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Libraries celebrate Archives Month

Under normal circumstances, October is a very busy time for the Beaufort District Collection. The Beaufort County Public Library System has been celebrating Archaeology Month since 2004 in conjunction with the county's historic preservationist, Ian Hill. And we've been celebrating Archives Month since 2007.

This October, we have a particularly excellent reason to celebrate Archives Month. On Sept. 30, we opened the new and improved Beaufort District Collection Research Room on the second floor of the downtown Beaufort library building.

ARCHAEOLOGY MONTH

Beaufort County Public Library, Beaufort County Planning Department and Beaufort County's Geographic Information Services Department are co-sponsors of two presentations designed to increase public understanding about our county's archaeological heritage and the value of archaeological science.

  • Oct. 19: Mary Socci, Palmetto Bluff's resident archaeologist, will speak on "18th Century Science and Architecture at a Lowcountry Plantation" at the Bluffton library. Customers are welcome to bring a lunch and take sustenance both from food as well as the noontime presentation regarding the oldest known octagonal structure in the Americas. This program is free and open for anyone interested in the archaeology of our area.
  • Oct. 26: Carl Steen, archaeologist in charge of the recent dig at the new St. Helena Branch Library site at Penn Center, and Dr. Jodi Barnes, state historic preservation office archaeologist, will discuss "Gullah Archaeology." This lecture will be held at 5:30 p.m. in County Council chambers at 100 Ribaut Road in Beaufort. This program also is free and open for anyone with an interest in archaeology.
  • In addition to these programs, Ian deNeeve of Geographic Information Services has designed a map of local tabby sites to encourage awareness of the archaeological sites within our midst. You can take a self-guided tour of the sites using the map posted in the library's local history page about "Tabby: The Oyster Shell Concrete of the Lowcountry." For the article written by Dennis Adams, go to www.beaufortcountylibrary.org/htdocs-sirsi/tabby.htm.

    You can read more about local archaeological sites in the new Beaufort District Collection Research Room. Regular hours have resumed -- 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

    ARCHIVES MONTH

    To show off our new digs, the Beaufort District Collection is hosting three behind-the-scenes tours of the new Research Room to celebrate Archives Month: 11 a.m. to noon Oct. 6, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 12 and 2 to 3 p.m. Oct. 23. Registration is limited to 10 people a tour. For registration, contact Charmaine Seabrook Concepcion at 843-255-6468 or cseabrook@bcgov.net.

    The purpose of the Beaufort District Collection is to acquire, preserve, maintain and make accessible a research collection of permanent value which records the history of the area of South Carolina Lowcountry known as the old historic Beaufort District. It is intended to be used by customers 12 and older who perform their own research. Our philosophy of service is to offer as many free services as possible to those who are interested in learning more about the history, culture and environment of Beaufort County.

    Without a doubt, whether it's promoting archeology, archives or the preservation of irreplaceable historic records, the Beaufort District Collection is a jewel in the library system's crown. Be assured, we're keeping our history safe for future generations, and that's surely something to celebrate.

    Grace Morris Cordial is the Beaufort District Collection manager and historical resources coordinator for the Beaufort County Public Library System.

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