PROVIDENCE – Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis will debut the State Archives Online Catalog at an official unveiling on Thursday at Rhode Island College.
The new online catalog is designed to make it easier for members of the public, educators, students, historians, researchers and journalists to find information quickly in the state’s historical public records, which date from 1638 to the present.
“This is an invaluable tool for anyone interested in accessing information about the holdings, detailed finding aids, images and links to other resources from the comfort of their own home, school, work or when they’re on the go,” said Mollis in a statement. “I am committed to preserving our history and making government more open and accessible. This will no doubt be a model for other states around the country.”
Rhode Island College President Nancy Carriuolo – along with Whitney Blankenship, assistant professor of educational studies and history, and her students – will join Secretary Mollis for the event, which is open to the public.
The unveiling will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 17 in Alger Hall 110 at Rhode Island College.
“We’ve taken a huge leap in making information about the State Archives’ holdings available and providing access to the public,” said Gwenn Stearn, Rhode Island’s state archivist, public records administrator and director of administrative records. “It’s especially remarkable how much has been done, with yet more to come.”
Included among the archives are images of original letters from Thomas Jefferson and John Hancock, and a request by a Rhode Island vehicle owner for a “low license plate number” from 1904.
To view the catalog, visit www.sos.ri.gov and select the “State Archives” tab on the left.