The ACT UP Rhode Island (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) records contain minutes of meetings, correspondence, financial records, reports, booklets, handbooks, pamphlets, clippings, mailings, newsletters, conference material, publications, lists of members and contacts, ACT UP/RI circulars and posters, photographs and clippings of ACT UP demonstrations, documentation of Rhode Island legislation, regulations, and policies concerning AIDS. Also included are AIDS-related materials from other ACT UP groups, especially New York, and various gay and lesbian groups, both in Rhode Island and nationally. Topical files document developments in AIDS treatment, public health issues, government policy, AIDS activism, and various gay/lesbian issues. There are also three painted plywood panels and one cloth banner in the collection.
The Butler Hospital records contain many of the hospital's records from its founding in 1841 to approximately its 50th anniversary in 1891. These records document the changing attitudes toward the mentally ill in Europe and the United States in the early 19th century as well as communal responsibility for the less fortunate, the responsibility of the wealthy for sharing both their wealth and their expertise, the financial practices of the period, detailed specifications on the construction of the first hospital of any kind in Rhode Island, the hospital's expansion, and the day-to-day expenses of such an institution.