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This list presents a selection of archives in Rhode Island. Many public libraries or towns may also have archival
collections related to local history. If you know of an archive in RI that you think should be added to the list please send us
The Rhode Island Archival and Manuscript Consortium Online (RIAMCO) allows you to search for manuscript collections and primary source material on Rhode Island history from repositories around the State. From the home page enter a search query using keywords. Your search will allow you to view the finding aid for collections related to your topic. You can also browse the materials by institution or by major subject.
RIHRAB Directory of Historical Records Repositories
Lengthy list of town historical and preservation societies, libraries, archives, and museums compiled by the RI Historical Records Advisory Board.
American-French Geneological Society
"More than 10,000 volumes of repertoires (marriage records), genealogies, biographies, and histories, as well as genealogical journals and publications of regional, national, and international scope."
Brown University Archives
The Brown University Archives contain materials relating to the history of Brown University, including faculty, staff, and student publications and ephemeral materials.
Brown University, Digital Collections
Online access to materials at Brown that have been digitized.
Brown University, Pembroke Center Archives
The Pembroke Center Archives house materials relating to "the history of women at Pembroke College and Brown University and of women in Rhode Island."
Johnson and Wales University, Culinary Archives and Museum
"The museum's collection contains over 250,000 items, of which more than 60,000 are cookbooks. Recent acquisitions include a donation of several hundred ethnographic artifacts, a significant cookbook collection of over 7,000 volumes, several restaurant ephemera and menu collections, and an exceptional travel-related collection of printed matter from an industry insider."
Providence City Archives
Located in City Hall, the City Archives provide a wealth of resources related to life in Providence, from laws and legislation to historical information about neighborhoods.
Providence College Special and Archival Collections
"Our collections consist of primary and secondary 20th century resources that have been acquired and preserved by the Library since the founding of the department in 1967."
Providence Public Library Special Collections
"The Providence Public Library Special Collections Department is comprised of several distinct collections of over 40,000 books, manuscripts, pamphlets, ephemera, newspapers, maps, broadsides, art, and artifacts, representing over four thousand years of human history and culture."
Redwood Library and Athenaeum Special Collections
The oldest lending library in the country, the Redwood Library & Athenaeum still holds some of its original collection, as well has having additional special collections of art, furniture, sculpture, and more. "Manuscript collections at the Redwood Library and Athenaeum relate primarily to Newport and Rhode Island history from the colonial era through the twentieth century."
Rhode Island Historical Society
The RI Historical Society is a museum and library that provides both serious and casual researchers with access to information on structures, objects, paintings, graphics, manuscripts, and printed matter.
Rhode Island School of Design Archives
"RISD’s Archives collects, preserves and provides access to records and artifacts, including photographs and publications that document the history and development of RISD programs, policies and procedures and contributions of individuals and organizations associated with the School and Museum. Records in the Archives date from RISD’s founding in 1877 to the present."
Rhode Island State Archives
The Rhode Island State Archives "preserves and makes available for research Rhode Island's historical public records, which date from 1638 to the present. Our reception area also features exhibits that are free and open to the public." (From their about page.)
Salve Regina University Archives and Special Collections
In addition to materials related to the University, Salve Regina's Special Collections also include "faculty publications, material related to Newport and our gilded age mansions, and books related to the Religious Sisters of Mercy, our founding order."
University of Rhode Island Library Distinctive Collections
Collections in URI Special Collections include materials about the University as well as specialized political papers, oral histories, and much more.
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