South Carolina Historical Society Staff


Elizabeth Chew, PHD

Raised in Augusta, Georgia, Chew received a BA in art history from Yale University, an MA from the University of London, and PhD from UNC-Chapel Hill. During her eight and a half years at Montpelier, Chew led teams of curators, historians, educators, interpreters, public program creators, archaeologists, and historic preservation experts in researching and interpreting James Madison and his family, his essential role in framing the U.S. Constitution and leading the nation, and the community of enslaved people who made Madison’s achievements possible. Chew worked closely with the Montpelier Descendants Committee, the organization that represents and is led by the descendants of those enslaved there, in achieving structural parity in the governance and operation of the site. Prior to joining Montpelier, Chew led the curatorial and education division at Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem, NC. Earlier in her career, she worked as a Curator at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. During her thirteen-year tenure there, Chew was responsible for ongoing research and interpretation initiatives that wove together the Monticello house, its collections, the Jefferson family, and the enslaved community. Chew has also worked in curatorial positions at The Phillips Collection, the National Gallery of Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Faye Jensen, PhD

Born in Virginia, Faye Jensen received her BA from the University of Georgia and her PhD from Emory University. She was trained as an archivist by the National Archives and Records Administration at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library. While at the Carter Library, Dr. Jensen focused on the papers of the First Lady and published “‘These are Precious Years’: The Papers of Rosalynn Carter,” in Modern First Ladies: Their Documentary Legacy. Dr. Jensen taught history for nearly twenty years at several colleges and universities, including Perimeter College in Atlanta, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and The Citadel. With an interest in the post-Civil War South, Dr. Jensen recently contributed a chapter to Making a New South, published by the University of Florida Press.

Virginia Ellison, CA, DAS

Virginia Ellison oversees all archival and museum operations. She attended the College of Charleston, where she earned a BS in anthropology and then received her MLIS from the University of South Carolina in 2011. She attended the Georgia Archives Institute in June 2012, received her certification from the Academy of Certified Archivists in 2016, and recently obtained a Digital Archives Specialist certificate from the Society of American Archivists. Virginia is past president of the Charleston Archives, Libraries & Museums Council (CALM) and serves as a District Representative for the Confederation of South Carolina Local Historical Societies (CSCLHS). She's been with the society since 2012.

Development and Membership

Hannah Mooney

Hannah is the Membership and Events Coordinator for the society. She received a BA in History from Furman University in 2015 and an MA in Public Humanities from Brown University in 2019. Hannah has worked in development, exhibit curation, and public programming through professional experiences at New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center, the John Hay Special Collections Library, Historic Charleston Foundation, and Redux Contemporary Art Center. She is passionate about preserving and interpreting South Carolina's cultural heritage, especially stories that are typically left out of the historical narrative.


Matthew A. Lockhart, PhD

Matthew Lockhart is editor of the South Carolina Historical Magazine. Originally from Landrum, South Carolina, he holds a BA in history from Wofford College along with an MA and a PhD in history from the University of South Carolina. Matthew has published articles and reviews in a number of journals and academic encyclopedias. His book chapter entitled “‘Rice Planters in Their Own Right’: Northern Sportsmen and Waterfowl Management on the Santee River Plantations during the Baiting Era, 1905–1935” appeared in Julia Brock and Daniel Vivian’s Leisure, Plantations, and the Making of a New South (2015). Matthew chairs the George C. Rogers Jr. Book Award and the Clark-Weir Article Award Committees.

Sachi Shepherd

Sachi is the Administrative Coordinator for the South Carolina Historical Society. Raised in Southern California, she received her BA in Politics from the University of Virginia and MA in American Studies from the College of William & Mary. Her thesis research addressed historic preservation efforts in the late nineteenth century and their roles in the formation of identity and cultivation of collective memory. Prior to joining the SCHS team, Sachi worked at the Museum of Tolerance, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Preservation Virginia, and currently at The Powder Magazine Museum.


