COVID-Safe Activities

As the state of Rhode Island reopens this summer, there are a number of ways you can continue to engage with us in a ‘COVID-safe’ way. From outdoor walking tours to remote research services, Newport’s endlessly interesting history has never been more accessible.

The health and safety of our visitors, our community, and our staff remains our priority, and so, the Newport Historical Society may continue to require visitors, regardless of vaccination status, to wear masks while visiting us in person.

Newport History Tours

Let Newport History Tours’ guides introduce you to the city’s five centuries of American history.

Newport History Tours continues to offer small groups for a better tour experience. Because group size is limited, most tours sell-out so it’s best to plan your visit and purchase tickets in advance.

Visitors are encouraged to social distance during the tour.

Tickets must be purchased in advance and are available by visiting NewportHistoryTours.com.

Living History Events

This summer, our popular History Space initiative will feature four themed programs with costumed living historians.

June 12, 2021: Colonial Clean Sweep – Highlighting 18th century cleaning techniques.

June 19, 2021: Colonial Food for Thought – Exploring the question, “What did people eat in colonial Newport?”

July 17, 2021: 18th Century French Fashions – From poofy gowns to puffy hairstyles, explore the fashions French soldiers who once occupied Newport would have been familiar with in 1780.

July 31, 2021: Historical Illuminations – An illuminating discussion of 18th century candles and the special occasions, such as welcoming George Washington, when they’d be used. A beeswax candle activity kit will be available for purchase.

For more information, visit the NHS events calendar.

The World in Motion, Fashion and Modernity 1885-1945

The Newport Historical Society is pleased to partner with the Audrain Automobile Museum to offer a joint exhibit focusing on the evolution of fashion from the height of the Gilded Age to the beginning of the modern era. The exhibit will be featured at the Newport Historical Society at 82 Touro Street, and the Audrain Museum at 222 Bellevue Avenue beginning May 29th.

In this multi-site exhibit, curator Rebecca Kelly, in collaboration with the Audrain team at that site, examines a previously unknown collection of clothing and accessories belonging to three Vanderbilt women of New York and Newport: Alice Gwynne Vanderbilt and her daughters Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and Gladys Moore Vanderbilt Széchényi.

To learn more, visit the exhibit page.

Remote Research

Whether you are tracing your ancestors and their connections to Newport, looking for historical background on a Newport property, or exploring Newport’s rich history documented in manuscripts and primary sources, we invite you to take advantage of our remote research services.

These services include:

-Property and house research
-Historic house plaques
-Genealogy
-Archives and collections research
-Transcription services

Certain remote research requests, including house history and genealogy research, may be compiled into reports by request. For an example of a completed house history report, please click here.  Please reach out to research@newporthistory.org to arrange a research consultation.

Private Events

The Newport Historical Society has three properties that are potentially available for weddings or other similar events: The Colony House, the Great Friends Meeting House, and the Leatherman Program Center at the Seventh Day Baptist Meeting House.

To learn more about each of these unique historic properties, visit our Rent a Venue page.

Museum of Newport History & Shop

Located in the 1762 Brick Market designed by Peter Harrison, our award-winning Museum is the perfect place to begin a visit to Newport. Open daily, the Museum provides the whole family with an engaging introduction to the area’s rich history and the beauty of its architecture. Glimpse the lives of the people–past and present–who have made Newport one of America’s most historic cities.

Private appointments are available – For prices, policies, and availability, call the Shop at 401-841-8770 or email Jenna at jteachout@newporthistory.org

Can’t make it to our Museum of Newport History & Shop?

Take our virtual tour of the exhibit space, or shop our full range of products at ShopNewportHistory.com.