The Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society ~ Mission and Organization
The Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society is a non-profit organization of individuals interested in the preservation and expansion of knowledge about the historical and cultural heritage of the Northern Shenandoah Valley, with geographical focus on the City of Winchester and Frederick County, Virginia.
The Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society strives to fulfill its mission through these means:
Education — by maintaining five museums – Abram’s Delight, c. 1754, George Washington’s Office, c. 1755-56, and Stonewall Jackson’s Headquarters, c. 1854, an 18th Century Valley Cabin and the Hollingsworth Mill; by interpreting the museum collections for the general public through trained docents; by pursuing an acquisition program to preserve and add to the collection of historical artifacts appropriate to each museum; by encouraging an appreciation of the area’s historical and cultural heritage among young people through the publication of youth-oriented books and pamphlets and providing age appropriate museum tours and displays, and by emphasizing the teaching of history in area public schools;
Enhancing a Sense of Community – by sponsoring an annual membership meeting and four bi-monthly programs for Society members and friends (some of which may emphasize more socially oriented activities such as receptions or historic house tours); and by cooperating with other local organizations including the Clarke County Historical Association, Preservation of Historic Winchester, History Fellows of Shenandoah University and the Virginia Tech Alumni Association to further the community’s joint interests in history and historic preservation.
The Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society is governed by a 18-member Board of Directors. The board meets bi-monthly, alternating with the annual meeting and the four program meetings. One-third of the board members are elected by the membership at each annual meeting and serve for terms of three years. Officers of the Society are elected by the Board of Directors at the first board meeting following the annual membership meeting.
Officers of the Society consist of: President, Vice-Presidents for four functional areas (Programs, Museums, Marketing and Publications), Secretary, and Treasurer. In addition, the Past President serves as an officer for the year immediately following his term of office.
Functions of the Society are carried out by Standing Committees and Ad Hoc Committees. Standing committees are organized within functional area and report to the appropriate Vice-President. Chairpersons for Standing Committees are appointed by the President in consultation with the Vice-President for the functional area. Ad Hoc Committees are appointed by the President to deal with specific activities of finite duration or with issues crossing functional areas for which co-ordination is important. It is the responsibility of the relevant Vice-President, when Board approval of committee actions is required, to present such requests to the Board, or, when appropriate,arrange for Committee Chairperson to report directly to the Executive Committee and/or Board.
Long Range Planning
The Long Range Planning Committee determines future needs of the WFCHS and develops strategies to meet those needs. The Committee is co-chaired by the President and Past President.
The Finance Committee oversees the financial health of the Society. It drafts the fiscal year budget, obtaining from the Vice-Presidents their estimates of funds needed for committee activities, and estimates anticipated income and expenditures for the coming year. The Committee monitors expenditures and income during the fiscal year, advising the Board of Directors of potential shortfalls and needed adjustments. The committee recommends investment strategies and oversees management of the Society’s endowment and general funds. It arranges for an annual audit of the Society’s books. It works with and advises the Long Range Planning Committee on long term financial considerations.
Building and Grounds
This committee exists to assist the Executive Director as the liaison between the WFCHS and the City Manager, or his designee, regarding the upkeep and maintenance of the buildings and grounds of Abram’s Delight, George Washington’s Office, and Stonewall Jackson’s Headquarters. This Committee also assists with interior maintenance, repair, and renovation of museum exhibits.
The Program Committee plans the Annual Meeting of the Society and four bi-monthly meetings of the Society membership. The programs are open to the general public and may involve lectures, receptions for visiting scholars, tours of historic homes and similar events. Some programs may be presented jointly with other organizations.
The Museum Committee sets general principles for the operation of the Society’s museums. It is responsible for the acquisition, preservation and exhibition of artifacts appropriate to each museum. It develops interpretive programs and plans special museum events and exhibits. It works with the museum managers and the Executive Director for personnel management and docent staffing and training. It reports needed property maintenance and renovation to the Building and Grounds Committee.
The Marketing Committee is the public relations arm of the Society. It works with the Vice-President for Programs, Museums, and Publications to increase awareness of the Society’s activities and functions. It plans and coordinates special museum or Society events, including fundraising events.
The Membership Committee is charged with maintaining and increasing membership in the Society. It monitors membership trends and develops strategies for encouraging historical awareness in the community. It identifies potential members and develops strategies to contact target groups such as new area residents. It focuses also on educators and school-age youths to foster awareness and appreciation for the area’s historical and social heritage.
The Collections Committee works with Museum Committee to acquire and preserve artifacts relevant to each museum’s collection goals. It makes recommendations to the Board of Directors regarding the approval of acquisitions by purchase or gift and the deaccession of artifacts no longer relevant to the museums goals.
The Publications Committee supports and manages Society publications. It receives or commissions articles, arranges peer reviews and edits the annual Journal of the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society. It arranges for, or advises on, the publication of monographs, books, and maps relevant to Winchester-Frederick County history. It manages the sale of the Society’s stock of publications.