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University Libraries
Special Collections
Rhode Island Political Papers


The University of Rhode Island Library preserves many of  the records of Rhode Island's political leaders. Special Collections currently holds the papers of six governors, three United States Representatives, one Rhode Island Representative, and two United States Senators. These records occupy approximately four thousand linear feet. Many of the collections are being processed, as staff and time permit, and are presently unavailable for research; unprocessed collections are available by special permission only. The following papers, however, are processed and may be used by qualified researchers.  The papers are listed in alphabetical order by last name of the politician:

Lincoln Almond, Governor of Rhode Island,
Mss.Gr. #162; 1994-2002, 315 linear feet
The political papers of Gov. Almond are unprocessed.
However an informational website has been developed
for public use until such time as the papers become open
for research.  

John H. Chafee, Governor of Rhode Island, United States Secretary of the Navy,
Mss.Gr. #114; 1962-1976; 126.25 linear feet

The Senatorial Papers of John H. Chafee,
Mss.Gr. #115; 1976-1999; 1,088 linear feet

David W. Dumas, Rhode Island Representative,
Mss.Gr. #151; 1983-1994; 3 linear feet

Frank Licht, Governor of Rhode Island
Mss.Gr. #127; 1959-1973; 231.5 linear feet

Richard Licht, Political Campaigns:  U.S. Senate,
Mss.Gr.#163; 1988-2000; 5.5 linear feet

Senator Claiborne Pell Papers
Mss.Gr.#71; 1960–1996; 2500 linear feet

Claudine Schneider, United States Representative, 
Mss.Gr. #89; 1975–1990; 43.5 linear feet

Bruce Sundlun, Governor of Rhode Island,
Mss.Gr. #120; 1990-1995, 113.5 linear feet
Sundlun Campaign Files,
Mss.Gr.# 120A; 1984-1994; 18 linear feet

William Vanderbilt, Governor of Rhode Island,
Mss.Gr. #60; 1936–1941; 17.5 linear feet

Eligible users and 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 sign the “Research and Guest Register.” 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 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. Consuming food or beverages, smoking, and the use of pens are not permitted.