Library Tour - Chapter 8

Library Tour - Chapter 8

CHAPTER 8 -- Special Collections

Originally the Library's Lecture Room, the room currently home to PPL's Special Collections served as the “Boys & Girls Reading Room” during the 1930s and it was during that time that the hand-painted murals currently gracing the walls came into being.

Pawtucket native Edward Dubuque produced the set of five murals under the auspices of the Federal Emergency Relief Association (FERA) as an art project, and they were formally dedicated on April 23, 1935. Dubuque went on to produce backdrop sets for MGM.


The five murals extending around three walls of the main room represent characters and incidents from well-known literature for boys and girls. Read more about the Dubuque Murals.

Today, PPL's Special Collections Department is comprised of several distinct collections of over 40,000 books, manuscripts, pamphlets, ephemera, newspapers, maps, broadsides, art, and artifacts, representing over four thousand years of human history and culture. All materials are non-circulating, and must be used in the department (with the exception of the Rhode Island Collection). Visitors are welcome at any time, but appointments are strongly suggested. For more information and to make an appointment, please e-mail the Special Collections Librarian.

The Library's notable Special Collections include:

Dubuque Mural

CHAPTER 9 -- Upper Balcony/Gallery

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