Browse Exhibits (54 total)

Objects/Objectives in Pilgrimage and Tourism

Souvenir- n. [suːvəˌnɪə]

a slight trace of something, a remembrance, a memory

From time immemorable, travelers have brought home objects from their voyages.

Some souvenirs have spiritual value, like a relic carried home by a medieval pilgrim. Others are spur of the moment purchases used to remember a particular day or place.

How much can a souvenir tell us about a journey?

This exhibit examines objects of travel, from the sacred to the tacky, in order to compare pilgrimage and tourism.

University of South Carolina

Key documents and images from the history of the University of South Carolina.

Home is Where You Hang Your Hat: Definitions of Hometown Identity


Everyone has a hometown, but hometown means different things to different people. Where do you consider your hometown? Is it where you spent the first 18 years? Is it where you live now?


Hometown identity is shaped by the experiences one has and the memories associated with those experiences. If and when someone leaves their hometown, they find ways to maintain this geographic identity.


These are some objects that symbolize this identity.



Worthless? Old Stuff

Old things.  Our basements and attics are full of them.   They are obsolete, archaic, and old-fashioned; but they are also venerable and experienced.  Why do we hate and love them so?


Stone Tool Technology: An Introduction

For most of human history, long before we used metal and iron for tools, people made and used tools made of stone. While the use of stone for tool making seems a relatively simple by Several basic tools used in the manufacture of form of technology by todays standards, stone tools, are the result of a complex set of processes, techniques, and know how. Finished forms  well as finished tool types such as arrowheads are show the complex and dynmic nature of this of stone tool technology.The object of this exhibit is to familiarize the viewer with basic information about the stone tool manufacture process; including what techniques are invlolved, what tools were used in the fabrication of stone tools, and to provide examples of what finished tools might look like.

Fondly Remembered: Place and Memory in America

Home, vacation, business trip.

Though these words might have diverse meanings, they all carry distinctive images of one thing: place. Each word or phrase may have evoked different feelings, but each one is linked to definite ideas and memories of the places we live, work, and play.

In 2006 alone, the U.S. Census Bureau reported 50 million Americans moved to another home, while two-thirds of Americans in May 2009 said they were planning a summer vacation. With all these changes of scenery, capturing images of the places dearest or most fascinating to us assumes extra importance.

Every person has his or her own way of remembering. Maybe it's a tattered road map covered with notes, or a photo of the sunset from the back porch, or that cute figurine from a honeymoon to New York. Whatever they are, these items help us relive special places no matter where we go.

Winter in Midsummer

An exhibit of sketches recorded by S.C. State Geologist, Oscar M. Lieber (1830-1862) while serving as a member of the United States Coastal Survey. An exotic landscape of glaciers and rugged highlands illustrate Lieber's account of his voyage and time in the field. The Manuscripts Division of the South Caroliniana Library preserves both Lieber's journal of daily entries and an edited manuscript version completed following his return from the expedition.

Methods of Memory


How do we know who we are?  How do we know what we are?  How do we remember?

Ubiquitous in Western culture is the impulse to identify, preserve, and remember ourselves and our surroundings.  This exhibit surveys various attemtps to define ourselves over the course of over 500 yars.  From writing and ritual in the Middle Ages to photographs and government records of the modern era, we privilege memories not only as representations of the past, but also objects unto themselves.


As you browse this exhibit, ask yourself these questions:

1) What do you think is important to remember?

2) How do you create and preserve those memories?

3) Who can identify an object's meaning?



IT'S A BIRD...IT'S A PLANE...THINK AGAIN! Objects that fly without wings and how they achieve flight.

When we think of flight, visions of airplanes or birds gliding through the air come to mind. What do they have in common? Wings of course! But what if an object can fly without them? How is this possible and just what sorts of objects can achieve such a feat? Enter the exhibit and experience the many variations of flight through a select hand full of wingless wonders from a whole new perspective!


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Look Inside Containers

Container: Anything that contains or can contain something.

