helpful sites and resources:
The Good 5 Cent Cigar
Primitive Art and Culture
Pettaquamscutt Historical Society
Rhode Island Genealogy Project
Island Historical Heritage and Preservation Commission
Historical Records Repositories Directory
Rhode Island State Archives
Rhode Island State Library
an online repository of URI publications and selected
images and publications from
view online, URI access only
Map & Chart Project of the Office of Coast Survey Cartographic and Geospatial
1998-2008 course catalogs in
PDF or HTML format
and University Archives
The Special Collections Unit provides access to its holdings of unique research collections.
Collections of primary and secondary resources are acquired, organized, and
preserved by the Library and are made available to qualified researchers
according to the policies below. In
addition, the Unit maintains a working letterpress printing shop, the New
Leaves Press, established in 1976.
All print material in Special Collections is cataloged in the HELIN
library catalog. Information about archival records, collections of personal papers, business records, political papers, and oral
histories is provided through the use of finding aids, many of which are available online. Many of our finding aids
are also cataloged in the HELIN library
catalog; a search for these cataloged finding aids can be combined
with a search for print materials in the HELIN system. Enter a keyword
in the search box to information about and in the collections. If you don't find what you are looking for, contact
us for further assistance.
We are open 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Special Collections is closed weekends and State recognized holidays.
Please note that the Reading Room is open by appointment only during summer months, June through August.
The Special Collections Unit is located on the second floor of the
Robert L. Carothers Library. Entry to the Reading Room is
adjacent to the central staircase. For directions and parking information, please
see Maps and Directions
For reference questions, more information about our collections, or to arrange a
tour, email us
or call (401) 874-4632. For information about the Commercial
Pattern Archives (CoPA), contact
Prof. Joy Spanabel Emery by e-mail or
by telephone at (401) 874-2613.
Eligible users & restrictions on use
Any qualified person doing scholarly research is permitted to use material housed in the
Special Collections Unit.
Before beginning research, everyone is required to register and a Research Form must be completed if the
researcher is using manuscript or archival collections. Collections are used under specific restrictions and may not be removed from the Reading
Room area or borrowed from the collections. Permission may be granted to obtain
photo or digital copies of items in the collections. A fee
is charged for
this service and the copying is performed by the staff.
Care must be exercised at all times when handling
materials. Only pencils may be used when taking notes in the reading
room. Pencils and scrap paper are provided for Reading Room use if
needed. Consuming food or beverages, smoking, and the use of pens are not
permitted in the reading room.