RIHS to Celebrate Holidays With Open House, Santa’s Workshop at MoWC

The Rhode Island Historical Society invites the community to visit the Museum of Work & Culture on Saturday, Dec. 1, 1-5pm, for the organization’s annual Holiday Open House, offered as part of Woonsocket’s Main Street Holiday Stroll. The day will feature a variety of holiday-themed activities for adults and families alik

R.I. Historical Society Names Becca Bender as Film Archivist

After an extensive national search, the Rhode Island Historical Society has announced the appointment of Becca Bender as Film Archivist & Curator of Recorded Media, a new position that will advance the RIHS’s mission to promote and preserve its collection of more than 9 million feet of moving image film and well over 2,000 sound recordings, from oral history projects to jazz performances.

RIHS Receives IMLS Grant for Staff and Volunteer Professional Development

The Institute for Museum and Library Services announced a Museums Empowered award of $22,306 to the Rhode Island Historical Society for the purposes of training staff and volunteers across the organization to better develop, frame, interpret, and tell the histories of those who have been traditionally overlooked, marginalized, or silenced.  

Volunteers Needed for Historical Tours for Children

As part of the RIHS’s Field Trip Free for All program, more than 750 school children come to Providence annually to take part in our Avi Walks – historical walking tours that use the book Something Upstairs to educate students on local history and the slave trade. With the goal of expanding the program, increasing visitation, and reaching more children, we’re looking for new volunteers!

We Didn’t Go to the Catskills: Jewish Summer Recreation in R.I.

The Rhode Island Historical Society and Rhode Island Jewish Historical Association are collaborating on a panel discussion exploring past summer recreation sites. Speakers will reflect on popular local vacation destinations – including summer camps, country clubs, and favorite beaches – that Rhode Island’s Jewish community enjoyed throughout the 20th century.

RIHS Recognizes Teachers With Week of Free Admission, Programs

“Teacher Appreciation Week is all about thanking teachers for their dedication, and showing them how dedicated we are to them,” said Geralyn Ducady, Director of the RIHS’s Newell D. Goff Center for Education and Public Programs. “This is an opportunity to learn how the RIHS can help educators through the wonderful resources we have available, from free field trips to free digital textbooks to free curricula – and, of course, our collections.”

Public Meeting: Documenting African American Struggle for Civil Rights in RI

On July 11 from 5:30 to 7:30pm at the Congdon Street Baptist Church at 17 Congdon St. in Providence, the Rhode Island Historical Society (RIHS), the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society (RIBHS), and Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission (RIHPHC) will hold a public meeting to share the latest research from their collaborative project on African Americans’ struggle for Civil Rights in Rhode Island during the 20th century.

Undressing History: Women’s Clothes & Unmentionables from the 19th Century

The Newport Historical Society and the Rhode Island Historical Society will partner for their first joint History Space event since 2015 when they present “Undressing History: Women’s Clothes & Unmentionables From the 19th Century.” During this program, which will be offered in Providence on March 6 and again in Newport on May 3, historical costumer Carrie Midura will share some of the secrets (and stuffing) that were hidden beneath the leg-o-mutton sleeves and shelf-like bustle gowns of the 1800s.

The RIHS Presents Tomaquag Director Lorén Spears on Indigenous Food Sovereignty

On Tuesday, July 18, 5:30pm, at the Aldrich House (110 Benevolent St.), the Rhode Island Historical Society will host Dr. Lorén Spears, Executive Director of the Tomaquag Museum, to speak about indigenous peoples and the issue of food sovereignty. This event is presented as part of Relishing Rhode Island, the RIHS’s 2017 programming theme, as well as the statewide initiative A La Rhody.

Press Release: The 2017 Newell D. Goff Lecture to Feature Susan Evans McClure

Can we use beer as a way to track immigration trends? Or a recipe card to examine agricultural development? What are the most significant advances in the evolution of cookware? Susan Evans McClure, Director of Food History Programs at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, will address questions like these at the Rhode Island Historical Society’s 2017 Newell D. Goff Lecture, a free event taking place at the Aldrich House in Providence on Wednesday, April 19, 6pm. A reception will follow.

“Dolores Huerta: Daring to Lead” With Taína Caragol

As part of the Women’s History Talk Lecture Series with Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI), we are pleased to present a talk from Dr. Taína Caragol, Curator of Latino Art and History at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, who will discuss Civil Rights activist Dolores Huerta, a founder of the American Farm Workers movement, at CCRI’s Lincoln Campus on March 23.

Lovecraft Walking Tour Returns (March 18 Postponed – New Date April 8)

Each year, the Rhode Island Historical Society marks the anniversary of H.P. Lovecraft’s death in March of 1937 with a walking tour of spaces and places in Providence that were important to his life and work. Recent editions of the tour have also coincided with the release of Narragansett Beer’s latest Lovecraft-themed brew, which for 2017 is the Unnamable Black Lager. We’re excited to announced that ‘Gansett is back and will host a nearby afterparty for tour participants, details on which will be announced ASAP.

Museum of Work & Culture Launches French-Language Film Series

Beginning Saturday, March 4, the Museum of Work & Culture will host Cinema Saturdays, a weekly presentation of a French-language film produced in Québec. All films will be screened at 1:30pm and are subtitled in English. The films are included with the price of museum admission, purchased at the door ($8/adults, $6/students & seniors, free/children under 10).

Traditional Maple Sugaring at Coggeshall

Sure, we’ve all had French toast on a Saturday morning. But have you ever truly experienced your French toast on a Saturday morning? The Rhode Island Historical Society and Coggeshall Farm Museum are offering food lovers, history lovers, and food history lovers alike that opportunity on Saturday, March 4, 10am-noon, when the public is invited to learn about the process of maple sugaring and making maple syrup … and then to enjoy pouring it over some delicious hearth-cooked French toast.

