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About the Ontario County Historical Society

The Historical Society

The Ontario County Historical Society is a 501(c)3 Not for Profit Corporation that was established in 1902. It owns and operates a Community History Museum located in the Heart of the Historic District in Canandaigua New York and is part of New York State’s Path Through History. The Society is not affiliated with any government agency and operated on public donations, membership dollars and limited public and private grants. This includes annual Operating donation from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, with the support from the New York State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Mission and Vision

VISION – The Ontario County Historical Society museum and research library will be an information resource and center of learning that engages the public in discovery and discussion of the county’s history and its relationship to western New York today and tomorrow.

MISSION – Recognizing that Ontario County was the original political and geographic entity that is now all of Western New York State, the Ontario County Historical Society preserves and promotes the history of the county in the broader context from its origins to the present to connect our community to its past and find purpose for the future.

This will be accomplished by:

  • Developing and articulating annual programmatic themes that reflect community and audience interests.
  • Presenting exhibitions and learning programs based on the annual themes and characterized by accessible narratives in which diverse audiences can explore ideas and find information that relate to the their own lives.
  • Collecting, conserving, preserving and studying collections of physical objects pertaining to the County’s past.
  • Maintaining and growing a quality library and archives on the county’s history and making research opportunities available to the public using various media, information technologies and community partnerships.
  • Managing and caring for the Ontario County Historical Museum as a community museum, the headquarters of the Society, its collections archives, and primary venue for its research library, exhibits and education programs.