John Henry Dick Collection

"Artist Naturalist" is how Dick described himself in his autobiographical book entitled Other Edens (1979). He established a reputation as one of the leading bird painters in the United States when he illustrated the Warblers of America (edited by Ludlow Griscom and Alexander Sprunt, Jr., 1957). He painted approximately 2,500 separate birds for the Pictorial Guide to the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent with a text by Salim Ali and S. Dillon Ripley (1983). He painted about 600 birds for the Birds of China by Rodolphe Meyer de Schauensee (1984). He used a variety of techniques to create ink drawings with striking compositions for numerous books and articles published between 1949 and 1984. He took approximately 8,000 photographs of professional quality while travelling in more than 50 countries to study and photograph birds and other animals in wilderness settings. He assembled one of the finest private collections of rare bird books and contributed them to the College of Charleston together with his papers and his wildlife preserve, Dixie Plantation.

The photographs consist of four separate groups: color slides (approx. 8,000), separate prints made largely from slides (approx. 1,000), scrapbooks with mainly color prints (18 vols.), and misc. photographs of family and friends (approx. 500). The slides are a comprehensive records of the wildlife he saw primarily during extended trips to Africa (10 trips from 1956-1985, particularly to Kenya) and India (6 trips from 1962-1984). He also made extended trips to Antartica (2 trips in 1967 and 1975), Brazil (1980), China (1983), Costa Rica (2 trips in 1960 and 1981), the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador (2 trips in 1962 and 1973), Greenland (1974), Guatemala (1976), Mexico (1977), Nepal (1984), Canada (1975 and 1981), New Guinea (1972), Panama (1971), and Trinidad (1976).

In addition, he took hundreds of photographs on trips throughout the United States, including numerous trips to Florida, lengthy visits to the Southwest, annual bird counts on Bull's Island, and annual fishing trips to Maine and adjacent areas. Eighteen volumes of scrapbooks consist primarily of color photographs taken on trips from 1953-1970: Two volumes document his travels to Europe and elsewhere from 1953-1961 and include photographs of water birds seen at the Severn Wildlife Trust in England. Two volumes are devoted to his first trip to the Galapagos (1962). One volume is on Alaska (1963), four volumes on East Africa (1964-1967), one on Tierra del Fuego ( Argentina and Chile) and Antartica (1967), and one on islands in the Indian Ocean (1970). Seven scrapbooks are devoted exclusively to birds, and birds often occur in the other scrapbooks along with mammals, scenery, architecture, traveling companions, etc. Photographs taken after 1970 are in ten loose-leaf binders.

In 1983 Dick planned to prepare a book of photographs, and he had several hundred cibachrome enlargements made from his best slides, but increasing blindness prevented the completion of this project. Although many of his photographs have been exhibited, almost none have been published.

The personal photographs include pictures of Dick as a child, two photo albums of a family trip to France and Italy in c. 1927; the Dick family estate at Islip, Long Island; portrait photographs of Dick in a complete set of passports from 1937-1986; photos of his parents and siblings (William K. Dick, an industrialist and banker, and Madeline T. Force Dick, widow of John Jacob Astor and Dick's wife from 1916-1933; his brother William Force Dick; his stepmother Virginia C. Dick and her and his father's children, Direxa V. Dick and Will K. Dick); classmates at Yale Art School, which he attended in 1939 and 1940; early photos of Dixie Plantation (Meggett, SC), which his mother acquired as a winter home in 1935 and which he inherited and made his residence from 1947-1995; photos of friends and guests at Dixie; of rare birds raised at Dixie; of traveling companions including David A. Garrity, William C. Coleman, Elliott Hudson, Robert Verity Clem, and Gertrude Legendre.

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Jewish Heritage Collection - Personal Papers

Black and white photo of two men standing beside the grave of Moshe Yidel Gelbar

This collection is comprised of born-digital and digitized material from individual and family collections from the Jewish Heritage Collection. Most of these digital objects are part of larger manuscript collections held in the College of Charleston’s Special Collections Department. Finding aids for these collections can be located by searching the College of Charleston online catalog.

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Jack Keilen Slide Collection

Color photo of Eleanor and Jack Keilen in Charleston, S.C.

John J. ("Jack") Keilen (d. 1999) was a native of Pittsburgh and received a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. He came to Charleston during the mid-1940s, working first for West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company and later Charleston Rubber Company. An avid amateur photographer throughout his life, Mr. Keilen took several thousand of photographs during his annual vacations around the world. The present collection consists of nearly six hundred color slides taken around Charleston and the Carolinas between 1944 and 1990.

