Local history buffs will have a chance this month to dig into the past through their own research, guided by Our Story Matters and the Columbia Archeology Project.
“History at Home: What Tools Help Uncover the Past?” is a weekly workshop beginning Thursday, in which participants will learn how to use genealogy, demographics, maps and personal artifacts to piece together the stories of local neighborhoods including Wheeler Hill, Washington Street Business District, Bottoms, and North Downtown area.
Our Story Matters is a local history project that commemorates Columbia’s role in the Civil Rights Movement. Columbia was one of seven Southern communities that launched 50th anniversary commemorations of the events of 1963, the height of the Civil Rights Movement. Our Story Matters includes a walking tour of downtown Columbia with markers telling the story of the people and events of the Civil Rights Movement in Columbia.
The Columbia Archaeology Program seeks to uncover and preserve the stories of marginalized people in Columbia’s history. The program focuses on archaeology, archival research, oral histories, genealogy, cartography, and geography.
The “History at Home” project is also supported by Historic Columbia and the Richland Library. All sessions are free and open to the public. The sessions will be held at the Mann-Simons Site, 1403 Richland St., from 5:30-6:30 p.m.
The following sessions are planned for each Thursday in October:
Thursday: An Introduction. Learn more about the process and products of uncovering local stories with staff of the Columbia Archaeology Program, Debbie Bloom of the Walker Local History Room at the Richland Library and Joseph Johnson with Our Story Matters.
Oct. 8: Genealogy and Demographic Research. Learn how genealogical and demographic research is used to record history. Study the clues provided by pedigree charts, city directories, and census data.
Oct. 15: Geography and Mapping. Take a look at how maps are created, how they can be viewed, and what they can tell us.
Oct. 29: Your History at Home. Participants will bring images, letters, maps, and artifacts, from home, and staff from Columbia Archaeology Project, Richland Library and Our Story Matters will help attendees use them to tell their own stories.
Bridget Winston, Special to The State