Who We Are
The Norfolk Historical Society, Inc. is a non-profit organization established in 1960 with a mission to promote and encourage historical and genealogical research; to procure, preserve and publish records pertaining to the town of Norfolk, Connecticut; and to procure and preserve artifacts relating to the natural, civic, literary, artistic, and ecclesiastical history of the town.
The Society maintains its collections and mounts exhibitions in its Museum, housed in the 1840 Norfolk Academy building located in the town’s Historic District on the Village Green. In addition to its featured exhibitions which change annually, the Museum has on permanent display a Country Store, housing artifacts from Norfolk’s mercantile past, and an exhibition of various goods manufactured in town, illustrating Norfolk’s industrial past. Admission to the Museum is free. The Museum is open to the public on weekends from June to October through the courtesy of volunteer hosts. The Museum is also open for research and study purposes anytime by appointment. School groups are invited to tour the facility, and the Society administers visits to a one-room schoolhouse on Ashpohtag Road known as the Little Red Schoolhouse (formerly the North Middle School).
The Society organizes special events, such as the popular Walks through Norfolk History, and a series of programs in conjunction with its exhibitions. Recently the Society has undertaken an ambitious publishing program, resulting in a series of books on Norfolk’s architecture and its patrons.
In 1996 the Society received a grant from the Connecticut Humanities Council to undertake a major Collections Assessment Project. This resulted in a comprehensive inventory and evaluation of the collections and the organization of an archival storage system to ensure long-term care and preservation. Today the Society employs a rigorous collections management program, whereby records for the entire collection are entered into a computerized database where they can be easily retrieved for exhibition and research purposes.
The Society has been the recipient of six Merit Awards from the Connecticut League of History Organizations, most recently for its 2014 exhibition From the Mills to Main Street: Irish Families in Norfolk.