South Carolina

McKissick Museum – Columbia, South Carolina

South Carolina  |  SC Picture Project  |  Richland County Photos  |  McKissick Museum

The McKissick Museum is located at the head of the University of South Carolina Horseshoe in Columbia. It was completed in 1939 on the site of the original president’s house and initially served as a library. It is named for James Rion McKissick, a Union native and a 1905 graduate of the University of South Carolina, then called South Carolina College. McKissick later graduated from Harvard Law School and began practicing law in South Carolina in 1914. However, two years later he switched careers and entered journalism as editor of the Greenville News. In 1924 he was appointed to the University of South Carolina’s board of trustees and became the Dean of the School of Journalism in 1927. McKissick was named president of the University in 1936.

Horseshoe McKissick

Josh Whiteside of Beaufort, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The university’s library was originally housed in the South Caroliniana Library, a building designed by Robert Mills in 1838. A century later, the present McKissick Museum was built by the Works Progress Administration as the campus’s main library while the South Caroliniana Library became a repository for South Carolina-related manuscripts and archives. McKissick died in September of 1944 from a heart attack, and his body lay in state in the new building. He was then buried in front of the South Caroliniana Library, and the new library was renamed the McKissick Memorial Library in his honor. In 1976, the school’s library moved into a new building, the present-day Thomas Cooper Library. The McKissick Memorial Library was rededicated as a museum in 1984, though a museum had operated here since 1973.

McKissick Museum

Wilson Jumper of West Columbia, 2012 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The McKissick Museum is home to many historical collections and Southern archives. The visitor’s center is also housed here, making it the University’s “front door.”

McKissick Museum Info

Address: 816 Bull Street, Columbia, SC 29208
GPS Coordinates: 33.997288,-81.026294

McKissick Museum Map

McKissick Museum – Add Info and More Photos

The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of McKissick Museum, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!


The South Carolina Picture Project is a volunteer project which earns no profit. We work hard to ensure its accuracy, but if you see a mistake, please know that it is not intentional and that we are more than happy to update our information if it is incorrect. That said, our goal is to create something positive for our state, so please make your comments constructive if you would like them to be published. Thank you!

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