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South Charleston city official donates photo archive to S.C. library

By Ben Calwell, Metro Reporter
Bob Anderson, left, executive director of the South Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau, has donated his photo archive to the South Charleston Public Library. The photos cover 20 years of events in South Charleston. With him are South Charleston Mayor Frank Mullens, center, and Todd Duncan, library director. The photos are available in the library’s West Virginia Room.
Books of photos showing ribbon-cutting ceremonies, parades and other special events from the past 20 years in South Charleston are now available in the South Charleston Public Library’s West Virginia Room. Bob Anderson, executive director of the South Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau, donated the photos.
The South Charleston Public Library’s West Virginia Room also houses scrapbooks of news clippings compiled by Bob Anderson. The clippings cover 50 years of history in South Charleston.

As the City of South Charleston prepares for next month’s full slate of activities marking the city’s 100th anniversary, Bob Anderson, executive director of the South Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau, got an early start down memory lane.

On July 18, Anderson donated an archive of South Charleston-related photographs to the South Charleston Public Library at 312 Fourth Ave. The photos will join several scrapbooks of news clippings that Anderson has already donated to the library. They are available in the library’s West Virgina Room.

“This is a lot more. I’ve compiled 25 books from the last 20 years of all the pictures” related to events in South Charleston, Anderson said.

The photos record a variety of events in South Charleston over the last two decades -- everything from ribbon-cutting ceremonies, to parades, festivals and other city activities. The photo books will become part of an archive available at the library that includes Anderson’s 10 scrapbooks of news clippings dating back 50 years.

“People can come to the West Virginia Room and see what’s happened in South Charleston over the last 50 years,” Anderson said. “They can see their mothers and fathers or their aunts and uncles. I’m thrilled that they’ll be preserved here at the library.”

Library Director Todd Duncan said the South Charleston-related photos would be a nice complement to Anderson’s scrapbooks.

“We’re going to continue to add a few more scrapbooks,” Duncan said. “The scrapbooks date back to the 1960s.”

Duncan said the library’s West Virginia Room, which has been in existence about 12 years, contains a number of reference materials related to the Mountain State.

“We’ll also purchase some fiction, as well, from West Virginia authors that we want to try and preserve.”

Duncan said the West Virginia Room is popular with library patrons, “and I expect it to pick up a lot more after this. Typically, people will come in to do geneaological research.”

He said future plans might include digitizing Anderson’s scrapbooks and photos to make them available to a wider audience.

In keeping with South Charleston’s 100th anniversary, the library is having a “Happy Birthday, South Charleston” family storytime and cake party beginning at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 7.

The South Charleston Public Library is also wrapping up its Summer Reading programs for children and adults. The children’s finale was July 22 and featured a visit from representatives of the Newport Aquarium from Newport, Kentucky.

On Aug. 12 at the LaBelle Theater on D Street, the library will have its finale for the adult summer reading program.

For the adult finale, “it’s basically celebrating Appalachian heritage through music,” Duncan said.

For more information about the South Charleston Public Library, call 304-744-6561 or visit


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