The Ohio Historical Society enriches the lives of Ohioans by providing programs and services that affect every community in Ohio. It supports public policy and legislative initiatives that promote Ohio history. The Society does this through a unique partnership with the state of Ohio. Although not a state agency, the Ohio Historical Society is a high-impact nonprofit organization responsible for administering the state’s 58 historic sites, archives, historic preservation office, history museum and more.
In an era dominated by changes in technology, instant global telecommunications and education focused on science and math, do people still care about history, historic places or history organizations in the 21st century? Read Exploring the Public Value of Ohio's History and learn more about why the public is passionate about history. Be an advocate for history in Ohio by clicking here or by visiting our Legislative Action Center.
The Ohio Historical Society works to connect almost everything it does with the state's focus of promoting education and economic development. The Society's three core functions include:
Collections and Sites Preservation – The Society is caretaker of Ohio’s heritage entrusted with about2 million collection items, 58 historic sites and the State Archives. Preserving the state’s historic collections objects and historic sites as well as maintaining a strong Archives-Library are important to the public and the reason why the Society receives investment from the state.
Outreach and Field Services – Helping others use history and historical resources for educational and economic development purposes is essential to help people connect with Ohio’s past. The Society provides outreach and field service support primarily to local history organizations, primarily the Ohio Association of Historical Societies & Museums and social studies teachers through teacher training programs, as well as to developers and communities through the programs of the Ohio Historic Preservation Office.
Access for Research and Education – Providing access to the collections and historic sites cared for by the Society is important to promoting education and economic development in Ohio. This includes accommodating visits to historic sites and museums, public and educational programs, distance learning, exhibitions, publications, photographs, workshops and online access.
In exchange for state funding, the Ohio Revised Code assigns the Ohio Historical Society responsibility for:
- Operating a system of state memorials (58 total in every region of Ohio)
- Serving as the state’s archives (public records dating back to before Ohio’s statehood)
- Operating the state historical museum (more than 2 million items in our collections)
- Operating the Ohio Historic Preservation Office
- Facilitating and providing guidance on federal and state historic tax credits
- Identifying historic and archaeological sites
- Providing historical information and research facilities to the public
- Promoting and assisting local historical societies
- Working with Ohio schools to help facilitate the instruction of Ohio history
This represents a partial list of some of the most important public responsibilities of the Ohio Historical Society. For a full listing of formal state responsibilities, click here. Because the Society carries out so many important public functions, it receives about 60 percent of its funding from the State of Ohio. The Ohio Historical Society now receives about $7.3 million annually in state operating support, down from $13.8 million in Fiscal Year 2008. This public funding amounts to roughly $0.62 cents annually per Ohio resident. Not a bad deal for Ohio taxpayers!
For more legislative information, please click on our Legislative Alert button here,
or contact Todd Kleismit, director of government relations, at 614-297-2355.