Lowcountry Headlines

Lowcountry Headlines


Charleston working to preserve historical documents dating back 300 years

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston County is working to preserve our past in order to better protect our future.

Charleston County’s Register of Deeds Michael Miller is pushing to protect some of the state’s most important documents.

Miller says he’s looking for funding to digitize the real estate records, deeds, and other important papers that his office holds.

“Those documents are not just Charleston history or even South Carolina history,” said Miller. “Those documents are really U.S. history.”

Some of the documents held in the office date back to the late 1600′s. There are records of slaves that were sold along with land and even letters written on animal skin.

Miller believes that digitizing the documents will be better protect these records in cases of emergency or disasters.

“There are important documents just like the ones almost damaged in the Notre Dame fire, in this office," Miller said."I think we need to prepare for those things, so this is an effort to preserve those documents not just for now but for perpetuity.”

Both the state and the county have no allocated funds for preserving these documents, so Miller is exploring options like grants and philanthropic endeavors.

He says he’s also reached out to state representatives about this issue.

Charleston County is one of seven counties in the state that have elected Register of Deeds.

Miller says that the effort to preserve the documents could be the beginning to modernize the office.

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