An official Path Through History Site! The New-York Historical Society is an American history museum and library. Founded in 1804 as New York's first museum, the New-York Historical Society presents exhibitions, public programs and research that explore the rich history of New York and the nation. It holds an extensive collection of historical artifacts, works of American art, and other materials documenting the history of the United States and New York. A massive collection, changing exhibits, talks and tours help visitors explore New York's fascinating past. At the end of your visit, stop by the unique gift shop to take home your own little piece of history.