Molly I. Silliman, CA

As Senior Archivist for the SCHS, Molly Silliman works to connect researchers with the SCHS collections, managing archival services and reading room operations. Molly is a Charleston native and received a BA in historic preservation and community planning from the College of Charleston in 2008. She received her MLIS in the fall of 2015 from the University of South Carolina and is certified through the Academy of Certified Archivists. Molly has served as President of the Charleston Archives, Libraries, and Museums Council (CALM) and as a district representative on the board of the Palmetto Archives, Libraries, and Museums Council on Preservation (PALMCOP). Throughout her undergraduate and graduate careers, Molly has always had a passion for the preservation of South Carolina’s architectural and documentary heritage. Molly has been with SCHS since 2014.

Karen Stokes

Karen Stokes has been an archivist with the society since 1994. She has a BA in English from the College of Charleston and an MS in library and information science from the University of South Carolina. Her main focus is the processing and cataloging of our wonderful manuscript collection, and her primary area of interest is South Carolina in the Confederacy. She has published a number of articles and books on this subject including Faith, Valor and Devotion: The Civil War Letters of William Porcher DuBose, A Confederate Englishman, Days of Destruction: Augustine Thomas Smythe and the Civil War Siege of Charleston, The Immortal 600, Confederate South Carolina, and South Carolina Civilians in Sherman’s Path.

Sydney Derrick

Sydney Derrick's role as a librarian means that you could find her cataloging materials, assisting with reference services, or creating social media content on any given day. Born in Charleston, but raised in Beaufort, South Carolina, Sydney graduated from the College of Charleston in 2005 with a double major in communications and political science. She worked as a broadcast journalist and then in marketing roles before going to back to school - graduating in 2022 with her Master's of Library and Information Science. Before joining the South Carolina Historical Society staff, she was an intern with the Lowcountry Digital Library and Lowcountry Digital History Initiative and worked on digitization projects with the Avery Research Center. Sydney loves researching and exploring the history of her home state, especially the Lowcountry.

Annette Guild

Annette Guild oversees the society's digitization projects. Raised in Anderson, South Carolina, she received her BA in history and political science from Anderson University in 2021 and her MA in public history from James Madison University in 2023. Before joining the South Carolina Historical Society staff, she was a graduate assistant for JMU’s Histories Along the Blue Ridge project and worked with the Rockingham County Circuit Court and Clerk’s Office to preserve and digitize their archival materials. Annette is very passionate about South Carolina history, and she loves working to make historical documents and resources more accessible to the public.

Amanda McGehee-Floyd

Amanda (Mandy) McGehee-Floyd is a native South Carolinian from North Myrtle Beach and serves as Research Fellow for the South Carolina Historical Society. She has a BA in History and a MA in Liberal Arts Studies with a focus on African American history and preservation. Amanda is currently a PhD Candidate in the Public History Program at Middle Tennessee State University and is completing her dissertation on the preservation, restoration, and interpretation of a historic Rosenwald School and its cultural landscape.

Museum and Education

Brandon Reid

A native of Greenville, Brandon received a BA in Political Science from the College of Charleston in 2016 and his master’s degree in Holocaust Studies from Royal Holloway University of London in December 2017. He previously worked with the Jewish Heritage Collection and the South Carolina LGBTQ: Oral Histories, Archives, and Outreach project, both located within Special Collections at the College of Charleston. He also served on the board of directors for the Charleston County Friends of the Library as Treasurer. Brandon began as a Library Associate with the Society and currently oversees daily operations of the museum and its shop. He continues working in the archives serving patrons in the reading room and remains dedicated to preserving southern Jewish history, the history of the LGBT community in the south, and sharing his passion for both the Upcountry and the Lowcountry with patrons.

Melina Testin

Hailing from the Midwest, Melina holds a BA in History from Loyola University Chicago (2022), where she concentrated her undergraduate research on 20th Century Military History and published her graphic novel on the American POW experience with the Pritzker Military Museum & Library. Prior to joining the Society, Melina worked as a museum educator at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library to design community programs, events, and tours. She enjoys sharing her passion for history through creative methods of presentation that engage and inspire the public.