Newport Historical Society

It is the mission of the Newport Historical Society to collect and preserve the artifacts, photographs, documents, publications and genealogical records that relate to the history of Newport County, Rhode Island; to make these materials readily available for both research and enjoyment; and to act as a resource center for the education of the public about the history of Newport County, and its pre-eminent position in American history, so that knowledge of the past may contribute to a fuller understanding of the present.

The Newport Historical Society was chartered in 1854 to collect and preserve books, manuscripts, and objects pertaining to Newport’s history. The Society’s collections originated thirty years earlier as the “Southern Cabinet” of the Rhode Island Historical Society. By 1853, several prominent Newporters recognized the need for a separate organization specifically devoted to preserving the history of Newport County, and the collections of the Southern Cabinet were reorganized under the auspices of the Newport Historical Society.