Big Announcement: OHS Named a Smithsonian Affiliate Partner

The Ohio Historical Society is pleased to announce its partnership with the Smithsonian Museum, the world’s largest museum and research complex. The Society has been named an Affiliated Member and begins a reciprocal relationship with the Smithsonian that includes greater access to the Smithsonian’s vast collection and resources. The Society and the Smithsonian had planned to officially announce the partnership on October 30, 2012, during a visit by Harold Closter, Director of Smithsonian Affiliations. This event has been post poned due to unanticipated severe weather and will be rescheduled.

“This is the beginning of a very important relationship for Ohio,” said Sharon Dean, Director of Museum Services for the Society. “By becoming a Smithsonian Affiliate, we are aligning the strength of the Society’s collections and resources with those of the Smithsonian.” One of the most important benefits of the partnership is that the Smithsonian’s collections-based Affiliations program permits the long term loan of artifacts and would enable the Society to incorporate Smithsonian collections into exhibitions, educational initiatives, and research programs. Dean added, “The Smithsonian has 136 million objects in its collection, and, as an affiliate, we can request to borrow objects or documents that can enrich the story of Ohio and its people. In addition, there is the potential to bring objects and the story of Ohio to the 30 million visitors who visit the Smithsonian each year.”

As an affiliate, the Society also benefits from the Smithsonian’s professional development resources. “It makes good financial sense to for the Society to be an Affiliated Member. The staff of the Society, including all of its 50+ historical sites and museums, will have access to world-renowned professional development workshops, conferences, webinars, and training,” said Burt Logan, CEO and Executive Director for the Society. “These opportunities will allow us to maintain our focus with our time and financial resources on telling the stories of the history of Ohio.”

“Another exciting opportunity is that due to this affiliation, we will be able to offer our members a program where they will be able to receive some Smithsonian benefits through their Ohio Historical Society membership,” said Jane M. Mason, director of Marketing and Communications. “This affiliation is another ‘feather in the cap’ for the Ohio Historical Society. In addition to the multiple accreditations through the American Alliance of Museums, and the impressive array of awards the Society has won recently. The Smithsonian affiliation is a stamp of approval, so to speak, of endorsing the professionalism throughout the staff of the Society. It’s an honor we share with our members and visitors.”

Smithsonian Affiliations was established in 1996 to fulfill its outreach mission of sharing artifacts, programs, and expertise. The Society is one of approximately 160 museums and educational and cultural organizations in 40 states, Panama and Puerto Rico. The goal of Smithsonian Affiliations is to establish long, meaningful relationships with its Affiliate partners to maximize the cultural and educational benefits that it can bring to a community.

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