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General Operating Support



Founded in 1921, the mission of the Detroit Historical Society is to educate and inspire its community and visitors by preserving and portraying our region’s shared history through dynamic exhibits and experiences. As such, the Society operates two Museums, the Detroit Historical Museum (DHM) and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum (DGLM), the Collections Resource Center, and offers dozens of tours and programs. At its two museums, the Society features award-winning exhibits to engage visitors in a thought-provoking discussion about the region’s past, present and future. In addition to its walk-in visitors, more than 10,000 schoolchildren take part in the Society’s school tour programs annually.  The tours at both museums are aligned with the Michigan State social studies curriculum standards for grades 3 -5 and offer schoolchildren hands-on opportunities to interact with artifacts and exhibits.


The Society also stands as the guardian of more than 200,000 artifacts that represent more than 300 years of metropolitan Detroit’s history. Artifacts not on view in our museums are stored at the Collections Resource Center where, through conservation and preservation efforts, the Society is working to ensure the long-term security of the collections. Additionally, the Society maintains a continually-growing collection of thousands of images of the Society’s rarest and most historic artifacts on its online database. The digitization of the Society’s vast collection is an important project because it will allow the community greater access to the historical items in the Society’s collection, from historical photographs to scans of important documents and images of artifacts housed at the Collections Resource Center.


Throughout the year, the Society also utilizes community-based programs in order to extend its reach and impact its audiences.  The organization annually sponsors more than 100 lectures, workshops, programs and tours that bring history into the community – delivering historical content in engaging and innovative ways. Among some of the Society’s most popular offerings are the Behind the Scenes and Historical House of Worship tours, the annual African American History Day and the Spring into Belle Isle event at the DGLM. 



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