About The Historical Society

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Founded in 1876, the Livingston County Historical Society is one of the oldest organizations of its kind in western New York and serves to present, promote, preserve, and value the rich history of Livingston County. The Livingston County Historical Society’s Museum houses over 200 years of stories and collections from seventeen towns in Livingston County (Avon, Caledonia, Conesus, Geneseo, Groveland, Leicester, Lima, Livonia, Mt. Morris, North Dansville, Nunda, Ossian, Portage, Sparta, Springwater, York , West Sparta) and also maintains an archival and manuscript collection that provides the foundation for research and inquiry. The Livingston County Historical Society collaborates with many Livingston County communities and provides tours and programming for the public.

Mission

The Livingston County Historical Society is an educational institution that connects the public with the rich history of the county by promoting a broader appreciation of the present through a deeper understanding of the past. LCHS uses its collections, programming, and partnerships to meet this mission and gain recognition as the county’s leading institution for heritage tourism and history education. 

Vision

The Livingston County Historical Society inspires residents, community organizations, government, and visitors to value the county’s history and advocate for the promotion, protection, and funding of history education and cultural preservation.


Strategic Plan 2017-19

ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

  • To actively plan for organizational growth, LCHS will develop its human resources in accordance with current museum standards and ensure that Board, staff, and volunteers hold a high degree of ownership in and commitment to the organization.
  • To assure the enduring success of LCHS, the organization will promote its financial security by establishing long-term financial practice, seeking secure sources of revenue, and prudently managing financial resources.
  • To be a recognized and respected resource to all of Livingston County, LCHS will increase countywide awareness, involvement, and support membership of our organization

COLLECTIONS/ EXHIBITS

  • To engage in responsible stewardship of its collections and provide an optimal environment for preservation and access
  • To promote and share Livingston County’s history with all visitors

BUILDING/SITE

  • To engage in responsible and safe stewardship of its historic buildings and site, LCHS will provide protection for the collections and exhibits, sufficient and appropriate space for administrative and curatorial activities, accessible visitor services, and educational programming for the public

PROGRAM 

  • To offer a variety of interactive and engaging programs to a diverse audience that deepens understanding of the past and encourages advocacy for history education and historic preservation

AUDIENCE/MEMBERSHIP

  • To be a recognized and respected educational resource to Livingston County, LCHS will increase public awareness, involvement, and support of our organization through public outreach and community partnerships

Interpretive Plan

The Plan, along with its attached appendices, constitutes an interpretive plan for the Livingston County Historical Society. LCHS Administrator Anna Kowalchuk and consultant Christopher Clarke worked together to develop this plan, which began with their conversations in the fall of 2010, and later incorporated a series of public discussions with a variety of constituent groups, including local historians, LCHS board members, and members of LCHS. The full plan can be found here, with appendixes for the permanent exhibit plan and program details.

Collections Management Policy

The Livingston County Historical Society seeks to enhance its museum collection by judiciously acquiring artifacts appropriate to its purpose as stated in Article II of the Constitution, i.e., “The general objectives of this Society shall be to discover, procure, preserve and display in a museum, artifacts which relate to the history of Livingston County.“ Our full Collections Management Policy can be found here.

History

Founded in 1876, the Livingston County Historical Society is one of the oldest organizations of its kind in western New York. The Livingston County Historical Society’s Museum owns and occupies Geneseo’s District #5 schoolhouse. This cobblestone structure dating from 1838 is a contributing structure within the Geneseo National Historic Landmark District. The pioneer Wadsworth brothers dedicated this land to remain forever for educational purposes. When the school moved to a new facility in 1932, the building retained its role as an educational institution by becoming the headquarters of the Livingston County Historical Society and its Museum.  

The Livingston County Historical Society’s Museum houses over 200 years of stories and collections from 17 towns in Livingston County including: Avon, Caledonia, Conesus, Geneseo, Groveland, Leicester, Lima, Livonia, Mt. Morris, North Dansville, Nunda, Ossian, Portage, Sparta, Springwater, York, and West Sparta. The Livingston County Museum works to preserve, promote and interpret the rich history of Livingston County. The Genesee River, fertile agricultural land, a scattering of lakes, streams and rolling hills plus salt deposits make up the geography of Livingston County. Collections document the personal, social, cultural, political, religious, military, medical, industrial, and agricultural history of the people of Livingston County. 

The Livingston County Historical Society’s 2014-2016 Strategic Plan builds upon an earlier five year strategic plan beginning in 2009. The 2009-2012 plan charted LCHS into new territory and coincided with the hiring of a first ever part-time Museum Administrator. Through the support of a Museumwise SET grant and with the guidance of consultant Sally Treanor (Buffalo, NY) this initial plan was divided into seven categories: Human Resources, Finances, Building and Site, Exhibits and Collections, Programming, and Membership and Audience. 

The 2014-2016 Strategic Plan, or phase two of strategic planning, incorporates these same categories in a slightly different format. Organizational Development serves to encompass the former categories of Human Resources and Finances. Communication is eliminated as a separate category in the new plan. The remaining groupings continue as Programming, Building and Site, Collections and Exhibits. Choosing a three year over a five year plan created a manageable period. Simultaneous with the development of the 2014-2016 strategic plan, LCHS hired Bero Architecture (Rochester, NY) to create a Facility Master Plan. Preparing for a capital campaign on the horizon, LCHS, with assistance of Museumwise SET grant funding, hired Anne Ackerson - Lead by Design (Troy, NY). Ms. Ackerson helped LCHS to learn more about and enter the process by which a strategic plan is developed, with clearly defined distinctions between goals, strategies, and tasks. This led the vision of the LCHS board and staff to new levels. 

Disaster Plan

A full copy of our disaster plan can be found here. For additional information, please contact museum personnel.


Historic Structures Report 

View the full report (14MB PDF file) or individual sections as needed:

 

Conservation Assessment Program

View our Historic Structure Assessment and our Conservation Assessment Report.