To Contain:

  1. To hold or include within its volume or area
  2. To have as contents or constituent parts; comprise; include
  3. To be capable of holding; have capacity for

Tea Time is Cancelled: The Evolution of the Female Sphere in the American South

Stretching back to the early years of history, women have served various roles in American society.  From the homemaker, to the educator, to the Wall Street executive, the female identity has grown far beyond the apron to include a wide range of new identities.  In the American south, women have challenged traditional ideas of femininity and have shown themselves to be very valuable assets to their community. 

Tea Time is Cancelled strives to highlight the evolution of the female sphere as well as celebrate the diverse roles of women in the southern region of the United States.


Great American Road Trip

The US Skewed Through a Mini Van's Rear View:

The middleclass American phenomenon of the enforced family road trip—however traumatizing it may be for the children strapped in the backseat—creates emotional ties between souvenirs and geography that shape grown adults’ attitudes toward specific geographic locations within the Untied States.  

What You See: Visual Accessibility in Museums and Archives

      Museums and archives are cultural institutions that should be accessible to all members of society, regardless of race, class, gender, sex, religion, or disability. Public institutions do not exclude anyone from entering, yet people with visual impairments cannot easily experience those institutions’ contents. If public institutions wish to reach all members of society, accessibility is key. This is especially important for nationally accredited museums and archives, who must follow museum standards for accessibility to maintain their accreditation. Lighting, digitization, and media are all issues that affect accessibility in museums and archives.



<CENTER>"Yankees Only Visit the South, <br>Damned Yankees Come and Stay": <br> South Carolina's "Second Yankee Invasion," 1890-1935</CENTER>


Imagine a Southern plantation - what do you see?

Perhaps you envision beautiful ladies wearing hoop skirts, chivalrous men reaching for dueling pistols, or melancholy slaves toiling in rice or cotton fields. If so, you have forgotten an important part of the story – wealthy Northern sportsmen.


Lured by the romantic image of the Old South and the promise of excellent hunting, newly-rich Northerners began purchasing former plantations as winter homes. Locals, unsure about the changes these newcomers would bring, described this movement as the “Second Yankee Invasion.”

These “Invaders” remain controversial in the communities they affected. Were they early preservationists, or simply “Damned Yankees”?

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From the Old South to the New: A Regional History in Objects

What is the American South to you?

The Southern United States has undergone many radical changes in the past 150 years. The South, which is broadly defined in this exhibit as the eleven Confederate States as well as Kentucky and Missouri, has been a stage for slavery, the Civil War, the Civil Rights movement and many other pivotal events in US history. It has also given the world Rock ‘n’ Roll music, chicory coffee and a cast of famous characters that are still venerated today. No other region of the US is more nostalgically remembered by some or more despised by others. Despite being held back for many years by the specter of inequality and poverty, the American South has now emerged as one of the fastest growing regions in the nation.

This exhibit will use objects to answer the key questions:

- How has the South changed?

- What caused the South to change?

- How have these changes affected Southerners?



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Animal Expressions

From plush toys to national symbols to abstract works of art, humans use imagery of both familiar and exotic animals to express beauty and pride. We portray animals as happy, friendly, and soft to provide ourselves with a source of comfort in a chaotic and unfamiliar world. Animal imagery allows us to create our own imagined version of nature, perhaps more pleasant than the reality.

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Second Wave Feminism in South Carolina

An exploration of the changing roles of white women in South Carolina, specifically, and the South more broadly.  Starting with the antebellum era and moving through the 1970s women in South Carolina begin to agitate for civil rights and an active feminist community emerges.

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Analog to Digital: Changing Media Formats in the 20th Century

“Analog to Digital: Changing Media Formats in the 20th Century” examines how changing media formats in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries has changed how people experience listening to music.

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"There's No Place Like Home": Displays of State and National Affiliation

How does one express state or national pride through objects? What different forms of media are used to display this affiliation? This exhibit showcases a variety of different objects that represent various states and countries to explore how people visibly represent where they come from or what location they associate with.

People claim many different types of affiliation. Whether they be political or religious, to various interest groups or organizations, countries or states, public or private, these affiliations demonstrate a formal attachment to something. When this affiliation for a state or country is put on display or embodied by an object it resembles a form of pride. Pride indicates a deeper more emotional or sentimental connection to a place. Whether it is through a sports team or the display of a map or flag, people have interesting and creative ways to connect with their home even when they are far away.

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