Liz Patterson: A Personal Tribute

Liz PattersonLiz Patterson will be sorely missed.  As you’ve already read in the memorial blog post, she and her family have been generous donors in developing our Olin Johnston collection and then her own congressional collection.

Son Pat has been quoted frequently on his mother since her passing.  He has stressed exactly what I would highlight in describing her life — her devotion to service and helping people.  As a young woman, she worked with the Peace Corps, Vista and Head Start.  Later, she served on Spartanburg County Council, in the South Carolina Senate, and in Congress.

Early in my tenure as Curator of Manuscripts at the South Caroliniana Library, Mrs. Patterson came to USC to speak to a women’s studies class about her life, and I was asked to introduce her.  Along with the others in the audience, I was enchanted by her humility, intelligence, and humanity.  And I heard a story that I have retold innumerable times.

Liz PattersonMrs. Patterson wanted the class to appreciate how unusual it was in 1986 for a woman to run for Congress.  She played an early television ad designed to introduce her to the voters of the 4th District.  More than that, it served an important yet subtle purpose as well.  It showed a typical day in her life, beginning with getting her family fed and ready to start their days.  Then it showed her engaged in the serious work of government and on the campaign trail.  It concluded with a shot of the family in the evening gathered to play a board game.

She wanted the students to appreciate that, in 1986, to win the votes of the people, Liz had to convince men and women that she would be a good congresswoman, and at the same time would be able to continue to be a good wife and mother.  Public service would not interfere with her duties to her family.

Her audience was captivated and found her inspirational.  This great lady touched many lives.  We are all diminished by her passing.

By Herb Hartsook

bumper sticker

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In Memoriam: Elizabeth “Liz” Patterson (1939 – 2018)

My family taught me that our world is only as good as you make it, and one of the ways to make it better is to participate in the political process.

~ Liz Patterson, announcing for Congress in 1986

_____________________________________

Former congresswoman Elizabeth “Liz” Johnston Patterson passed away on November 10, 2018.  The younger daughter of U.S. Senator Olin Johnston, Patterson lived her entire life in the public eye and devoted her adult life to public service.   Patterson spent much of her childhood in and around Washington, D.C., and, as a nine-year-old, attracted the attention of a writer for Life for her roller-skating outside the Capitol building.  After graduating from Columbia College, she worked with the newly-organized Peace Corps, then with VISTA and Head Start.  She also worked on her father’s final, successful reelection campaign in 1962, a hard-fought campaign in which Johnston was opposed in the Democratic primary by then-Governor “Fritz” Hollings and a then-rare Republican challenge by journalist Bill Workman.  In 1964, Patterson helped Lyndon Johnson win a full presidential term and accompanied his wife in campaigning across the South by rail on the Lady Bird Special.

Patterson and Mann

Liz Patterson campaigning with Jim Mann

Patterson served on the staff of Congressman Jim Mann, on the Spartanburg County Council, and in the S.C. Senate, 1979 to 1986.  She represented S.C.’s Fourth District in Congress from 1987 to 1993 as the first South Carolina woman elected to a full term in Congress.

A noted fiscal conservative and budget expert, the Democrat held her seat in the district for three terms.  Her legislative accomplishments included helping to establish childcare facilities in Veterans’ Administration medical centers.  She was a strong supporter of the balanced budget amendment.  As reporter Lee Bandy wrote in The State in 1990, “Republicans…try to cast Rep. Patterson as a liberal, although she’s the most conservative Democrat in the House, according to a vote study conducted by Congressional Quarterly.”

Olin Johnston

Liz Johnston on her father’s lap

In 1992, in an increasingly conservative and competitive district, Patterson was defeated in her bid for a fourth term by Republican Bob Inglis.  She went on to teach at Spartanburg Methodist College and was active in Rotary Club and with the Spartanburg County Democratic Party.

A great friend to SCPC, Patterson donated papers consisting of some 19 feet of material that primarily document her campaigns for office and service in the state Senate and Congress.  With her sister Sallie Scott, Patterson also donated rich family papers and photographs that have been added to the papers of her parents, Olin and Gladys Johnston.

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Update on the William D. Workman Jr. Papers Photographs

We Need Your Help!

