Mission, Values, Vision & Strategic Priorities

Mission Statement

Using the Power of History to Transform Lives
Preserving - Sharing - Connecting


We aspire to these values:

  • Stewardship & Service
    • We responsibly care for the historical resources that have been entrusted to us.
    • Public service is inherent in what we do; we challenge ourselves to focus on meeting our audiences' changing needs and to provide unparalleled customer service.
  • Innovation & Resourcefulness
    • We continually seek fresh ways to meet our mission of connecting people to history and sharing compelling stories.
    • Creativity and effectiveness are critical to our success and are recognized, supported, honored and rewarded.
    • We are entrepreneurial in our search for diversified financial and other resources but always mindful that they support our vision and strategies rather than create them.
  • Integrity
    • We communicate with honesty, openness and transparency.
    • Our tradition of excellence and leadership across different professions are upheld and supported, especially through staff recognition, compensation and development.
  • Inclusivity & Collaboration
    • Collections, programs, staffing and governance reflect the diversity of the state.
    • We conduct our work with cooperation and mutual respect, working collaboratively to create teams that take advantage of the diversity of skills and activities throughout the organization and the greater community.


The Minnesota Historical Society is a dynamic and widely recognized educational organization that is a trusted resource for history.It is highly valued for its historical resources, educational impact, service, advocacy and leadership:

  • As an effective leader and partner in educational initiatives that improve academic achievement and provide opportunities for life-long learning.
  • As a service-oriented and accessible repository of state archival, documentary, photographic, archaeological, and museum collections and center for research;
  • As the State's premier presenter of history exhibitions and programs;
  • As the preserver and presenter of a compelling network of historic sites that make history meaningful for visitors and are supported by their local communities;
  • As a partner in expanding historic preservation and in providing professional field services, increasing the capacity of history and heritage organizations statewide; and
  • As a leading publisher of Minnesota and historical content in traditional and digitalmedia for a variety of audiences.

The vision of the Society is to maximize the power of personal and community stories and shared history to enrich and transform lives.The Society is...

  • A partner in helping young people succeed educationally and realize their potential.
  • A home for collections, programs, staff and leaders that reflect and serve the diversity of people who are today's and tomorrow's Minnesotans.
  • An advocate for and steward of historical resources and facilitator of compelling, substantive and enjoyable learning experiences.
  • A workplace that attracts, retains and develops talented people and enables them to do excellent work.
  • An important priority for a broad network of supporters, public officials, members, donors, volunteers, trustees and others who work to extend the Society's impact and strengthen its future.

2012 - 2017 Strategic Priorities

  • The Society is engaged in partnerships that leverage historical resources and educational expertise to make a difference in the lives of more Minnesota youth, with special focus on underachieving students.
  • The Society is continuously engaged with communities of color and American Indian nations, and the diversity of Minnesotans is reflected in the Society's collections, programs, staffing and governance.
  • The Society is deeply engaged in cultivating meaningful relationships with adult audiences as lifelong learners, members, donors, volunteers and supporters.
  • The Society is successfully addressing the major preservation and interpretive needs of its historic sites and museums, with special focus on Oliver Kelley Farm and Historic Fort Snelling.
  • The Society develops and shares great content that informs, engages, and inspires. All content is produced with a deep knowledge of the constituency that cares deeply about the subject, is edited, rich in metadata, packaged for optimal consumption, and sustained for relevance as long as possible.
  • The Society develops and manages its resources to ensure the long-term sustainability of the programs it provides in service to the people of Minnesota. It provides good stewardship of all resources - financial, human, capital and collections.

Approved by the Executive Council (June, 2012)