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Through innovative partnerships, comprehensive collections, and stimulating exhibitions and programs, the South Carolina State Museum provides educational environments that entertain, inspire imagination and creativity, and enrich the lives of visitors.



The South Carolina State Museum, the state’s largest and most comprehensive museum, is located along the banks of the beautiful Congaree River in downtown Columbia, South Carolina. Founded in 1988, the State Museum is the primary storyteller of the history of South Carolina. Through rich and diverse collections displayed through interactive and engaging exhibitions, the State Museum strives to honor the groundbreaking nature of its setting, providing both residents and visitors an in-depth picture of the state’s past, present and future. There is much to see and do every day at the State Museum through a variety of exhibitions and educational programs both offered at the museum and through distance learning programs, as well as through entertaining community events of all kind.



The State Museum has four disciplines that reflect the richness of South Carolina’s history. The museum’s collection contains more than 70,000 artifacts. The museum’s four disciplines represent:

South Carolina Art – Just as South Carolina art plays an integral role in the lives of many visitors, it is integral to the story the State Museum tells of South Carolina.

Natural History – South Carolina is one of the most biologically diverse areas of the United States. See a giant shark display, a dinosaur and the South Carolina habitats exhibitions.

Science & Technology – The science and technology floor provides historic and contemporary exhibitions and activities. Explore space, science, discover the principles of flight and learn about the inventor of the laser.

Cultural History – The history floor of the State Museum covers roughly 14,000 years of the state’s heritage. See a Civil War submarine, a train history and the African American history exhibitions.



The State Museum is undergoing a multi-dimensional expansion project, Windows to New Worlds which will position South Carolina on the cutting edge of education, particularly in the critical areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Windows to New Worlds, slated to open in 2014, has several innovative elements, including enhanced guest services, an on-site and online observatory and classroom with a distance learning studio, a 55-foot digital planetarium dome and theater, a 4D multisensory theatre, an historical telescope gallery and an outdoor telescope viewing terrace.

In the capital city where three interstates converge, no one in the state will be more than 3.5 hours away. Some 75,000 additional visitors are anticipated in the first year alone and earned revenue is expected to double to $3,000,000 per year.