As we finish up with some of the last tasks on the digital collection for William D. Workman, Jr.’s photographs, we need your help to fill in some of the details in the collection with as much information as possible.  As you browse through the images, let us know if you see anyone you recognize. Perhaps you remember something about an event captured by Workman, or maybe you were there. If you recognize anyone or anyplace not already noted, or even simply want to point out that we have posted duplicates of a photo, leave a comment with a note for us.  We welcome information on these images. Your comments will go a long way towards helping make the collection useful and informative for everyone who finds it. Click here to access the collection. Happy browsing!

Post by Chauna Carr

 

Reprocessing and digitization of the William D. Workman, Jr. Papers photographs has been made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission.

 

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September update on the William D. Workman Jr. Papers Photographs

Workman is Online!

We are excited to announce that we have uploaded the first four batches of images from Workman’s collection. Our grad assistant, Chauna Carr, has been given the green light to start uploading to our new server space. She is as eager as we are to make these photos available to the public.

Keep an eye out for the Digital Collections online blog being unveiled this month. The DIGI department will feature the two graduate assistants who worked on the project, Chauna and Mae. They have also planned a short blog series documenting the digitization of the collection over the summer and its final phase this fall. Check back at the link below for more photos going up over the next couple weeks. There will be well over 2,000 images to peruse! Click here to access the collection. Happy browsing!

Collection Highlight:

Scanner: Epson Expression 10000 XL; Scan Software: SilverFast v6.5.1r2

“Sculpture in Brookgreen Gardens. Horry County, 1951-1959.”

 Post and highlight selection by Chauna Carr

 

Reprocessing and digitization of the William D. Workman, Jr. Papers photographs has been made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission.

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In Memoriam: Sarah Leverette (1919-2018)

Sarah Leverette

Sarah Leverette

Sarah Leverette has always been a friend to SCPC and was a regular attendee at our various events.  Even as recently as August 6th, we saw her at the opening of our Richard W. Riley collection, an occasion that featured Riley’s good friend former president Bill Clinton.

At a time when few women sought a career outside of the home, Ms. Leverette earned her law degree and worked as an attorney, USC law librarian from 1947 to 1972, workers’ compensation commissioner, legal consultant, and, after “retirement,” a realtor.  As a young woman, she joined the Civil Air Patrol and ultimately achieved the rank of Lt. Colonel.  An active member of a number of organizations, she was well known for her leadership in the League of Women Voters.

Leverette was born on December 30, 1919 in Iva, South Carolina, to Captain Stephen Ernest Leverette and Allie E. (McGee) Leverette.  She earned her associate’s degree at Anderson College in 1938 and her bachelor’s degree at the University of South Carolina in 1940.  She went on to study at USC’s School of Law, graduating magna cum laude in 1943, one of the law school’s first female graduates.  She was admitted to the South Carolina Bar that same year, the 35th woman ever so admitted.

Leverette and Toal

Sarah with SC Chief Justice Jean Toal

In 1947, Leverette began her longtime career as a librarian at the University of South Carolina School of Law, where she assisted students with research and taught legal writing and workers’ compensation law.  During her time at the law school, she also served on the board of the South Carolina State Employees Association.  In 1967, Governor Robert E. McNair appointed her to a committee tasked with revising South Carolina’s state constitution of 1895.  Governor John C. West later appointed her to the South Carolina Constitutional Revision Committee, where she was involved in writing the procedural outline for amending the South Carolina Constitution.

In 1972, after twenty-five years on the faculty at USC, Leverette retired from the law library.  That same year, West appointed her to the South Carolina Industrial Commission, now known as the Workers’ Compensation Commission.  She served for six years, including a term as chair from 1976 to 1977.  After her term ended in 1978, she remained at the Commission as a consultant until 1985.

Leverette and Hollings

Sarah with Senator Fritz Hollings

Speaking in 2002, Leverette explained her lifelong dedication to an active life, “I do not believe in retirement as a way of life….I soon discovered that retirement was the most boring state of existence imaginable.”  She took on a new career as a realtor with Russell & Jeffcoat, Inc., as well as continuing her active work with groups such as the South Carolina Women Lawyers’ Association (SCWLA) and the American Association of University Women (AAUW).

The Leverette collection at SCPC consists of 17 linear feet of material.  She was a powerful and popular orator, and a rich body of speech texts presents her thoughts on a wide variety of subjects.  The collection also contains extensive records reflecting her leadership in the League of Women Voters.

Through her example, she inspired people to lead active lives and to strive to improve their world and their community.  We will miss the indefatigable Sarah Leverette.

