Tag Archives | Welcome

Robert Chase: An Introduction

The Avery Research Center is excited to welcome the newest member of our team, Robert Chase!  He began working here in September.

Dr. Robert Chase is the public historian at the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture at the College of Charleston.   Dr. Chase specializes in public history, oral history, civil rights and social justice movements, and African American history.   Born in New York City and raised in Washington, DC, Dr. Chase received his MA in history from George Mason University and his PhD in history at the University of Maryland, College Park.  He is the recipient of the University of Maryland’s E.B. and Jean Smith prize for best dissertation in political history.  Previously, Dr. Chase has held postdoctoral fellowships with Southern Methodist University, Case Western Reserve University, and Rutgers University.  His forthcoming manuscript, Civil Rights on the Cell Block: The Prisoners’ Rights Movement and the Construction of the Carceral State, 1945-1990, explores the roots of twentieth century prison growth, inmate society and the coercive relationship between keeper and kept, and the legal struggle between inmates and the state over race, prisoners’ rights, and questions of citizenship.

He is working on inventorying the oral histories that we have in our collection and developing new oral history projects.

More information about him can be found

  1. http://sas.rutgers.edu/news-a-events/feature-archive/1084-post-doctoral-and-new-faculty-fellows-enrich-research-and-teaching 

So when you see him around, say hello!


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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