A Dozen Resources Unique to the Rhode Island Historical Society Library

Rhode Island Newspaper Project

A full set of microfilm of almost all Rhode Island newspapers published from 1732 to the present. RI Newspapers

1865 Rhode Island Census Index

A card index can be found in the Reading Room, also available in a searchable pdf.

Tax Lists

A nearly complete run of printed tax records for all Rhode Island towns, many dating back to the 1860’s. The Manuscripts Division has early tax lists for many towns and a particularly good run for Providence. Tax lists are useful for estimating a death or migration date for property owners who do not appear in vital records. Search the Card Catalogs in the Reading Room.

City Directories

A nearly complete run of city directories from across Rhode Island and also from the neighboring cities of Fall River and Attleboro, Massachusetts. Providence House Directories, which are arranged by street address, are also part of the collection. City Directories

Rhode Island Cemetery Database

The master index is available online, but Rhode Island Historical Society is one of six libraries with the complete database. A book of maps of cemetery locations is also available. Rhode Island Cemetery Database

Old Stone Bank Depositor Records (Manuscripts Division)

The collection contains records for all depositors from 1844 to 1897. The majority of records are not indexed, with the exception of an index to the 1890-1892 records. MSS 943

New England Yearly Meeting Archives (Manuscripts Division)

A nearly complete set of records of New England Quakers from 1676 to the present. Most records of genealogical interest are on microfilm. The Quaker Archivist is also available to answer patron questions. NEYM Archives

Family papers and diaries (Manuscripts Division)

Correspondence, diaries and legal records are excellent resources for researchers and genealogists. Search the MSS Card Catalog in the Reading Room

US Custom House Records: Ports of Providence and Bristol/Warren (Manuscripts Division).

While the passenger lists have been abstracted and published, the crew lists are often overlooked as a resource. There is an index for crew lists for the Port of Bristol, but not for the Port of Providence. MSS 28 SG 1 and MSS 28 SG 2

Revolutionary War Records (Manuscripts Division)

Includes unpublished original muster rolls, pay lists and other records arranged by regiment and with a partial index by soldier’s name. MSS 673 SG 2

Portrait Files (Graphics Division)

The collection contains thousands of individual, family and group photographs dating from the 1830’s to the present. Available in the Reading Room

Maps Collection (Graphics Division)

The Rhode Island Historical Society has an extensive collection of maps. A Cartobibliography, indexed by county and arranged chronologically, is available in the reference section of the Reading Room. Search The CABINET

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