South Caroliniana Library Map Collection

South Caroliniana Library

The map collection of the South Caroliniana Library has always been a significant resource for geographers, historians, and genealogists. In the past two hundred years, technological changes have substantially altered the landscape of South Carolina, and the library’s map collection visually documents these transformations. The maps show airports, battlefields, cemeteries, churches, cities, highways, Native American territories, postal routes, railroads, schools, topographical features, towns, and urban, rural, and African American slave populations. Taken together, the maps chart the state’s urbanization over time. The collection also contains a number of maps dating from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, which are vital to researchers interested in the history of cartography. The digital collection is searchable by Date, Creator, Contributor, call number, and keyword. Find an alphabetical index of Creator and Contributor names here. Read more about the collection here.

About the South Caroliniana Library’s Map Digitization Project

The South Caroliniana Library’s map digitization project was begun in February 2013 with the original goal of providing wider access to the SCL map collection. The planning phase of the project involved SCL’s Director, Henry Fulmer, and catalog librarian Craig Keeney, along with Digital Collections librarians Kate Boyd and Ashley Knox. A test batch of 55 maps was scanned in late February by Timothy Hyder (MA Public History 2013) on the Zeutschel OS 14000 A0 overhead scanner with Zeutschel Omniscan 12 scanning software. Descriptive and technical metadata following Dublin Core Metadata best practices and SCDL Metadata guidelines was created by Sara Chizari (SLIS Ph.D candidate) in collaboration with Keeney. These maps were randomly selected to represent all sizes available in the collection. A second batch of 51 maps, representing the Civil War period from 1860-1865, was scanned in late April 2013 by Sara Chizari. Accompanying metadata was again generated by Chizari and Keeney.

In August 2013, the scope of the project expanded to encompass digitization of the entire collection, in preparation for relocation to offsite storage outside of the library. Ann Merryman (MLIS 2013) picked up the project from Chizari, and worked with Fulmer and Keeney to develop a revised workflow and documentation for the project to provide guidance and continuity throughout the remainder of the project. Merryman reviewed and edited the original metadata, uploaded the revised data to CONTENTdm, developed search facets for the collection, worked with Knox to develop and publish a webpage to USC’s Digital Collections, and continues to scan maps and create metadata. The digital collection will continue to expand as content is added, until the collection is complete.


This collection has been made possible by the collaborative efforts of the staff at the South Caroliniana Library and USC’s Digital Collections Library, as well as the Systems Department at Thomas Cooper Library, administrators for the CONTENTdm database.

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