Printed Material Collection
Over 100,000 books and pamphlets dating from the 16th century to the present, as well as thousands newspapers and broadsides.
Printed materials at the RIHS date from 1589 to the present. The collection includes local, military, economic, social, political, ecclesiastical histories/municipal and corporate publications, and Rhode Island newspapers. It is especially strong in local civic history, genealogy, women’s history, and engineering, environmental and architectural history.
Many of the Society’s first donations, starting in 1822, were books and pamphlets. The holdings now contain over 1,300 imprints dated before 1800, many of which are unique copies. Other early works in the collection were printed in London, Paris, Dublin, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Explore the printed collection using our online catalog the Cabinet.
Digital editions of a limited number of early Rhode Island imprints, early histories of Rhode Island, and select publications of the Rhode Island Historical Society, including Rhode Island Historical Society Collections, are available at the HathiTrust website, a digital archive of library materials.
A selection of our publication RI History are also available online.