The New-York Historical Society is an American history museum and library located in New York City, at the corner of 77th Street and Central Park West, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The society was founded in 1804 as New York's first museum. It presents exhibitions, public programs, and research that explore the rich history of New York and the nation.
The New-York Historical Society Museum & Library has been at its present location since 1908. The granite building was designed by York & Sawyer in a classic Roman Eclectic style. A renovation of the landmark building was completed in November 2011 that made it more open to the public, provided space for an interactive children's museum, and accomplished other changes to enhance access to its collections.
Louise Mirrer has been the president of the Historical Society since 2004. She was previously Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs of the City University of New York. Beginning in 2005, the museum presented a groundbreaking two-year exhibit on Slavery in New York, its largest theme exhibition in 200 years on a topic which it had never addressed before. It included an art exhibit by artists invited to use museum collections in their works.
The Society generally focuses on the developing city center in Manhattan. Another historical society, the Long Island Historical Society was founded in Brooklyn in 1863.
The New-York Historical Society holds an extensive collection of historical artifacts, works of American art, and other materials documenting the history of New York and the United States. It presents well-researched exhibitions on a variety of topics and periods in American history, such as George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Slavery in New York, The Hudson River School, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Tiffany designer Clara Driscoll, and the history of the Constitution. The Society also offers an extensive range of curriculum-based school programs and teacher resources, and provides academic fellowships and organizes public programs for adults to foster lifelong learning and a deep appreciation of history.