Established in 1980, the Heritage League is a non-profit, membership organization representing museums and agencies dedicated to the preservation of our cultural heritage.
The League is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors composed of fifteen institutional and individual representatives involved in historical agencies in and around Kansas City. The Heritage League sponsors workshops to improve professional practices in area agencies, public events to heighten community awareness of historical agencies and issues affecting them, and social events to provide networking opportunities among those working in area organizations.
From the beginning, the League’s purpose has been multi-faceted:
1) to promote greater understanding and public recognition of the history and the cultural development of the Greater Kansas City region;
2) to enhance public awareness of the excellent history resources held by the Greater Kansas City museums, archives, and preservation groups;
3) to insure the preservation of the historical resources through advocacy, arbitration, and action;
4) to facilitate communication and cooperation among the historical agencies in the Greater Kansas City area;
5) to promote professionalism and the use of professional standards in the operation of the Greater Kansas City area historical agencies.*
The Heritage League’s membership is composed of institutions and individuals living and working in the eight-county region surrounding Greater Kansas City. Over 100 museums, archives, historical societies, historic sites, and other agencies dedicated to the preservation of the community’s cultural heritage can be found within the geographic region and are represented in the membership of the Heritage League; other members are individual staff members or volunteers in the community interested in history and preservation.
Through this web site and a members-only listserv (E-blasts), the League maintains communication with its members, and shares information about historical agency programs, activities, career opportunities, and ongoing educational opportunities relevant to the preservation of our region’s cultural heritage. A History Map (printed brochures and digital, interactive format) are a highlight for residents and tourists alike, who wish to connect with the local history/heritage community.
The Heritage League holds two member-wide meetings each spring and fall. The League’s Board of Directors meets bi-monthly, each meeting hosted by a different historical agency in the community. Meetings are open to all League members and provide opportunities for those interested in preservation to visit area agencies and to tour behind the scenes. Impromptu socials are also held for members to promote communication and networking among individual members.
To promote professional development, the Heritage League established the Robert W. Richmond Scholarship Fund. The fund offers a $500 scholarship and complimentary registration for beginning professionals to attend the American Association for State and Local History annual meeting in honor of Robert W. Richmond, Heritage League founder and past president 1985-1986 of the American Association for State & Local History.
In addition, the Heritage League has initiated a series of initiatives to provide training at a local level for member organizations to become familiar with and adopt the standards and best practices in the museums and archives to preserve and interpret the collections held in trust for the public. These initiatives have included an annual regional preservation seminar and workshop on historic structures in the early 1990s, and a 30-day training program in collections care offered in collaboration with UMKC in 1996-1998.
Since 2003, the League has annually offered a one-day workshop focusing on a specific aspect of the care of collections in museums and archives. The success and long-term effect of these program is the extended life of our cultural heritage, visible at participating institutions in the care and use of their collections.
The League’s Lending Library and Disaster Planning and Recovery programs are other valuable resources.
*(From Heritage League of Greater Kansas City ByLaws, adopted by the Board of Directors and approved by the membership, March 18, 1991; amended September 22, 1993; October 28, 1999; December 10, 2008.)