One of the largest in the southeast, The Charleston Museum’s Quilt Collection consists of a wonderful variety of chintz appliqué, pieced, mosaic, whitework and traditional appliqué quilts, quilt fragments and items intended to be finished as quilts as well as crazy quilts and embroidered coverlets. This digital collection showcases a fraction of the textiles available in the Charleston Museum's physical collections.
Conservation is extremely important in the field of underwater archaeology. The uncontrolled exposure to air of any material recovered from a marine environment can lead to irreversible damage and the disastrous loss of archaeological data.
Organic materials such as leather, wood, textile, rope and plant remains, if allowed to dry without conservation treatment, they can crumble and collapsed in a matter of hours. Iron and other metals on the other hand, can last for a few days or months depending on the size and density of the artifact. But they will eventually deteriorate, corrode and fall apart. These reactions are due to a sudden break in the equilibrium reached by the artifact after years of submersion in water (as they are excavated). The main goals of conservation, therefore, are to provide archaeologists and conservators with the proper tools and techniques to handle, store, stabilize, and study the recovered artifacts.
This collection is comprised of a selection of artifacts excavated from the submarine and that were used by the crew members. Most of these artifacts were found nearby the crew members or in crew member's pockets. The commander of the submarine, Lt. George Dixon, carried a 20 dollar engraved gold coin in his pocket as well as a pair of binoculars, a gold pocket watch, and a pocket knife; and as part of his garments, silver suspenders and vest buckles. The rest of the crew members carried with them pocket knives, a wallet, pipes, matches, toothpicks, pencils and a variety of objects for everyday use. Also included are clothing accessories such as buttons and shoes as well as cork canteen stoppers.
The William McCarthy and Martin Barbeau Collection is comprised of artifacts from various origin. The objects are primarily decorative currency, such as bracelets and anklets. Places of origin include Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire), Nigeria, Togo, Zambia, Niger, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, and Ghana.
The McLeod Plantation Cemetery Collection contains beads found in 1996 during the construction of a fire station in James Island, South Carolina. Construction of the fire station, which was to be located between Folly Road, Country Club Drive, and Wappoo Creek, was aborted when workers unearthed unmarked graves. The human bones found were believed to be the remains of slaves that had once lived on McLeod Plantation.
The Marie Metz Collection is comprised of three objects; a mantel clock, a xylophone, and a clock topper. The mantel clock has metal legs with markings that indicate that the clock was made in New York. The square xylophone has five plates, each producing a different tone. The clock topper is an ornamental figurine that is displayed atop a mantel or shelf clock. The female figure is seated beside a quiver of arrows and holds a box of jewels. Markings indicate the ornament was made by the Art Metal Works Company in New York, New York. Art Metal Works was established in New York City in 1886 and moved to Newark, New Jersey in 1887.
The Rogers-Cline Collection is comprised of two cast iron kitchenwares; a kettle and a cook pot. The cast iron kettle has a wire handle, the lid is imprinted "ROME GA SO -CO - OP F'DY - CO" (Southern Cooperative Foundry Company; Rome, Georgia). The six-gallon iron cook pot has two bail handles.
The Pan-African Art and Artifact Collection contains objects anonymously donated to the Avery Research Center that portray art and life among peoples of African descent across the world.
The Paul Craven, Jr. Collection is comprised of artifacts of Togo origin. The artifacts include wooden figurines, instruments, spears, household items, and woven straw fans adorned with the flag of Togo.
Historically known as "The Walter Pantovic Slavery Collection," these artifacts span the African American experience from slavery to the Civil Rights era to the rise of African Americans in popular culture. Walter Pantovic was born in Yugoslavia in 1965 and immigrated to the United States at the age of two. He became interested in African-American history in elementary school and in his adult life began collecting artifacts related to the subject. Highlighted items in his assembled collection include shackles, slave tags, and manillas along with 1960s Civil Rights ephemera and 1970s African-American pop culture memorabilia.
The Muriel and Marcus Zbar Collection was donated by Dr. Marcus J. Zbar, a 1951 graduate of Vanderbilt University. The collection consists of artifacts originating in West and Central Africa and Papua New Guinea that Dr. Zbar privately purchased from various galleries across the United States.