Act of Renunciation background image state house dusk background image library ceiling background image rotunda across background image state house ornimental ceiling background image

State Archives

The State Archives is home to millions of letters, photographs, and important state documents that form a permanent, tangible record of Rhode Island’s rich history. Our holdings date back to 1638 and include Rhode Island’s copies of the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights. The State Archives preserves and makes Rhode Island historic records accessible to the public. We welcome researchers to engage with our collections on Rhode Island history, government, and culture.

Our holdings are available to the public for research at our Westminster Street facility where State Archives staff offer on-site assistance. Research guides and finding aids to the collections are accessible through our online catalog, and researchers can view our Digital Archives holdings online 24 hours a day. Our staff is available to assist you by mail, phone, and e-mail.

Our Programs

+ Exhibits

Our on-site exhibits explore Rhode Island’s unique and dynamic history, featuring the people, places, and events that have shaped our state. Exhibits are free and open to the public during normal business hours. Highlights from the State Archives’ collection are also on view in Treasures from the Archives, a pop up exhibit series in the State Library, located in the Rhode Island State House. We also host Virtual Exhibits which are available to view online, anytime.

+ Reading Room

The State Archives is a closed stack and non-lending facility that offers research space to the public during normal business hours. Researchers can access genealogical records, manuscripts, administrative histories, and more with the assistance of State Archives staff.

+ Public Programs

We work to make the State Archives collection more accessible and transparent through a variety of public programs. Programs include transcription parties, exhibit openings, and travelling exhibits designed to engage our community and offer the opportunity to interact with the State Archives and Rhode Island history. Please feel free to contact us about these and other exciting programs, or if there are additional programs you’d like us to consider.  

Subject Guides

The State Archives has a broad collection dedicated to the story of Rhode Island. The following guides provide a map to the State Archives’ resources by topic to assist anyone curious about our holdings. New Subject Guides are published yearly on a variety of our most popular collections.

  • 1st Lt Infantry 1903 Oct-17 1994-19.jpg
    Flag Day Exercises, 1930
  • Dorr-pet-c
    Petition to Release Thomas Wilson Dorr, 1844
  • Providence Deed Memorandum, 1666
    Providence Deed Memorandum, 1666
  • 1986 Convention delegates 1997-96
    Constitutional Convention Delegates, 1986

Visit Us

The State Archives is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The State Archives is closed on all State holidays.

337 Westminster St. Providence, RI 02903

We will validate parking at Down City Parking, across the street from our building.

If you cannot make it to the State Archives, we are happy to help you via phone or email.

Phone: (401) 222- 2353
Email: [email protected]