The Edward W. Kane Library of the Newport Historical Society collects books, articles and research on all aspects of Newport County history, with particular strength in genealogy, property ownership, architecture and decorative arts. For this reason, the library is often the first stop for research inquiries at NHS.
Genealogical and biographical research is supported by the library and special collections at the NHS. An important section of the library collection includes published biographies, autobiographies, diaries and journals of prominent New England personalities who had an important role in the founding and growth of Newport County and Rhode Island. The lives and writings of politicians, military heroes, theologians, and merchants are well represented in this growing collection.
The collection also includes census data and other indexes to Newport residents, occupations, and land use, as well as works on English and European families with known and suspected ties to early Rhode Island.
The library and special collections at NHS hold extensive resources for researching properties in Newport, including colonial land evidence, deeds, building surveys, photographs, city atlases and directories.