About the Collection
This collection of 106 Civil War period photographic stereopticon cards of the Beaufort area, St. Augustine, Florida, and Charleston are primarily from the Samuel A. Cooley studio. This collection was purchased from New Hampshire based collector, Stephen J. Edwards. There are a number of scenes depicting the homes and life of the freedmen, a rarity. Dr. Stephen Wise, the Parris Island Museum Director verified the authenticity of the images, noted how unusual it was to find an entire collection of local interest together, and introduced the images to the public on 7 December 1997 in a formal library program attended by 100 members of the community. Beaufort County Library Trustee funds and donations from the Friends of the Beaufort County Library and Beaufort County Historical Society secured the purchase of the images in November 1997.