New Digital Collection Added to LCDL

Category: Blog, History, Museum

Since the Middleton Place Foundation’s establishment in 1974, stewardship of its natural and cultural resources has been at the center of our mission. In the 21st century, digital stewardship has become our newest frontier. Beginning in 2023, the Foundation undertook a project partnering with the Lowcountry Digital Library, a digital archive that assists regional partners in making their collections accessible online. This partnership will make Middleton Place’s historically valuable collections available to local and global audiences on the LCDL website. Widening access to these documents furthers our mission of fostering education, understanding, and positive change.

While working on this project, some items in the collection stood out as particularly unique and attention-grabbing. For example, from the Edmondston-Alston House archives, we have digitized a 1782 handwritten letter from Francis Marion to William Alston, pictured below. A less typical addition to the collection is a 1733 George II royal seal attached to colonial-era documents. These two examples represent the variety of intriguing finds in these collections and further prove these materials’ important implications on broader historical subjects.

Our first four collections are live on the LCDL Website: Middleton Papers, 1775-1815, Edmondston-Alston Family Letters and Paper Materials, 1782-1919, Susan Pringle Alston’s Receipts, 1891-1921, and the Edmondston-Alston Photograph Collection. These collections contain materials that provide remarkable insight into the lives of the Middleton and Alston families, those they enslaved, and the broader socio-political themes of their lifetimes. From the collection homepage, the archives can be filtered by media type, subject topics, geographic areas, and date, making it easier to uncover underlying themes such as slavery and the lives of women. It is exciting that these materials are available to the public for the first time ever, and we plan to continue growing our digitized collection over the next few years.

By: Katie Gardner

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