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The Washington State Historical Society is a non-profit 501 c 3 membership organization, open to any and all individuals, families, or firms. The Society is also recognized in statute (RCW 27.34) as a trustee agency of the state of Washington with enumerated powers.
Founded in 1891 and now into its second century of service, the Washington State Historical Society is dedicated to collecting, preserving and vividly presenting Washington's rich and varied history. The Society is comprised of a family ofmuseums and research centers, offering a variety of services to researchers, historians, scholars and the lifelong learner.
Our mission is to inspire all people to make history a part of their lives by presenting exhibits, programs and publications that bring history alive; collecting materials that reveal stories of Washington and its people; educating students of all ages; encouraging the heritage activities of others; and fostering a sense of identity and community.
The Society is governed by a board of trustees, elected by the membership of the Society, excepting seven public officials (the Governor, Secretary of State, Superintendent of Public Instruction and four state legislators) who serve ex officio. Trustees (excepting statewide elected officials) are limited to three three-year terms, the officers (President, vice presidents for western and eastern Washington and the Treasurer) are limited to two three-year terms. The director is appointed by, and serves at the pleasure of, the board and functions as the corporate secretary.
The State Capital Museum and Outreach Center is located in the historic Lord Mansion, seven blocks south of the capital campus in Olympia, at 211 21st Avenue SW. The museum is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the history and culture of Washington and features two floors of exhibits.
Exhibits on regional Native American history and on Olympia as Washington's capital bring area history alive. A series of provocative temporary exhibits encourages visitors to examine history through different cultural, social and political lenses. Gracious lawns and ethnobotanical gardens featuring native Northwest flora surround the museum.
The building also houses outreach programs of the Washington State Historical Society, including the Women's History Consortium, Heritage Resource Center, National History Day and Traveling Exhibits Service. For more information about the Lord Mansion, museum exhibits and events and outreach programs please contact the State Capital Museum and Outreach Center at 360/753-2580.
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