Search our periodicals and newspapers through The CABINET, our online catalog.


The library is the repository for the Rhode Island Newspaper Project, part of the larger United States Newspaper Program funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The library has a microfilm collection of almost every Rhode Island newspaper ever published. Search a directory of newspapers on microfilm at the Library of Congress website Chronicling America to find what Rhode Island newspapers were available in a given area or time.The newspaper collection is not indexed, with the exception of a small portion of the Providence Journal (1915-1934). However, an alphabetical list of the titles is available in the Reading Room. There are also two card file indexes, one for titles by decade, the other for titles by town.

The earliest Rhode Island newspaper, the Rhode Island Gazette, was published in Newport between 1732 and 1733. The next Rhode Island newspaper, the Newport Mercury, appeared in 1758. The first newspaper published in Providence was the Providence Gazette, which began its run in 1762.

The Providence Journal, presently Rhode Island’s largest newspaper, began publication in 1829. An evening edition of the paper, the Evening Bulletin, was begun in 1863 and ran until 1995. The Library has complete runs of both editions on microfilm. A partial card file index (1915-1934) to the Journal is in the Reading Room. The Providence Public Library has a more complete index to the Journal and also has the paper on microfilm.

A name index to the Pawtuxet Valley Daily Times has been started by volunteers at the West Warwick Public Library. The index currently covers the years 1892 through 1895.


The library has a variety of Rhode Island periodicals of interest to both the genealogist and the historian focusing not only on the history of our state, but on the broader interests of cultural and social history, and historic preservation. The periodical collection also includes some titles of New England and national interest, such as Yankee, Antiques, New England Quarterly, and History News.

Genealogical periodicals in our collection include:

  • The American Genealogist (TAG)
  • The Connecticut Nutmegger
  • Genealogical Computing
  • Heritage Quest Magazine
  • Mayflower Descendant
  • New England Ancestors
  • New England Historic Genealogical Register
  • New York Genealogy and Biographical Record
  • Rhode Island Roots