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Holloway Family Collection

Black and white photograph of James Holloway.

This collection containes a scrapbook, compiled by James H. Holloway (1849-1913), which contains legal documents, personal and business correspondence, receipts, ephemera, clippings and photographs pertaining to the Holloway family, a prominent free family of color in Charleston, SC. Legal documents include deeds (1806, 1821, 1871), a conveyance (1811), slave bills of sale including one for the slave "Betty" (1829), an agreement (1829) to apprentice the slave boy Carlos in the carpenters and house joiner's trade, exhorter licenses to preach and a photograph of a 1797 document declaring patriarch Richard Holliday (Holloway) a free mulatto. Personal and business correspondence include letters concerning the hiring out of slaves, an offer (1837) to buy the "Holloway Negroes", a letter (1831) from Samuel Benedict about emigrating to Liberia, agreements for carpentry work, and information about the Brown Fellowship Society, the Century Fellowship Society, the Minors Moralist Society and the Bonneau Literary Society. Also included are invitations, Confederate and corporate tax receipts, receipts for general merchandise, and Confederate scrip. Other letters and newspaper clippings, including letters to the editor written by James H. Holloway, concern Negro taxes, Negro slaveholders, the Liberia movement, the Methodist Episcopal Church, civil rights and related topics. James H. Holloway's niece, Mae Holloway Purcell, preserved the scrapbook after his death and added to its contents. The bound scrapbook was microfilmed by the South Caroliniana Library in 1977 but was later disbound and reorganized. Using the microfilm as a guide, archivists at the Avery Research Center attempted to recreate the original order and this digital presentation of the scrapbook reflects those efforts.

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Historic Charleston Foundation Tours of Homes

Color poster for the 6th annual tour of Charleston's historic houses in 1953.

One of the first fundraising programs developed by Historic Charleston Foundation after its incorporation in 1947 was its annual spring tours of historic houses, during which trained “hostesses” would guide visitors through several private homes in Charleston’s historic district. In addition to raising revenue to support Historic Charleston Foundation’s preservation efforts, the tours performed an educational function by presenting Charleston architecture and decorative arts to both visitors and residents alike. Tour publicity included posters, brochures, and guidebooks, and this collection features some of the promotional materials from the first ten years of the annual tours of houses. Of note are the guidebooks which contain not only house histories written by Samuel Gaillard Stoney, Jr., accompanied by photographs by numerous Charleston photographers, but also information about Historic Charleston Foundation and its activities, essays, maps, and advertisements for a variety of local businesses.

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Historic Charleston Foundation Monographs and Photographs

Black and white photo of the U.S. Custom House in Charleston, SC, circa 1890.

Various monographs and photographs from the Margaretta Childs Archives at Historic Charleston Foundation. The focus of the collection items is primarily Charleston historic buildings, streets, landmarks, and sites. The collection also includes publications related to tourism in Charleston (1879-1948), the Charleston Earthquake of 1886, and the South Carolina Inter-State and West Indian Exposition of 1901-1902.

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College of Charleston Scrapbooks and Photo Albums

Autographed photo of Geraldine Farrar from 1918.

This collection highlights various albums and scrapbooks housed in the Special Collections department of the College of Charleston library.

Currently the collection includes the Byrnes Downs Garden Club Scrapbook, a European Photo Album, and the Frank Connor Photographic Collection.

The Byrnes Downs Garden Club Scrapbook collection consists of a scrapbook documenting the history, projects, and activities of the Byrnes Downs Garden Club from 1948 to 1953. The scrapbook contains photographs, newspaper clippings, typed histories and explanatory notes, year books including the organizations constitution and membership lists (1948-1953), programs and awards from special events, and one map of metropolitan Charleston from 1945 that details neighborhoods.

The European Photo Album contains 101 black and white photographs of historic sites, artwork and landscapes from Antwerp, Paris, Trianon, Versailles and London. The bulk of the photographs are of Paris and its various sites. The compiler of the album is unknown. Slipped inside the back of the album is a map of Venice, a plan of the second floor of the Louvre and a map showing the layout of Versailles. The photographs were taken in the 1890s.

The Frank Connor Photographic Collection includes 69 black and white photographs and postcards of actors and singers and one theatre program collected by Frank Connor, an actor who appeared with many of the people shown. The majority of the photographs are signed studio portraits, with the subjects often appearing in theatrical costume.

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