The Library has some amazing collections, including over 50,000 rare books, manuscripts, artifacts and ephemera that represent thousands of years of human history and culture. From whaling logbooks and children's books to type specimens and World War II posters, we want you to visit and use them for yourself.

But just in case you aren't able to be here in person (or in case you want images to use for your own creative projects), we're making reproductions of our items available online, so you can enjoy them anytime and in any place.

Local new wave and hardcore bands recorded at the Living Room in Providence in 1983-4. From the collections of Providence Public Library.

Digital Projects

Nicholson Whaling Collection whale See logbooks → Nicholson Whaling Collection

Over 700 fully-digitized whaling logs

See portraits → Updike Collection Book Trade Portraits

Over 400 images depicting printers, booksellers & other book trade members

wax seal and writing See collection → The William Arnold Autograph Collection

Over 100 manuscript items relating Rhode Island's history from the 17th-20th century

writing on paper See letters → The George Turner Letters

Almost 200 letters by a Rhode Island Civil War soldier, dating from 1861-1864

illustration of man with gun hanging from flag pole See blallads → Civil War Ballads

A select sampling of ballads held in the Library's collection

cover of Uncle Tom's Cabin in German See book → Uncle Tom in Foreign Lands

A selection of foreign language editions of Harriet Beecher Stowe's work

Past Exhibitions

Illustration of a man taking a large step See exhibit → At Play

Includes image files and instructions for recreating five entertaining objects from bygone eras

A devil breating fire with text above See exhibition → Broadsides at the Providence Athenaeum

Highlights broadsides exhibited at the Providence Athenaeum as part of the Rhode Island Center for the Book's Art of the Book program.

image of a museum exhibit See collection → The Wonder Show: Sympathetic Magic

Contemporary reinterpretations of Victorian popular art form, the magic lantern show

The Providence Public Library is supported by the donation of funds by users like you. Please donate to support the acquisition and conservation of our materials, and to support digital projects such as this.