The Rhode Island Civil War Ledger Restoration Project

Thanks to a grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and funding provided by the Gustavus Ide Jr. Conservation Fund, the Rhode Island Historical Society (RIHS) has successfully preserved the first of many bound volumes that record the day to day lives of Rhode Island’s soldiers. The pilot artifact selected by the RIHS Collections Staff is an important volume of Civil War records that was be professionally conserved by the New England Document Conservation Center.

The volume that was selected to be conserved is:

Third Regiment, Rhode Island Heavy Artillery
Volume 32.      Clothing book, Company A.
August 1861 – September 1865
Cols. Nathaniel W. Brown, Edwin Metcalf, Charles R. Brayton.
Served at Pocotaligo, Morris Island, Fort Wagner, Petersburg, etc.
RIHS Accession #1947.32.17, gift of the National Archives

In addition to being in the greatest need of conservation treatment, this volume also is from a Civil War Regiment that has extensive connections to other collections in the RIHS which make it extremely interesting to researchers eager to compile a multidimensional understanding of an important Rhode Island regiment. The volume is part of the Historical Society’s stellar collection of Rhode Island Civil War Military Records, which is available to all researchers at the RIHS Library at 121 Hope Street in Providence. A finding aid for the collection can be viewed online at:

This project is a case study for the conservation of further volumes in this collection that are in desperate need of treatment in order to be physically usable for future generations. Please contact Phoebe Bean [] at the RIHS Library to inquire about sponsoring the restoration of more of these unique American treasures.

Click here to View a Slide Show of the Conservation Process