The Rhode Island State Library
As a public legislative library, everyone is welcome to use the State Library’s resources. The State Library is a non-circulating library, which means the collections may not leave the room. While some federal and state materials are available digitally through the catalog, many materials are available only in print. When possible, librarians are happy to make copies of materials to better assist you with your research. Researchers are always welcome to use the Library’s collection onsite during business hours, which are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
Researchers are welcome to conduct research offsite using the State Library’s online catalog. The catalog allows users to search the library's collection. The catalog provides direct links to resources that are available digitally. Much of the Federal Collection, newer state agency reports, and executive orders are available digitally through the catalog. The Library team is works diligently to provide increased digital access to the Rhode Island Public Laws, Acts, and Resolves. The State Library catalog provides simple and advanced search options, and it provides the PDF versions of materials that have been digitized or were published digitally.
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 does not keep all materials on permanently.
The State Clearinghouse was established under Rhode Island General Laws Chapter 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.
The State Library has all executive orders available digitally from 1973 through the present. You can use the search bar to search by keyword, or you can use the drop-down menu to search by governor.
The State Library holds the Rhode Island Public Laws, Acts, and Resolves from 1750 through the present. In 2021, the State Library received a grant to begin digitizing these materials, starting with 1993. All public laws, acts, and resolves from 1994 to the present are available on the General Assembly’s website. Digitizing these materials is an
This project was funded by the 2021 Rhode Island (LORI) Grant from the Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS), which included funding from the Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS).
The first State Budget book was published in 1935, with the first edition published digitally in 2001. Use the State Library’s database to search the digital versions of the resource or find the call number to use the old budget books onsite.
The Legislator Index is a record of all state-level legislators who served between 1872 and 1989. The amount of information included per legislator varies from just name, chamber, party affiliation, and years served to very specific information including occupation, spouse’s name, date of birth, etc.
The index is arranged alphabetically by last name and grouped into folders so that files load faster. File names within each folder are labeled as “Last Name, First Initial – House" or “Last Name, First Initial – Senate.”
This project was funded by the 2019 Rhode Island (LORI) Grant from the Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS), which included funding from the Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS).
The State Library has all fire district legislative charter acts from 1797 through the present digitally available. These acts are searchable by name in a drop-down menu.
Explore our collection with the State Library's online catalog. The State Library has a robust collection that is primarily legislation-related, with the earliest holdings published in 1750. While the State Library is a non-lending library, these collections are accessible to researchers who visit during normal business hours. Some of the most popular collections include:
Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, 1750 through present;
(Digitally available 1985 through Present)
Rhode Island Government Manuals, dating back to 1867 through present;
Providence Journal Almanac, 1891 through 1987;
Rhode Island State Budget books, 1935 through Present
(Digitally available 2001 through Present)
State Agency Publications;
30% of the Federal Government Publication Core Collection; and