Mission and Vision


The Oregon Historical Society preserves our state's history and makes it accessible to everyone in ways that advance knowledge and inspire curiosity about all the people, places, and events that have shaped Oregon.


We foster a better tomorrow through an Oregon story that is meaningful to all Oregonians.

Our Values

OHS aspires to consistently enact the following values:


OHS is committed to honest communication, transparency, and managing resources in a trustworthy and accountable manner. We foster evidence-based practices in our research, scholarship, exhibits, education programs, and publications.


OHS is a community gathering space, resource, and catalyst for civic engagement that is rooted in understanding Oregon’s history. We foster meaningful relationships with many individuals and partners who inform and direct our work.

Equity and Inclusion

OHS seeks to address historical exclusion by embracing an inclusive understanding of the Oregon experience. In partnership with multiple communities, we educate the public about inequities as we work to change our own institution.

Cultural Humility

OHS believes that history cannot be contained within a single story or point of view. We respect the validity of different perspectives and are committed to exploring and embracing multiple ways of knowing.


OHS strives to provide access to everyone along the continuum of human ability and experience. With a variety of learning methods, technologies, and languages, we enable all people to experience the power of history.


OHS values questions, new ideas, and unexpected connections and discoveries that arise through inquiry. We welcome challenging conversations and the opportunity to learn from mistakes. We recognize that willingness to change our minds is crucial to understanding history and applying it to the present.


American Alliance of Museums

The Oregon Historical Society is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

Sustainability Policy

Oregon is one of the most beautiful and livable places on the planet, and as stewards of Oregon's history, the Oregon Historical Society is committed to being good environmental stewards of our natural heritage. Sustainability is an ongoing process, and, as such, the OHS Board of Trustees and its staff agree to lead by example by prioritizing the conservation of energy and water use, promoting sustainable purchasing practices, and encouraging the use of alternative transportation.

Statement on Diversity and Inclusion

The Oregon Historical Society of the 21st century is driven by a commitment to the preservation of a collective history of the people of Oregon. We are guided by the belief that an inclusive perspective of the past must uphold historical truths, must encompass multiple voices and realities, and must not suppress uncomfortable information that helps explain why we are the way we are today.

Our pursuit of organizational diversity and inclusion begins with the recognition that our organization – like many in our field — has a history of privileging a narrow range of historical memory. We therefore seek to openly address these historic disparities in order to ensure that all Oregonians can realize and experience an honest, rich, and balanced portrayal of the past. To achieve this end, we actively work to expand decision-making power so it is shared by a diverse range of Oregonians. This includes fostering external partnerships that expand our perspectives.

Our goal is to expand our strategic planning processes to have equity, diversity and inclusion become increasingly evident in our organizational structures, making these ideals more evident in our policies, board of directors, staff, donors, community partnerships, goals, mission, and vision. We continue to do our best to seek, engage, and employ people of all backgrounds as we foster a culture of respect, openness, learning, integrity, and honesty – especially in the face of the sometimes difficult historic truths our organization must preserve and present.

Our passion for an inclusive interpretation of many historic truths compels us to be inclusive, transparent, and fair in all that we do. Our commitment to creating museum exhibitions and public programs with a diversity of community partners compels us to build deep relationships where everyone at the table is valued, heard, respected, and empowered.