Founded in 1899 by New York residents interested in promoting knowledge of their state's history, NYSHA is a private, non-governmental educational organization. It hosts events throughout the year for members and non-members alike to learn more about New York’s past; most of these gatherings occur at the Fenimore Art Museum located on the western shores of Otsego Lake.
One program sponsored by NYSHA is the National History Day in New York State. Celebrated for the past 25 years, National History Day is actually a yearlong educational program that encourages students to study local, state, national, and world history. Students conduct research on specific historical topics and share their findings with fellow classmates, historians, and educators.