Historic Building/Landmark - Library
121 Hope Street, Providence, RI 02906
Founded in 1822, the Society is the fourth oldest state historical society in the United States. The Society has the largest and most important historical collections in existence relating to Rhode Island. The library houses some 5,000 manuscripts, 100,000 books and printed items, 400,000 photographs and maps, 9 million feet of motion-picture film. The Museum division holds over 25,000 objects.
The Printed Collection dates from 1589 to the present and includes local, military, economic, social, political, ecclesiastical histories, municipal and corporate publications, and the largest collection of Rhode Island newspapers and pre-1800 imprints. It is especially strong in local civic history, genealogy, environmental and architectural history.
Manuscript collections date from 1635 to the present. The manuscript collection is especially strong in labor and business records, church records, maritime related materials, custom house papers, ship logs, and women’s diaries. The collection represents a rich variety of experience from personal papers of members of the Congressional Congress to the diaries of dairy farmers.
The Graphics collections include photographic and architectural materials, prints, and broadsides. It is rich in maps, watercolors, drawings, engravings, etchings and ephemera. Audiovisual holdings contain feature and news film, and sound recordings.