About Us

Experience 400 years of history through groundbreaking exhibitions, outstanding collections, immersive films, and thought-provoking conversations among renowned historians and public figures at the New-York Historical Society, New York’s first museum. A great destination for history since 1804, the Museum and the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library convey the stories of the city and nation’s diverse populations, expanding our understanding of who we are as Americans and how we came to be.

How It All Started

The New-York Historical Society's 11 founders—John Pintard, William Linn, John N. Abeel, Samuel Bayard, David Hosack, Anthony Bleecker, Samuel Miller, John M. Mason, DeWitt Clinton, Peter G. Stuyvesant, and Egbert Benson—had all lived through the turbulent years of the American Revolution and the British occupation of New York when so much destruction took place. These men believed that New Yorkers needed to take decisive action to preserve concrete evidence of their own historical moment, which they recognized as important, fearing “dust and obscurity” would be the inevitable fate of accounts and artifacts if left in the hands of private individuals. “Without the aid of original records and authentic documents,” they declared, “history will be nothing more than a well-combined series of ingenious conjectures and amusing fables.”

It is in this tradition that New-York Historical has moved forward, offering to on-site and online visitors a vast collection of art, objects, artifacts, and documents, as well as ongoing collecting programs that offer a broad grasp of history’s enduring importance and its central role in explaining our present day.

How It All Started

The New-York Historical Society's 11 founders—John Pintard, William Linn, John N. Abeel, Samuel Bayard, David Hosack, Anthony Bleecker, Samuel Miller, John M. Mason, DeWitt Clinton, Peter G. Stuyvesant, and Egbert Benson—had all lived through the turbulent years of the American Revolution and the British occupation of New York when so much destruction took place. These men believed that New Yorkers needed to take decisive action to preserve concrete evidence of their own historical moment, which they recognized as important, fearing “dust and obscurity” would be the inevitable fate of accounts and artifacts if left in the hands of private individuals. “Without the aid of original records and authentic documents,” they declared, “history will be nothing more than a well-combined series of ingenious conjectures and amusing fables.”

It is in this tradition that New-York Historical has moved forward, offering to on-site and online visitors a vast collection of art, objects, artifacts, and documents, as well as ongoing collecting programs that offer a broad grasp of history’s enduring importance and its central role in explaining our present day.

New-York Historical Society: Uncovering America's History

Take a look back at New-York Historical's founding in 1804 and our ongoing mission to preserve America's history and uncover untold stories from our collective past.

History Responds

Our renowned collecting program that preserves history as it's happening

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President & CEO

Louise Mirrer

President & CEO

Board of Trustees

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