The collections of the Newport Historical Society are held as a public trust for the benefit of present and future generations. As stewards of the collection, the NHS is responsible for properly protecting, preserving, maintaining and providing access to these collections. With some exceptions and restrictions, it is our policy that the collections will be available for publication, exhibition, interpretation and education, research, reproductions and derivative work.
We make our collections accessible to the general public to the greatest extent possible through both in-person research appointments and remote research services. Due to COVID-19 restrictions the Richard I. Burnham Resource Center is currently closed to walk-in researchers: Appointments must be made in advance.
For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 401-846-0813, ext. 190. NHS is not obligated to assist inquiries that involve excessive time or cost to the institution, and all services are contingent upon the latest R.I health guidance, staff availability and the physical condition of the collection materials requested. Staff respond to inquiries in the order in which they are received. Historical Society members are given priority in making appointments for visits. Fees and policies are described below.
Our ready reference policy refers to requests made via phone, email or mail that do not require a visit to the Newport Historical Society Research Library and Resource Center. Staff will answer specific questions about the history of Newport county and resources in our collection without charging a fee. These are questions that can typically be answered with 30 minutes or less of staff research. Beyond that time, requests will be charged according to the fee schedule below.
Ready reference requests do not encompass surveys of collections or original research using collections materials. To have staff conduct original research, we charge a fee of $75/hour. All service times are from the time in which payment for service is received, if payment is required.
|NHS Members*||Students*||RI Residents*||Non-Members|
|Ready Reference Question||Free||Free||Free||Free|
|Research Library Appointment**
(secondary resources & genealogy)
|Free appointment||Free appointment||Free appointment||$5 / hour|
|Special Collections Appointment**
(Archival, Photograph & Object Collections)
|$5 / hour||$20 / day||$10 / hour||$10 / hour|
|Staff Research, Assistance & Handling Service||$50 / hour||$60 / hour||$75 / hour||$75 / hour|
|Genealogy Service||$50 / hour||$60 / hour||$75 / hour||$75 / hour|
|Staff Photography***||$50 / hour||$60 / hour||$75 / hour||$75 / hour|
*NHS membership card, RI or student identification required.
**On-site research visits.
***This fee will be charged if a work must be retrieved from storage or installation, or if an object from the Photo Archive requires more complicated photography preparation. For more information, visit our Photography, Reproductions & Image Use page.
Postage will be added to fees when necessary.
All researchers are required to fill out a Researcher Registration Form before conducting research at the NHS Research Library and Resource Center. Registration forms assist staff in identifying resources in the collection that may be applicable to research topics. Signed forms also serve as an acknowledgement that researchers have reviewed our research policies and agreed to adhere to those policies while working at the Newport Historical Society. The Newport Historical Society reserves the right to discontinue service to any and all patrons that violate these policies.
All visitors who wish to utilize collections at the NHS must complete a Researcher Registration Form and adhere to the following rules in the Reading Room and Research Library:
For research inquiries and appointments, please email email@example.com or call 401-846-0813, ext. 190Email