The WHC is one of six Montana museums accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.
Incorporated in 1971, the Western Heritage Center (WHC) began as a community center displaying a private collection of western artifacts in a historic building. We’ve since added outreach programs and walking tours, changing interactive exhibits, traveling displays, and a collection of over 400 oral histories and 40,000 historic items and photographs. The museum strives to incorporate original research into all its exhibits and programs.
A former affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, we adhere to national exhibit and archival standards. The museum has three full-time staff, four part-time staff, and a dedicated core of volunteers and interns. We are especially grateful for the on-going support from Yellowstone County and its taxpayers. We give additional thanks to our museum members, sponsors of our programs and exhibits, community partners, granting agencies, and visitors to the museum.
The Western Heritage Center received the 2021 Mountain Plains Museums Association Leadership & Innovation Award and the 2021 Mountain Plains Museums Association EdCom Award for Excellence for mid-sized museums for the Billings Youth Volunteer Program partnership of the Western Heritage Center and Moss Mansion.
The Western Heritage Center received special recognition by the Museums Association of Montana in 2023 for the traveling exhibitions, “Baa Hawassilo & Enomotaheseh: Healthcare on the Crow & Northern Cheyenne Reservations,” “Hazel Hunkins Hallinan, Billings Suffragist,” and “Vietnam Voices.