Formerly known as the Athens County Historical Society & Museum, this local history organization works to collect, protect, exhibit, and educate the public about the material culture of Athens County and Southeast Ohio. The museum also has a library of local genealogy and histories. The museum and library boast a collection of over 60,000 items. The organization maintained a library and museum on Court Street from 1980 until 2015 when the organization acquired the First Christian Church building. The move allowed the organization to triple its space as they converted this century-old structure into a space that will hold events as well as its museum and library.
The goal of Athens County Historical Society is to protect and display historical treasures. During the year, the society mounts different major exhibits. They also publish histories, aid in genealogical research, and house books of historical interest. The historical society takes history to county schools in what they call suitcase museums. They also provide special programs and tours for children at the museum.
The Athens County Historical Society is a great place to begin genealogical research. They offer family history workshops and provide genealogical research assistance. Assistance for historical projects and research are provided by the historical society. The historical society works closely with Ohio University, the Ohio Historic Preservation Office, the city of Athens, and other organizations on historical projects. Located on the first floor, the history/genealogy library is acknowledged as one of the best in the state. Appointments can be made to receive group tours and private presentations.