Bradford L. Rauschenberg, Ph.D.
Of the vast amount of furniture that existed in Charleston, South Carolina, during the Colonial and early Federal periods, only a small percentage survives today for us to study. In contrast, the documentary record—inventories, wills, account books, newspapers, shipping returns, letters, and other sources—offers significant evidence for all types of furniture that were present in the Carolina Lowcountry—both vernacular and high style, imported and made locally. Those resources yield rich information, such as dateable terminology, that in turn aids in the analysis of surviving furniture as well as all that is lost. This study provides documentary evidence for furniture forms and terminology in Charleston before 1820 and presents chronological evidence for their usage. It is hoped that the information provided will enable furniture historians to more fully understand the scope and variety of furniture that existed in Charleston and enable them to more accurately reconstruct furniture consumption and trade … Continued
The first year of the MESDA Journal as an online publication has been a success on every level. Readership has quadrupled when compared to the journal’s largest annual circulation as a printed publication. Distribution grew internationally from two countries to over sixteen. Domestically, we’ve expanded readership to every state in the country. Potential articles are being submitted for consideration in previously unheard of numbers. All of this amazing growth occurred while costs to produce the journal have been dramatically reduced. Many of you have generously supported the journal through your donations. Thank you for your enthusiastic embrace of the online platform and for spreading the word about the reinvigorated MESDA Journal. This next issue is shaping up to build on all the accomplishments of the first year. Many of you have heard me comment that I am very interested in identifying new approaches to digital research and would like to … Continued