HistoryMiami Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate located in downtown Miami, safeguards and shares Miami stories to foster learning, inspire a sense of place, and cultivate an engaged community. Through exhibitions, artistic endeavors, city tours, education, research, collections and publications, HistoryMiami Museum works to help everyone understand the importance of the past in shaping Miami’s future. HistoryMiami Museum connects people by telling the stories of Miami’s communities, individuals, places and events.
Initially accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) in 1979, HistoryMiami Museum has been subsequently re-accredited in 1987, 1997 and 2008, joining the elite 24% of history museums nationwide, and one of only two history museums in Miami-Dade County to meet the rigorous professional standards required. In July 2011, HistoryMiami became part of the prestigious Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program, which allows the museum to bring world-acclaimed Smithsonian exhibitions to South Florida and provide opportunities to share resources in programming, collections, scholarship, and technical expertise.
Founded as the Historical Association of Southern Florida in 1940, the association opened its first museum, the Historical Museum of Southern Florida, in 1962. In 1984, the museum moved to the Miami-Dade Cultural Center, instituting its revolving exhibitions program and expanding its education and outreach programs over the next three decades. To mark its 70th anniversary in 2010, the organization was renamed HistoryMiami Museum.
HistoryMiami now operates one of the largest private, regional history organizations in the southeastern United States. The museum’s collections include more than 37,000 three-dimensional artifacts that cover everything from prehistoric archaeological finds to 20th century Afro- Cuban folk art. HistoryMiami’s Archives and Research Center collection, one of the most important in the state, includes over one million historical images. The museum’s permanent exhibition, Tropical Dreams: A People’s History of South Florida, presents 10,000 years of South Florida history. In addition, HistoryMiami offers a robust schedule of temporary exhibitions each year on subjects important to the community.