Idaho State Historical Library

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Idaho State Historical Society preserves and promotes Idaho's cultural heritage.


Our vision is to inspire, enrich and engage all Idahoans by leading the state in preserving and sharing our dynamic cultural heritage.


  • Professionalism
  • Stewardship
  • Customer Service
  • Education

Amanda.sikarskie 14:58, 5 November 2008 (EST)


"Originally a part of Oregon Territory and then of Washington Territory, Idaho became a territory itself on March 4, 1863. Only eighteen years later, a group of early settlers organized the Historical Society of Idaho Pioneers. They wished to preserve their own history, and they wanted their descendants and future residents of Idaho to understand how this place had come to be.

On July 3, 1890, Idaho achieved statehood. Seventeen years later, the Ninth Legislature established the Idaho State Historical Society as a state agency. Its home for nearly fifty years was in a basement room in the Capitol.

Today, the Society operates programs from eight building locations in Boise. The agency also oversees historic sites at four locations in the state (Pierce, Franklin, Hansen and Boise), which are operated in conjunction with local support groups.

The staff as a whole offers technical assistance and historical expertise to county and local historical societies and other entities concerned with history and historic preservation. Administration personnel at the Society are located in the Idaho HIstory Center, located at 2205 Old Penitentiary Road in Boise and are responsible for the planning, budgeting, personnel, and governing processes within the agency.

The Society's mission remains one of which its founders would approve: To educate through the identification, preservation, and interpretation of Idaho's cultural heritage. Programs of the agency directly reach more than a quarter of a million people throughout the Gem State."

source: ISHS,

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