Rhode Island

Discover you family history through historical newspapers at Newspapers.com


Banner - Vital Check

Discover you family history through historical newspapers at Newspapers.com
Rhode Island

With the U.S. dating back to 1776, it's easy to forget how old places like Rhode Island are. The Rhode Island State archives hold documents dating back to 1638. But as a small state, the archives also have a small digital presence. 

Rhode Island's Virtual Archives page highlights some featured items and exhibits, but for the full list of each, visit Exhibits and/or 
Items (How small is the collection? 506 items!). 

The State Library has some online historical content -- more write-ups than archives -- including:

  • History of Rhode Island
  • Early Rhode Island
  • The Independence of Rhode Island
  • How Rhode Island Got Its Name
  • State Emblems
  • State Symbols
  • State Song (Lyrics)
  • Famous Rhode Islanders
  • Rhode Island History (legislature)
  • Rhode Island Landmarks
  • City & Town Incorporation Dates
  • Abolishing the Death Penalty in Rhode Island
  • Rhode Island Governors: 1640 - Present
  • Rhode Island Lieutenant Governors: 1640 - Present
  • Rhode Island Secretaries of State: 1640 - Present
  • Rhode Island General Treasurers: 1640 - Present
  • Rhode Island Attorneys General: 1650 - Present
  • Women Members of the Rhode Island General Assembly 1922 - Present

The Rhode Island Historical Society has some interesting content posted, including the mysteriously named exhibit on Brunoniana.

Speaking of Brunoniana, Brown University hosts several online archive collections, though more with an academic than a strictly Rhode Island focus. 

And last but not least, the unusual Rhode Island Art in Ruins site offers up an intriguing collection of things (mostly buildings) that were once quite beautiful, and may still be so, though they are now in a state of decay.  

More historical archives and research materials can be found at these excellent resources:

 Historical Newspaper Archives          Ancestry.com       

 Genealogy Tools                                US Historical Newspapers        

 European Historical Newspapers        International Historical Newspapers

Court Record Searches                        Public Records Searches 

Intelius - Public Records Information