The mission of the Naperville Heritage Society is to collect, document, preserve, and support the history of Naperville, Illinois past and present. It is our responsibility and purpose to research, collect, and share the stories of our community throughout time. When Naper Settlement expanded its mission 15 years ago to include Naperville’s history through today, our research into twentieth and twenty-first century history asked core questions including: Why did Naperville have such significant demographic change over a fifty-year period, beginning in 1970? What local, regional, and national factors played a role? Do other communities have similar stories? Why or why not?
This historical knowledge builds an informed and educated public which is a critical component of any healthy society. By studying history, we gain a deeper understanding of the people, circumstances, actions, norms, and events that shaped us as a community and nation. This insight deepens our understanding of where we’ve been (and why), where we are now, and most importantly how we can do better.