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.

Integrity. 
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.

Stewardship. 
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.

Connectivity. 
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.

Innovation. 
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

WRHS’s strategic plan prioritizes and elevates People, Place and Purpose.  For our People – the WRHS community and the communities we serve – WRHS strives for a culture of excellence, diversity, equity, access and inclusion (DEAI). We apply best practices to the stewardship of our Places, collections and digital resources.  It is our Purpose to empower the entrepreneurial spirit to create, promote, and sustain a relevant, experience driven organization.  We approach our work through an equity lens to ensure that collections, experiences, staff and Board reflect the rich diversity of Northeast Ohio.

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.


WRHS Code of Conduct

Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS) is dedicated to making all staff and guests feel welcome, safe and engaged.  At WRHS, we prioritize people – the WRHS community and the communities we serve.  WRHS strives for a culture of excellence, diversity, equity, access and inclusion.  We apply best practices to the stewardship of our places, collections and digital resources.  It is our purpose to empower an entrepreneurial spirit to create, promote, and sustain a relevant, experience driven organization.  We approach our work through an equity lens to ensure that collections, experiences, staff and board reflect the rich diversity of Northeast Ohio.

WRHS is dedicated to providing a safe and harassment-free experience for everyone, including ALL guests, vendors and independent contractors, volunteers, interns, stakeholders, community partners and employees.  Accordingly, WRHS prohibits harassment or discrimination based on race, national origin, ethnicity, citizenship, religion, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, pregnancy, ability, veteran or military status, or other dimensions of diversity.   Harassment and/or offensive behavior (which may include slurs, epithets, sexual advances, discrimination, demeaning comments, exclusion from participation, comments on appearance or ability, threats, etc.) is not tolerated. If you find yourself in a situation where you feel your safety is at risk, or if you bear witness to behavior that you feel is unacceptable, please immediately visit one of the admissions desks or reach out to a WRHS staff member. WRHS will investigate all reported incidents with discretion, and urgency. As a consequence, WRHS reserves the right to revoke, without refund, access to the museum sites and/or WRHS membership.

Since 1867, WRHS is committed to preserving and providing access to the history, culture and development of Cleveland and northeast Ohio.  We pledge to provide a safe, welcoming, accessible and enriching experience to all, with integrity and adhering to the highest level of standards for personal and professional conduct.