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News and Events

Wed, 06 Jun 2018 17:00:00 GMT

Secretary Gorbea invites visitors to experience the Gaspee in virtual reality (VR) at PVD Fest

PROVIDENCE RI - Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea, is pleased to announce the latest exhibition opening June 7 at the Rhode Island State Archives: "The Gaspee Raiders: Pirates or Patriots." The exhibition highlights the pivotal role Rhode Islanders played in our nation's fight for independence.

As part of PVD Fest, the State Archives will be open on Saturday, June 9 from 12 to 4 p.m. Visitors will get to interact with Gaspee VR, a virtual reality experience developed by students under the leadership of Adam Blumenthal, Professor of the Practice of Computer Science and Virtual Reality Artist-in-Residence at Brown University.

"I'm pleased to open the State Archives during PVD Fest to give visitors the opportunity to learn about and interact with Rhode Island's rich and robust history," Secretary Gorbea said. "With both the Gaspee exhibition and Gaspee VR, they can see how the actions – big and small – by concerned citizenry have shaped our history."

Using historical reenactments filmed on a 360-degree camera, Gaspee VR places users in 1772 Rhode Island. Those wearing a virtual reality headset will watch as colonists discuss their plans to burn the Gaspee at Sabin's Tavern in Providence or witness King George III learning of the Gaspee's fate at the Palace of St. James. Attendees will also have an opportunity to meet and provide feedback to Professor Blumenthal about this revolutionary educational experience.

Gaspee VR will be available on June 9, 2018, and the exhibition "The Gaspee Raiders: Pirates or Patriots" will run June 7 through September 5, 2018 at the Rhode Island State Archives.

The Rhode Island State Archives, a part of the Rhode Island Department of State, is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 4:30 pm at 337 Westminster Street in downtown Providence. Validated parking during business hours is available adjacent to the building at InTown Parking.

Additional images from the exhibition can be viewed online at the State Archives' Virtual Exhibitions page at


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Nicole Lagace