1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

    List of finding aids

    R.I.H.S. Library page

    R.I.H.S. home page

 Rhode Island Postal Cover Collection



 Size: 5 ft.

 Catalog number: MSS 245

 Processed by: Original notes by Thomas E. Greene, June 1991

Processed by Phoebe Simpson, May 2005

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

Robert F. Chambers was born on 8 Oct 1887 in Providence, RI, the son of William S. and Annie (Foster) Chambers. He received his undergraduate degree from Brown University in 1909. Graduate work continued at Brown where he received a masters in 1910 and a Ph.D. in 1912. Dr. Chambers became a Brown faculty member in 1915 and was appointed Department Chairman in 1929. He died at age 60 on 17 Nov 1947.

His philatelic interests included being appointed curator of the Knight Stamp Colelction at the John Hay library and president of the R.I. Philatelic Society. Outside of his stamp collection, properly speaking, he was one of the first American collectors to appreciate and love stampless covers and postal markings. Starting so early, he was able to build a collection that is today most remarkable. Examples from his nationwide collection include straightlines, territorial, fancy and unusual markings such as oval, CDS, packets, ship markings, railroad and mail route markings.

The R.I. collection spans from Colonial through the 1890's and contains most types of postal markings available during his collecting period. In particular, his Providence, Newport, Warren and Bristol covers are the most thorough of the postal markings that came from those post offices.

See: Story in Providence Journal, 12/7/1947.

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Dr. Chambers' R.I. Postal Collection was donated to the Rhode Island Historical Society in 1947.

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 There are two binders of a photocopy of the collection that are with the finding aids in the reading room. there are also two volumes there of listings and an index to the collection


Volume 1: Adin, Abbott Run, Adamsville, Albion, Allenton, Anthony Village, Anthony, Apponaug, Arcadia, Arnold Mills, Ashaway, Ashton, Atlantic, Auburn, Barrington, Barrington Centerm Bayside, Bliss Four Corners, Block Island, Brand's Iron Works, Bridgeton, Bristol Ferry, Burrillville, Buttonwoods, Carolina, Carolina Mills, Cedar Grove, Central Falls and Centredale.

Volume 2: Bristol

Volume 3: Centreville, Charlestown, Chepachet, Commons, Coventry, Coventry Center, Cowesett, Cranston, Cranston Print Works, Crompton, Cumberland, Cumberland Hill, Davisville, Diamond Hill, Dorrville, Drownville, and East Greenwich (1778-1852).

Volume 4: East Greenwich (1852-), East Providence, East Providence Center, Escoheag, Exeter, Fiskville, Foster, Foster Center, Fruit Hill, Fulling Mills, Georgiaville, Greene, Green Hill, Greenville, Hamilton, Harmony, Harrisville, Hillsgrove, Hope and Hope Valley.

Volume 5: Hopeville, Hopkinton, Jamestown, Kingston, Knoghtsville, La Fayette, Lime Rock, Leonard's Corner, Liberty, Lippitt, Little Compton, Little Rest, Lonsdale and Manton.

Volume 6: Manville, Mapleville, Matunuck, Meshantcut, Mohegan, Mount Vernon, Narragansett, Narragansett Pier, Nasonville, Natick, Nayatt, Nayatt Point, New Shoreham, Niantic, Nipmuc, Noose Neck Hill, North Foster, North Scituate, Oaklawn, Ocean View, Ocean View, Olneyville and Pascoag.

Volume 7: Pawtucket.

Volume 8: Pawtuxet, Peacedale, Perryville, Phoenix/Phenix, Pine Hill, Portsmouth, Portsmouth Grove, Potter Hill, Quidnick, Quonochotaug, Rice City and Riverpoint.

Volume 9: Riverside, Rockland, Rockybrook, Rumford, Saylesville, Sakonnet, Shamrock Mills, Shannock Mills, Shannock, Slatersville, Smithfield, Slocumville, South Foster, South Portsmouth, South Scituate, Summit, Tarklin, Tiverton, Tiverton Four Corners, Tower Hill, Usquepaugh and Valley Falls.

Volume 10: Wakefield, Warwick, Warwick Neck, Washington, Watchemoket, Watch Hill, Westerly, Whiterock, West Glocester, West Greenwich, West Kingston, Wickford, Wood River Junction and Woodville.

Volume 11: Warren.

Volume 12: Woonsocket and Woonsocket Falls.

Volumes 13 & 14: Newport.

Volumes 15, 16, 17 & 18: Providence.

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Postal service--Rhode Island--History.

Postage stamps - Rhode Island

Chambers, Robert F. (1887-1947).

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