The Lowcountry Digital History Initiative (LDHI)
The Lowcountry Digital History Initiative (LDHI) is a digital public history project hosted by the Lowcountry Digital Library (LCDL) at the College of Charleston. Funded through a pilot project grant from the Humanities Council of South Carolina and a major grant award from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, LDHI began development in 2013 and launched in 2014 as a digital consultation service, scholarly editorial resource, and online platform for partner institutions and collaborative scholars to translate multi-institutional archival materials, historic landscape features and structures, and scholarly research into digital public history exhibition projects.
Why is Digital Public History Important?
Innovative and rapidly increasing digital public history tools are poised to expand, redefine, and greatly enrich how individuals engage historic and cultural information and sites in landscapes and communities throughout the United States and beyond. LDHI’s mission is to provide its partners with guidance and support for conceptualizing and implementing digital interpretation strategies, so that they may benefit from the dynamic, cost-effective, and widely accessible outreach and educational capabilities of digital public history.
Inclusive Public History
In partnership with the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture and the Program for the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World (CLAW), LDHI’s mission is to encourage projects that highlight underrepresented race, class, gender, and labor histories within the Lowcountry region, and in historically interconnected Atlantic World sites. We particularly encourage projects that focus on subjects such as: African American history and culture, Native American history and culture multicultural Atlantic World history, the history of colonial and antebellum slavery, women’s history, histories of class and labor struggles, post-Emancipation history, the history of the long civil rights movement in South Carolina, and much more. We believe digital interpretation can play a major role in promoting awareness of these diverse histories within the Lowcountry’s numerous historic landscapes and structures and beyond.
LDHI projects are developed through a collaborative network of academic scholars, librarians, archivists, public historians, and students. LDHI graduate student assistants play a crucial role in developing, editing, and laying out each project. In the process, they acquire skills in digital technology, editing, and archival research. In this way, in addition to offering a widely accessible digital exhibitions platform, LDHI provides a distinctive educational opportunity for students to work in the dynamic scholarly fields of digital humanities and public history.