The Charleston Time Machine is an imaginary time-travel device created by historian Dr. Nic Butler at the Charleston County Public Library. It uses stories and facts from the rich, deep, colorful history of Charleston, South Carolina, as a means to educate, inspire, amuse, and even amaze the minds of our community. By exploring the stories of our shared past, we can better understand our present world and plan more effectively for the future.
The Charleston Time Machine is piloted by Nic Butler, Ph.D., an interdisciplinary historian with an infectious enthusiasm for Charleston’s colorful past. A native of Greenville County, South Carolina, Dr. Butler attended the University of South Carolina before completing a Ph.D. in musicology at Indiana University. He has worked as archivist of the South Carolina Historical Society, as an adjunct faculty member at the College of Charleston, and as an historical consultant for the City of Charleston. Since 2005 he has been the archivist, and now historian, for the Charleston County Public Library.
The Charleston Time Machine is also an umbrella term for Nic Butler’s programs at the Charleston County Public Library and throughout the community. Such events are included in the Calendar section of this website. If you’d like to invite Dr. Butler to speak to your school or organization, please use the Contact section of this website.
The Charleston Time Machine is fueled by imagination, which can empower us all to achieve great things. By revisiting our past, we connect ourselves to the continuum of time and place that surrounds us. In this sense, each one of us is a “time machine.”