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.
A collection of historical documents from the petition for a charter in 1763 to the change of name from Rhode Island College to Brown University in 1804. Titles of the papers and folder numbers are taken from the two volumes in which the papers had previously been mounted.
Francis Wayland was the fourth president of Brown University from 1827-1855 and a Baptist clergyman. Papers consist primarily of letterbooks and correspondence, as well as sermons and a diary, of Francis Wayland (1796-1865), his sons Francis Wayland (1826-1904) and H.L. (Heman Lincoln) Wayland (1830-1898), and other members of the Wayland family, dating from 1754 to 1941.