Contributed by Herb Hartsook

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July/August update on the William D. Workman Jr. Papers Photographs

Good news! We have completed scanning all the images in the Workman Photograph collection, some 2,335 prints and negatives, give or take a few duplicates. We are eager to start uploading content so that the public may begin exploring all they have to offer. I mentioned in the last update that we were hoping to release new materials sometime mid-July. Unfortunately, we have had to postpone uploading. Digital Collections is currently in the process of switching from locally hosting the CONTENTdm client server to hosting at an offsite location. For those who do not know, CONTENTdm is the software we use to manage all of the digital collections the public views online. Do not be alarmed; the switch will not affect what is seen by the public on the collection’s website, only the information handled on the back end by staff.

 

“A soldier jumps over barbed wire with the aid of his teammate as part of a training exercise in Hawaii, 1945.”

Collection Highlights: 

The meantime, to give you a taste of what is to come, below are some images from the section titled ‘Pacific,’ which features a series of photos taken by Workman documenting the U.S. military training practices and life on base in Hawaii as well as out at sea in the Pacific during the Second World War. One unique snapshot highlighted below is an image taken below deck on one of the naval vessels. My favorite is the photo of the sailors sunbathing on the ship deck. You can read more about Workman’s military career here.

 

 

“Soldiers running across a bridge suspended over water as part of training exercise in Hawaii, 1945”

 

“Sailors gather on ship deck as they pull away from harbor and out to sea. Other navy ships can be seen in the distance, Hawaii, 1945.”

“A view from below deck of a nearby navy ship, Pacific, 1945.”

“A sailor caught checking the seas, Pacific, 1945.”

“A group of sailors sunbathing on the ship deck while out at sea, Pacific, 1945.”

 

 

Post and highlight selection by Chauna Carr 

Reprocessing and digitization of the William D. Workman, Jr. Papers photographs has been made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission. 

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Update on the Second Phase of the William D. Workman Jr. Papers Photographs

We are currently in the midst of checking and editing metadata for the previously scanned images and negatives mentioned in the last update. By early April, we had digitized well over 1,600 additional images in varying formats and had begun work on the 1,400 plus negatives remaining in the collection.

When digitizing large collections of materials like this in such a short period of time, duplication is bound to occur, and as part of Workman’s artistic process, he kept several copies of his works. As a result, we are currently taking the time to review our progress, remove any identical images, and clean up the accompanying metadata in order to present the public with the best version of each item from Workman’s photograph collection. The majority of the negatives from the collection are duplicates of prints still in excellent condition that have already been scanned, which explains why I have digitized only 18 negatives thus far.  Make sure to watch for the release of new materials online by mid-July.

Collection Highlight:

Below is an example of duplicates found in the collection. Two were chosen to be scanned; two were not due to damage and obvious duplication. 

 

 

  

 

“Cross Keys House (Claud Wilburn home). Union County, November 8, 1946”

 Post and highlight selection by Chauna Carr

 Reprocessing and digitization of the William D. Workman, Jr. Papers photographs has been made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission.

 

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ACSC Annual Meeting at the Dole Institute

Exterior of the Dole Institute

In April, Dorothy Walker and Rebecca Denne attended the annual meeting of the Association of Centers for the Study of Congress at the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics in Lawrence, Kansas. The Dole Institute is one of the largest Congressional archives in the United States, and it has impressive programming that includes speakers, exhibits, and workshops. While Lawrence isn’t the easiest place to get to from Columbia, it was well worth the trip!

The Russell Window, which Sen. Dole donated in memory of his parents

At the pre-conference, we participated in a Museum Hack workshop. Working with museum and archives professionals from across the country, we got hands-on practice with innovative and creative approaches to audience engagement with a collections focus.
The program opened with a conversational-style keynote with former Governor of Kansas and Archivist of the United States John Carlin. He and moderator Audrey Coleman, Assistant Director and Senior Archivist at the Dole Institute, discussed the challenges of electronic records management and public outreach efforts at the National Archives. We later attended a talk by former U.S. Senator Nancy Kassebaum Baker about her three terms, during part of which she was the only woman in the Senate, and her work building successful coalitions.

American flag stained glass which is also visible in the outside shot of the building

At other sessions, we learned about unique outreach activities at The Dole (check out their Easter Egg Roll), using exhibits to tell stories that engage communities (like “The League of Wives” project), and the challenges we all face archiving social media.
It was great to pick up new ideas and meet new faces! We also enjoyed reconnecting with old friends, including ACSC Executive Committee members (and SCPC alums!) Lori Schwartz and Debbie Davendonis.

