Notes on collections at the RIHS
The Rhode Island Historical Society will hold a book sale on Friday, December 3 from 5 pm to 8 pm and Saturday, December 4, 2010 from 10 am to 5 pm at the Aldrich House, 110 Benevolent Street, in Providence. Holiday gifts and historical treasures will be on sale to benefit the Society’s Library collections.
The Library will make available fine examples of the history of Rhode Island and other New England states in printed form, including genealogies, local histories, biographies, and an eclectic mix of rare and unusual printed materials. We’ll be highlighting a few examples here on the blog in the upcoming weeks.
The Society’s Library at 121 Hope Street, Providence, has been gathering books for almost 200 years. Its collections of printed, manuscript, and graphics materials have been built over time through donations, bequests and purchases and that process is ongoing. Like all Library collections, these are continuously updated to maintain a vibrant, relevant, and effective collection. Outdated books are regularly weeded to make room for new acquisitions. As original historical materials comprise a large part of the collections, the Historical Society has a different definition of “outdated” than many institutions, but selling duplicates of books, and books whose scholarship has been superseded by newer research, helps the Society continue to buy unique Rhode Island materials and make them available to the public. Other book sale items include donated materials that are outside the scope of the Society’s mission to collect, preserve, and share the history of the Ocean State.
It may seem ironic to sell old books to purchase “new” old books, but it is essential for any historical library to have a fund to acquire historic books, documents and objects that come on the market, such as the recently acquired photograph of late 19th century Rhode Island African-American opera singer Sissieretta Jones, also known as the Black Patti, as well as materials that reflect new scholarship such as Tomas Avila’s Rhode Island Latino political empowerment (Milenio Publishing: 2007 ).
RIHS has the largest and most important historical collection documenting Rhode Island history, including manuscripts, printed items, photographs, maps, and film available for public viewing.
To help fund the acquisition and preservation of RIHS Collections, donate: https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/index.php?aid=21764