The NORTHEASTERN OHIO INTER-MUSEUM COUNCIL was originally established as the Cleveland Inter-Museum Committee in 1942 to encourage awareness and collaboration among area museums, with a heavy emphasis on museums, libraries, and schools as cooperative educational institutions. Initially an offshoot of the Progressive Education Association, the committee's nucleus consisted of UNIVERSITY CIRCLE museums, the HEALTH MUSEUM, and several smaller museums and historical societies. Cleveland lawyer and philanthropist HAROLD T. CLARK guided much of the committee's early development.
After changing its name to the Cleveland Inter-Museum Council in 1951, the organization underwent a significant reconstruction in late 1966. Led by a steering committee which included local historian MARGARET BUTLER, the council revised its format to include membership dues and quarterly meetings to promote social and educational exchange. The newly named Cuyahoga County Inter-Museum Council held its first meeting on 18 Sept. 1967, and was incorporated soon after with a new membership structure open to all area museum employees. Its stated purpose was to enable historical organizations to work together for the solution of their common problems in the fields of finance, legislation, public relations, education, personnel, and related areas. WILLIAM R. VAN AKEN served as the first president. Membership was expanded in 1969 to include all contiguous counties in northeast Ohio. In 1974, the organization was renamed the Northeastern Ohio Inter-Museum Council to reflect its regional standing. Since that time, the council has hosted workshops on museum procedures and has served as the medium for the exchange of ideas, programs, and museum methodology, in addition to its publication of an annual informational membership directory. The council celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1992. By 1995, the council had 45 member institutions. Pat Gertsner served as president.
Gertsner, Patricia. "The Early Years of the Inter-Museum Council" (1992), WRHS.