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The Charleston Museum


The Charleston Museum was founded by the Charleston Library Society in 1773 while South Carolina was yet a British colony.

Commonly regarded as “America’s First Museum”, many of the original collections were destroyed by fire in 1778 and operations were suspended during the American Revolution, however, collecting resumed in the 1790s. In 1824 the Museum was opened to the public in and, while operations were temporarily suspended due to the Civil War, they began again shortly after the conflict. The Museum’s collections now present the oldest-acquired and the most comprehensive assemblage of South Carolina materials in the nation. Modern collecting emphases include natural science, ornithology, historical material culture and both documentary and photographic resources.

Hours: Monday-Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Admission: $10

For more information visit

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