4.07 | Monday, Dec. 19, 2011
:: FEEDBACK: Two letters
:: SPOTLIGHT: SCRA
:: CALENDAR: This week ... and next
:: QUOTE: On planning ahead
DEC. 19, 2011 -- For a number of years, an extraordinary treasure in the middle of the historic district seemed hidden to all but a few erudite readers and old Charleston families.
With its imposing façade shielded by two equally commanding Gingko trees, the Charleston Library Society seemed unapproachable to most people who strolled by. What a tragedy! The Library Society's history as the oldest cultural institution in the South is a resource that everyone in the community should enjoy, and thanks to an energized staff, it is now a welcoming, invigorating place to be.
The Library Society houses significant materials -- from DuBose Heyward's handwritten manuscript of Porgy to many letters from our Founding Fathers. The Society's early boards were responsible for founding the College of Charleston, the Charleston Museum (America's first), and the S.C. Historical Society. Thanks to a recent grant from the Mead Westvaco Foundation and the Harold C. Schott Foundation, people from all over the world will be able to learn about what lies within the lovely Beaux Arts building on King Street.
Although the true scope -- historical and physical -- of the Library Society's Natural History collection is not fully known, it is substantial and extremely valuable. The importance of these materials to history and humanities scholars cannot be overstated. As our country's third oldest continuously circulating library, founded in 1748, it was the sole repository of contemporary books for over a century.
Most of the books in the collection are rare, and many are the only known copies extant in the world. Unfortunately, because of antiquated documentation and lack of compliance with developing professional cataloging standards, over half of the books, pamphlets and manuscripts in the Library Society's collections have been unsearchable, and therefore inaccessible to researchers and the general public.
To address such a significant need, the 264-year-old Society has begun the transition toward becoming a fully functioning modern library. While a large portion of holdings are still inventoried only in the on-site card catalog, work is underway to share the bibliographic records through online cataloging.
In July 2010, CLS joined OCLC/WorldCat, demonstrating its commitment to improving access to its collections. The matching challenge grant from Mead WestVaco to complete an extensive retrospective catalog conversion will provide full subject access to the rare and important books and manuscripts for researchers from around the world. The Library Society was gratified that within a month, the Harold C. Schott Foundation matched the grant, enabling the work to begin. The two grants will enable catalogers to bring the library in line with accepted professional library standards and allow archivists and catalogers to embark on a comprehensive collection analysis, further expanding the awareness and use of these valuable materials.
Although the painstaking process of book-by-book identification and documentation has only recently begun, several thousand full bibliographic records have been added to the electronic catalog, and the findings have been recorded in the OCLC/WorldCat database.
The work has unearthed extraordinary materials, including many valuable editions in the collection that had been lost from institutional memory. During the second week of December, some of the important works by John Drayton, Mark Catesby, John Edwards Holbrook, and Denis Diderot were on exhibit in the Main Reading Room of the Library. As the project continues, additional exhibits will be presented as new materials are discovered.
Letter to Santa: Help South Carolina
By ANDY BRACK, publisher
2011 -- Here's a letter from the State of South Carolina:
the years, you've heard about South Carolina's lingering challenges --
a public education system that needs help, persistent poverty, increasing
political partisanship, multiple health issues and an antiquated tax system.
But you know our state has a lot of good people who want to move beyond
how things are and make things better.
as you fly around the globe, please consider dropping a few gifts from
Walhalla and Rock Hill to Columbia, Myrtle Beach and Jasper County to
help things move along in the halls of state government so people in our
state can prosper.
with pleasure your Charleston Currents at every opportunity and always
read the section on S.C. history.
House was used by the esteemed president during his Southern tour
only after a rental agreement was negotiated. It seemed that everyone
in the town wanted Mr. Washington to stay at their home and while Thomas
Heyward was well known to the Virginian and was his friend, it would have
been impossible for President Washington to accept the gift of the use
of Heyward's home without compensation to the owner.
refusing to accept gifts while in office. My how times change!!
Remembering the war's wounded
To the editor:
I watched the casing of the colors formally ending the U.S.'s military formally ends Iraq operations. It saddens me to listen to Secretary of Defense speak. He high roads it and makes it sound like we have helped create a secure, sovereign nation. He talks about Iraq being a committed friend and partner. He makes it sound like we won the war and that Iraq will step up and help move their country forward. He talks about a beginning for Iraq.
[Secretary Leon] Panetta honored the over 4,500 dead and over 30,000 injured. I cannot imagine what it is like to lose a loved one to war or to have to deal with an injured friend or family member. We have lost many of our young to this war. Others have been damaged physically and or mentally during their tours there.
