Mary Elizabeth Robinson Research Center
About the Mary Elizabeth Robinson Research Center
The Robinson Research Center provides public access to the collections of the Rhode Island Historical Society. Admission is free for Rhode Island residents. To search for specific books, manuscripts, etc., please use our online catalog, Netop, and Master List of Finding Aids. The general scope and content of our holdings are detailed on the Collections page.
The RIHS has created a new structure of the reference and research services it can offer during the pandemic. Our goal remains to serve the public as equitably as possible while ensuring the sustainability of the organization.
On-site materials span five centuries and include archival and manuscript collections, printed books and pamphlets, photographs, newspapers, prints, architectural drawings, ephemera, maps, broadsides, moving picture film, and sound recordings.
Off-site materials, which require advance notice of at least ten (10) business days to consult, include textiles, paintings, tools, ceramics, furniture, and much more.
What You'll See & Experience Here
- A friendly, welcoming team
- Every Rhode Island newspaper on microfilm going back to 1732!
- Hundreds of town directories
- Thousands of family histories
- Card catalogs, as well as computers!
Did You Know?
Built in 1874 as the Hope Street Methodist Episcopal Church, the Providence Public Library purchased building that now houses the RRC in 1927; they renovated it to serve as the Tockwotton branch of the public library. The RIHS purchased it from PPL in 1961.
Due to COVID-19 precautions, the RRC is closed to in person research at this time. Please contact our knowledgeable staff at firstname.lastname@example.org for all your research needs.
The Research Center is free for Rhode Island residents and members of the Rhode Island Historical Society. There are daily usage fees for non-Rhode Island Residents.
Non-Rhode Island Residents
Seniors (62+): $5
Rhode Island Residents: FREE
RIHS Members: FREE
Children Under 12: FREE
Children under 16 are required to be accompanied by an adult.
Location & Directions
To enter the library when you visit, please ring the buzzer to the left of the front entrance doors. Once inside, proceed to the sign-in desk, which is just inside the double glass doors across the entrance lobby.
Mary Elizabeth Robinson Research Center 121 Hope Street Providence, RI 02906
An accessible entrance is available via a paved pathway to the right of the front entrance stairs, through a gate in the picket fence surrounding the library. Please ring the bell to the left of the rear door for entrance to the Reading Room.
- Access for Low Vision