Ohio Historical Society

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The Ohio Historical Society's mission is to spark discovery of Ohio history! We help people connect with Ohio’s past to understand the present and create a better future.

Our Core Values Are:

  • Authenticity – Valuing “real stuff” and true stories of history
  • Collaboration – Pursuing teamwork and sharing authority and responsibility
  • Relevance ­­­– Addressing the “so what?” of history for the diverse people of Ohio
  • Stewardship – Protecting the evidence of Ohio history

What does the Ohio Historical Society do?

With over 100 staff members, hundreds of volunteers and thousands of partners in historical societies, local history groups and local and state government, the Ohio Historical Society champions all Ohio history, including the 50+ historic sites in the Society's network throughout Ohio.

The Ohio Historical Society’s network of historical sites includes homes and memorials associated with US presidents such as Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, or Warren G. Harding. It includes early cultures and mound building sites such as Serpent Mound, Ft. Ancient, or Newark Earthworks. Some historic sites help visitors learn about the entrepreneurial and literary genius and diversity of Ohioans. Other historic sites in the network are nature preserves and are great places to hike and take photos such as Cedar Bog or Wahkeena.

From automobiles to wedding gowns, the Ohio Historical Society’s history collections document both the ordinary and extraordinary stories of Ohioans. The Society collects, preserves, catalogs, manages and makes available to the public a vast collection of about 1.6 million objects in its museums across Ohio, and in its flagship museum in the Ohio History Center. Additionally, serving as the State Archives, allows people to discover the stories of the Ohioans who built our state’s farms, industries, businesses, schools, churches, social organizations, governments, and communities.

Connecting people to the stories of Ohio is part of the daily work of the Society and is accomplished in part through educational efforts such as sponsoring National History Day in Ohio, and Ohio As America, an online textbook and curriculum for teaching the history of Ohio. Overseeing the Historical Markers program and the Local History Office are additional ways of connecting people to Ohio history.

The Ohio Historic Preservation Office is a division within the Society. Among other assignments, OHPO serves the public in a consulting capacity regarding historic properties, places, and spaces.