The Seneca City Museums has launched a new website with increased virtual educational content, including a podcast titled “The Small Muse,” virtual tours, a video series about historic grave sites in Oconee County, information about the history of African American churches, and more. The virtual programming was supported by funding from a Bridge Grant from South Carolina Humanities, www.schumanities.org. Funding for the Bridge Grants was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act economic stabilization plan.
Owned and operated by the City of Seneca, the Seneca City Museums is comprised of a number of historic sites that include: Lunney Museum, Bertha Lee Strickland Cultural Museum, Oberlin Faith Cabin Library, the Bell Gallery, and the Carter Archives. Sharing a property, the two museums host joint events, provide a unique tour that spans both sites, and share a story that bridges two women’s lives into one narrative. Bertha Lee Strickland Cultural Museum is the only exhibit museum in Upstate South Carolina whose focus is local African American history. The Lunney Museum, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is the only historic house museum in Oconee County.
Due to COVID-19, the Seneca City Museums have been closed since March 2020. The staff immediately began diligently working to create and deliver a sustainable online presence to remain a viable resource for public history research and dissemination.Over the past five months, the museums has developed several excellent virtual initiatives, including:
The Small Muse Podcast
The podcast features two small museum professionals discussing news, events, and practices related to managing a small museum in a rural community.
Under the Magnolias
Under the Magnolias is a video series produced by the Seneca City Museums. Filmed at the grave sites of historic individuals, the series explores the lives and places of Oconee County that impacted the development of its rural mountain communities.
Users can explore current and past exhibits at the Bertha Lee Strickland Cultural Museum with a high fidelity three-dimensional tour. Tours of The Lunney Museum will be added soon.
The 100s is a series that shares the early history of African American Christian churches that for more than 100 years still worship and support the Oconee County community.
More virtual programming is in the works, including cultural storytelling and a lecture series. To enjoy all of these resources or for more information about the Seneca City Museums, visit https://senecacitymuseums.org/.
The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 20-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.
Image: Shelby Henderson, Director of the Bertha Lee Strickland Cultural Museum, and Nick McKinney, Director of the Lunney Museum, record an episode of The Small Muse podcast; photo courtesy of the Seneca City Museums