A yearlong celebration of the Nevada Historical Society's 100th anniversary begins with the annual Mid-Winter Gala, a free public reception from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Jan. 16.
The reception is the opening of the exhibition, "A Century of Nevada's History: The Story of the Nevada Historical Society." This is one of two major exhibitions planned for the society's centennial. The second, "Jeanne Elizabeth Wier and the Nevada Historical Society," will open in July.
The community is invited to join a 100th birthday toast to the museum and garden party on May 23. In September, the Historical Society will join with Washoe County Library, also 100 years old this year, to celebrate with a giant street fair in Powning Park by the Truckee River.
The Historical Society was founded on May 31, 1904, during a meeting of the Social Sciences Committee of the Nevada Academy of Sciences on the University of Nevada campus. Wier, a professor of History at the university, was the first director until her death in 1950.
The society became an agency of state government by a legislative act in 1907, and is one of seven museums in the Department of Cultural Affairs, Division of Museums and History.
The Historical Society's mission is to collect and preserve the records and artifacts of Nevada's past and to educate the public. Programs and publications such as the Nevada Historical Society Quarterly help the public gain a greater understanding of its heritage.
The Nevada Historical Society is the state's oldest museum. Programs include an active exhibition schedule, lectures, and docent-guided tours for students.
The department includes the State Office of Historic Preservation, Nevada State Library and Archives and the Nevada Arts Council. For more information, call (775) 687-8323 or go to NevadaCulture.org.
The museum's research room is open noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The exhibit galleries and museum store are open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. General admission is $3 for ages 18 to 64 or $2 for age 65 and above; children and members enter free.
The Historical Society is at 1650 N. Virginia Street, just north of UNR's Lawlor Events Center. For more information, call (775) 688-1190.