What is LDHI?
The Lowcountry Digital History Initiative (LDHI) is an innovative digital public history project hosted by the Lowcountry Digital Library (LCDL) at the College of Charleston. Through a major grant award for start-up funding from the Dorothy and Gaylord Donnelley Foundation, LCDL will launch LDHI in 2013 as a digital consultation service, scholarly editorial resource, and online platform that enables partner institutions to translate multi-institutional archival materials, historic landscape features and structures, and high-quality scholarship-based interpretation into digital public history exhibition projects that can be permanently presented and stored online through College of Charleston resources.
Why is Digital Public History Important?
In the twenty-first century, innovative and rapidly increasing digital public history tools are poised to expand, redefine, and greatly enrich how visitor and local audiences engage historic and cultural information and sites in communities throughout the United States and beyond. LDHI’s mission is to provide its partners with guidance and support on how to conceptualize and implement digital interpretation strategies using existing and developing software tools, so that they may benefit from the dynamic, cost-effective, and widely accessible outreach capabilities of digital public history.
Inclusive Public History: Pilot Project Focus
LDHI will facilitate digital exhibition projects that address a wide range of topics, but a major goal within LDHI’s mission is to encourage projects that highlight underrepresented race, class, gender, and labor histories relevant to the Lowcountry region. Therefore, in this start-up phase we will emphasize projects that focus on subjects such as: American Indian history and culture, African American history and culture, multicultural Atlantic World history, the history of colonial and antebellum slavery, women’s history, histories of class and labor struggles, post-Emancipation history, and the history of the long civil rights movement in South Carolina. We believe digital interpretation can play a major role in helping to articulate these diverse histories so often hidden within the Lowcountry’s numerous historic landscapes and structures.