The forebear of The Charleston Museum was founded on January 12, 1773, by members of the Charleston Library Society, when South Carolina was still a British colony. Although the form and substance of the institution has changed over two and a half centuries, its general purpose at the time of its creation – to educate – is still central to its mission today.
Throughout its history, the Museum has experienced wars, natural disasters, and most recently a worldwide pandemic, yet it has continued to thrive. Today, The Charleston Museum houses more than 2.4 million objects, and each year over 100,000 people, from around the world and from all walks of life, come here to learn.
We invite you to enjoy this timeline highlighting selected events from the Museum’s rich past, from its beginning to the present, with iconic images from the Museum’s Archives.