The Rye Historical Society serves as the official archivist for the City of Rye in all its past forms. We have a collection of over 25,000 documents including police reports, maps, photos, books, manuscripts, census data, real estate deals, government reports and other historical documentation. The collection also includes the Parsons Family Papers, an important collection of papers from the late 19th and early 20th centuries from John E. Parsons (patriarch and prominent NY lawyer), Herbert Parsons (a U.S. Congressman), his wife Elsie Clews Parsons (a prominent anthropologist) and John Parsons (prominent role in intelligence during WWII). We even have letters from John Quincy Adams to his son in college.
These archives are carefully stored in the Knapp House. A state-of-the-art fire suppression system has been installed to protect the archives and the structure. Documents, photographs and rare books are kept in a limited access, climate-controlled area. Public access is available by appointment. The Rye Historical Society plans, over time, to digitize the collection and make the archives accessible on-line.