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 below.

You can also find guides to many of our manuscript collections by visiting the RIAMCO gateway to statewide archival resources.


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.