Charleston Souvenirs

A souvenir book is a collection of images of landmarks, usually within one city, and marketed to the tourist population. It is a lot like a postcard book, but these "photo-gravures" are intended, not to be mailed, but to remain bound in the book.

This souvenir book, Souvenir of Charleston, S.C., was published in the same year (1899) as A Charleston Love Story, and, thus, is included here to provide the user with an idea of what Charleston looked like at the time of the novel's publication. The online version of this souvenir book will demonstrate not only the appearance of landmarks such as St. Michael's Church and Magnolia Cemetery, but also the apperance of Charleston to outsiders. The publisher, the Albertype Company, as well as the author, A. Wittemann, were located in Brooklyn, New York.

The volume used for digitization belongs to the University of Virginia Libraries. It measures 7" by 5.1". Every page, except the rebound title page, is fully detatched from its binding. There is a short introduction to the history of Charleston, but only one page remains of what should have been at least two. This page has not been included in the online version. Each of the remaining pages, the title page and all plates, has been included. These plates are certainly not in their original bound order. It is entirely possible that there are pages missing, and there was one duplicate plate in this copy. Original captions have been captured along with the images.

It is interesting to note, particularly for this project, that the only people identified as such in this souvenir book is a portrait of two young African-Americans, captioned "Chimney Sweeps." Other plates, mostly images of landmarks, may include people but they are not identified in the caption. Also part of the collection are images of churches, historical landmarks, monuments, civic buildings, industry, and city overviews.

This online souvenir book should be considered a compliment to the novel, A Charleston Love Story, representing the same city at the same time, but from a considerably different point of view with considerably different motivations.