The four-volume history includes personal stories, historic photographs
Jennie Redmond, Dorchester County Library (DCL) Executive Director, knows the importance of local history and understands just how hard it is to preserve for future generations.
So when Redmond got the opportunity to add historian James A. Way's four-volume work Dorchester: Our Homes - Our People - Our Story to the South Carolina Digital Library this year, she was ready to help preserve the town's past.
"Our roots tell us so much about ourselves. They not only bind us together, but also help us understand where we are going," Redmond said. "The people that know our history best are disappearing fast. It's important to preserve as much of it as we can...if we don't do that, we will lose the stories that bring us all together."
The South Carolina State Library collaborated with the DCL to digitize all four volumes of Dorchester, beginning the process in April. The work contains a detailed history of the Dorchester community, along with historical photographs and personal stories.
"Mr. Way wrote his books to capture Dorchester's history for future generations, to improve our community's relations and illustrate how it has changed over the years. He worked on the project for four years, interviewing everyone who was willing to help," Redmond said. "He gave us permission to digitize the work earlier this year, and now we are able to expose his history to anyone who wants to learn about it."
Now that Dorchester is available online, Redmond hopes the collection will publicize little-known aspects of South Carolina history.
"Local history documents can be very hard to come by," Redmond said. "Now distance will not prevent anyone from finding information on Dorchester. Everyone will be able to see the document, and it will be preserved in perpetuity."
To access the collection visit the SCDL here. For more information, contact the Dorchester County Library at (843) 563-9189.