Virtual Programs


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Western Reserve Historical Society is dedicated to helping the community stay engaged by providing members and the public with online exhibits, activities, stories, content, lessons, virtual speakers, and more.

For Adults

Speaking of Cleveland

Our Speaking of Cleveland series features the intriguing, curious and oft-forgotten tales from Cleveland’s past. Pulled directly from the nationally-recognized collections of the Western Reserve Historical Society, these stories showcase the innovation, the grit and the pride that characterize Cleveland’s past, present and future. Book a virtual Speaking of Cleveland program for your group.

Virtual Talks & Tours

Then & Now Blog

Our Then & Now blog articles are selected to help us as a community make sense of the present through a deeper understanding of the past. Covering everything from the history of gardening in Cleveland to local stories of activism, Then & Now is a great resource to help better understand the world around us.

Then & Now Blog

Life in the Early 1900s

Explore day to day life in the early 1900s, including the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 and its impact on Northeast Ohio. As historians, we know we have been through tough times, but we also know that we emerge from crisis, and what we learn from history can help save lives. While the news remains sobering, hope can be found in history.

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Ohio’s Presidential Past

This video series, presented by WRHS Chief Curator, Eric Rivet, provides a brief look at the lives and careers of the eight men claimed by Ohio that have served as the nation’s chief executive.

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Women’s History in Northeast Ohio

Study and celebrate the vital role of women in American history. This virtual program sheds light on Ohio’s most memorable women, as well as collection items and primary resources from WRHS’s remarkable Library and Archives.

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Crime in Cleveland

This video series, presented by Whitney Stalnaker, explores the colorful characters of Cleveland’s crime history.

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Spring Holiday Traditions

Cleveland’s diversity is its chief strength and it is during holiday seasons such as Easter and Passover that we can truly sense how well multiple cultures come together to make a whole. With over 100 different ethnic identities represented in Northeast Ohio, what might be seen as a common holiday takes on a variety of hues. Learn more about some of these celebrations in a selection of articles exploring the history behind the traditions.

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The History of Gardening

Gardens are, perhaps, the closest and most intimate tie we have to the earth. From Eden to Babylon, and to the gardens of the Alhambra, our cultures, communities, and religions celebrate the garden and its connection to something larger. They are a symbol of growth, of life, and of hope. Throughout history, people have used gardening as a sacred resource, an escape, a celebration, and a way to come together. Learn how gardening has helped cultivate our region.

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Virtual History on Tap | 1920s Cleveland

Grab a cocktail, grab your computer, and belly up to the “bar” as we dive into the fascinating world of 1920s Cleveland. Like many major US cities, Cleveland certainly had its share of illegal liquor and “mob” activity during Prohibition and it indeed saw changes in women’s fashion and challenges to what was considered proper behavior. But it was much more than that – it did “roar” in the 1920s, but not just in the clichés of that era.

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Celebrate Those Who Give Black

Western Reserve Historical Society continues to build our virtual presence by bringing relevant stories and history to your home. Check out our newest online exhibit Celebrate Those Who Give Black. This Exhibition is designed to tell the rich history of African-American charitable giving, and the story of Black philanthropy in Cleveland by honoring the past, celebrating the present and inspiring the future.

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A Century of Celebrations

The holidays in Cleveland have always been a magical time of year. Discover the nostalgic holiday traditions of Cleveland with “A Century of Celebrations”. Connect with celebration traditions past and present as you explore these online collections of seasonal artifacts and nostalgic décor. From Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa, to New Year celebrations, each vignette will evoke the spirit of giving, connection, reflection, and hope for the future.

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Driving Tours

Cleveland Driving Tour

Along the route you’ll view sites that date from the beginning of our community to its present. It’s not a “standard” tour of Cleveland, but one that focuses on important, but often little-known sites and events – and touches upon the diversity that makes Greater Cleveland a special place. The illustrated narrative guide for the tour includes many links to sites and sources that probe more deeply into the history of a particular site.

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AsiaTown Driving Tour

This guided virtual tour of AsiaTown is one of a series of virtual tours developed by WRHS to highlight the diverse heritages that make up our city. It is another step in our institution’s mission to document and explore the history of a truly global city — Cleveland. Johnny Wu has crafted this tour of AsiaTown, a neighborhood that he knows well as a filmmaker, entrepreneur, and organizer who has done much to promote and discover the past and the present of one of our city’s most vibrant districts. We are indebted to him for his time, expertise, and enthusiasm.

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Eastside Driving Tour | Part #1 | Eastside Driving Tour | Part #2

This guided driving tour explores the eastside and parts of Cleveland’s Automotive and Industrial Past from the comfort of your own vehicle.

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Westside Driving Tour

This guided driving tour explores the westside and parts of Cleveland’s Automotive and Industrial Past from the comfort of your own vehicle.

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Clark Fulton Neighborhood Driving Tour

This self-guided tour focuses on sites relating to the Puerto Rican community on Cleveland’s Near West Side. It highlights parks, small businesses, and religious and cultural institutions created and maintained over the years by the Puerto Ricans, who currently constitute the largest segment of our growing Latinx community. The Western Reserve Historical Society is grateful to Selena Pagan and Claudia Longo for their guidance and work in creating this tour.

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Western Reserve Historical Society is the oldest cultural institution in Northeast Ohio, the region's largest American history research center, and one of the leading genealogical research centers in the nation.

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Cleveland History Center
10825 East Boulevard
Cleveland, Ohio 44106 ↗

(216) 721-5722

Thursday: 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Friday, Saturday, & Sunday: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm