Mission, Vision, Values & Strategic Priorities

Our Mission

We serve all the people of Minnesota by creating powerful engagement with history to cultivate curiosity and foster a more inclusive, empathetic, and informed society.

Our Vision

The people of Minnesota will be grounded in their personal, community, and state history. They will understand how history shapes, inspires, and informs the present.  As a result they will be better citizens of their communities, their state, their country, and the world.

Strategic Imperatives

Transforming Access

Transform our programs and services to better leverage and incorporate technology, creating innovative technological programs that blend onsite and online experiences to engage existing audiences in more meaningful ways, attract new audiences, and remove barriers to accessing MNHS content and programming.

Reenvisioning Space

Push history to all corners of Minnesota, beyond the confines of our existing properties.

Expanding Authority and Expertise

Partner with communities and organizations to seek, acknowledge, elevate, and share hidden histories, diverse stories, and non-traditional expertise.

Creating a Sustainable Future

Build out and support the infrastructure needed to achieve programmatic objectives in alignment with our financial and human resources.

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 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.