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Collecting area: Rhode Island (Page 1 of 3)

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Austin, Samuel

Samuel Austin Collection

1718-1920
2 boxes 1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 937

An historian and educator, Samuel Austin (1816-1897) was known for his long association with the Friends Boarding School in Providence, R.I. (later renamed the Moses Brown School). An alumnus who married an alumna, Elizabeth H. Osborn, Austin taught at the Boarding school for decades and was instrumental in gathering and preserving documents relating to the school. He wrote and lectured regularly on the history of Friends’ education and on the Boarding School, and its noted teachers and alumni.

A product of the historical work of Samuel Austin, the collection contains both essays, notes, and talks on the Friends’ Boarding School in Providence and on Moses and Obadiah Brown, and some significant original documents used by Austin in his research. Noteworthy among the original materials are a fascinating series of records from monthly and quarterly meetings in and near Rhode Island, mostly in 1787-1793; a rich series of epistles received by Smithfield Monthly Meeting from other meetings in New England (1718-1767); some key printed epistles from Yearly Meetings, including those on war (London, New England, and Philadelphia Yearly) and slavery (London and Philadelphia). Of equal note are a series of letters from Elisha Thornton (a New Bedford merchant, educator, and antislavery advocate), a lengthy letter on doctrine from John Wilbur, and a 1765 sermon from Rachel Wilson.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, 2016

Subjects

Antislavery movementsBrown, Moses, 1738-1832Friends Boarding School (Providence, R.I.)Peace movements--Rhode IslandQuaker women--Rhode Island--18th centuryQuakers--Education--Rhode IslandRhode Island--History--18th centurySociety of Friends--History--Rhode Island

Contributors

Thornton, Elisha, 1748-1816Wilbur, John 1774-1856

Types of material

CorrespondenceMinutes (Administrative records)
Borchers, Kathy

Kathy Borchers Photojournalism Collection

1977-2018
7 boxes 2.75 linear feet
Call no.: PH 083
Depiction of Boy dressed as an eagle for the Fourth of July parade, Bristol, R.I., 1993
Boy dressed as an eagle for the Fourth of July parade, Bristol, R.I., 1993

An award-winning photojournalist, Kathy Borchers began a thirty year career with the Providence Journal in the mid-1980s. A native of Dayton, Ohio, she and her twin sister Karen (also a photojournalist) took up photography in high school and refined their technique as undergraduates at Bowling Green State University. After receiving her master’s degree at the Indiana University School of Journalism in 1981, Borchers worked for three years with the Topeka Capital-Journal before landing in Providence. In addition to covering general news and sports, she took on a number of special assignments and longer-form photoessays over the years in southern New England. She retired in 2015.

A rich sampling from a long career in photojournalism, the collection includes photographic negatives and prints along with associated published materials. Centered primarily on her time with the Providence Journal, the collection reflects the breadth of Borchers’ assignments, including general news, sports coverage, and longer-form photoessays, in both black and white and color. The collection also includes five self-made books: three on long-term photographic projects for the Journal and two career retrospectives.

Gift of Kathy Borchers, July 2018

Subjects

Photojournalists--Rhode IslandRhode Island--Photographs

Contributors

Providence Journal

Types of material

Photographs
Brinley Family

Brinley Family Papers

1643-1950
4.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 161
Depiction of Deborah Brinley and infant son Francis, 1729<br />Copy by Charles U. Bond (1830)<br />after John Smibert
Deborah Brinley and infant son Francis, 1729
Copy by Charles U. Bond (1830)
after John Smibert

A prosperous family of merchants and landowners, the Brinleys were well ensconced among the social and political elite of colonial New England. Connected by marriage to other elite families in Rhode Island and Massachusetts — the Auchmutys, Craddocks, and Tyngs among them — the Brinleys were refined, highly educated, public spirited, and most often business-minded. Although many members of the family remained loyal to the British cause during the Revolution, the family retained their high social standing in the years following.

The Brinley collection includes business letters, legal and business records, wills, a fragment of a diary, documents relating to slaves, newspaper clippings, and a small number of paintings and artifacts. A descendent, Nancy Brinley, contributed a quantity of genealogical research notes and photocopies of Brinley family documents from other repositories. Of particular note in the collection is a fine nineteenth century copy of a John Smibert portrait of Deborah Brinley (1719), an elegant silver tray passed through the generations, and is a 1713 list of the library of Francis Brinley, which offers a foreshadowing of the remarkable book collection put together in the later nineteenth century by his descendant George Brinley.

