Ohio Historical Society to Change Its Name to the Ohio History Connection

The organization formerly known as the Ohio Historical Society will soon become the Ohio History Connection. Many state residents reportedly said they saw the organization as inaccessible and antiquated.

The switch will happen on May 24, following public opinion polls that showed “a disconnect between the quality of services we’re providing and the image,” according to executive director Burt Logan.

The following announcement was written by the folks at the Ohio Historical Society… uh, Ohio History Connection:

Ohio Historical Society Changes Its Name To Ohio History Connection

The new name is the result of a two-year study and symbolizes a new era of preserving and sharing in Ohio

Washington,DC—The Ohio Historical Society is about to make history of its own with a brand new name: the Ohio History Connection.“Sixty years ago, the Ohio Historical Society was called The Ohio State Archeological and Historical Society,” said Burt Logan, executive director and CEO of the Ohio Historical Society. “The Ohio History Connection will usher in the next evolving generation of historical preservation both live and online.”

Logan said the name change is the result of two years of research both nationally and in Ohio. Logan said an overwhelming majority of respondents enjoyed the services and historical sites in Ohio, but those same people felt the words “historical” and “society” were too exclusive and antiquated.

“That is the exact opposite of what we are and what we aim to be,” he added. “We believe the Ohio History Connection communicates our service in the simplest way possible: assisting people with accessing, preserving and sharing Ohio’s past.”

Logan says the word “connection” also better explains how people can access Ohio history. With more than 1.9 million artifacts in its collection, Logan says the Ohio History Connection is a national leader in changing how people can access history and believes the new name better reflects this trendsetting programming:

  • Ohio Memory has more than 426,000 items in its digital collection.
  • Ohio As America is an eTextbook used by more than 22,000 4th grade students.
  • The Ohio History Connection is digitizing 325,000 pages from 66 Ohio newspapers dating back to 1836.

“Anyone in the world can access Ohio’s history with a few simple clicks,” Logan said. “This is the essence of the connection we hope to create with people around the world.”

Logan said the name change would not impact any current partnerships with Ohio’s 58 historic sites and museums or its relationships with the Smithsonian, American Alliance of Museums, the National Parks Service and other leading global organizations.

“The Ohio History Connection helped local communities throughout Ohio earn $2.85 billion in historical reinvestment,” Logan said. “While the reinvestment is a reflection of more than thirty years of historic preservation, the new name reflects our progress to better work with local organizations in preserving place, objects and memories.”

The new name will take effect Saturday, May 24 and the Ohio History Connection will celebrate at the 3rd Annual Member Celebration on Saturday, May 24. Everyone is invited to learn more about Ohio history or get involved in preserving Ohio history at www.ohiohistory.org.

About the Ohio History Connection: Founded in 1885, the non-profit Ohio History Connection (www.ohiohistory.org) provides a wide array of statewide services and programs related to collecting, preserving and interpreting Ohio’s history, archaeology and natural history through its 58 sites and museums across Ohio, including its flagship museum, the Ohio History Center in Columbus. . For more information about programs and events, call 614.297.2300/800.686.6124 or go online at www.ohiohistory.org.

2 Comments

I am a member of a “historical society” and have always thought the term made the grounp sound pretty “snooty” when it’s not at all that way. Eletism is, or should be, a thing of the past.

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I think this name change is absurd. It’s one thing if an old name is confusing. E.g. it made sense for the “League of American Wheelmen” to become the “League of American Bicyclists”. But historical societies have long traditions going back decades, even centuries. It would be a slap in the face of their long record of accomplishments if groups such as NYGBS or NEHGS started changing their names. If OHS/OHC is concerned about perceptions or membership, then they simply need to start engaging the public in additional or different venues.

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