Ontario County Historical Museum
55 North Main Street
To promote an interest in and appreciation of the history of Ontario County, New York. This will be accomplished by maintaining and enhancing historical collections and exhibits, and by providing educational programs and research opportunities.
The Ontario County Historical Society and Museum was founded in Canandaigua, in the late 1800's, by Charles Miliken, who was editor of a local newspaper, The Ontario County Times. The Society grew and received its Charter from the NYS Education Department in 1902. In 1914 the Society completed construction of its present home, located at 55 North Main Street in Canandaigua, NY. The Society owns and operates this impressive building in the heart of the City's Historic District.The museum offers education programs and exhibitions on local history topics for all ages.
Over time, the Society has developed a large collection of artifacts and archival materials. We also have a unique local history library, which has hundreds of rare, one-of-a kind books, and original manuscripts. Today the Museum serves as a regional research center and the primary source of local history education for the children of the community. Since the early 1970's the Museum developed its education program and is now an effective conduit for local history education for the region's youth.
As we enter our second century of existence, the Historical Society has moved into the "Information Age" with the installation of a custom designed computer network. The system features two dedicated public access computers in the Museum's library, one is designed for handicapped accessibility. The computerization project was undertaken to assist in furthering the development of our educational programming and to permit greater public access to our ever-growing collection. The computerization project will help define the historical society's future role in the region's local history education.
The Society's library has holdings of over 7,000 historic volumes and original manuscripts, 16,000 photographic images, and genealogical information on thousands of surnames. We also manage a collection of over 100,000 artifacts, ephemera and archival materials. There are over 700 members today in the Society.