J. Arthur Brown was born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1914. After graduating from the Avery Institute in 1932 he continued his education at South Carolina State College in Orangeburg, SC graduating in 1937. While at SCSC, Brown met his future wife MaeDe Esperanza Myers (1918-2012), marrying in 1940. The couple had three daughters: MaeDe Joenelle Gordon, Minerva King, and Dr. Millicent Brown; and on son, Myles Gregory Brown. Mr. Brown moved back to Charleston where he became a businessman working as a real estate and insurance broker. He became affiliated with the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Brown worked his way to becoming the president of the Charleston chapter of the NAACP in 1955. As president of the local chapter of the NAACP, Mr. Brown led a concerted effort to fight segregation in the public sphere and other issues in the African American civil rights movement. Mr. Brown was also a member on the Voorhees College Board of Trustees, member of the Mu Alpha Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, and a member of the South Carolina Democratic Party. In the 1970’s Mr. Brown was a co-founder and office holder of the Committee on Better Racial Assurance (COBRA).
The “J. Arthur Brown Papers, 1937 – 1989” predominantly consist of correspondence detailing Brown’s work within the Civil Rights movement, largely during his term as President of the NAACP. Additional materials the collection include several photographs, pamphlets, and periodicals.
This collection was digitized and made freely available online through the generous support of the National Historical Publications & Records Commission.
The Bernice Robinson Papers, 1920-1989 provide information regarding Robinson's role as a teacher and social activist for voter education, adult literacy, child development, and social work. Contents include biographical papers, writings and talks, correspondence, and affiliations. Biographical papers include transcripts of her oral history interview. Her correspondence includes letters from Guy and Candie Carawan, Andrew Young, Jr., Myles Horton, Septima P. Clark, among others. Robinson accumulated records that document her professional affiliations with organizations such as the Highlander School, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, South Carolina Commission for Farm Workers, Child Development Associate Consortium, Governors Committee on Child Development, Daycare and Child Development Council of America, and the New Readers Press’ “Be Informed” educational pamphlet series, among others. Robinson's political papers include correspondence and campaign materials regarding her candidacy to the South Carolina House of Representatives.
Periodical resources include selections from the “Highlander Reports,” the Wisconsin Office of Economic Opportunity’s newsletter entitled, “OEO,” “Race Relations Reporter,” among others.
Bernice Robinson attended the University of Wisconsin Center for Action on Poverty Technicians Training Program and accumulated a variety of records that pertain to this program. This education led to Robinson’s employment with Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA)–better known today as AmeriCorps Vista–which is heavily documented, providing an insight into this organization’s early operations via job postings, monthly reports, correspondence with subordinates and volunteers, and project proposals.
This collection was digitized and made freely accessible online through the generous support of the National Historical Publications & Records Commission.
In the 1950s many houses in Ansonborough were threatened with ”demolition by neglect,” having stood vacant or fallen into severe disrepair. In order to encourage homebuyers to move into the neighborhood to save these formerly unwanted treasures, Historic Charleston Foundation (HCF) was the first organization in the country to develop the Revolving Fund as a preservation strategy. The initiation of this fund in 1958 enabled HCF to begin the Ansonborough Rehabilitation Project, an extraordinary effort to save a six-block neighborhood bordered by Market, Calhoun, East Bay, and Meeting Streets. Through the Revolving Fund, HCF sought to purchase, stabilize and resell historic properties with protective covenants in Ansonborough where more than 60 structures were rehabilitated over a 12-year period. The accomplishment was hailed nationwide, and other preservation programs across the United States modeled local initiatives on the Charleston program. HCF’s Ansonborough Rehabilitation Project is considered one of the first successful attempts in the country to preserve an entire neighborhood.
For ease of access, this collection can also be browsed by folder:
- Folder 01: General Histories of Ansonborough
- Folder 02: Lord Anson
- Folder 03: House Interpretations/Histories
- Folder 04: Revolving Fund - Origins
- Folder 05: ARP Planning Notes and Progress Reports
- Folder 06: Covenants
- Folder 07: Property Sales
- Folder 08: Publicity
- Folder 10: Ansonborough Neighborhood Association
- Folder 12: Open-space Study/Beautification
- Folder 13: Trees
- Folder 14: Signs
- Folder 15: Zoning
- Folder 16: Plats
- Folder 17: Maps of District
- Oversized Materials
Related collections also include: Ansonborough Rehabilitation Project Photograph Survey
Legislative files, correspondence, printed material, voting records, and personal papers of Burnet Rhett Maybank (1899-1954), United States Senator from 1941 to 1954. Materials primarily relate to Maybank's professional life as a United States Senator and include his legislative working files and constituent correspondence. The collection also includes a small amount of personal papers concerning Maybank and his family including personal correspondence, financial material, photographs, property and real estate records, newspaper clippings and scrapbooks, and estate settlements. Major topics of this archival collection include World War II, civil rights legislation, the Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC), the Korean War, the Cold War, labor, price control, the Charleston Navy Yard, the Santee Cooper Hydroelectric and Navigation Project, and the Savannah River Site atomic plant.
Selections digitized from this archival collection include:
- Charleston Vice 1941-1942
- Democratic Committee 1944
- Santee-Cooper 1943-1944
- Segregation 1954
- Teenage Draft
The processing and digitization of this collection was made possible through a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
The Walter Pantovic Slavery and African American History Collection contains documents and images that reflect African American history primarily in the United States. Walter Pantovic was a Yugoslavian immigrant with an interest in Black history, in particular the history of Slavery and the Civil War. Highlights from this collection include slave bills of sale, glass slides, abolitionist memorabilia, and printed materials from the 18th century to the 20th century.
The College of Charleston Magazine was published monthly by the students of the College of Charleston during the academic year, under the auspices of the Chrestomathic Society. It's aim was "to foster and encourage a literary spirit among the students, to bring the College more into public prominence than it has heretofore been, and also to place it [the College] in direct communication with the various universities and colleges existing throughout the country". This collection contains College of Charleston magazines published from 1898 through 1945.
Hutson Lee, 1834-1899, was a Charlestonian and quartermaster in the Confederate army. Within his manuscript collection are 15 slave auction broadsides advertising sales of slaves in Charleston, South Carolina in 1859 and 1860. Each broadside contains information about the time and location of the sale, with many advertised as taking place at Ryan’s Mart on Chalmers Street in Charleston. The name and age of each enslaved person is listed, as well as characteristics or skills of some individuals. For example, there are some individuals listed as drivers, carpenters, boatmen, midwives, among many other descriptions. On each broadside, the name of the individual or firm in charge of the sale is given, and some also list the name of the former slaveholder. Often, the total number of slaves being offered for sale is given on the broadside, ranging anywhere from 25 to 235 slaves for each sale advertised.
Founded in 1865, the Avery Normal Institute provided education and advocacy for the growing Charleston African American community and trained blacks for professional careers and leadership roles. Although the Institute closed its doors in 1954, it graduates preserved the legacy of their alma mater by establishing the Avery Institute of Afro-American History and Culture. This collection includes photographs of classes, extra-curricular activities, and reunions. Also, included are documents regarding activities presented and sponsored by the Avery Normal Institute.
Nathaniel Russel Middleton's writings consist of poems, essays, and addresses about Christianity, the fine arts, philosophical materialism, temperance, secession, fame, the U.S. Constitution, and other subjects, many of which were probably delivered to the students of the College of Charleston during his tenure there as professor and president.
The College of Charleston Pamphlets collection is a growing collection of pamphlets digitized from the College of Charleston archive. The pamphlets originate from a selection of collections, including the Thomas Smith Grimke pamphlet collection.