The “Eugene C. Hunt Papers, 1834 – 1994” Are Now Available for Research Use on the LCDL!

Thanks to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) grant program, the Lowcountry Digital Library (LCDL) has been able to digitize another fantastic collection from the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture: Eugene C. Hunt Papers, 1834-1994. Since February 2016, the LCDL has been digitizing the Avery Research Center’s most valuable collections addressing Civil Rights leaders and organizations in the Charleston and Lowcountry region of South Carolina. 

Eugene Clayton Hunt was born in Charleston April 9, 1916, the son of Albert W. and Irene Murray Hunt. After graduating from Avery Institute in 1935, he attended Talladega College, receiving his B.A. in 1940. He then enrolled at the University of Chicago, transferring to Northwestern University where he eventually received his MA in Theatre in 1954 before pursuing post graduate study in Speech Education. He taught English at Burke Industrial (later High) School from 1941-1972. There, he was also was involved in student theatrical, music and debating productions. Hunt began as a visiting lecturer in Public Speaking at the College of Charleston in 1972, became the tenured African American professor in 1979, retired in 1989, and was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters in 1993. He often performed as a vocalist and participated in various musical productions including the city’s 1970 and 1990 productions of the opera Porgy and Bess. He also led the Martin Luther King Interdenominational Choir, was considered an expert on local African American History, and was instrumental in founding the Avery Institute of Afro-American History and Culture and the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture. A member of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Hunt never married and died in Charleston February 13, I994.

The digitized portions of this collection are comprised of photographs, typescript and manuscript documents, and pamphlets regarding Hunt’s education at Talladega College, career as a teachers at Burke High School, professor at the College of Charleston, theatrical coursework, and Civil Rights involvement.

Highlights from this collection include a photograph of Dr. W.E.B. DuBois and Sight Seeing Party, March 1917, an Updated Summary of Desegregation Efforts at the College of Charleston, from February 7, 1985, a questionnaire regarding “Gay Persons as Viewed by Chairpersons in English,” and a Certificate of Appreciation for Eugene C. Hunt “in recognition of his being honored as citizen extraordinaire in Charleston, to congratulate him, and wish him well upon his retirement from the professorship at the College of Charleston.” 

We sincerely hope that you find this collection valuable in your research and look forward to bringing you the next collection from the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture.

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