A Matter of Maps

Fairfield District

I have been enjoying going through the old maps in the Robert Mills 1825 Atlas of South Carolina. However, last weekend’s photo trek to Old Pickens Court House brought out some problems with relying solely on Mills’ maps to find ghost towns. The maps are too early to catch many towns that developed after 1825, only to fade away by the time of the Great Depression. Never fear, though. There are other online resources that can cover later time periods.

Topographical Maps of South Carolina, 1888 - 1975 - Digital Collections - Thomas Cooper Map Library - USC.png by RndConnections on Aviary

The University of South Carolina’s online digital library has an extensive collection of historic topographic maps of the state. The maps cover from 1888 to 1975, but not all quadrangles are available for this time period. For example, the collection contains three maps for the Abbeville quadrangle – 1900, 1918, 1943. The 236 maps in the collection include a mix of 30 minute, 15 minute, and 7.5 minute projections. I haven’t checked to see how extensive the state coverage is, but I’m sure there are parts of the state that are not covered. Continue reading “A Matter of Maps”

Archeology and History Resources for South Carolina

Poole Home Textured

Our recent photo trek through Laurens County raised lots of questions for me. I had seen places about which I wanted to learn more. There were the questions about name origins – Ghost Creek Road and Dead Man’s Curve in particular. I wanted to know if there were documented incidents that led to these names. I also wanted to know more about the spring we found on Bramlett Road – what rallies were held here, etc.

Of course, I first turned to online resources to see what I could find. A simple Google search didn’t reveal much initially. In fact, I was getting a bit discouraged. I even turned to Facebook, and was able to get some anecdotal answers, but nothing documented.

I still haven’t found the answers to these questions, but I did find some great reference materials. First up are the ones I’ve mentioned here before – SC DISCUS (requires login), SCIWAY.net, and the new South Carolina Digital Archive. All of these have excellent primary source materials, or links to those materials. Continue reading “Archeology and History Resources for South Carolina”

Political Civility and Online Archives

1913_Broadside_Greenville_Voters

In the current political climate of tea parties and voter polarization, the phrase “political civility” seems like an oxymoron.  It seems like everything has gotten downright nasty, with each group demonizing the other, and the word “compromise” taking on negative connotations.  Ah, for the good old days, when everyone believed in God, motherhood, and apple pie.

…or was it so great?

History is replete with examples of political rivalries that make the current climate look tame in comparison. There is the infamous pistol duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, and the caning of Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner by South Carolina Senator Preston Brooks in 1856.

Continue reading “Political Civility and Online Archives”

South Carolina Digital Library

Today I discovered an excellent new online resource.  The South Carolina Digital Library is a collaborative project between several agencies, organizations, and colleges which brings together several digital libraries.  The collections include historical images, documents, audio, and other ephemera.  These items are still housed in their previous locations, but the SC Digital Library brings all … Continue reading South Carolina Digital Library

Easy Audio Embedding

This is part 1 of a 2-part series…

I’m a BIG fan of embedding. The ability to take media files from one location and use them in another context creates learning environments that are rich and appealing to students. I like it even better when the process is simple. Embedding is now a standard feature for most social networking sites. YouTube was one of the first, and now most media file hosts have followed suit. On just about any media site now days you can find something like the image below which allows you to copy the code and paste it into another site.

doodle.png  on Aviary

Bottom line – most teachers are uncomfortable with coding of any kind, so it’s got to be easy. Most can do the copy and paste, but if you have to manipulate codes, it can be a problem. Unfortunately, there are times when a simple cut and paste is not available. A resource (such as YouTube) may be blocked by a district, or you may have an original file that you would prefer not to upload to a social networking site. That’s where these tutorials come in. I’ll show you how to create your own embed codes so that you don’t have to worry about blocked resources. Continue reading “Easy Audio Embedding”

Exploring an Aviary

UPDATE: Sadly, Aviary has discontinued this wonderful series of products. The links below are no longer available.

Today I got word that Aviary.com has released a new online audio editing tool called Myna. This joins Aviary’s growing collection of online tools with bird names, including Phoenix, the image editing program, and Raven, a vector graphics program. Myna is a loop-based editor, and has many of the same functions as Garage Band or Acid Music.

I’ve only had a few minutes to play with the program, but so far I’m impressed. There is an extensive library of existing audio files. These are categorized not only by style by also by keyword. The samples are further broken down into files that would make good intros, files for loops, and ending files. You can also record samples directly into the program with your computer’s microphone, or upload your own files. Continue reading “Exploring an Aviary”

Libraries and Museums – Not There Yet

This photograph of Nina Simon over at Museum 2.0 pretty much sums up my experience with museum and library websites over the weekend. This was also the conclusion of Simon’s paper describing museums and libraries in the 21st Century.

This all got started this past weekend as I was reviewing websites for a graduate course I’m taking. I was not only looking at museums and libraries, but historical societies, as well. My intent was to see what actual resources were offered on their various websites and to see how they have bought into social networking. What I found was a bit discouraging. Continue reading “Libraries and Museums – Not There Yet”