Mission, Vision, Values & Strategic Priorities

Our Mission

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

Our Mission Delivery

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 a service-oriented and accessible repository of state archival, documentary, photographic, archaeological, and museum collections, and a center for research.
  • As an effective leader of and partner in educational initiatives and learning opportunities for all Minnesotans.
  • 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 leading publisher of content about Minnesota and its history in traditional and digital media for a variety of audiences.
  • As a partner in expanding historic preservation and in providing professional field services, increasing the capacity of history and heritage organizations statewide.

Our Vision

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

  • A home for collections, programs, staff, and leaders that reflect and serve the diversity of people who are today’s and tomorrow’s Minnesotans.
  • A partner in helping young people make connections between history and today’s world.
  • 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.
  • A broad network of supporters, public officials, members, donors, volunteers, trustees and others who work to extend our impact and strengthen our future.

Our Values

Stewardship & Service

  • We responsibly care for the resources that have been entrusted to us, today and for future generations.
  • 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.


  • We communicate with honesty, openness, and transparency.
  • Our tradition of excellence and leadership across professions is upheld and supported, especially through staff recognition, compensation, and development.

Inclusion & 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.

Our Culture

MNHS staff and volunteers are dedicated to using the power of history to transform lives. We strive to create a workplace where everyone can succeed. Our culture is lived through four elements of our values:


We appreciate one another’s knowledge, experience and expertise, and build relationships upon trust.


We achieve the best results when our diverse perspectives and skill sets come together.


We are open to new ideas and continuously seek to improve.


We are a community with a shared purpose: fulfilling MNHS’s mission and vision.

Strategic Priorities

Educational Relevance

Providing context and connecting the present with the past
MNHS inspires Minnesota learners to examine, engage, and understand their world through a historical lens.

Minnesota’s Historical Resources

Sharing access to meaningful places, programs, resources, events, services and exhibits
MNHS works with Minnesota’s communities to showcase our state’s diversity, history, and role in today’s world. Our network of coordinated sites, museums, programs, events, exhibits, and publishing engages people of all ages, backgrounds and interests.

Inclusion & Diversity

Welcoming and serving all communities
MNHS welcomes and serves all people of Minnesota, including displaced Indigenous communities. We reflect the diversity of those we serve and ensure that inclusive practices are embedded in all aspects of our work.

Sustainability & Stewardship

Ensuring valued service now and for future generations
MNHS develops and manages its resources to ensure the sustainability of the services it provides to the people of Minnesota. Long-term financial planning guides our decision- making. When allocating the resources we provide for the public (financial, human, facilities, collections), we balance short-term opportunities with long-term goals.