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Ansonborough Rehabilitation Project Photograph Survey

Ansonborough Rehabilitation Project Photograph Survey

Since its founding, Historic Charleston Foundation had been nursing its interest in the rehabilitation of an entire neighborhood.  However, a formal plan had not been devised until the late 1950s, a time when the historic Ansonborough neighborhood was in a state of decline, with many formerly grand houses in a state of severe disrepair and vacant.  By 1958, HCF initiated a plan to rehabilitate several blocks in Ansonborough by developing the nation’s first revolving fund as a preservation strategy.  Thus began the Ansonborough Rehabilitation Project, an extraordinary effort to save the neighborhood within an area bordered by Calhoun, East Bay, Market, and Meeting Streets.  Through the Revolving Fund, HCF purchased, stabilized, and then resold historic properties to preservation-minded buyers with protective covenants attached to the deeds.  Almost sixty structures were rehabilitated over a twelve-year period.  The accomplishments of the Ansonborough Rehabilitation Project were hailed nationwide, and other preservation programs across the United States modeled local initiatives on the Charleston program.  

This collection is photographic survey of Ansonborough properties, consisting of 228 black-and-white photographs of houses and buildings on Anson, East Bay, George, Hasell, Laurens, Meeting, Society, and Wentworth Streets.  The survey documents the neighborhood prior to the Ansonborough Rehabilitation Project, and shows the condition of each structure before rehabilitation, before demolition, and, in some cases, before relocation.

Related collections also include: Ansonborough Rehabilitation Project

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Rice Harvest at Mulberry Plantation (Berkeley County, SC)

Rice Harvest at Mulberry Plantation

Mulberry Plantation is believed to have received its name because of an early interest in raising silk, as worms that spin silk generally feed on Mulberry leaves. However, the plantation was more successful as a rice plantation. Rice was cultivated at Mulberry Plantation from colonial days until 1918. Rice cultivation was difficult and dangerous work completed by slave labor. Slaves would clear the land, chopping down all trees and stumps. They would then excavate canals to bring tidal waters into the field. Trunks, or dams, were constructed to drain the water from the field for sowing and flood it for cultivation. Rice seeds would be coated with clay before they were planted so they would not float away when the fields were flooded. After the rice was harvested, the grain was beaten from the stalk with flailing sticks. The rice was then milled and winnowed to separate the grain from the chaff.

This collection consists of thirty-four photographs of Mulberry Plantation field workers performing various rice cultivation activities including preparing the field, planting, and winnowing. They are dated 1916-1918, and document the final rice harvest done at Mulberry.

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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 available online through the generous support of the National Historical Publications and 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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Isaiah Bennett Papers, ca. 1932-2002

Isaiah Bennett Papers, ca. 1932-2002
Isaiah Bennett (1926-2002) served as a union representative for tobacco workers at the American Tobacco Company's "Cigar Factory" and as a leader and negotiator of the Charleston Hospital Workers' Strike of 1969. Bennett also founded and was president of the Charleston chapter of the A. Phillip Randolph Institute, an umbrella organization for black trade unions.
 
The digitized portions of the Isaiah Bennett Papers, ca. 1932-2002 predominantly consist of correspondence and photographs of Bennett’s campaign for Charleston County Council, biographical materials, A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI) materials, amendments to the 1977 Fair Labor Standards Act, ALF-CIO Club materials, and a 1979 South Carolina Democratic Party resolution regarding the state minimum wage.
 
This collection was digitized and made freely available online through the generous support of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
 

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