Welcome to the BH&PS web site. 
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1:00 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays - Fridays

Our Museum and Library are open year around on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 1 to 5 p.m.; and from May through October the Society is also open on Saturdays from 2 to 4 p.m.  And we are open by special appointment.  Call ahead for special tours of our collections or for access to our research library.  Free to members and $2 for non members. Bring your out-of-town guests for a tour. Books on Bristol history, historic maps, prints and other items are available for sale in our Museum Corner Gift Shop during open hours.


Society members will receive direct mailings of upcoming events 
and this site will provide updates as they occur.  To become a
 member, stop by the Society during open hours or click on 
the membership page to your left.



$10 each or $15 for both - 
plus a $5 materials fee for the bookbinding workshop.

Call 401-253-7223 or email:
to reserve your space.

Both workshops to be held at the Bristol County Statehouse
on the Bristol Town Common, 240 High Street

Saturday, May 7th, 9 to 11 a.m.
"Discovering the Hidden Layers

of Historic Paint in Your House" 

with architectural conservator John Vaughan


Saturday, May 14th, 9 to 12 noon
"Bookbinding:  For the Love of Books"
with archivist Heidi Benedict

Saturday May 7th from 9 to 11 a.m. “Discovering the Hidden Layers of Historic Paint in Your House” is a hands-on workshop teaching participants the methods and technologies to make the paint discoveries.   John Vaughan will also demonstrate examples of laboratory color matching and microscopic examinations.  Participants are encouraged to bring a painted element from their homes to work on during this unique workshop.  Vaughan is the principal of Architectural Conservation Services (ACS) in Bristol and has worked on well-known properties such as Thomas Jefferson’s Montpelier, the Mark Twain House and the Harriet Tubman House & Church. 

Saturday May 14th from 9 to 12 noon “Bookbinding: For The Love of Books” is a hands-on workshop introducing the art of bookbinding.  Heidi Benedict will teach participants to make their own handmade phase box (protective wrapper box) for their most precious historic books or papers.  In addition, each participant will also bind a small blank book by hand to take home. Benedict is the Archivist for the Roger Williams University Library.  If there is sufficient interest, more advanced bookbinding workshops will subsequently be offered.


Next Meeting:  Saturday, May 7, 2016, at 9 a.m.
Society Headquarters, 48 Court Street, Bristol

Open To All - Just Walk In and Join the Group

The Club meets regularly on the 1st Saturday of the month except for July and August. If the Saturday falls on a holiday weekend, the group will meet the following Saturday.

Our April meeting hosted guest speaker, Janet Hudon Hartman, author of a recently published book "Journey Into Poland:  My Roots in Grandfather's Village".

The next meeting is scheduled for Saturday, May 7, 2016, at 9 a.m. at 48 Court Street.  The discussion will focus on DNA testing and those who have done DNA testing are invited to print out their DNA results to share.  Different testing companies present different reports and it is confusing to choose which company and/or which type of test without seeing actual results.

                   Individual Review of Research Problems

We have a very lively group and we devote a portion of each meeting to our "brick wall roundtable" to help members with their individual research problems.  The idea is for members to present their latest "brick wall" so others can help decide what to do next.  The purpose of this short session is not to review an entire family history nor is it to actually solve the entire brick wall but is instead to give ideas on HOW to solve it.

As of December 2015, Fire, Burglar and Security systems at the BHPS are fully installed due to the receipt of a generous $15,000 matching grant from The 1772 Foundation.  The BHPS has motion alarms and security cameras throughout the building, has a secured entry alarm system and a fire alarm system that is directly linked to the Town of Bristol Fire Department.  As part of its 2015 Matching Grants for Historic Preservation made available to organizations in Connecticut, New Jersey and Rhode Island, The 1772 Foundation Grant has enabled the Society to protect its unique research library, its extensive paper document room, the significant portrait collection, and all of the other artifacts throughout the building.

Founded in 1936 to promote interest in historical research and preservation, to stimulate the study of the history of Southern New England, especially the Town of Bristol, to collect and preserve whatever pertains thereto, and to provide museum quarters for the exhibition of the same and a meeting space for our members.

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