Rhode Island Archives and Libraries

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The following archives, libraries, and societies have collections or services helpful to researchers of Rhode Island families:

Rhode Island State Archives
337 Westminster Street
Providence, RI 02903-3302
Telephone: 401-277-2353
Fax: 401-277-3199
Internet: http://www.sec.state.ri.us/Archives

National Archives—New England Region
380 Trapelo Road
Waltham, MA 02154
Telephone: 617-647-8100
Fax: 617-647-8460
Internet: http://www.archives.gov/northeast/boston/

Rhode Island Historical Society
121 Hope Street
Providence, RI 02906
Telephone: 401-331-8575
Fax: 401-351-0127
Internet: http://www.rihs.org/

Rhode Island Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 433
Greenville, RI 02828
Internet: http://www.rigensoc.org/

New England Historic Genealogical Society
101 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116-3007
Telephone: 617-536-5740
Fax: 617-536-7307
Internet: http://www.newenglandancestors.org/

American-French Genealogical Society
78 Earle Street
Woonsocket, RI 02895
Telephone: 401-765-6141
Fax: 401-765-6141
P.O. Box 2010
Internet: http://www.afgs.org/

An important inventory of manuscript records of the state, county, and town archives is Clarence S. Brigham, Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1903, Volume 1 (Washington, D.C.: American Historical Association, 1904; Family History Library book 973 C4ah; film 896553 item 2).

Computer Networks and Bulletin Boards

Computers with modems can be useful tools for obtaining information from selected archives and libraries. In a way, computer networks themselves serve as a library. The Internet, certain computer bulletin boards, and commercial on-line services help family history researchers:

  • Locate other researchers
  • Post queries
  • Send and receive E-mail
  • Search large databases
  • Search computer libraries
  • Join in computer chat and lecture sessions

You can find computerized research tips and information about ancestors from Rhode Island in a variety of sources at local, state, national, and international levels. The list of sources is growing rapidly. Most of the information is available at no cost.

Addresses on the Internet change frequently. As of April 1997, the following sites are important gateways linking you to many more network and bulletin board sites:



A cooperative effort by many volunteers to list genealogical databases, libraries, bulletin boards, and other resources available on the Internet for each county, state, and country.



A useful list of sites and resources. Includes a large, regularly-updated research coordination list.

For further details about using computer networks, bulletin boards, and news groups for family history research, see the United States Research Outline (30972), 2nd ed., "Archives and Libraries" section.



The Family History Library and some Family History Centers have computers with FamilySearch™. FamilySearch is a collection of computer files containing several million names. FamilySearch is a good place to begin your research. Some of the records come from compiled sources; some have been automated from original sources.