Press Release: Ambitious (and Delicious) “Relishing Rhode Island” Programming Announced

Each year, the Rhode Island Historical Society features a new programming theme, allowing the organization to explore a compelling aspect of the state’s history through its events, lectures, partnerships, and initiatives. In 2016, it was fashion. The year before, design. Today, the RIHS officially announced 2017’s theme: Relishing Rhode Island, serving up plenty of events to go around, with dozens plated already and many more on the burner.

Press Release: NPS Awards Grant to RIHS, Partners for Civil Rights Project

The National Park Service (NPS) announced on Thursday, Jan. 12, a $49,557.76 grant to the Rhode Island Historical Society, working in partnership with the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society (RIBHS) and Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission (RIHPHC), for the purposes of a multi-phase project focusing on African Americans’ struggle for Civil Rights in Rhode Island during the 20th century.

Photos From Museum Day Live!

Thank you to the hundreds of visitors who joined us at three different sites – the John Brown House Museum, Museum of Work & Culture, and Aldrich House – for Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day Live on Saturday, as we celebrated the grand opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture with presentations from Keith Stokes and Sylvia Ann Soares, while also hosting a kickoff party for the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society – RIBHS’s 40th anniversary year.
Please enjoy these photos from a truly inspiring day!

Smithsonian Museum Day Live! at RIHS

The Rhode Island Historical Society will open its doors free of charge on Saturday September 24, 2016, as part of Smithsonian magazine’s 12th annual Museum Day Live! On this day only, participating museums across the United States emulate the spirit of the Smithsonian Institution’s Washington, D.C.-based facilities, which offer free admission every day, and open their doors for free to those who download a Museum Day Live! ticket.

Community Care Alliance: Human Services in Rhode Island, A 125 Year History

The exhibit traces the history of human service organizations in the city, including the name changes, mergers, and community partnerships that have led to the formation of the agency as it exists today. Displayed artifacts include photographs, daily log books, expenditure ledgers, and board manager journals dating from the organization’s founding in 1891.

RIHS Partners With Mount Vernon to Host Teacher Appreciation Week

The Rhode Island Historical Society is proud to announce the full schedule of programming for Teacher Appreciation Week, presented in partnership with George Washington’s Mount Vernon and taking place August 15 through August 19 at various RIHS sites in Providence and Woonsocket. During Teacher Appreciation Week, educators can enjoy free workshops and museum admission; info sessions about the resources that the RIHS offers in and out of the classroom; as well as special discounts on membership, gift shop purchases, and walking tours.

RIHS News: ‘Colonial Justice’ Digital Archive Launches With 1729-1812 R.I. Court Records

The Rhode Island Historical Society has launched the digital archive “Colonial Justice: Preserving and Digitizing Early Rhode Island Court Records.” These specific collections were selected by RIHS curators for digitization based on their rarity, as well as their unique documentation of the colonial justice system in Rhode Island.

From a single online location, users can now access selected 1729-1812 records from the courts of Providence County, Kent County, and what was known as Kings County (now Washington County). The online archive is free and open to the public.

March 12 Is Museum Day Live! at the RIHS

Held during Women’s History Month, this special edition of the Smithsonian’s signature Museum Day Live! event will encourage all people – and particularly women and girls of color – to explore their nation’s museums, cultural institutions, zoos, aquariums, parks, and libraries, which will offer free admission for the day.

As a Smithsonian Affiliate, the RIHS is thrilled to take part in Museum Day Live!, and we’ll be offering free admission at the John Brown House Museum and the Museum of Work & Culture on Saturday, March 12.

Announcement: The RIHS Removes Four Dead Elm Trees From John Brown House Museum Property

Of interest to our members, friends, and supporters: We regret to announce that the Rhode Island Historical Society was forced to remove four more dead elm trees from the John Brown House Museum property. The RIHS hired TF Morra Tree Care, Inc., to handle the removal (as well as, potentially, a replanting strategy of more varied and disease-resistant trees in the coming months and years), and as this stage of the project draws to a close, we present Executive Director C. Morgan Grefe’s official statement on a painful decision that wasn’t really a decision at all:

Valley Talks: Albert Klyberg on the CCC

Historian & former Rhode Island Historical Society Director Albert Klyberg (pictured) will explore the origins and accomplishments of the Civilian Conservation Corps, which employed more than 10,000 young men in Rhode Island from 1932 to 1941. The CCC, a branch of FDR’s New Deal, tasked these individuals with conserving natural resources on government land, including seven Rhode Island-based camps focused on forestry projects and state parks.

“514 Broadway: A&L Tirocchi Gowns and the American Dream”

To mark the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Tirocchi sisters’ shop on Broadway in Providence, we’re honored to welcome Museum of Fine Arts Boston Curator Pamela Parmal to discuss her work with the Tirocchi collection on Sunday, Sept. 20, 3:30pm, at the Rhode Island Historical Society’s Aldrich House (110 Benevolent St.).

A Major Announcement: The RIHS Is Now a Smithsonian Affiliate!

In an exciting development years in the making – and thanks to the dedication of our Board of Trustees, members, supporters, partners, friends, and staff – the state will now have a conduit to the Smithsonian and its countless resources, as the Institution has designated the Rhode Island Historical Society as an Affiliate. In turn, Smithsonian patrons will gain greater access to collections and programs reflecting Rhode Island’s own history.

Historical Research in Rhode Island Will Never Be the Same …

For the first time in more than 50 years, historians, students, authors, and genealogists from across New England – and around the world – will no longer be visiting the Rhode Island Historical Society Library to pursue their work.