Rhode Island Archival and Manuscript Collections Online

Frequently Asked Questions

What is RIAMCO?

The Rhode Island Archival and Manuscript Collections Online (RIAMCO) provides access to archival and manuscript collections throughout Rhode Island. Researchers can locate collections from multiple institutions relating to their research through one comprehensive website regardless of physical location.

Does RIAMCO have archival and manuscripts in its collection?

No. RIAMCO is not a repository or institution. RIAMCO provides online inventories of archival materials found at multiple Rhode Island repositories, including museums, historical societies, and archives. These inventories are known as “finding aids,” and each finding aid provides a guide to a collection with links to the institution that owns the original materials.

What Is a Finding Aid?

A finding aid, or collection guide, provides you with the information you need to determine if a collection contains useful information for your research. The purpose of the finding aid is to describe a collection’s context, materials, associated collections, and other such information. The RIAMCO website is a collection of online finding aids.

How to Search or Browse

Use the Search Box on the RIAMCO Home page to find a word (or words) appearing anywhere within RIAMCO finding aids. Advanced Search will allow you to specify where in the documents to look for the words you enter and to limit your search to one or more specific institutions. The Advanced Search page provides search tips.

Use Browse to find lists of archival collections under the name of an institution or by the subject of the collections.

I found something I’d like to see; how do I view the original?

If you have a question about an archival collection, image, or text that you found through this site, or would like to see the original version of an online item, you will need to contact the repository that owns the item. Look at the top of the finding aid page describing the item you wish to see to locate the contact information for the repository that owns it.

You can also find contact information for all repositories in the RIAMCO consortium by going to the Contact a Repository page of this website.

How do I contact a Repository?

To locate contact information for a repository, go to the Contact a Repository page of this website.

How do I cite an image or text in a paper or presentation?

The citation format may vary from institution to institution. Consult the individual finding aid’s Access and Use section for citation information.

How do I obtain permission to publish or reproduce an image or text?

RIAMCO does not own any of these materials, but only hosts descriptions of them online. The contents of the RIAMCO database are made publicly-available by the repositories who own the collections. These materials are intended to be used for research, teaching, and private study. All items may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). Usage of some items may also be subject to additional restrictions imposed by the copyright owner and/or the repository.

Please contact the repository that owns the collection for information about the copyright status of a particular digital image or text. For permission to publish or obtain a reproduction of a particular collection item, please contact the institution directly.

Does RIAMCO appraise collections?

RIAMCO does not offer appraisal services. If you have an item that you feel one of the RIAMCO contributing repositories would be interested in or might have more information about, you will need to contact the repository directly. To locate contact information for a repository, go to the Contact a Repository page of this website.

What are the benefits of joining RIAMCO?

Joining RIAMCO will raise awareness of the unique, primary source material available in your institution and you will benefit from the technology and training offered by RIAMCO. Please see Become a Participating Institution for additional information.

Can my institution join RIAMCO?

Please fill out and submit the RIAMCO Application or e-mail riamco@brown.edu for information on how a Rhode Island library, archive, museum, or other repository may join RIAMCO.


For Participating Institutions