Tag Archives | Hidden Collections

Hidden Collections No Longer Hidden!

In 2009, under Principal Investigator Harlan Greene, the Avery Research Center received a Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Hidden Collections grant totaling over $200,000 to address the center’s backlog of unprocessed archival collections.  These funds provided staff, equipment, and other resources necessary to complete a variety of projects that have improved access to our diverse archival materials.

Mia Fischer transcribing and editing an oral history.

Mia Fischer transcribed and edited oral histories.

I am happy to report that this project came to its successful completion in June 2011!  Under the CLIR grant, the Archives team was able to process over 400 linear feet of archival material; photograph and digitize Avery’s material culture collection; and transcribe and convert to digital format 35 oral histories.  Collections processed and finding aids encoded with these funds include the papers of renowned anthropologists Joseph A. Towles and Colin Turnbull; local journalist Herb Frazier; civil rights activists James E. Campbell and Bill Saunders; former South Carolina Representative Herbert U. Fielding; psychologist and educator Frederica Daly; and renowned architect Herbert A. DeCosta, Jr.  These and the numerous other collections processed during the project are of considerable research value on both a local and national level.  A full listing of our published finding aids are available from Avery’s website, and the results of the material culture project may be found at the Lowcountry Digital Library’s website.

Melissa Bronheim processing architectural drawings from the H. A. DeCosta Papers.

Melissa Bronheim processed the H. A. DeCosta, Jr. Papers, which included a number of architectural drawings.

I had the fortunate opportunity of being a part of this project in various capacities from start to finish, but the work could not have been completed without our Assistant Archivists and previous Project Archivists, who deserve much more recognition than what I can provide in this blog!  Please join me in congratulating them and the Avery Research Center for the successful completion of a project of incredible scope and size.

Project Archivists:

Jessica Lancia

Amanda T. Ross

Project Assistant Archivists:

 Melissa Bronheim

Rachel Allen

Mia Fischer

Andrew Grimball

Joshua Minor

Project Registrar:

Susan Jacoby

Project Photographer:

Liz Vaughan

Project Cataloguer:

Anne Bennett


Thanks again to everyone who made this project possible!


Welcome to the new blog of the Avery Research Center Archives.

In 2008, the Council for Library and Information Resources (CLIR) awarded the Avery Research Center the prestigious “Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives” grant.  This Hidden Collection grant affirms the national importance of Avery’s collections, which center on African American culture in coastal South Carolina.  Among Avery’s riches, we will be processing the Holloway family scrapbook; papers and oral histories of Civil Rights leaders; materials related to the experiences of African American women and sweetgrass basketmakers; and the notes, recordings, artifacts, and files of renowned anthropologists Joseph Towles and Colin Turnbull.

The work began in 2009, with a CLIR team of Project Manager, Project Archivist, Project Registrar, and three project assistants hired to increase intellectual and physical control of materials and to enhance access to documents, photographs, sound files, and three-dimensional objects.  Our team arranges and describes archival materials to national standards and produces finding aids that are publicly available online.  We are leveraging this  incredible opportunity to digitize oral histories and have undertaken a potentially groundbreaking initiative to provide digital access to the artifact collection.  Through this grant, Avery is able to effectively participate in the Lowcountry Digital Library and is now taking a leadership role in metadata standards.

The CLIR team and Avery staff hope to share our excitement over the treasures found within these red brick walls.  Through our actions and these posts, we aspire to innovate, liberate, and communicate.

We do hope you will join the discussion by commenting or providing additional information on the posted items or topics.

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