Founded in 1896, the SC Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum is the oldest museum in the Columbia area. The museum serves as an educational, historical and cultural resource for the citizens of South Carolina and her visitors.
The museum collects and preserves artifacts relating to, or associated with, all eras of South Carolina military history for exhibition and to educate and engage its visitors. Conducting research, developing educational programs, and publishing scholarly writings using specific elements of this collection in order to educate, enlighten and engage its community of patrons and those interested in the material cultural history represented by this collection, are primary ambitions of the SC Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum.
A nationally recongized Civil War flag collection, a significant South Carolina uniform collection, and a growing weapons collection are complemented by a historical archives collection and a 19th and 20th century textile collection, allowing the museum to interpret the political and social influences on South Carolina's military history.
In September 2002, the SC Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum reopened in a renovated 17,000 square foot area of the Columbia Mills Building, next to the State Museum. In the fall 2007, the Museum expanded and renovated with a new front entrance and gallery space.
The new entrance features state-of-the-art kiosks and large television screens while the new gallery space (renovated Columbia Mills Building cistern) showcases the exhibit Forgotten Stories: South Carolina Fights the Great War (open through December 6, 2009).
The museum is also accredited by the American Association of Museums. Only 11 of approximately 200 museums and historic sites in South Carolina have earned this distinction. Just 750 museums out of 16,000 nationally are accredited.