Mary Elizabeth Robinson Research Center

The Reading Room is open Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 1-4pm for reference materials. Manuscripts, Graphics, and other select collections are available by appointment only. Please contact our staff at for more information or to schedule an appointment. For additional information about visiting please see our in-person visitor policies.

Reference and Research Services

The RIHS has created a new structure for the remote reference and research services we can offer. Our goal remains to serve the public as equitably as possible while ensuring the sustainability of the organization.

Every researcher receives a FREE reference interview and up to 1 hour of research and scanning. This includes, but is not limited to, time spent searching our physical card catalog, scanning material to create shareable files, and/or reviewing reels of microfilm.

Every RIHS Member receives a FREE reference interview and up to 2 hours of research and scanning. RIHS memberships begin at $40 and also feature benefits including our publications, free admission to our museums and annual concert series, discounts on our events and programs, and more. Learn more about becoming an RIHS member.

The following charges apply to any time spent beyond the benefits outlined above:

  • $50/hour of research (an estimate will be provided before work begins)
  • $0.25/scanned item (up to legal size only; larger formats TBD)

**Please note that scanning is subject to the condition of the material. Rates are subject to change.

Rights & Reproductions

To request reproductions for publications, see our Rights & Reproductions page.

Online Catalog: NETOP

 NETOP (NETworked Online Public catalog) is a working database, providing online access to the Collections of the Rhode Island Historical Society. We have been collecting and cataloging since 1822, therefore records in NETOP may vary in level of detail. Every month we update and refine current records while adding new records and images. The Rhode Island Historical Society online catalog contains records for all genres of the Society’s collections. This includes, but is not limited to: books, objects, maps, manuscripts, newspapers, paintings, film, textiles, pamphlets, and broadsides.

Basic Search: Use basic search to find collection items using single-term keywords

Advanced Search: Use advanced search to find collection items using multiple terms in multiple fields