CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina’s oldest historical society is right here in Charleston. It’s the largest repository of documents, books, manuscripts, and maps, and everything you need to know about the state. Dr. Faye Jensen keeps it running.
Dr. Jensen has served as the South Carolina Historic Society’s CEO for nearly two decades. For a history lover like her, it’s a dream come true.
“As a foundation for a democratic society, it’s really important to know how we began and what our ancestors fought for. I’m finding it to be more important know than it has been in a long time,” she said.
“We’re getting so many questions about factual history — what really happened — to be able to go back to these primary resources is just crucial.”
Dr. Jensen has found many treasures in the state’s archives, such as documents from Francis Marion and John Adams.
One of the less exciting parts of Jensen’s job was facilitating the move of those archives — around two million pieces of paper — from the original building to the College of Charleston’s Addlestone Library to protect them from moisture and humidity. But the move was necessary to preserve the storied collection.
Dr. Jensen also oversaw the opening of the South Carolina Historical Society Museum. It makes the collections more accessible to the public and puts on display some of the most notable documents.
“It’s so… our children know what happened, [so] they know the sacrifices people made to get where they are today, [so] they know their ancestors experiences,” she explained.
After 17 years, the reign of the second woman to lead the South Carolina Historical Society is coming to an end as Dr. Jensen nears retirement. She is not sure what is next for her, but whatever her next step may be, she plans to keep educating the public about the importance of history.