How to Find Special Collections Materials

  • Special Collections items exist in a variety of formats and collections. The following tools can be used to determine what materials are available:

Encore, the Ocean State Libraries catalog:

Collection Guides describing the following manuscript and ephemera collections exist in printed form in the Special Collections Reading Room and as pdfs available here:



Search the Special Collections Guides.


Other Guides and Checklists

Until everything is available in the online catalog, a number of physical card catalogs, located in the Special Collections department, are still the best way to locate our materials. Card catalogs to the following collections are available for use (* an asterisk indicates the additional availability of a shelf list organized by call number):

  • General Collection
  • Edward B. Hanes Checkers (Draughts) Collection
  • Fiske Harris Civil War & Slavery Collection*
  • Fiske Harris Civil War & Ballads Collection
  • Nicholson Whaling Collection*
  • Nicholson Whaling Collection (chronological file)
  • Nicholson Whaling Collection Printed Books
  • Nicholson Whaling Collection Photographs
  • John H. Percival Magic Collection
  • Updike Collection of Books on Printing*
  • Updike Collection of Books on Printing
  • Daniel Berkeley Updike Correspondence*
  • Daniel Berkeley Updike Pamphlet Collection
  • Updike Autograph Collection / Arnold RI Manuscript Collection*
  • Edith Wetmore Collection of Children's Books*
  • Edith Wetmore Collection of Illustrated Books
  • Potter & Williams Memorial Collection on Irish Culture*
  • Irish Ballads
  • Whist
  • Imprints by location (limited)
  • Imprints by date (limited)

Search the Special Collections Guides.