Living Columns & Blogs

From The Beacon: October full of special programming

Programming librarians like to plan events or programs to coincide with specific holidays, days of honor, or weekly or monthlong celebrations.

The month of October provides those of us in the special collections and archives field with a number of possibilities. For example, "South Carolina On the Move" is the theme for S.C. Archives Month. Archaeologists are "Making Artifacts Talk" for S.C. Archaeology Month. Genealogists are seeking information about their family black sheep during Family History Month. And the Beaufort District Collection is participating in each of these efforts.


To observe "Archives Month," the Beaufort District Collection -- the "forever" special collections library and archives of the Beaufort County Library -- is offering an extra special behind-the-scenes tour. We are featuring our local holdings relating to transportation in keeping with the 2011 theme of "South Carolina on the Move."

Individual members of the general public older than 12 who are interested in learning more about local means of transportation through time (such as ferries, steamboats, railroads, etc.) and the operations and preservation activities of the Beaufort District Collection are welcomed to register. The tour is free, but registration is limited to 10 people a session. For details, call 843-255-6468.

This is the only time of the year we give these tours for individuals of our closed-stack area. In addition, the BDC Research Room display case will emphasize some of the transportation-related photographs, books, maps and postcards in our collection. Visit the Research Room from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to see the displayed materials.

To find out more about SC Archives Month 2011 "On the Move" special events, tours, and exhibits around the state, go to


Beaufort County Council has declared October "Archaeology Month." The county has been studied long and well with hundreds of recognized digs within its boundaries over the past century. In concert with the goals of South Carolina Archaeology Month, the Beaufort County Planning Department and the Beaufort County Library have teamed yet again to stimulate public pride in our county's long archaeological heritage; increase public understanding of why archaeological research is important; educate the public about how to protect, preserve and study archaeological resources; and encourage legitimate archaeological activities within our state.

Ian Hill, the county's historic preservationist, and I are pleased to bring archaeologist and USC-Lancaster professor Chris Judge to Beaufort library at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 27. His lecture, "Making Artifacts Talk: Fifteen Years at the Johannes Kolb Site -- Archaeology and Education," is part of the BDC@ The Branches Local History series.

On your way to Judge's presentation, linger a few minutes at the archaeology-related materials and artifacts on display in the Beaufort library. Or check out some of the many archaeology-related books, videos and database resources the Beaufort County Library System provides.


Are you interested in researching your ancestors? Looking for the family's black sheep? Perhaps we can help. Our specialty, not surprisingly, is the old Beaufort District (Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties), South Carolina state records, and Federal records relating to the Southeast. We offer research consultation appointments during regular working hours to guide family historians to possible records with answers to your questions. Call me at 843-255-6446 to arrange a professional reference librarian consultation session.

And don't forget that the Ancestry Library Edition subscription database is available in all our branch libraries. Sign up to use our computers. You can read the district collection blog at for alerts on upcoming genealogy-related workshops.

The Beaufort County Library System is proud to be the steward of some of our county's most historic papers; just another great treasure you can find at your local public library system. Check us out at and find us on Facebook at

Grace Cordial is the Beaufort District Collection manager for the Beaufort County Library System.