Aldrich is the grandson of Nelson W. Aldrich, United States Senator from Rhode Island, and has fond memories of when the Rhode Island Historical Society headquarters on Benevolent Street in Providence was the Aldrich family home. Aldrich has a long history of public service to the city and state of New York, having served as a deputy police commissioner in New York City, director of the New York State Division for Youth, executive assistant to Governor Nelson Rockefeller, president of the Brooklyn Center of Long Island University, and commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. He has taught commercial law, public policy, and urban and environmental studies at Skidmore College, the University at Albany¬-SUNY, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and SUNY Empire State College's Center for Distance Learning. He lives in Saratoga Springs.
Founded in 1822, the RIHS is the fourth-oldest historical society in the United States and is Rhode Island's largest and oldest historical organization. It is a private organization, founded and supported by its membership. In Providence, the RIHS owns and operates the John Brown House Museum, a designated National Historic Landmark, built in 1788; the 1822 Aldrich House, also a National historic Landmark and used for administration and public programs; and the Library of Rhode Island History, where archival, book and image collections are housed. In Woonsocket the RIHS manages the Museum of Work and Culture, a community museum examining the industrial history of northern Rhode Island and of the workers and settlers, especially French-Canadians, who made it one of the state's most distinctive areas.