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Images from the Records of the Charleston County Public Library

Images from the Records of the Charleston County Public Library

This collection consists of photographs and slides from the institutional records of the Charleston County Public Library. These images span the first four decades of the history of the institution, from its founding in 1931 as the Charleston Free Library, through 1969. The collection contains images from various library branches and service points, including the Main Library and Dart Hall Branch Library in downtown Charleston, the Bookmobile, Mt. Pleasant (Village Branch), Cooper River Memorial Library, and other locations throughout the county. Several images also include notable library staff members, such as Emily C. Sanders, Susan Dart Butler, Mae Holloway Purcell, and Janie M. Smith, as well as prominent community members, such as Mary V. McBee and John Bennett. Many of the black and white images are the work of local photographer Louis Schwartz. The 35mm color slides were taken in 1943 by Dorothy Dingley, a photographer in United States Navy who was stationed in Charleston during World War II.

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White Pines Series of Architectural Monographs Collection

White Pines Series of Architectural Monographs

The White Pine Series of Architectural Monographs was created under the auspices of the White Pine Bureau to encourage the use of white pine as a building material. The by-monthly series was edited by Russell F. Whitehead, former editor of The Architectural Record and The Brickbuilder, with advertising support from Weyerhaeuser Forest Products, a Minnesota-based company. Even though intended to be promotional, each issue provided visual documentation of classical and unique applications of White Pine, illustrated with photography of the time and drawings (including measured drawings), along with detailed essays by well-respected American architects and builders. The Monographs became an industry favorite, gaining loyal readership across the country and becoming popular as a resource for architecture researchers of architecture. (Sources: Russell F. Whitehead Finding Aid, Minnesota Historical Society; “The White Pine Monographs,” Northeastern Lumber Manufacturing Association website)

The Margaretta Childs Archives collection consists of the five issues of the White Pine Series of Architectural Monographs that highlighted Charleston architecture, each published in 1928: “The Charm of Charleston: A New World City of Old World Memories”; “A Town House of Charleston, South Carolina: The William Gibbes Residence “; “Some Charleston Mansions”; “Charleston Doorways: Entrance Motives from a South Carolina City”; and “The Edwards-Smyth House.” Each issue contains an introductory essay; photographs by Kenneth Clark of buildings, street scenes, views, and architectural details; and measured drawings (measured and drawn by Kenneth Clark) from the George F. Lindsay Collection of Early American Documents. The issues also contain wood construction details (by Weyerhaeuser) pertaining to a featured house and company information about Weyerhaeuser Forest Products.

The collection also includes thirty-three original gelatin silver photographs by Kenneth Clark, most of which were reproduced in three of the five issues Charleston-related issues. 

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Gertrude Sanford Legendre Papers, 1836-2000

Gertrude Sanford Legendre Papers, 1836-2000

Gertrude Sanford Legendre (1902–2000) was an American socialite who served as an OSS operative during World War II. She was also a noted explorer, big-game hunter, environmentalist, and owner of Medway plantation in South Carolina.

The collection includes scrapbooks of Gertrude’s travels and family life, loose photographs ranging in date from the mid to late 19th century to the 21st century (including slides, negatives, and multiple other formats), motion picture film, manuscript material including correspondence and business records, and a small amount of published material.
 

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Esau Jenkins Papers, 1963-2003

Esau Jenkins Papers, 1963-2003

Esau Jenkins (1910-1972) was born and raised on Johns Island, South Carolina. With very little formal education, he became a businessman and civil rights leader. Jenkins founded the Progressive Club in 1948, which encouraged local African Americans to register to vote, through the aid of Citizenship Schools, a topic he was educated in by his attendance at Highlander Folk Center in Tennessee. In 1959, he organized the Citizens' Committee of Charleston County dedicated to the economic, cultural and political improvement of local African Americans.

Printed material, correspondence, photographic materials, and literary productions (1963-2003) document the life and works of Esau Jenkins (1910-1972). Writings holds miscellaneous correspondence and notes and printed versions of his talks and writings. Affiliations contains correspondence, brochures, notes, and other data on variety of organizations he helped found or was a member of, including the Progressive Club, Citizen's Committee of Charleston, Community Organization Credit Union, Political Action Committee of Charleston County, Political Awareness League of Charleston County, and the Highlander Folks Center. Topics mentioned include the 1969 Charleston Hospital Worker's strike, and the protested death of a young African American, Robert Brown, killed by a white policeman in 1970.

This collection was digitized and made freely accessible online through the generous support of the National Historical Publications & Records Commission.

 

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Philip Simmons Collection

Philip Simmons with ironwork

Philip Simmons (1912-2009) was an African American blacksmith and artisan specializing in the craft of ironwork in Charleston, South Carolina. Simmons spent seventy-seven years crafting utilitarian and ornamental ironwork. His work is recognized within the state of South Carolina, nationally, and internationally.  This collection, donated by the Philip Simmons Foundation, holds personal papers with photographs and business related documents from 1977-2007. The bulk of materials feature preparatory graphite drawings (originals and photocopies) of commissioned works and estimates of Simmons' decorative ironwork (1984-2004, and undated).

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1938 Tornado Photograph Collection

1938 Tornado Photograph Collection

On September 29, 1938, five tornadoes swept through the South Carolina Lowcountry, two of which ravaged parts of downtown Charleston, causing several fatalities and injuries and two million dollars in damages. The tornadoes damaged or destroyed almost everything in its path, particularly on Market Street, Broad Street near Church Street, and State Street. As with other significant natural disasters that Charleston has experienced, scenes of the aftermath were documented by photographs.

This collection consists of a total of thirty-seven silver gelatin photographs. Thirty were taken by an eyewitness, Ernest Losse, and processed by Jacobs Photo Service in Charleston. Each photograph measures 4.25" x 2.25" and is printed on 5" x 3.25" deckle-edged paper.

The photographer of the seven additional photographs is unknown; however, “W.M. Muckenfuss” is stamped on the backs of each photograph. They measure 3.5" x 5.75".

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William Henry Jackson Photochrom Collection, 1898-1905

William Henry Jackson Photochrom Collection, 1898-1905

William Henry Jackson, in partnership with the Detroit Photographic Company, took black and white photographs that were reproduced into color photochroms for sale as postcards or prints. The majority of the images in this collection are landscapes of Colorado, Montana and New York State, particularly in Yellowstone National Park and the Adirondack region. Some images are architectural, including one of the Miles Brewton House (Pringle House), Charleston, S.C. All images are approximately 18x23 cm and were created through what Jackson described as a "photo-lithographic process for reproducing pictures in color."

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The Lithographs of Prentiss Taylor: a Catalogue Raisonne

The Lithographs of Prentiss Taylor: a Catalogue Raisonne

Prentiss Taylor (1907-1991) was a noted American artist who created 142 lithographs between 1931 and 1983. From 1942 to 1976 he was president of the Society of Washington Printmakers. He also worked as an art therapist for more than thirty years and taught oil painting at American University from 1955-1975. His collaboration with Langston Hughes on several illustrated pamphlets culminated in a lifelong friendship with the poet. This collection consists of 16 lithographs by Taylor spanning from 1933-1983. All are signed, dated and numbered by the artist.

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