historical society

n.An organization that seeks to preserve and promote interest in the history of a region, a period, or a subject.


Historical societies are typically focused on a state or a community. They often have collections of artifacts, books, and records, and may include a museum. Some state historical societies, such as Minnesota, are quasi-governmental institutions, organized as a private corporation but maintaining the official state archives.


Kaplan 2000, p. 134 The historical society movement in America originated in 1791 when Jeremy Belknap and seven others met to organize the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston [citing Louis Leonard Tucker.] . . . The historical society had become, by [the 1890s], almost obligatory for groups seeking to establish and present to the larger culture a cohesive identity.