A Lively Experiment

Notes on collections at the RIHS

Newspapers Conquer America!

Ever dreamed you could visualize the growth of the Newspaper Trade across the country? Well our day has come. This video is based on data from the Library of Congress U.S. Newspaper Program, of which RIHS was a key participant during the 1980’s and 1990’s.

The Growth of US Newspapers, 1690-2011 from Geoff McGhee on Vimeo.

The first newspaper printed in the Rhode Island Colony was the short-lived Rhode-Island Gazette, printed in Newport by James Franklin from September 27, 1732 to May 24, 1733.  Providence’s first newspaper was William Goddard’s Providence Gazette, launched October 20, 1762 and ceased on May 11, 1763 “in the face of poor support and general indifference on the part of the people of Providence”  (McMurtrie, Beginning of Printing in R.I., 1935). The oldest still in print is the Providence Journal, evolved from the Providence  Daily Journal, and General Advertiser which was established in 1829.

The RIHS Library holds the largest collection in the State of Rhode Island Newspapers on microfilm and in hard copy.  Examples of newspapers in over ten different languages are in the collection representing the communities that have built the tapestry of Rhode Island’s people. Newspapers are still collected here at the Library today for posterity and for the research needs of future generations.



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