Rhode Island Historical Society (RIHS)

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The Rhode Island Historical Society

Founded in 1822, the RIHS is the fourth oldest state historical society in the United States. It is a private organization, founded and supported by its membership.

About RIHS

The Rhode Island Historical Society is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and sharing Rhode Island’s history. Its offices are located at Aldrich House, 110 Benevolent Street, Providence Rhode Island, 02906. Information about its collections and historic buildings, and about its programs and events, may be found on this website.

The RIHS holds the largest and most important historical collections relating to Rhode Island. These collections include some 25,000 objects, 5,000 manuscripts, 100,000 books and printed items, 400,000 photographs and maps, and 9 million feet of motion-picture film. The RIHS owns and maintains the John Brown House Museum (52 Power Street, Providence), a National Historic Landmark built in 1788; the Aldrich House (110 Benevolent Street, Providence), also a National Historic Landmark, built in 1822; and the Library (121 Hope Street, Providence). The organization also maintains the Museum of Work and Culture (42 South Main Street, Woonsocket), a regional history museum devoted to the history of northern Rhode Island.

Through the Newell D. Goff Center for Education and Public Programs, the RIHS offers a variety of educational programs, including workshops, lectures, films, and walking tours of Providence. The Center also provides many professional development opportunities for teachers wanting to learn more about teaching Rhode Island’s history. The RIHS also presents exhibits, films, concerts, and many other community activities and programs. Its collections catalogue is available online, as are all issues of its journal, Rhode Island History.

As we preserve the past, our members ensure our future through membership fees, special gifts, and donations to the collections. Rhode Island's history is the story of all the people who have lived here. We need your help to tell those stories.

The Museum of Work & Culture

The Museum of Work & Culture, located at 42 South Main Street in Woonsocket, shares the stories of men, women, and children who came to Rhode Island in the late 19th and 20th centuries. Why did they come? What did they do when they got here? Who helped them along the way? The stories of French Canadian immigrants provide the voice for these universal struggles of all immigrants to America. Our new permanent exhibit, Going to Work: Twentieth Century Settlers to the Blackstone Valley, brings new voices and faces to the museum and this site. Please just us in adding your stories and sharing your families' history. To see more about visiting the Museum of Work & Culture, select the link in the menu to the left.

John Brown House Museum

One House, A Thousand Stories ...
Visit the museum with your students and open a door to Rhode Island's extraordinary history! See the world of the Brown family members come alive as you walk through their impressive home. Connect to the past with several hands-on-history objects.

John Brown House Museum
52 Power Street
Providence RI 02906
Phone: 401-273-7507
Fax: 401-751-2307

Tour Times:
April 1 to November 30:
1:30 pm and 3:00pm
10:30am, 12:00pm, 1:30pm and 3:00pm
December 1 through March 31:
Friday and Saturday:
10:30am, 12:00pm, 1:30pm and 3:00pm


                                                                    Aldrich House

110 Benevolent Street
Providence RI 02906
Phone: 401-331-8575
Fax: 401-351-0127

Renata Luongo:
Phone: 401-331-8575 x34
Email: rluongo@rihs.org


                  RIHS Research Library

121 Hope Street
Providence RI 02906
Phone: 401-273-8107 x10
Fax: 401-751-7930

10:00am to 5:00pm
2nd Saturday of the Month:
10:00am to 5:00pm