Finding Aids

Nelson W. Aldrich papers (microfilm)

United States representative and senator from Rhode Island, financier, and philanthropist. Collection contains correspondence, journal, appointment books, drafts of speeches, memos, financial records, reports, legislative documents, scrapbooks, serial publications, and other printed material relating chiefly to Aldrich’s career in Congress. This is a microfilm copy of the collection held by the Library of Congress.

Alice LaFond Altieri papers

One of the first women elected to the Rhode Island House of Representatives, Alice LaFond Altieri (1894-1976) served in the legislature during the 1935 “Bloodless Revolution,” a period of colorful political characters and dramatic reorganization of State government. The collection consists of political and personal correspondence, scrapbooks and clippings, speeches, reports and memorabilia, which reflect Altieri’s participation in State and local politics and in numerous civic and charitable organizations.

Edward P. Beard papers

The papers of Edward P. Beard (1940- ) focus primarily on his three terms in the U.S. Congress representing the State of Rhode Island from 1975-1980. The large amount of casework correspondence reflects his particular concern for veterans, elderly, and those with disabilities. Finding aid not yet available, please contact the archives for more information about this collection.

The Blackfriars Guild collection

The Blackfriars Guild collection details the American Catholic theatre movement from the 1940s through the early 1970s. It includes correspondence, films and tapes, legal documents, memorabilia, news clippings, photographs, publications, scrapbooks, and scripts, which record the history and legacy of the guild, giving particular attention to the Blackfriars theatre in New York City.

John V. Brennan papers

The collection consists of documentation, photographs, and memorabilia of Marine Colonel John V. Brennan (Providence College class of ’59). The center piece of this collection are Brennan’s oral histories of major figures and foreign affairs initiatives during his service as the Marine Corp military aide to President Richard Nixon and as his chief of staff during President Nixon’s post-presidency years.

Louis F. Budenz papers

The collection of Louis F. Budenz, writer, labor activist, Communist supporter, and later anti-Communist advocate, consists of correspondence and an array of publications and ephemeral, such as flyers and news clippings, that he collected for almost 40 years on Communism in the United States and abroad.

William Henry Chamberlin papers

The William H. Chamberlin papers (1861-1978), cover the life and work of the author, journalist, and foreign correspondent, consisting of his personal correspondence, news clippings, publications, private journals, photographs, and microfilm. The bulk of the collection is made up of news paper clippings (1925-1969) of articles that Chamberlin wrote during his career as a journalist, which reflect his conservative political view points.

Rosalind Y. Chua papers

The papers of musician and pianist Rosalind Y. Chua consists of materials generated by Chua during the course of her normal activities as Professor of Music for Providence College.

George L. Cochran, O.P. poetry collection

Father George L. Cochran, O.P., an award winning poet in his own right, had during the course of his literary career established relationships with a number of the authors within the collection and knew all by reputation. As a result, Father Cochran often exchanged or received autographed copies of works by various poets. What makes this collection unique is that each title, many of which are part of a limited series edition, is signed by the author and often includes a personal note to Father Cochran. The collection contains sixty-six titles.

Father Charles E. Coughlin collection

Father Charles E. Coughlin (1891-1979), dubbed “The Radio Priest,” was a Roman Catholic priest who developed a mass audience through his radio addresses and publications during the 1930s and early 1940s. He was a very contentious figure who was openly antisemitic, denounced President Franklin D. Roosevelt and capitalism, hated communism, and embraced fascism and a corporate state as a solution to worldwide economic depression. In 1934, Coughlin founded the National Union for Social Justice (NUSJ), a political organization which launched a third party, called the Union Party. Following the United States’ entry into World War II in December 1941, the Roosevelt administration, with support from Catholic Church leadership, forced the cessation of Coughlin’s radio program and revoked mail distribution privileges for his magazine Social Justice due to his hateful rhetoric and extremist propaganda. Materials include Coughlin’s lectures, sermons, books, pamphlets, and periodicals. Additional materials include publications produced by the Union Party. Finding Aid Available Upon Request.

Rodney Delasanta papers

The papers of Rodney Delasanta consists of materials generated by Delasanta during the course of his normal activities as Professor of English for Providence College, 1950-1977.

Joseph A. Doorley, Jr. papers

Joseph A. Doorley, Jr. (1930- ) was mayor of Rhode Island’s capital city during a time of considerable urban crisis, 1964-1974. Relationships with prominent political figures and the inner workings of City departments are well documented by correspondence, reports and extensive clippings files. Doorley’s involvement in national and state politics and in municipal associations is also well represented. Please note the finding aid is in draft form.

Edward P. Doyle, O.P. papers

Edward Paul Doyle, O.P. Ph.D., (1907-1997) was a Dominican Brother, who also served as a Chaplain with the U.S. Army’s 104th Infantry Division during World War II. Father Doyle taught at Providence College before and after his service in the military. This collection relates to his years in the military service, his personal witness of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp at Nordhausen in April 1945, and his participation in several Holocaust memorial programs. This collection has been digitized and is available online.