Subjects

American loyalists--MassachusettsBook collectors--United States--History--19th centuryBrinley familyBrinley, George, 1817-1875--LibraryBusinessmen--Massachusetts--HistoryBusinessmen--Rhode Island--HistoryCraddock familyLandowners--Massachusetts--HistoryLandowners--Rhode Island--HistoryLibraries--Rhode Island--18th centuryMassachusetts--Economic conditions--18th centuryMassachusetts--Politics and government--19th centuryRhode Island--Economic conditions--18th centuryRhode Island--GenealogyRhode Island--Politics and government--19th centurySlavery--United States--HistoryTyng familyUnited Empire Loyalists

Types of material

DeedsRealia
Brown, Moses, 1738-1832

Moses Brown Papers

1713-1840
3 boxes 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 930

In the early Republic, Moses Brown emerged as an ardent abolitionist, a social reformer, and one of the best known philanthropists in his native Providence, R.I. A Baptist who converted to the Society of Friends in 1774, Brown had made a fortune as a merchant, partly in the triangular trade, but a crisis of conscience brought on by the ghastly results of an attempted slaving voyage in 1765 and the death of his wife in 1773 led him to reexamine his life. Withdrawing from most of his business affairs, Brown joined the Society of Friends and emancipated his slaves. He was a founder of the Providence Society for the Abolition of Slavery in 1786 and a strong voice for peace, temperance, and universal education.

A small, but rich archive of the personal papers of Moses Brown, this collection centers on Brown’s activities in antislavery, peace, and educational reform and his connections to the Society of Friends between the 1760s and 1830s. In addition to significant correspondence with major figures in early antislavery cause, including Anthony Benezet, George Benson, William Dillwyn, and Warner Mifflin, and some material relating to the Providence Society for the Abolition of Slavery, the collection includes outstanding content on peace activism. In addition to materials from Moses Brown, the collection includes letters to Moses’ son Obadiah Brown and some fascinating letters and manuscripts relating to Moses’ friend and fellow Friend, Job Scott.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, 2016

Subjects

Antislavery movements--Rhode IslandPeace movements--Rhode IslandQuakers--Rhode IslandRhode Island--History--18th century

Contributors

Benson, George W., 1808-1879Brown, Moses, 1738-1832Brown, Obadiah, 1771-1822Mifflin, WarnerProvidence Society for Abolishing the Slave-TradeProvidence Society for the Abolition of SlaveryScott, Job, 1751-1793
Calin, Roswell A.

Roswell A. Calin Collection

1907-193 Bulk: 1918-1919
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1086
Depiction of Roswell A. Calin in uniform, 1918
Roswell A. Calin in uniform, 1918

Shortly before his twentieth birthday in 1918, Roswell “Ross” Calin joined the 44th Coast Artillery Corps and was sent overseas for service. Arriving in France in August 1918, Calin took part in the St. Mihiel offensive and was wounded in action. He returned to his home in Providence, R.I., early in 1919 and was active in veterans’ organizations for years, including serving as Rhode Island State Adjutant of the Disabled American Veterans in the mid-1920s.

The Calin collection consists of two scrapbook “volumes,” now disbound, assembled by Ross Calin to document his experience in the First World War. Labeled a “memoir,” the volumes consist primarily of photographs and postcards (including many real photo postcards) depicting American troops in the field, war damage, and sites visited by Calin in France. Also included are a selection of medals received by Calin, including a Victory Medal with St. Mihiel clasp, and some newspaper clippings, primarily from the post-war years.

Gift of Ed and Libby Klekowski, May 2018.

Subjects

United States. Army. Coast Artillery Corps. Regiment, 44thWorld War, 1914-1918

Types of material

MedalsPhotographic postcardsPhotographsPostcards
Dethlefsen, Edwin S.

Edwin S. Dethlefsen Photograph Collection

ca.1965-1970
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: PH 020
Depiction of Abigail Holman, d. 1702, Milton, Mass.
Abigail Holman, d. 1702, Milton, Mass.

Edwin S. Dethlefsen and his colleague James Deetz did pioneering work in the historical archaeology and material culture of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century gravestones in New England. Through a series of articles in the mid-1960s, based on intensive study of well documented sites in Massachusetts, Deetz and Dethlefsen developed a basic framework for understanding the stylistic evolution of gravestones. Their work was foundational for later studies in material culture and folk art, but also the broader study of death and bereavement and colonial culture.

The Dethlefsen Collection consists of nearly 2,900 negatives (black and white, 35m and 2×2″) of gravestones, primarily from eastern Massachusetts and Newport, R.I. Among the towns documented are Boston, Cambridge, Charlestown, Concord, Dorchester, Harvard, Lexington, Marblehead, Marshfield, Plymouth, Quincy, and Scituate.

Subjects

Gravestones--MassachusettsGravestones--Rhode IslandStone carving--MassachusettsStone carving--Rhode Island

Contributors

Association for Gravestone StudiesDethlefsen, Edwin S

Types of material

Photographs
Gale, Amory, 1800-1873

Amory Gale Ledgers

1840-1872
2 vols. 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 259 bd

A physician and native of Warwick, Mass., Amory Gale worked as an allopath after his graduation from Brown College in 1824, before turning to homeopathy in the mid-1850s. Often struggling with ill health, Gale plied his trade in a long succession of towns, including Canton, Scituate, Mansfield, and Medway, Massachusetts, as well as towns in Rhode Island and New Hampshire. Between 1844 and 1853, he interrupted his medical practice for a turn in the pulpit.

