Rhode Island Archives, Societies & Publications

It is a good idea to familiarize personally with just about any repository in Rhode Island that you simply might travel to by communicating with to the best suited archive or library in advance.

Most, if not all, Rhode Island repositories have written and published content that present its collections as well as research policy.

Rhode Island archives and historical organizations usually have On-line sites that provide equivalent details. Several also contain down loadable data for some or parts of their collections.

List of Rhode Island Archives

List of Rhode Island Libraries & Museums

  • Rhode Island State Library, State House, 2nd floor, Providence, RI 02903; Phone: (401) 222-2473
  • Rhode Island Historical Society Library, 121 Hope Street, Providence, RI 02906; TEL: (401) 273-8107
  • East Greenwich Free Library, 82 Pierce Street East, Greenwich, RI 02818
  • Lincoln Public Library, Old River Road, Lincoln, RI 02865, Phone: (401) 333-2422
  • Louttit Memorial Library, 274 Victory Highway, West Greenwich, RI 02817 Phone: (401) 397-3434
  • Robert H Champlin Library, 1043 Main Street, West Warwick, RI 02893, Phone: (401) 828-3750
  • Warwick Public Library, 600 Sandy Lane, Warwick, RI 02886

List of Rhode Island Historical & Genealogical Societies

For almost every state there is a state genealogical society, a state genealogical council, or both.

In addition to their own work, Rhode Island groups many times help coordinate the efforts of local societies throughout the Rhode Island.

Their unique publications, newsletters and quarterlies, supplement those created through the area societies.

Regional and State Societies

  • League of Rhode Island Historical Societies, 39 Forsythia Lane, Cranston, RI 02920;(401) 942-3015
  • Rhode Island Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 433, Greenville Public Library, 573 Putnam Pike, Greenville, RI 02828
  • Rhode Island Historical Society, 110 Benevolent St, Providence 02906-3103
  • Rhode Island Family History Center, Mailing address: 136 Thompson Pike, Dayville, CT 06241; Street address: 1000 Narragansett Parkway, Warwick, RI 02888; TEL: (401) 463-8150

County, Township and City Societies

Religious and Ethnic Societies

Rhode Island Newspapers & Publications

Rhode Island Genealogical publications (magazines, newsletters, periodicals, books, etc.) contain all types of invaluable information about specific ancestors, whole lineages and families, places in time, and about all sorts of genealogical records and repositories.

There are several collections of business paperwork, personal papers, and manuscripts located in city and town libraries across Rhode Island. One of the largest is Brown University, John Hay Library, 1 Prospect St., Providence, RI 02912.

That collection includes a lot of information from the 1800s. Two of the other largest collections in the state are at the Newport Historical Society and the Rhode Island Historical Society.


The Gazette was the first newspaper published in Rhode Island. The first issue came out in 1732 in Newport. The state’s newspapers had many death and marriage notices for former residents who moved south or west because it was a popular starting point for those migrating to new areas.

The official published newspaper repository for the state of Rhode Island is the Rhode Island Historical Society. However, many other repositories around the state have vital record abstracts from the various newspapers. There are also some card indexes and abstracts, including a Providence Journal and Providence Bulletin one, located at the Rhode Island Historical Society.


Genealogical journals provide you with plenty of sources of information and facts, they are generally overlooked by genealogy and family history researchers and genealogist in looking around for family history.

Many regional and county genealogical and/or historical societies produce periodicals which have records relating to the region or vicinity they operate.

Frequently these publications have articles involving records that are not obtainable somewhere else.

  • Rhode Island Roots – is the quarterly of the Rhode Island Genealogical Society. Transcriptions of early Rhode Island records and family genealogies are the focus of its material.
  • Rhode Island Genealogical Register – is an independent journal (P.O. Box 585, East Princeton, Massachusetts 01517) devoted to publishing original source material for Rhode Island.
  • The Newport Historical Magazine (1880-84)
  • Rhode Island Historical Society Collections (1827-1914)
  • Rhode Island Historical Society Publications (1893-1900)
  • The Rhode Island Historical Magazine (1844-87)
  • Rhode Island Historical Tracts (1877-96)
  • Bibliography of Rhode Island : a catalogue of books and other publications relating to the state of Rhode Island