Who Works in the Heritage Center

State Historical Society of North Dakota

We are the State Historical Society of North Dakota (SHSND). Established in 1895, our mission is “to identify, preserve, interpret, and promote the heritage of North Dakota and its people.”

The SHSND oversees 60 state museums & historic sites located throughout the state. The North Dakota Heritage Center has been our headquarters since 1981.

By providing meaningful opportunities for people of all ages and walks of life to link the past and present, our goal is to provide history for everyone.

  • The past comes alive in our museums and state historic sites.
  • In the State Archives, the public, students, and scholars have access to our vast collection of resources.
  • Our public programs and publications promote a better understanding of the state’s rich heritage.
  • We assist individuals and organizations with preserving and interpreting their collections.
  • We provide teaching and resource materials through our North Dakota Studies program.

Four departments within the SHSND include:


State Historical Society of North Dakota Foundation

The State Historical Society of North Dakota Foundation generates private financial support for the State Historical Society’s projects and programs the state legislature cannot fund. It is a private, non-profit organization supported by membership and donations. Foundation dollars have contributed to the building of the North Dakota Heritage Center, as well as other SHSND sites across the state.

North Dakota Geological Survey

Paleontologists with the North Dakota Geological Survey (NDGS) manage the North Dakota State Fossil Collection, which is housed in the North Dakota Heritage Center. Offices and laboratories for these paleontologists are in the Heritage Center. The NDGS and State Historical Society of North Dakota cooperate in developing fossil exhibits in the Heritage Center and other Historical Society museums in North Dakota. The NDGS and State Historical Society also collaborate to provide educational programming and outreach activities.