A deer in Adirondack Hall

This division of the Museum provides management support for a number of extension and outreach programs to museums, historical societies, local government historians, government agencies, and the general public. Most of these services are linked to mandates created in Education Law.

A museum or historical society that wishes to organize as a nonprofit education corporation must do so by petitioning the Board of Regents for the issuance of a charter. A charter is granted by the Board of Regents as an instrument of incorporation to museums and historical societies that satisfy Regents standards of organizational and educational quality. These standards are consistent with professionally accepted principles and practices as adopted by the American Association of Museums and the American Association for State and Local History. To achieve them usually takes a period of development. For that reason chartering is a two-step process, from provisional to absolute.

The Office of State Historian
is an officially-appointed office with mandated responsibilities to a network of 1,640 appointed local government historians. The State Historian represents the Commissioner of Education on the New York State Board for Historic Preservation and evaluates nominations to the National Register of Historic Places; serves on the State Committee on Geographic Names, the Heritage Areas Advisory Board, the NYS Military History Advisory Board, and other advisory bodies as may be required; serves as "point-of-contact" for legislative, press, and public inquiries on New York State history; offers programs in New York State history as requested and required in order to continue and expand a statewide public presence for the office and the Museum.

The Local Government Historians
represent a network of 1,640 appointed historians. This constituency traditionally looks to the State Historian's Office to provide education, training, and expertise on a wide variety of subjects relevant to their responsibilities. It represents for the Museum a legally-mandated, state-wide, historical outreach program to every county and municipal jurisdiction in the state.

The State Committee on Geographic Names
is established by Education Law within the Education Department to advise the United States Board on Geographic Names on issues relating to place names in New York. The Committee reviews proposals for new place names and maintains data on existing place names. Staff of the State Museum, State Library, State Archives, with one outside scholar serve on the Committee, with activities coordinated by the Museum. Research is often conducted to evaluate proposals for place name changes.

State Lands Permits
The Section 233 Permit Program provides for archeological and paleontological research on state lands and is coordinated by the State Museum. This program is mandated by Education Law and protects public cultural and geological resources.

The State Historic Marker Program
which was managed by the Education Department’s State History office as an active field program from 1926 to 1966, has now become largely an advisory and data base management program. The archives of that program, as well as the records of over 2,800 historic markers across the State, are maintained by the Museum. Although historic markers are no longer funded by state appropriations, information on past markers continues to serve as a data base for research, marker replacement, and tourism development. Organizations wishing to erect new markers are provided with information and procedures and this Division acts as a clearinghouse for proposals to monument local historic sites.

Knox Trail Markers

Starks Knob
Museum Open Tuesday-Sunday: 9:30 am to 5 pm | Carousel Hours: 10 am to 4:30 pm
Office of Cultural Education | New York State Education Department
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