Mission & Values

Mission of the Western Reserve Historical Society

To inspire people to discover the American experience by exploring the tangible history of Northeast Ohio.

Our Core Values

The core values of the Western Reserve Historical Society rest upon four common words with particular meaning for an institution dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of the people and communities of Northeast Ohio. These words, and the manner in which they relate to our mission, constitute a promise to our community a promise of integrity, stewardship, connectivity, and innovation.

While no institution would deny that it strives for integrity, it is particularly central for those in the history business, as integrity is essential to understanding the past. 

A steward oversees affairs, provides service, care, and assurance. Care is core to the concept of stewardship, a concept deeply embedded in the American experience. For WRHS, stewardship is a prime service to our community.

Whereas stewardship defines a relationship over time, connectivity has more immediate implications for WRHS. Generally, to “be connected” implies the ability to move items and ideas back and forth and to maintain an open dialog. Connectivity demands that WRHS use the historical resources it holds as steward for the good of the community. 

To innovate is to create something new, as a method, or a device. Innovation is, particularly within the United States, a process essential for progress and the future and hence for the civic good. Innovation is essential to the WRHS mission and to the sustainability of the institution itself.

Strategic Plan – WRHS 150
The WRHS Strategic Plan completed in 2011 is titled “WRHS 150” because it looks forward to the 150th anniversary of the Western Reserve Historical Society in 2017 and prepares us for that momentous occasion. WRHS 150 sets three major goals for the Society as outlined below. It demands that WRHS achieve these goals with adherence to our mission and four institutional core values as explained above.

Goals of the WRHS 150 Strategic Plan: 
1. Create a welcoming and vibrant environment for enjoying and learning about history in Northeast Ohio, whether on-site, off-site, or on-line.
2. Be accountable for our historic physical resources, on behalf of the people in Northeast Ohio for whom we hold these resources in public trust.
3. Actively strive toward a viable, stable, yet flexible organization that can evolve and grow as necessary over time.