~City Archives | About Us | Basic Holdings
OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF THE CITY OF PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND

Announcements


News + Press Releases


Sign up for the City's weekly e-News

Calendar of Events

Contact Us

Directions

Providence City Archives
Basic Holdings Summary

This list is by no means exhaustive, but is meant to provide a sample of the rich and varied collections housed here at the City Archives. Finding aids are available for some of the records listed below.

Providence was incorporated as a city in 1832. A partial list of pre-incorporation records includes:

  • Town Meeting Records and reports, 1642-1832
  • List of Freemen of the Town, 1832
  • Providence Valuation List, 1778
  • Providence Town Rate, 1778-1780
  • Overseer of the Poor Records, 1769-1827
  • Tax Books, 1828 - 1991
  • Owners of lots, 1798

Vital Records

  • Indexes to births, marriages, and deaths 1636 to mid-20th century (some restrictions may apply)
  • Probate Proceedings, 1798 to present
  • Wills and other probate records
  • Index to Probate Records, 1646-1995
  • Estate Inventories
  • Annual Reports of births, marriages, deaths, 1853-1940
  • City Census Records, 1835, 1845, 1855, 1865, 1875
  • Voter Registration Cards, 1912-1947 (contains naturalization information)*

Records of Interest to House and Building Researchers

  • Land Records, 1638 to present
  • Intentions to Build, 1873-1928
  • More than 2,500 blueprints
  • City Atlases for 1857, 1875, 1882, 1895, 1908, 1918, 1926, 1937
  • Sanborn Maps, 1921 with updates
  • Providence City Directories, from 1824 to 1849 (select years), and 1850 to present
  • Providence House Directories, 1895-1935
  • Tax Books, 1828 - 1991
  • Assessor's and Plat Maps
  • Miscellaneous Plat Maps (5 volumes), 1830-1897
  • Street Layouts, 1737 - 1858*

Executive Office

  • Mayor's Correspondence, 1857-1914 (incomplete for other mayors)
  • Mayor's Scrapbooks 1874-1905, 1939-41
  • Also collected speeches, budget addresses and inaugural addresses

City Council

  • City Ordinances, 1832 - 1995
  • Town Council Meeting Books, 1642 - 1832
  • City Council Resolutions, 1870 - 1995
  • Board of Aldermen Records, 1832-1940
  • Common Council Records, 1832 - 1940
  • Journal of Proceedings, 1941 to present
  • Minute Books and other Records of Council Committees, 1832 - 2000
  • City Documents, bound volumes, 1856-1908.
  • Recorded minutes and other material of City Council appointed bodies including committees on (not inclusive):
  1. Railroads
  2. Printing
  3. Streets
  4. Finance
  5. Health
  6. Municipal terminal Development
  7. Property
  8. Claims and Pending Suits
  9. Retirement
  10. Finance
  11. Ordinances
  12. Public Works
  13. Urban redevelopment, Renewal & Planning
  14. Board of Contract & Supply

CITY DEPARTMENTS

Assessor's Office

  • Tax Books, 1828 to present
  • Assessment Plat ("Field") Cards, 1939 - 1940, 1960-77
  • Assessor's Collection of Taxes Reports, 1867 to 1991
  • Estates Sold for Taxes, 1851-1928
  • Plat Books, 1832 - 2004
  • Motor Vehicle Tax Books, 1966 - 1991
  • Manufacturing and Tangible Tax Books, 1971 - 1991

Board of Canvassers

  • Voter Registration Cards, 1912 - 1940s*
  • Records of Ballots Cast, 1900-1960
  • Voting Lists 1938, 1950 - 1996 (not all years)

Building Inspection

  • Correspondence of the Building Inspector, 1894-1944
  • Building Board of Review Minutes, 1927 to 2001
  • Intention to Build, 1861-1923
  • Annual Reports, most years 1954 to 2000

City Engineer

  • Calculation Books, 1870 - 1913
  • Specifications, 1885-1924
  • Engineer's Reports, 1853 to 2000

Finance Department

  • Auditor's Annual Reports, 1848 to present
  • Annual Reports, Commissioner of Sinking Fund, 1890 to present
  • Annual Budget, 1940 to present
  • Annual Financial Reports, 1945 to present
  • Bond Registers, 1866-1959
  • Estimates of Receipts and Expenditures, 1867-1908