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Digitizing the William D. Workman Jr. Papers Photographs: Second Phase Well Under Way

As of my last update, we had completed the first phase of our NHPRC-funded grant project (arrangement, description, and rehousing) and had begun the second phase (digitization). At that time, I had already finished scanning and creating metadata for over 400 photographs. In the past month, that number has grown to 1,600, including all of the slides, prints, scrapbook pages, and oversize prints that will be part of the digital collection. Only about 1,400 negatives remain to be scanned for the collection. We plan to make the first 500 of images available next week. We will then continue making these images available in sets of about 500, and plan to have a second batch of materials posted by mid-April.
Collection Highlight:

“Oil Well near Bucksport. Horry County, August 5, 1947”

Post and highlight selection by Mae Howe

Reprocessing and digitization of the William D. Workman, Jr. Papers photographs has been made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission.

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International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. According to the IWD timeline, it initially began in New York City as National Women’s Day in February 1908. Gradually, more countries began honoring the day and by 1914 IWD was observed globally. It was celebrated by the United Nations for the first time in 1975.
Recognizing women is especially important in archives because they have been historically underrepresented. We all know the saying that “behind every great man is a great woman.” Although many justifiably argue that the expression should be changed to “beside” or “in front of,” Workman was no exception to this adage. In honor of International Women’s Day, it is fitting to acknowledge the incredible women in William D. Workman, Jr.’s life: his mother, Vivian Virginia Watkins Workman, his wife, Heber Rhea Thomas Workman, and his daughter, Dorrill “Dee” Workman Benedict.
Workman’s travels with his family served as an excellent opportunity to capture South Carolina in his time. Throughout his collection, landscapes and monuments are sometimes captured as a backdrop for one of his loved ones. Two examples include photographs of his wife at Caesars Head State Park in 1947 and his daughter standing in front of Clark’s Hill Dam [now the J. Strom Thurmond Dam] in 1952 during its construction.

Vivian Watkins Workman, July 22, 1942

Workman’s collection includes several photographs of his mother, her family, and their home dating from the late nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. According to her obituary in The State, she was born on August 11, 1889, to James Newton and Florence Sharpe Watkins in Anderson, South Carolina. She married her husband, Major William D. Workman, Sr., in September 1913. They had two children, William D. Workman, Jr. and Vivian Virginia Workman. She passed away on June 27, 1981, at the age of 91.[1]

Heber Rhea Thomas Workman, Caesars Head State Park, 1947

Workman’s wife, Heber Rhea Thomas Workman, was born in 1918 to Heber and Ruth Thomas. In 1937, she graduated from Winthrop, where her papers are held. She then married Workman and had two children, William D. Workman III, and Dorrill “Dee” Workman.[2] She earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in English at the University of South Carolina and served as an English professor at Columbia College from 1957 to 1977.[3] During her tenure, she received several post-doctoral fellowships and became known as an expert in Irish History. As such, she gave many presentations and organized several noteworthy exhibits.[4] She also served as editor of South Carolina Magazine and was named S.C. mother of the year in 1978. She passed away in 1988 at the age of 69.[5]

Dorrill “Dee” Workman, Clark’s Hill Dam, 1952 [now J. Strom Thurmond Dam]

The Workmans’ daughter, Dee, left school after tenth grade to attend Columbia College at the age of fifteen and became the youngest college graduate in South Carolina when she earned her BA in English, with honors, at age eighteen.[6] After completing graduate work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she moved to Washington, D.C. to work for Sen. Strom Thurmond.[7] Her political involvement continued across all levels of government and led her to Mobil Oil Corporation, where she served as an executive. During this time, she worked closely with then-Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, John C. West.

By Mae Howe

Reprocessing and digitization of the William D. Workman, Jr. Papers photographs has been made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission.

[1] “Mrs. V. Workman of Greenville, Dies,” June 28, 1981.
[2] Colleen Bradley and Kelly Gilbert, “Biographical Note,” William D. Workman, Jr. Papers.
[3] Jane Odom, “Scope and Content Note,” Heber Rhea Thomas Workman Papers.
[4] “Dr. Workman S.C. Mother of the Year,” The State, Feb. 12, 1978.
[5] “Dr. Rhea T. Workman, retired professor, dies,” The State, September 19, 1988.
[6] Columbia College Bulletin, October 1963.
[7] Mary Terry, “Female Executive Enjoys High-Powered Lifestyle,” The State, 4 Dec. 1977.

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