Columbia, S.C. – The South Carolina Department of Archives and History (SCDAH) has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the National Park Service’s Underrepresented Community Grant Program (URC) to increase the number of National Register of Historic Places listings for properties significant in African American history. The URC grant program funds projects to include surveys and inventories of historic properties associated with communities underrepresented in the National Register, as well as the development of nominations to the National Register for specific sites.
The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the list of the nation's historic places worthy of preservation. It is maintained by the National Park Service (NPS) and administered in partnership with state historic preservation offices in each state. South Carolina has over 1,600 listings in the National Register, including nearly 200 historic districts, with new listings added every year. Often National Register nominations bring recognition of the importance of sites to the local community, helping to build support for their preservation. The successful nominations in communities with few prior listings can inspire and encourage others to pursue National Register nominations.
The URC grant funding will allow SCDAH to hire consultants to prepare National Register nominations for up to seven (7) properties with significance in African American history. The agency’s goal is to increase the number of listings in areas of South Carolina where African American history is underrepresented in the National Register by focusing on rural communities and counties with two or fewer such listings.
Currently agency staff are working with representatives of the Maude Callen Clinic in Berkeley County and the Pleasant Grove School in Clarendon County to prepare nomination applications. Completed National Register nomination packages will be presented to the South Carolina Board of Review for the National Register of Historic Places later this year. The agency also is working with the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission (SCAAHC) to identify properties with significance in African American history.
“While South Carolina already has over 200 properties with significance in African American history listed in the National Register either as part of a district or as individual nominations, many of those are concentrated in a few areas like Richland, Charleston, Beaufort, Orangeburg and Georgetown counties. Our goal with this grant is to increase the number of listings in areas of the state where this history is not as well represented in the National Register,” said Elizabeth Johnson, deputy State Historic Preservation Officer.
The South Carolina Department of Archives and History is an independent state agency whose mission is to preserve and promote the documentary and cultural heritage of the Palmetto State. The department houses one of the most comprehensive state archival collections in the nation, spanning 350 years of South Carolina History.
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