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RIHS Inside the Archives: “Providential Actions: The Rhode Island Historical Society and its Early Contemporaries” with Alea Henle

The Rhode Island Historical Society will kick off its free Inside the Archives series Wednesday, January 19th at 7 pm with a virtual talk featuring librarian, historian, and author Alea Henle speaking about her work, Rescued from Oblivion: Historical Cultures in the Early United States.

Rescued from Oblivion offers an account of the formation of historical culture and consciousness in the early United States. These societies, including the RIHS, laid the groundwork for professional practices that are still embraced today, including collection policies, distinctions between preservation of textual and non textual artifacts, historical rituals and commemorations, and more. At the same time, officers of these early societies faced challenges to their historical authority from communities interested in preserving a broader range of materials and documenting more inclusive histories, including fellow members, popular historians, white women, and peoples of color. This session will explore the establishment of these organizations, as well as the Rhode Island Historical Society’s role, successes, and challenges, in gathering and protecting historical materials–and making them available for view. 

Registration is available at https://bit.ly/3EBflP3

Rescued from Oblivion is available for purchase through the UMass Press. Individuals will receive 30% off of their purchase of her book, as well as free shipping on their orders with the code MAS017.

Henle is currently serving as the Head of Access & Borrow and is an Associate Librarian at Miami University (Ohio). Her recent book project, Rescued from Oblivion: Historical Cultures in the Early United States (UMass Press), explores foundational moments in collecting and preserving historical materials. Her current research focuses on how people used postcards in the early twentieth century, as featured on her blog at aleahenle.com. Henle’s work 

Inside the Archives is a free monthly series that pulls back the curtain on the Rhode Island Historical Society’s collections and offers insights into their modern relevance and accessibility. The series will include talks by historians and researchers, previews of digitization and accessibility projects, panels with other state archives and libraries, and the opportunity to view materials from the collection. This series is a part of the RIHS’s Bicentennial Celebrations.


Jan 19, 2022
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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