Our Purpose — SC Picture Project
SC Picture Project | Our Purpose
Our 5 Goals
Over 3,00 people view the SC Picture Project each day – that’s more than 1,000,000 a year. The South Carolina Picture Project has 5 goals:
1. To celebrate the beauty and culture of the Palmetto State
2. To create pride among South Carolinians
3. To provide joy and inspiration to those who live far away
4. To act as a permanent repository where records of SC’s changing and vanishing landmarks can be saved
5. To preserve stories and information that might otherwise be lost to time
Who We Are
The South Carolina Picture Project was founded in 2007. It was originally part of SCIWAY but moved to an independent website in April, 2018.
To continue documenting the state’s culture and history – adding new images and articles – the SC Picture Project is working to obtain 501(c)(3) status and secure sponsorships and/or grants. A crowdsourcing campaign in the 2017 provided a year of funding, generously donated by our supporters, and we continue to accept donations gratefully.
The South Carolina Picture Project is cared for by Robin Welch and Brandon Coffey, who also heads up our Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram accounts. In time, we hope to be able to add a full-time executive director.
Who YOU Are
Enough about us – YOU are the incredible and generous people who make the South Carolina Picture Project possible! The SC Picture Project features over 2,300 South Carolina landmarks, and together these landmarks are illustrated by nearly 10,000 images.
We welcome contributions from the following sources:
1. Photographers, naturally, are hugely important to our mission. We are constantly amazed by your generosity in sharing your photos – and in many cases, even taking photos by request. For those who think photography is not an art, we suspect the Picture Project may change your mind. Many of our photographers, both amateur and professional, are terrifically talented. Not only that, but these adventurous souls who explore our state are, almost without exception, a delight to work with. It has been our great pleasure to undertake the Picture Project with all of you. It is a partnership that has created not only an invaluable resource for South Carolina, but many friendships to boot. We consider ourselves lucky to be part of this team of collaborators each and every day.
2. Painters are not to be forgotten either! Although we have had far fewer artists contribute copies of their works, we get especially excited when a new painting (or drawing) comes in, and we hope more and more artists will join the Picture Project in time. Just as we value photographs depicting landmarks at different seasons and from different angles, so do we value an artist’s rendering of what he or she sees and feels when visiting these landmarks.
3. Last but not least, writers are essential to the success of the Picture Project. Anyone from a professional author to an armchair historian can pitch in, and the information you contribute is unbelievably helpful and valuable. As our fifth goal states above, one of our main purposes is to preserve knowledge that might otherwise be lost to time. If you have information about the history of a landmark, or its current use or condition, please share it with our readers – both the readers who use the site now and the readers who will use the site as the decades pass. Likewise, if you know of a legend or have a fun anecdote to share, send it in! The SC Picture Project belongs to all of us, and written contributions are warmly welcomed.
We cannot emphasize this enough. While each landmark is researched, there simply is no substitute for local knowledge. Many of the landmarks we feature have no website, and they are not mentioned in any book. Thus we are often dependent on other South Carolinians in order for our pages to grow.
What We Offer
(1) The first thing we offer is clear and abundant credit for every contributor, as well as a link to your website if you have one. You also retain full ownership of your work. You are simply granting us non-exclusive permission to display it. Unlike Wikipedia, our goal is not to have contributors remain anonymous, but to reward you for your efforts. In fact, for many of our most frequent contributors, we have been able to develop profile pages. These profiles provide a fun way for the rest of the world to learn about them.
(2) The second and perhaps most important thing we offer our contributors is the chance to have your work – or wisdom – preserved for posterity.
For example, many of the photographers we work with have compiled their photos within Flickr accounts, Facebook pages, or private websites. Our concern is that these photos are not stored on stable platforms. Over the past 21 years (since SCIWAY was founded), we have seen sites such as Geocities and MySpace (plus dozens of others) come and go. Far too often, the information and files contained on these platforms has disappeared. At least 100 times, we have had to remove links to once-brilliant sites (especially historical research sites), and it is always a sad loss for our state.
Another thing to consider is what will happen to your images or information if something happens to you. We do not mean to be morbid; we have learned this twice in the most heartbreaking way. Some questions to ask yourself include: Do you have plans to continue to pay for server space? For how many years? If you do not have a personal site, do you trust Flickr or Facebook or WordPress to be around indefinitely? Do you have a friend or family member who will be responsible for maintaining your site into the future? What will happen when they are no longer able to do so? We know these questions are awkward (especially if you’re new to the Picture Project and don’t know us well), but they are important considerations.
The South Carolina Picture Project is supported by a 99-year trust. This means that it will be accessible through the Internet for decades to come, making it a safe and lasting platform to preserve our collective memories of present-day South Carolina. In this way, the South Carolina Picture Project will function much as the Historic American Buildings Survey from the early 1900s and the National Register from the 1970s and 80s.
You can see all of our profile pages on our South Carolina Picture Project Contributors page. Let us know if you would like for us to make you a profile page too – we are happy to do so for anyone who has contributed images or information to at least fifteen pages.