All of us can play the Monday morning quarterback and list the things we did wrong in Iraq. We cannot do anything to fix our mistakes. One thing we can do is to help those who were lucky enough to make it home alive. If you really want to do something positive this holiday season, get out your check book and send a donation to "Wounded Warrior." This is a wonderful program that helps our troops. It is the best way to say, "Thanks for your sacrifice. We will not forget what all of you did for our country."
The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring Charleston Currents to you at no cost. In this issue, we shine the spotlight on SCRA, a global leader in applied research and commercialization services with its headquarters in North Charleston. SCRA collaborates to advance technology, providing technology-based solutions with assured outcomes to industry and government, with the help of research universities in South Carolina, the U.S. and around the world. Managing more than 100 national and international programs worth over $1.3B in applied R&D contract value, SCRA has a results-based management approach that assures delivery of technology solutions to complex client challenges. Learn more here.
DEC. 19, 2011 -- When a recent episode of the Food Network show "Chopped" featured four school lunch ladies battling each other in a cooking contest with a $10,000 prize, I thought there would be a few jokes about school cafeteria food. But what stood out to me in the show is what one of the lunch ladies said about her weekly meal plans. She said that on Mondays, she tries to serve something especially substantial, like a hearty pasta dish, because she knows that some of her school kids won't have had anything to eat over the weekend. In the greatest country on the planet, that's heartbreaking and infuriating at the same time.
We're blessed in the Lowcountry to have some great programs to feed the estimated one in four children in our community who are touched by hunger and malnutrition, and there's a great event coming up through which you can help support those efforts. The annual Chefs' Feast for the Lowcountry Food Bank has been scheduled for Feb. 26. Yes, that's more than two months away, but tickets tend to go fast-so getting them soon (maybe as Christmas or Hanukkah gift for someone) would be a smart idea.
The Chefs' Feast brings together some of the Lowcountry's best chefs to serve up tasting portions of their favorite dishes. There's also great wine being served and some auction items to bid on as well. The event raises money for the Food Bank's Kids Café and BackPack Buddies programs. Kids Cafe, an innovative after-school program, provides hot, nutritious meals and academic support, and BackPack Buddies is designed to attack the issue of weekend hunger-the very thing that the "Chopped" competitor addressed (she went on to win the prize, by the way).
Bank says the local programs reach nearly 3,000 children each week.
Franks on TV tonight
Three local designers are among 20 picked to participate as Emerging Designer semifinalists for Charleston Fashion Week, which is slated for March 20-24, 2012. Local designers include:
Home for the holidays: Map back at Magnolia
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens has received a rare and an early Christmas gift that won't fit under the tree, but it would delight any child who loves history.
For generations, the Drayton family has owned a three-foot by four-foot original engraving of Henry Mouzon's 1775 map of South Carolina and North Carolina. The restored map has been returned in time for the holidays.
Only 15 of the original Mouzon maps are known to exist in the world, according to the WorldCat database, a subscriber-based catalog of archive and library holdings worldwide. This rare document hangs in the Rev. John Drayton's study in the main house at Magnolia. The map, which was used for two generations, is considered to be the finest and most important map of the Carolinas.
The framed map was restored by the Audubon Gallery, a natural history and sporting art gallery, in Charleston. Burton Moore III, the gallery's manager, said that every five years his gallery gets a request to restore a Mouzon map. But this year has been unusual. In addition to the Magnolia map, the gallery has restored a map owned by the Charleston Library Society (see Today's Focus, above). A private collector in North Carolina also brought a map in to be appraised.
Preston Cooley, the Drayton family historian at Magnolia, said, "The map was extremely accurate if you take into consideration that Mouzon conducted the surveys on horseback and canoes. It is also interesting that the map shows all of the Native American settlements."
of local youths to dance in Nutcracker
80 Charleston area youths will perform 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Moscow
Ballet's "Great Russian Nutcracker" at the North Charleston
Performing Arts Center.
Dance Center is the host studio for Moscow Ballet's Student Program,
with a Moscow Ballet Russian master dance instructor and soloist serving
as the audition and rehearsal director.
will appear in the ballet as party guests, mice, snowflakes, angels, butterflies
and more. Moscow Ballet has worked with dance studio owners in 70 cities
across the country for almost two generations making a significant impact
on aspiring dancer's lives. Casting an average of 50 children in 50 cities
over the past 19 years yields 50,000 impressions and valuable interactions
for new generations of North American dancers.
collect cell phones to help violence victims
Lifeline, a local nonprofit that shines a light on domestic violence,
recently has collected more than 65 cell phones, which adds to more than
600 collected locally by the Verizon Wireless call center in Charleston
over the last five years.