John J. Fawcett cartoon collection

John Fawcett (1909-1992), editorial cartoonist for the Providence Journal, had a unique insight into international, national and, especially, Rhode Island events of the 1960s and 1970s. The collection is comprised of 3,000 cartoons, arranged chronologically.

John E. Fogarty papers

The collection consists of personal and constituent correspondence, photographs, public documents and memorabilia of John E. Fogarty (1913-1967). Serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, Fogarty was particularly involved with health and education policy. As Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee for the Departments of Labor and Health, Education, and Welfare, he was involved with federal health legislation from 1949 to 1966.

Aime J. Forand papers

The papers of Congressman Aime J. Forand, United States House of Representatives from Rhode Island, contains his private and congressional correspondence, awards, election material, photographs, and scrapbooks. Active in state and national politics from the 1920s through the 1950s, Forand was instrumental in legislation related to increased benefits to unemployed, low income families, and non-profit organizations.

Edward J. Higgins papers

The papers of Edward J. Higgins primarily consist of political correspondence, news clipping, and other documents covering the period when Higgins served as assistant to U.S. Senator, Theodore Francis Green. These papers include investigative reports concerning the the 1939-1940 wire tapping case involving RI Governor William Henry Vanderbilt and Pawtucket City Mayor Thomas McCoy. The collection also contains personal correspondence, plus an assortment of campaign memorabilia Higgins collected as a Democratic Delegate at the National Conventions from 1940-1964.

Peter M. Johnson prose poems

Spanning almost forty years, Peter Johnson’s prose poems have been published in numerous literary journals throughout the country. The collection contains many of his early prose poems published in serials now no longer in print.

John R. Kellam papers

John R. Kellam was a Quaker and an American prisoner of conscience in World War Two. He later devoted his life fighting against discrimination in general and in particular housing discrimination against minorities. This collection contains his papers relating to his work with the Rhode Island Committee Against Discrimination in Housing from 1950 to the early 1960s.

Kennedy newspaper collection

This small collection is comprised mostly of news clippings covering events related to John F. Kennedy. Additional materials concern Robert F. Kennedy and Edward M. Kennedy.

The McDermott record collection

The collection consists of 164 78 rpm phonograph recordings of Enrico Caruso, John McCormack, recordings of classical music composed by Beethoven, Grieg, and of popular musical artists of the 1920s and 1930s. Additional recordings contain instructional Latin lessons. The was collected by Edward J. McDermott of North Providence, Rhode Island and donated by him to Providence College in 1976-77.

Thomas M. McGlynn, O.P. papers

The Thomas McGlynn papers contains his writings, letters, photographs and a sculpture collection of around seventy original works of art. The sculptures are housed in the Hunt-Cavanagh Building, located on the lower campus. Manuscripts and related material regarding his writings-notably Vision of Fatima (1948) and the anti-racist off-Broadway play “Caukey” (1944)-are also included, as well as his draft of a book on contemporary church art. In the course of writing a biography of McGlynn, Richard A. McAlister, O.P., assembled useful research data, which is also available.

J. Howard McGrath papers

The papers of James Howard McGrath (1903-1966) document his professional and political life as a lawyer and banker, Democratic State and National Committee Chairman, Rhode Island Governor, U.S. Senator, Solicitor General, and Attorney General of the United States. The bulk of the collection covers his political career in at the state level in Rhode Island. Finding aid not yet available, please contact the archives for more information about this collection.

Cornelius C. Moore papers

The Cornelius Moore papers consist of records and correspondence between the collector, Cornelius Moore (1885-1970), and dealers and researchers regarding a collection of approximately 200 pieces of early American Silver. The original silver collection was donated to Providence College in 1970 but was auctioned off in 1986.

J. Lyons Moore papers

J. Lyons Moore and his wife, Marian Gilmore Moore, were active in the Democratic Party for over twenty years in various capacities. This collection is comprised of materials relating to national and state campaign elections and conventions, including a wide assortment of political memorabilia and private correspondence between party officials and approximately 200 prominent Democrats from the 1930s through the 1970s.

NAACP – Providence, R.I. Branch collection

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Providence, RI Branch Collection consists of correspondence, memorandum, documents, newspaper clippings and other material about civil rights issues both in Rhode Island and throughout the nation. The collection includes memorabilia, correspondence, and publications that highlight services undertaken to further the goals of the NAACP in Rhode Island’s metropolitan center. The collection has particularly strong coverage of the 1960s and 1970s.

Newspapers collection

This small collection of mostly Rhode Island newspapers contains articles reporting on early World War I events, the Hurricane of 1938, the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and 1950s reunification efforts of Ireland. Additional materials include microfilm copies of the mid-20th century runs of the Boston Chronicle and the Providence Chronicle, the 19th century Woonsocket Patriot (1833-1836), the 18th century New-England Courant (1731-1735), the Weekly Rehearsal (1731-1735), and original issues of early American newspapers.

