The Rhode Island State Archives is charged with preserving and maintaining the permanent records of state government. The “State Archives and Historical Records Act” created the State Archives as the “official custodian and trustee for the state of all public records of permanent historical, legal or other value”.
The collection of historical records, dating from 1638 to the present, is available to the public for research at our Westminster Street facility. Archives staff provide assistance to researchers at the facility, and by mail, phone, and e-mail. Research guides and finding aids to the collections are available through our online catalog, which includes administrative histories of state agencies, descriptions of their records in the holdings, and subject indices.
The State Archives also features exhibits that are free and open to the public, in addition to online virtual exhibits.