"Beach Goers" https://provlibdigital.org/islandora/object/islandora%3A8996

Community Archives

We believe strongly in empowering communities to capture, save, control, and share their own stories. The act of documenting history is powerful and available to all of us. Because we actively encourage Rhode Islanders to interpret, analyze, and use historic resources to participate in and understand history, PPL promotes a number of initiatives that support community archives.

What are community archives?  They are collections of materials - in all sorts of formats - that are created by people and community groups to document their shared experiences, art and activism, cultural history, identity and heritage. Community archives are created by and for the groups that they represent.

We work with content creators who want to organize and preserve their own materials within their communities, offering free consulting and support, and we also collect and preserve community collections at PPL while working to make them accessible to as many researchers as possible.

Kate Wells
Curator of Rhode Island Collections

Community Archives

RI COVID-19 Archive

Rhode Island COVID-19 Archive The Rhode Island COVID-19 Archive is a public digital archive created and maintained by the Providence Public Library and the Rhode Island Historical Society in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis. The project serves to document and share the lived experiences of Rhode Islanders from all walks of life during …

RI LGBTQ+ Community Archives

Rhode Island LGBTQ+ Community Archive A home for the histories of RI’s LGBTQ+ communities where all can learn, reflect and engage. RI LGBTQ+ Community Archive at PPL is a community archives initiative to collect and provide access to the current and past stories of LGBTQ+ people in Rhode Island. We are focused on ensuring the …

AS220 Collection

The AS220 Archives at PPL The AS220 Archives at PPL documents AS220 – a Providence arts organization that has evolved organically since 1985 in response to community needs and, as a result, dramatically changed the landscape of the city. Researchers will find evidence of complex cultural and creative production. The archives reflects the organization as …

UPP Arts Collection

UPP Arts Formerly known as Urban Pond Procession, UPP Arts used public art, history, and science to give community members a voice in the environmental issues that impact their well-being. Focused on Mashapaug Pond and its surrounding South Providence community from 2008-2018, UPP Arts place-based arts programming bore witness to the histories of Mashapaug, including …

Community Archiving Consultation

We’re here to help when you find yourself asking, “what do we do with all of our stuff?” We offer free support and consulting for individuals and groups with community archives.