Digital Collections at the Addlestone - College of Charleston Libraries

March 25, 2009

The staff at the Addlestone Library are building a digital collections website, featuring photographs, maps, letters, meeting notes and other materials from Special Collections. Each item includes descriptive information about the subject and the creator of the image. For some collections (John Henry Dick Galapagos photographs), viewers can zoom in/out and examine a small section of the image. Other collections (Friendly Moralist Collection) include an easy-to-read transcript in addition to the 19th century handwritten manuscript.

Here are two collections that are currently available. For the complete listing, go to

John Henry Dick Galapagos Photograph Collection

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John Henry Dick not only donated his remarkable natural history collection to the College, he was also a noted naturalist. Born in Islip, New York in 1919, Dick was attracted to nature at an early age. Dick was especially fascinated by birds and established his own wildfowl aviary at his family estate, with pheasants, quail, ducks, and geese. He attended Yale Art School. His first major work was four illustrations for Alexander Sprunt’s South Carolina Bird Life in 1949. Three years later he gained national recognition by winning the highly competitive annual Duck Stamp Contest sponsored by the Fish and Wildlife Service. He subsequently provided illustrations for twelve books on wildlife and wrote and illustrated his travel account Other Edens. Over the years he acquired a magnificent collection of bird illustrations. Among his rare titles were the complete elephant folio editions of John James Audubon’s Birds of America, Edward Lear’s Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae, the complete works of John Gould, and beautiful, valuable titles by Buffon, Edwards, Manetti, Levaillant, Knip, Temminick, Frisch, Dresser, Elliott, Sharpe, and other prominent authors and illustrators. When John Henry Dick died in 1995 at the age of 76, he left his beloved Dixie Plantation, his magnificent collection of rare books and extensive collection of photographs to the College of Charleston.

The Galapagos photographs are the first of John Henry Dick’s photographs to be digitized. The library plans to digitize and upload more than 10,000 wildlife images from his extended trips to Africa, India, Antarctica, South America, and China.

The Friendly Moralist Society Collection

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The Friendly Moralist Society was a benevolent society for free brown (mulatto or mixed race) men established in Charleston, S.C. in 1838. The group provided burial aid and purchased plots for those in need and provided charitable assistance to widows and orphans of deceased members. This Proceedings section consists of minutes taken at organizational meetings from 1841 to 1856. These minutes offer insight into the conflict between free black and brown individuals at this time. This is one of 398 pages from the collection.

The Albert Simons Sketchbook Collection

Albert Simons was born in Charleston, South Carolina. He attended the College of Charleston and received a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He served as an instructor in architecture at Clemson College in 1915 and 1916, and was a partner in the architectural firm of Todd, Simons & Todd in 1916 and 1917. After a period of military service during World War I, Simons returned to Charleston and with Samuel Lapham established the architectural firm of Simons & Lapham. Simons served as a lecturer on fine arts at the College of Charleston from 1924 to 1947. Ten sketchbooks (1915-ca. 1961) contain notes, watercolor paintings, and sketches in pencil and ink. Most of the sketches were made during Simons’ trips abroad and reflect his interests in the art and architecture of Italy, England, Greece, France, and elsewhere. A number of the finely detailed colored watercolors depict architectural elements, details, and ornaments such as columns and mosaics. In addition, there are many pencil sketches and studies of human figures and faces, including renderings of persons in ethnic costumes and uniforms.

For more information about the digital collections, please call Special Collections at Addlestone Library 3-8016.

Addlestone Library is open to the College of Charleston community and affiliates via card access. Visitors may access Addlestone Library Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm, and must present a government issued ID and sign in upon entry.