over a dozen books and numerous magazine articles. (One of his books was made into the movie Merrills' Marauders in 1962.)
He and his second wife Vera retired to Beaufort in 1982. In 1984 he became the best known advocate of the Oxfordian theory of Shakespeare authorship with the publication of The Mysterious William Shakespeare. The book lead to the revival of public interest in the theory in the 1980s - and to indigestion among many English professors throughout the world.
In the vertical files, we have an email from the Shakesper [sic]: The Global Electronic Shakespeare Conference listserv dated October 22 1998 08:27:46 - "I thought the list might like to know that Charlton Ogburn died this past Monday. I know the authorship question is taboo, but Ogburn was a delightful old coot and he provided much in the way of ridiculous claims for us all to refute for so many years, as did his parents before him."
You are welcomed to contact us to set up an appointment to come see the contents of the vertical file: 843-255-6468 or email@example.com.
Note: The BDC has traditionally celebrated National Library Week in a virtual way. I shall do so again this year.
April 28, 2023 - In honor of National Historic Marker Day, revisit the Marker Mania Challenge of the Beaufort County Historical Society during the COVID era of 2020.
BDC Programs & Community Events Related Posts:
Posts about the Author Book Talk about Jackpot with Jason Ryan happened on April 2 and April 18. Registration closed with record speed - barely 2 hours from open to full.
Posts and photos about the "Breathing Democracy into Spaces: 1st South Carolina Volunteers of African Descent Symposium" happened on April 8 and April 10.
Posts and photos about the "What's in Your Attic with Virginia & Grace" program happened on April 6, April 11, April 16, and April 17.
Schedule Adjustments: about the Easter holiday were made on April 4 and April 6.
According to my count, then, I made 7 National Poetry Month related posts; 9 National Library Week related posts; and 4 Preservation Week related posts. I think that I met my self-imposed goal of adequately highlighting the April themes.