South Carolina State Museum Facts
The Museum has four large floors devoted to the disciplines of art, history, natural history and science/technology. It houses both long-term exhibits and five changing exhibit galleries.
On Oct. 29, 1988, the South Carolina State Museum opened its doors, bringing to the citizens of the Palmetto State the newest, and one of the finest, state museums in America. Since that day it has awed, delighted and enlightened millions of visitors.
The State Museum has more than 70,000 artifacts in its collection, and it is still a very young institution.
The State Museum is housed in its largest artifact, the former Columbia Mill. This former textile mill also is a world-first. When it opened in 1894, manufacturing cotton duck cloth (a canvas-like material), it was the first totally-electric textile mill in the world. It was also the first major industrial installation for the General Electric corporation. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The State Museum was voted one of the three top museums by Southeastern readers of Southern Living magazine, along with the High Museum in Atlanta and the Smithsonian Institution.
The State Museum has been voted Best Museum in the Midlands five years in a row by Columbia Metropolitan magazine, and was designated Best Museum of 2007 by the readers of the Free Times newspaper.