Newport’s History Starts Here.
As the new Executive Director of the Newport Historical Society, I am thrilled to reach out to our valued members and supporters. I am filled with immense gratitude for you – our past donors and supporters – who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to our community’s history.
Since its inception in 1854, the Newport Historical Society has played a pivotal role in preserving and sharing the rich historical legacy of Newport, Rhode Island.
We are the proud stewards of 6 historic properties ranging in age from 1697 to 1915. Our collection includes more than 10,000 museum artifacts, 200,000 historic photographs and we maintain a research library with countless manuscripts, allowing us the opportunity to safeguard the stories that define our past.
Over the past year, we have witnessed a remarkable increase in interest in our public programs, special events and exhibitions. Highlights from 2023 include:
- 25,000+ visitors from across the globe to the Museum of Newport History
- A successful French in Newport weekend, hosted in Washington Square for over 2,000 attendees
- Sold-out lectures and engaging panel discussions all year-long, ranging in topic from the life story of Ida Lewis to the 250th Anniversary of the Boston Tea Party
- The launch of 4 new special exhibitions, including “Waves of Discovery: 18th and 19th Century Seafaring Science,” currently on view at the newly dedicated Richard I. Burnham Resource Center
- 39 Community partnerships with area nonprofit organizations
- Interactions with more than 515 researchers
- Over 440 offerings of our popular Walking Tours for all ages, including the new Colony House Kids Tour, geared towards youth aged 5-10
To meet the growing demand for our services, we have embarked on several ambitious initiatives. The NHS will expand educational offerings and public programs, including a kick-off for the 2026 celebrations of the 250th anniversary of the founding of the country through a series of panel discussions and lectures. A revised and expanded online collections hub and a new digital initiative that emphasizes underrepresented histories will make our collections more accessible to a wider audience.
These endeavors, however, come with significant financial obligations. To grow our presence, we rely on you – our generous and supportive community.
As we look towards the future, we envision a Newport Historical Society that is even more vibrant and accessible. We dream of an organization that serves as a dynamic hub for community engagement and research, where visitors not only learn about the past but connect with the present to shape the future.
With your help, we can make this vision a reality.
I invite you to join the Newport Historical Society’s next chapter. Thank you for being a part of our community.
Click here to make your Annual Fund gift today in any amount.
With warm regards,
Rebecca J. Bertrand