Online Catalog

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. Currently, this contains only a portion of our full collection.  For the most complete listing,  please visit the RIHS Library.

How To Search the Catalog: NETOP: RIHS NETworked Online Public Catalog

Basic Search click here
Find items using a single-term search in: Keyword, title, subject, author/creator, year of creation, place of origin, object type, printer/publisher, call number or accession number
Advanced Search click here
Construct a search with multiple terms

Reference Services

We invite you to visit our library. The Reference Staff will be happy to direct you to resources that may provide the information you seek. We realize that an in-person visit is not always possible. For those of you unable to visit, we can suggest several options based on your topics of interest.

Ask the Reference Staff 

See our reference policy for more information.

Elementary and Middle School Students

Do you have an assignment to find out about Rhode Island history? Elementary students click here (pdf), Middle School students click here (pdf) for a Rhode Island guide prepared especially for you. For current facts about Rhode Island, visit the Rhode Island Unwind and Kids Konnect websites.

Click on the links below to learn more about our collections:

Hire an Independent Researcher

For questions that require in-depth research, you may want to hire an independent researcher to conduct your research for you. Researchers on our List of Independent Researchers are familiar with our collections and may be able to help or click on the link to the website for the Association of Professional Genealogists.

General Rhode Island History Information

Rhode Island Facts and Trivia website for more fun and useful information about Rhode Island.
Roots Web for a brief history of the state with a timeline.
AskRI: Rhode Island’s Statewide Reference Resource Center is online. This is the place to go with general questions on Rhode Island history. And if you have a card from any of Rhode Island’s public libraries, you can also access a number of electronic resources from this site, including HeritageQuest Online, a resource for genealogy researchers.

Genealogical Research

Selected Genealogical Resources
Rhode Island Vital Records
Naturalization Records
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
Genealogical Research in the Manuscripts Collection
Passenger Lists

Rhode Island History and Heritage

Rhode Island History Online Directory Initiative (RHODI)

Rights and Reproductions

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