About the Society

Founded in 1898 by the Missouri Press Association and a trustee of the state since 1899, The State Historical Society of Missouri is the premier research center for the study of Missouri state and local history.  The Society preserves and provides access to reference materials and historical collections through research centers located in Cape Girardeau, Columbia, Kansas City, Rolla, St. Louis, and Springfield. The Columbia research center also houses a significant art collection with ongoing and varied exhibitions and serves as the administrative headquarters for the Society.

The Society’s mission is to collect, preserve, make available, and publish materials that enhance research and support learning opportunities in Missouri studies and the history of the Midwest.  Society holdings include rare and specialized books; an extensive newspaper collection dating from 1808 with newspapers from all 114 Missouri counties and the city of St. Louis; editorial cartoons that are national in scope; thousands of maps and photographic images; oral histories; unique manuscript collections; and, major artworks by George Caleb Bingham and Thomas Hart Benton.

In addition to caring for collections and working to provide easier access to records, the Society offers programs, lectures, historical and genealogical workshops, tours for school students and adult groups, and in-depth orientation for secondary and university students conducting research.  A specific educational outreach objective of the Columbia staff is sponsorship and coordination of the National History Day in Missouri program which involves thousands of Missouri students (grades 6-12), as many as 600 of whom, along with their families and teachers, as well as contest judges and support volunteers, come to the University of Missouri campus each spring for the state contest.

The Society’s editorial division is located in Columbia and publishes the Missouri Historical Review.  This quarterly journal has been the cornerstone of the Society’s publications program since 1906, offering scholarly articles on diverse topics in Missouri history.  In recent years, the Society has published four volumes of the Century of Missouri History Scholarship Series which are anthologies of articles united by topic and drawn from the first 100 years of the Review.  On April 2, 2011, the Society released its newest book, in partnership with the Friends of Arrow Rock, Inc., But I Forget That I am a Painter and Not a Politician”: The Letters of George Caleb Bingham.

Each year the Society holds its membership meeting on a Saturday in late fall – informational sessions, workshops, a silent auction, business meeting, luncheon, and special program are typically part of this annual event.


    Cape Girardeau

    Research Center
    Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.


    All Columbia facilities are closed on Mondays
    Research Center & Corridor Art Gallery
    Tuesday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.
    Saturday 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
    Main Art Gallery
    Tuesday - Friday 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
    Administrative Office
    Tuesday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.

    Kansas City

    Research Center
    Tuesday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    The Kansas City Research Center will be closed on Mondays beginning August 25th.


    Research Center
    Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.


    Requested Materials Available
    Fourth Wednesday of each month 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
    Requests must be made at least one week in advance—by the third Wednesday of each month.

    St. Louis

    Research Center
    Tuesday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.
    The St. Louis Research Center will be closed on Mondays beginning October 6th.

Holiday Closings (subject to change)

  • New Year Day: January 1, 2014
  • Martin Luther King's Birthday: January 18 - 20, 2014
  • Memorial Day Weekend: May 24 - 26, 2014
  • Independence Day: July 4, 2014
  • Labor Day: August 30 - September 1, 2014
  • Thanksgiving: Noon November 26 - November 29, 2014
  • Christmas: Noon December 24 - 25, 2014