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The Rhode Island State Library

The State Library welcomes researchers to use all of its books and materials within the library. As a non-circulating library, we do not lend materials to patrons. When possible, librarians are happy to make copies of materials to better assist you with your research.

The State Library has three full-time staff: the State Librarian, the Federal Depository Librarian, and the State Clearinghouse Librarian, all of whom are eager to assist patrons with their questions regarding proposed bills and laws passed by the General Assembly as well as other legislative reference questions.

Our Programs

+ Federal Depository Library

The State Library is part of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), collecting approximately 30% of published federal government documents. The State Library began collecting federal documents at the end of the 18th century and was designated as an official depository library in 1895. Even though the State Library has been part of the FDLP for over a century, it is a temporary depository, meaning that it only keeps most materials for five-years.

+ State Clearinghouse

The State Clearinghouse was established under RIGL ยง 29-7 in 1983 as a responsibility of the State Library. It works to ensure public access to state agencies' publications. The State Library is a permanent depository for state publications, and is responsible for distributing the publications to other State Clearinghouse Rhode Island depository libraries.

+ Interlibrary Loan Policy

The State Library participates in Interlibrary Loan (ILL), which is a service to patrons to get additional research materials beyond the library's collection. Please see our full policy to learn more.

Our Interlibrary Loan Policy

Our Collections

The State Library has a robust collection that is primarily legislation-related, with our earliest holdings dating back to 1750. While the State Library is a non-lending library, these collections are accessible to researchers who visit the Library during normal business hours. Some of our most popular collections include:

  • Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, dating back to 1750
  • Rhode Island Government Manuals, dating back to 1867
  • Providence Journal Almanac, dating back to 1891
  • State Agency Publications
  • 30% of the Federal Government Publication Core Collection

Visit Us

The State Library is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., and until the Rise of the House and Senate when the General Assembly is in session. The State Library is closed on all State holidays.

82 Smith St., Rm 208 Providence, RI 02903

If you cannot make it into the library, we are happy to help you via phone or email.
Phone: (401) 222- 2473