Current Projects

The Belle Baruch Institute for South Carolina Studies is home to an array of exciting current projects. Through conservation and preservation of artifacts, as well as other ongoing research efforts, scholars are examining the critical impact of the Belle Baruch family on coastal South Carolina, the state, and the nation.  Faculty and student research projects in the humanities, arts, and social and behavioral sciences will advance awareness of the Baruch legacy through public presentations and publications.

Conservation and Reproduction of Belle Baruch's Equestrian Attire

Professor Allison Steadman teamed with textile conservator Colleen Callahan to study Belle Baruch’s equestrian riding attire, removed from storage in her home’s basement.  Callahan conserved some of Ms. Baruch’s original garments and Steadman created patterns and reproductions that were subsequently displayed in a 2018 exhibit and a 2020 research symposium.










Construction Draft of Belle’s Riding Jacket

Construction of Belle’s Riding Vest

Patterning of the Jacket and Vest, preparing the pieces.

Mock Up of Belle’s Riding Jacket










Completed Riding Jacket of Belle














Completed vest and breeches of Belle’s riding habit

Archiving the Belle Baruch Papers at Bellefield House

Beginning in 2016, Dr. Lynn Hanson and her students cleaned and archived a cache of documents retrieved from Belle Baruch’s basement.  Their initial focus was on a collection of financial records, mostly cancelled checks and checkbooks.

Recovered Documents

Belle Baruch kept her important documents in trunks in her basement. These are a few of the recovered documents.





Discovered Financial Documents

Other financial documents were discovered along with the many checks.





Belle’s Ledger

One of Belle’s ledgers, found with other important documents






Dr. Hanson Restoring Checks

Dr. Hanson and her team work to restore and preserve Belle’s documents.




Restoring Checks

Project directors and volunteers using these tools to restore and preserve Belle’s documents.





Belle’s Checks

A detailed look at one of Belle’s checks.





The Filing System

In order to keep clear records, the Institute formed a system of cataloging each item that was found.





Restored Checks

An example of how many checks were able to be restored.






Cataloging Belle’s Documents

Students and volunteers working together to catalog and organize found documents.

After cleaning and recording these documents, the Institute now has a dataset of Belle Baruch’s financial transactions between 1940 and 1961. The archived original documents include over 6,100 check stubs in 26 checkbooks and over 1,000 cancelled checks. These checks show Belle Baruch’s numerous contributions to the community and organizations, dedication to work and responsibility, as well as her playfulness and adventurous spirit. Most of all, the collection of checks is an insight into Belle’s extraordinary life.


You can open the Excel dataset of Belle Baruch’s checks to view details, search, and sort the worksheet of checkbooks and the worksheet of cancelled checks. See also these Acknowledgements.

To cite information derived from this data, please use this source citation information:

Hanson, Lynn. “Belle W. Baruch’s Personal Checks, 1940-1961.” [Electronic Record] Details of Personal Checks and Check Stubs, 1940-1961. Francis Marion University.

Effects of Rising Sea Levels on Archeological Sites at Hobcaw Barony

Dr. Carolyn Dillian from Coastal Carolina University is researching the way in which rising sea levels and frequent and severe storm events resulting from climate change are impacting archaeological sites at Hobcaw Barony.  The shell middens visible at Hobcaw are evidence of Prehistoric Native American people, who are the ancestors of the modern Waccamaw Indian People.  The shell middens show that they harvested shellfish in this area, including oysters and clams.  However, rising sea levels and frequent storms are actively eroding the middens.  Dr. Dillian’s research, in collaboration with students, documents this erosion and will be used to create mitigation plans for saving this important record of Georgetown County’s prehistoric past.

22 Hobcaw Road
Georgetown, SC 29440