The phones, which will be recycled or refurbished for sale, are part of Verizon's Hopeline program, which repairs phones for use by domestic violence victims or sold to fund the program.
To date, more than $10 million in cash grants have been distributed to domestic violence agencies nationwide. Since its founding 2001, Hopeline has also distributed more than 106,000 phones loaded with 319 million minutes of free wireless service for use by victims of domestic violence.
Add this to your holiday list: lunch at Twenty Six Divine. Chefs Enan and Jenn Parezo now are offering affordable, delicious lunches a communal table or for takeout. On a recent Wednesday, we sampled a hearty chili made with shortribs and a fantastic sandwich on fluffy fresh-baked rosemary brioche stuffed with marinated roast turkey and melted brie. The chefs offer individual quiches of the day, two different soups of the week, and a broad array of cakes and tarts.
Take a look at their online cafe menu and you'll see an array of seasonal eats that will delight your taste buds. The Parezos also offer a personal chef service in which they prepare special meals for your table -- a service that can save time, money and ensure that you eat healthy, top-quality food. We'll be stopping by again soon to dine with Enan and Jenn. You should too. -- Andy Brack
Although South Carolina never developed a railroad network comparable to those in most northern states, it nevertheless gained recognition as a railroad pioneer in the United States. Chartered in 1827, the South Carolina Canal and Rail Road Company (SCC&RR) ran its first train on Christmas Day in 1830, the initial railroad line in the South. When its 136-mile line between Charleston and Hamburg was completed in 1833, it was the longest continuous railroad line under single management in the world.
not an immediate success, the SCC&RR (later reorganized as the South
Carolina Railroad) touched off a railroad mania in antebellum South Carolina.
Several new railroads were chartered by the General Assembly, including
the ambitious Louisville, Cincinnati, and Charleston Railroad, but a chronic
lack of investment capital and a generally stagnant economy dampened most
railroad efforts in South Carolina throughout most of the 1830s and 1840s.
To stimulate additional railroad development, in 1847 the General Assembly established a revolving fund to provide state aid to railroad construction. This aid, coupled with a revived economy, created a railroad boom in South Carolina in the 1850s, with railroad mileage increasing during the decade from 289 to 973, representing a capital investment of more than $22 million in public and private funds.
there were eleven railroads operating in the state, including two major
arteries: the Charlotte and South Carolina Railroad, which connected Columbia
with Charlotte, North Carolina; and the Greenville and Columbia Railroad.
Railroads, and the accompanying economic boom of the 1850s, helped transform
the state's upcountry. Existing towns along the railroads grew, and new
towns, such as Rock Hill and Belton, came into existence. With a vastly
improved transportation system, commerce and cotton production in the
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Tips for having a green holiday
Charleston County's Environmental Management Department sent around several tips on how to start new green family traditions during the holiday season.
For more information
on recycling, contact the Charleston County Environmental Management Department
at (843) 720-7111 or visit recycle.charlestoncounty.org.
"I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult."
Waffle Haus Christmas: Through Dec. 23, with various times and dates,. PURE Theatre again will offer this show at 477 King Street. Tickets are $25 for general admission; $15 for students. Learn more about the show, show times and tickets online. eating is limited.
Holiday Toy Drive
for Debi's Kids: Drop-off bin at Marion Square through 4 p.m. Dec.
CALENDAR: ONGOING AND SOON
Chanukah in the Square: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Dec. 20, Marion Square, Charleston. A festive party with music, dancing and the lighting of a 9-foot Menorah are featured.
Happy New Year, Charleston: 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Dec. 31, Marion Square, Charleston. This non-alcoholic event will feature family-oriented concerts and presentations to ring in the new year.
Dognapping comedy: Starts Jan. 4 and runs through Jan. 7 at Threshold Repertory Theatre, 84 1/2 Society Street, Charleston. Theatre veteran Kyle Barnette will star in Lee Blessing's one-man comedy, "Chesapeake," in its regional premier at What If's new performance location. More: WhatIfProductions.org.
(NEW) Museum oyster roast: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Jan. 14, at the Dill Sanctuary, James Island. The Charleston Museum will celebrate its 239th birthday at an event that will feature oysters by Ben Moise, a curator-led history walk, live bluegrass and spectacular views of the Stono River. Tickets are $30 for members, $40 for non members. More info: www.CharlestonMuseum.org.
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