The Drayton Hall Collections
From marble-topped tables to hand-pinched pots
Drayton Hall's Museum Collection focuses on fine arts, decorative arts, and historical artifacts that tell the site's story from its prehistory to the present. Some of the objects, such as a tea set and a pair of marble-topped tables, illustrate the Drayton family's status and taste through time and are representative of the belongings of other Lowcountry rice planter families of the era. Others, such as fanner baskets and slave tags, put a human face on slavery and everyday life on a Lowcountry plantation.
The Archaeological Collection includes objects and artifacts found on the site during excavation and field study. You can learn more about these artifacts by visiting the section on archaeology under Preservation.
In addition, Drayton Hall also has a number of secondary collections: architectural elements that have been removed from the building such as decorative plaster and wood moldings; archives that include documents, manuscripts, photographs, news clippings, maps, and ephemera related to the Drayton family and the site; and an education collection which consists of objects for interpretive use, such as contemporary rice baskets.
The Collections are housed both on-site and in appropriate off-site storage facilities. Although Drayton Hall's collections are not accessible by the public on a daily basis, we do offer special lectures and programs on a periodic basis that highlight special parts of the collection. Independent scholars and researchers may apply to view particular collections to further their course of study; such requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.