Through a unique partnership with the College of Charleston’s Lowcountry Digital Library, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation has awarded the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum Foundation $20,000 to digitize weekly newsletters from the Charleston Naval Shipyard dating back to 1942.
The grant provides funds for a skilled professional at the Lowcountry Digital Library to scan, upload and index the newsletters over the next 12 months. Patriots Point will utilize social media outlets to keep readers up-to-date on the progress of the project, which will be uploaded to the Lowcountry Digital Library with links to the Patriots Point website.
“We are thrilled to be a part of this project,” said John White, Ph.D. and Interim Dean of Libraries at the College of Charleston. “These newsletters are a window into working and middle class life in the Lowcountry over the course of a half-century. They provide a glimpse inside the naval shipyard at a time when it was the primary economic engine for the region, and glimpse into the lives of the men and women who worked there. By digitizing them and making them available, our partners at Patriots Point are providing an invaluable resource for scholars, students, and the general public.”
Patriots Point has one of only four known copies of these newsletters; and currently, no copies are publicly accessible. A digital archive will allow the public to ‘Google’ historical events from 1942 to 1990 from the perspective of the Charleston Naval Shipyard.
“For nearly a century, the Charleston Naval Shipyard shaped the Lowcountry and played an integral role in U.S. Navy operations – maintaining surface ships, overhauling nuclear submarines, and providing logistics support for operating forces,” said Patriots Point Executive Director Mac Burdette. “We are proud to partner with the Lowcountry Digital Library to preserve their legacy by creating a digital archive that will be available for public use. This project is an extension of our onboard ‘Shipyard Museum,’ which chronicles the work performed in the defense of our country from the turn of the 20th century until the shipyard closed.”