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General Donation

General Donation

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Gifts enable us to care for collections, expand public programs, assist individuals and organizations with research, and preserve local and state history. Because SHSMO is a not-for-profit organization, all gifts are tax deductible as are a portion of membership dues.

If we can assist you in making your gift, applying it to the areas important to you, and combining this with your membership dues, please call the office at 800.747.6366.



Current Funding Priorities

Mission-Critical Support

Gifts designated for mission-critical expenses pay for daily operations, new accessions, and other ongoing costs. They directly support the State Historical Society of Missouri's efforts to collect, protect, and share the history of Missouri.

Newspaper Collection

The Newspaper Collection is SHSMO's most frequently used documentary resource. The foundation for many family and local histories, it is believed to be the largest collection of state newspapers in the nation. Gifts to the Newspaper Collection support its continued preservation and growth.

Art Collection

With over a century of success, strategic additions to the Missouri regional art collection inspire a higher level of appreciation for Missouri’s artists, including premier artists Thomas Hart Benton and George Caleb Bingham.

Missouri Historical Review

The premier quarterly journal of Missouri history has been in continuous publication since 1906 and now reaches SHSMO members and research libraries from England to California.

National History Day in Missouri

Missouri's National History Day contest promotes history education in schools throughout the state and attracts several thousand young participants each year. NHD teaches students in grades six through twelve how to conduct primary research and present their findings.

Other Funds

Civil War Endowment Fund

The Civil War Endowment Fund preserves, conserves, maintains, digitizes, and purchases papers, manuscripts, and other archival material related to the Civil War in Missouri. The fund honors the soldiers, units, and civilians on both sides of the conflict who served and defended their causes, many of whom gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives. Started by a donation from members of the Park University history honor society, Phi Alpha Theta, the fund is extraordinarily visionary because of its founders.

Editorial Cartoon Collection and the Engelhardt Project

The Editorial Cartoon Collection was started in 1946 with an important donation of works by Pulitzer-prize-winning artist Daniel F. Fitzpatrick. The collection continues to grow, most recently with a gift of over 6,000 cartoons from Tom Engelhardt. Engelhardt’s recent donation was digitized and put online with the rest of the collection. An Englehardt book release and show are slated for spring 2015.

Genealogical Resources

Family historians and genealogists represent the largest percentage of SHSMO Research Centers’ users. Gifts augment resources including databases, indexes, and publications.

Historic Missourians

In addition to serving the educational needs of elementary students throughout Missouri, the Historic Missourians is an electronic biographical site used and valued by Missourians of all ages. In various ways, the Missourians featured on this site brought about or contributed to the growth and development of Missouri as a territory and important state in the nation.

Lawrence O. Christensen Article Award

The State Historical Society of Missouri has lost a valued member with the passing of Dr. Lawrence O. "Chris" Christensen on April 16, 2016. A past president of SHSMO and a permanent trustee, Dr. Christensen was one of the foremost Missouri history scholars and educators, writing well-regarded books and articles and earning commendation as a Distinguished Teaching Professor of history at Missouri University of Science and Technology. In 2014, the Missouri Conference on History Steering Committee voted to name the conference's award for best scholarly article on Missouri's history after him. Your contribution to the Lawrence O. Christensen Article Award will honor his memory by supporting the ongoing study of Missouri's past through annual recognition of outstanding scholarship.

James W. Goodrich Graduate Research Assistantship in Missouri History

The Goodrich Fund honors the historian, writer, and preservationist who served the Society as executive director from 1985 to 2004. Jim Goodrich utilized collaborative activities to conserve and disseminate valuable research and cultural resources and to help Missourians understand their history. The James W. Goodrich Graduate Research Assistantship in Missouri History supports a position at the Society for a graduate student in Missouri history.

Manuscript Collections

The manuscript collection is constantly growing and is used extensively. There are over 14 million items in the manuscript collection, which will be archived in perpetuity with the utmost care. Thousands of photographs visually document Missouri history and demonstrate the evolving technology of photography.

Missouri Militia Project

The Missouri Militia Project celebrates Missouri’s military history from pre-statehood to the modern Missouri National Guard. This project supports the preservation, promotion and advancement of the Missouri militia collection.

Oral History

The Oral History program collects and houses the most significant collection of oral histories in the state. Oral histories are collected in our offices as well as on the road. For an oral history to be useful and searchable, it has to be accurately transcribed. The Oral History Fund ensures up-to-date equipment, archiving stories in perpetuity, and new stories can be collected.

Richard S. Brownlee Fund

The fund has supported individuals and organizations for research, publications, and other projects that document the history of Missouri and its citizens. This endowed fund is a memorial to longtime Executive Director Richard S. Brownlee 1960-1985. Starting in 2013 the Brownlee funds were used to pursue works exploring critical times in Missouri history. Historically the Brownlee Fund was presented as grants to individuals and organizations proposing to publish or otherwise document Missouri and its citizens. The Brownlee Fund now sponsors two Center for Missouri Studies Fellowships. Read more about Dick Brownlee.

Show Me Missouri Speakers Bureau

Civic organizations, museums, historical societies, and businesses engage historians, scholars, and storytellers to talk about a wide variety of Missouri history and cultural topics. The program is supported in partnership with the Missouri Humanities Council.

Sidney Larson Fund

The Larson Fund is used to purchase artworks that are key additions to the collection. Preservation and conservation work protects priceless art illustrating Missouri and Midwest history. The Art Gallery features rotating exhibits from the collection and selections from the George Caleb Bingham and Thomas Hart Benton collections on permanent display. Sidney Larson developed the art collection as the art curator for several decades.