The Montana Historical Society is the guardian of Montana's memory. Established in 1865, the oldest institution of its kind in the West, the MHS's vast historic collections of artifacts, photographs, and documents are exhibited in six extraordinary galleries. In 1969, we became the official state Archives and the repository for state agency records of permanent value.
Since the founding of the Montana Historical Society in Virginia City in 1865, our historians, curators and educators have worked as a team to save and share the stories of Montana.
The mission of the Montana Historical Society is to promote an understanding and appreciation of Montana’s cultural heritage—past, present, and future.
We do this through our heritage resources—art, books, artifacts, photographs, and even buildings throughout the state that we have helped to preserve. The Montana Historical Society also brings the state’s history to you, through our educational and public programs, traveling exhibits, publications, museum store, and research center. Even if you can’t visit us in person, our online resources bring the MHS to you.
Celebrate Montana history with us! Your interest and love of Montana’s past energizes our work. With your help, more real stories of the past can be shared and more history is preserved for future generations. We invite you to enjoy, engage, explore, know, visit, and preserve Montana history by joining and supporting the Montana Historical Society.