Fire Department

  • Annual Reports, 1857 to present most years
  • Board of Fire Commissioners, 1896-1908
  • Lists of Fire Companies, 1811-1830s

Health (former city department)

  • Superintendent's Reports, 1854-1908
  • Health Records, Bound Volumes, 1821-1861
  • Annual Reports, 1884-1964

Licenses

  • Licenses, 1834-39, 1860-72
  • Peddlers Licenses, 1928-55
  • Junk, 1879-99
  • Liquor, 1870-92
  • Hearing Records, 1954 to 1999
  • Day and Log Books, 1866-1957 most years

Parks

  • Committee Reports, 1873 - 1915, most years

Personnel

  • Annual Reports, 1952 to 2000

Planning and Development

  • City Plan Commission Annual Reports, 1914-42, 1944
  • Community Renewal Program, 1964-1971
  • Urban Renewal Plans, 1960s-1980s
  • Annual Reports, 1950 - 2000
  • Neighborhood Studies, 1977-1983
  • Redevelopment Agency, Annual Reports and renewal Plans, 1951 to 2000
  • Capital Improvement Programs, 1950-1999

Police Department

  • Chief of Police Annual Reports, 1866 to present (most years
  • Police Orders, 1866-1880
  • Criminal and Civil Case Reports, 1857-1875
  • City Watch, Captains Journals, 1830s

Public Property/Buildings

  • Superintendent's Reports, 1868-1909, 1912
  • Work Orders, 1930s

Public Works

  • Reports, 1873 to present (most years)

Registrar

  • Reports, 1855 - 1908

School Department

  • Providence School Committee Records & Reports, 1843 to 2000
  • Providence Reform School Records, 1849-1880*
  • Student Registers, 1846-1885

Solicitor

  • Reports, 1873 - 1908
  • Opinions, 1866 to present

Tax Collector

  • Property Tax Bound Volumes, 1834 to 1991

Water Commissioner/Water Supply

  • Reports, 1869-1880 (when became part of Office of Public Works)
  • Water Works Records, 1853-1910. 10 volumes
  • Water Supply Board, Engineer's Reports, 1902-1916
  • Records Regarding Taking of Land, 1916-25
  • Annual Reports, 1916 to 2001
  • Water Commissioner's Reports, 1869-1880
  • Extensive Collection of Photos ca. 1915

Other:

  • City Manuals, 1862 - 1920
  • Charter Review Commission Records, 1979-80*
  • Dexter Asylum Records, 1828 - 1957*
  • Dexter Donation Meeting Records, 1832 to present
  • Harbor Commission Reports, most years, 1879 - 1912
  • Lights, Superintendent's Reports, 1864-1900
  • Lists of Enrolled Militia, 1860-1880
  • North Burial Ground Records (including deeds), 1681-1897
  • Overseer of the Poor Records, 1769 - 1909
  • Retirement Board, Meeting Minutes, 1924-2001
  • Streets Deeded to City, 1750-1940, 10 volumes

Maps & Atlases:

  • Atlases for 1857, 1875, 1882, 1895, 1908, 1918, 1926, 1937
  • Sanborn Maps of Providence, 1921 with updates
  • Chace Map, 1798
  • Plat Books & Street Maps, 1803 to present

Blueprints:

  • Extensive Collection of Blueprints, concentration on municipal properties

Town of Johnston

  • Birth, Marriage, Death Records
  • Grantee/Grantor Index (also Cranston & North Providence
  • Petty ledger, 1877-90
  • School Financial Ledger, 1863-1889
  • Town Farm Financial Ledger, 1862-1884
  • Census Returns, 1865 and 1875
  • Licenses, 1884-98
  • Probate Index, 1759-1898
  • Tax Records, 1781-1842
  • Town Council Records, 1834 - 1898
  • Voting Lists, 1843 - 1869

*Finding Aid available.





Providence Road Improvement Project - See which roads are being paved

ProvConnex - How may we help you?

OPEN DATA PORTAL

PROVSMART | Online Permitting

OPEN MEETINGS PORTAL

JOBS NOW!

SUMMER JOBS

Most Requested Online Services


Translate ProvidenceRI.com



Bookmark and Share

ACCESSIBILITY