Gale’s surviving ledgers include accounts with patients, their form of payment, lists of medical fees, and a draft of a business agreement with a fellow homeopath in Woonsocket, J.S. Nichols.

Subjects

Physicians--Massachusetts

Types of material

Account books
Greenwich Monthly Meeting of Friends (Wilburite : 1844-1845)

Greenwich Monthly Meeting of Friends (Wilburite) Records

1844-1895
3 vols. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 W553 G744

A small group from Greenwich Monthly Meeting in East Greenwich, R.I., separated from the larger body during the Friends’ doctrinal controversies of the 1840s to form the Greenwich Monthly Meeting (Wilburite). Established under the aegis of Rhode Island Quarterly Meeting (Wilburite) in 1844, they were laid down just one year later and its members transferred to Kingstown Monthly Meeting (Wilburite).

These three slender volumes document the short-lived Greenwich Monthly Meeting (Wilburite). A thin notebook contains the surviving minutes of the Men’s meeting, while the Women’s minutes (and partial copy) were continued after the members transferred to the care of South Kingston Monthly Meeting in 1845.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

Greenwich (R.I.)--Religious life and customsQuakers--Rhode IslandSociety of Friends--Rhode IslandWilburites

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

Types of material

Minutes (Administrative records)
Howland family

Howland Family Papers

1727-1886 Bulk: 1771-1844
2 boxes 0.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 923

The Howland family of East Greenwich, R.I., figured prominently in New England Quakerism during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and contributed to the state’s public affairs. Brothers Daniel (1754-1834), an approved minister, and Thomas Howland (1764-1845), an educator, were active members of the Society during the tumultuous years between the 1780s and 1840s, caught up in the moral demands for a response to slavery and other social issues and in the divisions wrought by evangelical influences.

Centered largely on the lives of Thomas Howland, his brother Daniel, and Daniel’s son Daniel, the Howland collection is an important record of Quaker life in Rhode Island during trying times. As meeting elders, the Howlands monitored and contributed to the era’s major controversies, and the collection is particularly rich in discussions of the impact of slavery and the passionate struggle between Friends influenced by the evangelically-inclined Joseph John Gurney and the orthodox John Wilbur. Thomas’ complex response to his commitment to the antislavery cause and his fear of disrupting meeting unity is particularly revealing. Also of note is a series of responses from monthly meetings to queries on compliance with Quaker doctrine, obtained during the decade after the American Revolution.

Subjects

Antislavery movements--Rhode IslandEast Greenwich (R.I.)--HistoryPeace movements--Rhode IslandTemperance--Rhode Island

Contributors

Bassett, William, 1803-1871Brown, Moses, 1738-1836Friends' Boarding School (Providence, R.I.)Gurney, Joseph John, 1788-1847Howland, DanielHowland, Daniel, 1754-1834Howland, Thomas, 1764-1845Moses Brown SchoolNew England Yearly Meeting of FriendsShearman, Abraham, 1777-1847Society of Friends--Controversial literatureSociety of Friends--HistoryTobey, Samuel Boyd, 1805-1867Wilbur, John, 1774-1856
MacConnell, William Preston, 1918-

William P. MacConnell Aerial Photograph Collection

ca.1950-2000
ca.24,000 items
Call no.: FS 190

In the 1950s, William P. MacConnell (Class of 1943), and his photogrammetry students in the Dept. of Forestry began using aerial photography to map forests, agricultural fields, wetlands, and other land cover in Massachusetts. Their work was eventually expanded to include the mapping of all land use for Massachusetts, making this state the first in the nation to be completely mapped in this fashion, and laying the foundation for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wetlands Inventory.

The MacConnell Collection includes a comprehensive set of stereopair photographs derived from multiple transects of the state taken between 1950 and 2000. In addition to some original field notes, a stereoscope, and other project materials, the collection includes the following series:

  • 1951: Massachusetts, black and white prints (1:20,000 scale)
  • 1971: Massachusetts, black and white prints (1:20,000)
  • 1985: Massachusetts and Rhode Island, infrared transparencies (1:25,000)
  • 1990: Boston, Cape Cod, Buzzard’s Bay, infrared transparencies (1:12,000)
  • 1991-1992: Massachusetts, infrared transparencies (1:40,000)
  • 1991-1992: Merrimack River Valley, North Shore, MDC-1, infrared transparencies (1:12,000)
  • 1993: Massachusetts, Cape Cod, MDC-2, Nantucket, Dukes and Plymouth Counties, Naushon, West Metro, infrared transparencies (1:12,000)
  • 1999: Massachusetts. infrared transparencies and prints (1:25,000)

We are in the process of digitizing the aerial photographs. You can find the digital versions online in our digital repository, Credo

Subjects

Land use--MassachusettsMacConnell, William Preston, 1918-Maps--MassachusettsWetlands--Massachusetts

Types of material

Aerial photographyMaps
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