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CCU Atheneum: This historical photograph shows a train on the tracks that once lined Main Street in Conway. It is one of hundreds of pictures in the Horry County Archives Center's recently released digital repository.
This historical photograph shows a train on the tracks that once lined Main Street in Conway. It is one of hundreds of pictures in the Horry County Archives Center's recently released digital repository.

Horry County Archives Center at CCU releases digital repository

by Doug Bell
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A significant trove of local history, including old photographs, journals, letters and maps, was recently made available online by the Horry County Archives Center (HCAC) at Coastal Carolina University.

This digital repository includes many Civil War-era letters, more than 1,000 photographs, the contents of the Horry County Historical Society’s quarterly journals (1967-2006), and engineering maps of the Waccamaw River from 1903. Data relating to CCU include the complete contents of the Atheneum yearbooks and archaeological reports by the late CCU history professor Jim Michie.

The digital repository can be accessed at http://www.coastal.edu/hcac/digital.

“By establishing this digital repository, the Horry County Archives Center at CCU can now digitize items of historical interest and make them easily accessible to students as well as the general public,” said Ben Burroughs, HCAC director. “It is hoped that this information will help students and researchers gain a better understanding of our area’s history.”

One new item offered through the digital archive will be of particular interest to locals, particularly residents of Conway. The Lonnie W. Fleming Sr. Photograph Collection includes more than 800 photos, including school assemblies, football games, weddings, Boy Scout troops and holiday parades. A majority of the people in the photographs are not identified.

“We invite anyone who can identify any of the people, or who know anything about the event or the date of the photograph, to please leave a comment or message with us on the HCAC Facebook page so that we can add it to the database,” said Burroughs. “Just get on Facebook and search for Horry County Archives Center, then click on ‘Photos.’”

Some archival materials that have been digitized by the HCAC are hosted on servers located outside of CCU. Examples include the College of Charleston’s Lowcountry Digital Library (LCDL) and the South Carolina Digital Library (SCDL) at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.

“We have established working relationships with the College of Charleston, Clemson University and the University of South Carolina digital libraries and hope to continue those relationships,” Burroughs said. “They have been a great help to us in setting up our repository, and there will be shared links within our respective sites.”

CCU collections will be harvested into the SCDL and then into the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), according to Burroughs. “This cooperation among the various institutions will greatly benefit our local collections and ensure that they receive not only statewide attention but also national and international exposure.”

Scott Bacon, web services and emerging technologies librarian at CCU’s Kimbel Library, played a vital part in the project. “Scott’s expertise in web technology, metadata and archival practices has been extremely valuable in setting up this service,” said Burroughs.

Now that the repository is up and running, more items will be gradually added. Work is now underway to digitize Horry County newspaper archives from the years 1871 to 1923 and the complete archives of CCU’s student newspaper, The Chanticleer.

“Another advantage of this project is that student interns will have an opportunity to participate in the digitalization process firsthand and will be able to see the results of their work online" said Burroughs.

 

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