Charleston Museum | South Carolina Public Radio


“C” is for Charleston Museum. Founded in 1773, the museum originated as an auxiliary of the Charleston Library Society, dedicated to the collection, preservation, and study of “materials promoting a Natural History” of South Carolina. Thomas Heyward. Jr., and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney were among its early curators. The museum secured its first independent home and autonomy in 1907 when it moved to the Thompson Auditorium. Innovative directors, including Laura Bragg, the first female museum director in the country, expanded the size and variety of the museum collections, published scientific and archaeological studies, and inaugurated ambitious public education programs. In 1980, the museum moved to a new building at 360 Meeting Street. For the very first time, the collections were housed in a facility that had been designed as a museum. The Charleston Museum is the oldest municipal museum in the United States.

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