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The Rhode Island Historical Society, believing that a sense of history is fundamental to understanding human experience, collects, preserves, and shares materials from Rhode Island’s past, so that present and future generations can comprehend more fully their predecessors, their communities, and themselves. Pursuing the highest standards of collection, preservation, presentation, and management, the Society encourages and assists people of all backgrounds and interests to learn more about Rhode Island’s varied history.
Founded in 1822, the RIHS is the fourth-oldest historical society in the United States and is Rhode Island’s largest and oldest historical organization. In Providence, the RIHS owns and operates the John Brown House and Museum, a designated National Historic Landmark, built in 1788; the Aldrich House, built in 1822 and used for administration and public programs; and the Library of Rhode Island History, where archival, book and image collections are housed. In Woonsocket the RIHS manages the Museum of Work and Culture, a community museum examining the industrial history of northern Rhode Island and of the workers and settlers, especially French-Canadians, who made it one of the state’s most distinctive areas.
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