About Us

The home of the NCT Archive in WinterThe NCT Archive, located at 29 Everett St. in Sharon, MA, has been a project of the Norfolk Charitable Trust, co-located with the Henry P. Kendall Foundation in Boston. The Archive housed and maintained paper archives, artworks, photographs and artifacts of historical interest and cultural significance. Archives related to the local area will remain with the building, which will serve as an extension of the adjacent Archives and Research Center of the Trustees of Reservations. The majority of the holdings have been donated to other institutions.

Its holdings were primarily but not exclusively related to the history of the Kendall family of Massachusetts and its members’ collections, careers and other pursuits. It served the scholarly community by sharing information related to its holdings, lending or donating items to other non-profit institutions where appropriate, and offering access and staff support to researchers engaged in projects relevant to holdings at the Archive.

Display area at NCT Archive

Display area

Items from the Ballooning and Gilkerson collections

Items from the Ballooning and
Gilkerson collections

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A work area at the NCT Archive

Our Mission:

  • To house, preserve, manage, and document collections and records owned by the Norfolk Charitable Trust or entrusted to its care;
  • to provide supervised access to these collections to invited researchers;
  • to make selected materials in its collections available to the public, through publication, loan of objects, or other means, as deemed appropriate by its Trustees, for educational or aesthetic purposes;
  • to develop the collections through acquisition of relevant materials;
  • to maintain a facility for the safe storage, use and display of its records and collections;
  • to transfer any appropriate portions of these records and collections by loan or gift to other tax-exempt, charitable institutions; and
  • to carry out other educational or public service activities as deemed fit by its Trustees.

Our History:

The NCT Archive was originally formed as the Kendall Whaling Museum Trust Archive, to carry out portions of the mission of the Kendall Whaling Museum Trust. This nonprofit trust was formally dedicated in large part to supporting the activities of the Kendall Whaling Museum, which operated in Sharon from 1956 through 2001. In November 2001, the Kendall Whaling Museum Trust gave all of its whaling-related collections to the New Bedford Whaling Museum and closed the doors of the museum in Sharon.

In 2007, after the transfer of the whaling collections to New Bedford was completed, the Kendall Whaling Museum Trust gave the main museum building and its surrounding land at 27 Everett Street to The Trustees of Reservations, to become that organization’s Archives and Research Center. Collections and records from the museum on subjects other than whaling were transferred to the NCT Archive building on the same campus, originally the Sharon Sanatorium X-Ray Pavilion and later the Kendall Doll Museum. An Archive was established to preserve, organize and manage these holdings. In ensuing years more materials were added, primarily as gifts from members of the Kendall family. In 2010, the Kendall Whaling Museum Trust changed its name to the Norfolk Charitable Trust, and its Archive was renamed the Norfolk Charitable Trust [NCT] Archive. Over the years since the closing of the Kendall Whaling Museum, the NCT Archive has fostered preservation and research and has made multiple donations of archival materials and collections to appropriate non-profit institutions, including museums, local historical societies, colleges, and the Smithsonian Institution.

Our Logo:

In keeping with our history, the distinctive “monster whale” logo is descended from the logo of the former Kendall Whaling Museum, supported by our predecessor organization. The original image of a whale (as imagined in the 16th century) appears on a map of Iceland by Flemish mapmaker Abraham Ortelius (1527–1598), published circa 1570 in his atlas “Theatrum Orbis Terrarum.” Kendall Whaling Museum Director Stuart M. Frank adapted the Ortelius whale as a centerpiece of the museum’s logo, and a miniature version of this odd creature migrated to find a home at the NCT Archive.