John O. Pastore papers

As U. S. Senator from Rhode Island (1950-1976), John O. Pastore’s most notable achievements came from his active roles on the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy where he supported the peaceful use of atomic energy. Pastore also worked on the Senate Commerce Committee Communications Subcommittee where he sponsored the Communications Satellite Corporation Act of 1962 and the establishment in 1967 of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. His papers consists of correspondence, legislative materials, news clippings, reports, campaign and election materials, public speeches, press releases, and photographs.

Robert E. Quinn papers

Robert E. Quinn, known as “Fighting Bob” (1884-1975), after serving in all 3 branches of Rhode Island government, capped his career with a 25-year tenure as Chief Judge of the United States Court of Military Appeals. The bulk of this collection is a series of oral history interviews conducted from 20 June 1972- 20 November 1973. These tapes, which have been roughly transcribed, cover all phases of Quinn’s public service. Of particular value are his comments on the 1935 “Bloodless Revolution” and on the local political arena up to World War II.

Quonset Point Naval Air Station collection

The Quonset Point Naval Air Station collection contains subject files, publications, scrapbooks, biographies, records and photographs which detail the function and operation of the base during and after World War II, until its decommission in 1974. The Quonset Point Naval Air Station newspaper, The Quonset Scout, is in the process of being digitized and is available online.

Rhode Island 11th United States Heavy Artillery

The collection consists of official records of the Rhode Island 11th United States Heavy Artillery and the the personal correspondence of Lt. Allen F. Cameron, who was one of the regiment’s officers. The military records consist of documents such as reports, orders, rosters, and courts-martial records detailing activities of the regiment. The collection depicts aspects of life in the Union Army and the functions of a Black regiment led by white officers.

Rhode Island Board of International Approved Basketball Officials collection

The collection documents the activities of the Rhode Island Board #84 of the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials from 1922 to 2000.

Rhode Island Constitutional Convention, 1964 – 1969

These papers contain journals, proposals, correspondence, committee reports and other material regarding an attempt to rewrite the Rhode Island Constitution. In 1968, voters overwhelmingly rejected the document produced by the Convention delegates.

Rhode Island Constitutional Convention of 1973

The Rhode Island Constitutional Convention of 1973 was convened to amend the state’s constitution. The collection contains convention rules and other administrative documents, session journals, publicity, and research on the issues considered.

Rhode Island Constitutional Convention of 1986

The collection contains resolutions, staff reports, committee reports, legal reports, and documentation concerning the adoption of the new constitution.

Rhode Island Association of Football Officials collection

From 1929 to 1931, due to inconsistent officiating and a rash of incidents at high school football games, the state secondary principals’ association and 25 independent football referees organized the Association of Football Officials of Rhode Island. With the goals of protecting the participants in the games and the integrity of the sport, the Association trained its members and conducted clinics. Arranged chronologically, the collection include correspondence, reports, meeting minutes, membership lists, photographs, clippings, and rule books. Finding aid not yet available, please contact the archives for more information about this collection.

Dennis J. Roberts papers

The collection of Dennis J. Roberts (1903-1994), former mayor of Providence and Rhode Island Governor, consists of his personal and political correspondence, clippings, reports, campaign and public speeches, press releases, and photographs.

Rev. Paul van K Thomson papers

The collection of Rev. Paul van K Thomson, former V.P of Academic Affairs at Providence College, consists of sermons, course materials, books and articles written by him, as well as news clippings, church bulletins, handwritten manuscripts, and annotated books from his personal library.

Urban League of Rhode Island collection

The Collection tells the story of the League’s early trials and tribulations, programs, and successes and failures. It also chronicles the story of the National Urban League through the eyes of a local affiliate. And, lastly, the Collection is largely the story of one man, James N. Williams, the first director, who served for thirty years in Providence and participated in the triumphs in the battle for racial equality in this nation.

William E. Walsh Civil War Diary

Written from memory and notes, Walsh relates his experiences in the Union Army from his 1861 enlistment to his 1865 furlough. This is the 1st such reminiscence of an Irish immigrant uncovered in Rhode Island. William E. Walsh (1832-1907), a corporal in the 1st Rhode Island Cavalry, comments on Civil War battles (e.g., Fredericksburg), conditions in Libby Prison, prominent military figures (e.g., George A. Custer), treatment and performance of the Irish and other ethnic groups in the ranks, and life in the Union Army. A digital copy and transcription of the diary are available online.

Charles Welsh papers

This collection contains correspondence, manuscripts, illustrations, and news clippings acquired by Charles Welsh while he was the managing editor of the ten volume anthology Irish Literature (1904). Welsh saved these materials by loosely inserting them into his personal copy of the anthology.

Bruce E. Graver collection on John G. Whittier

The collection comprises a series of letters composed by John G. Whittier, 19th century newspapers, and various publications of his poetry and writings. For additional information about the John G. Whittier collection and an interview of Dr. Bruce E. Graver about Whittier view The Bruce E. Graver Collection of John G. Whittier Exhibit page.