Archival & Manuscript Collections

The Archival & Manuscript Collections at the Redwood Library & Athenaeum are primarily concerned with Newport and Rhode Island history from the colonial period through the twentieth century. Collections include the personal papers of James H. and Candace Van Alen, signed letters from national, literary, and local figures like Thomas Jefferson, Edith Wharton, and Gideon Wanton, autographs and manuscripts compiled by avid collectors Ralph E. Carpenter and Emma Cullum & Kathleen Cortazzo, and additional material documenting the activities of members, donors, and Newporters since before the Redwood Library was established. There are also a number of bound manuscripts held at the Redwood Library, which are some of our most valuable treasures.


Finding aids for all processed collections can be found online via, Rhode Island Archival and Manuscript Collections Online, a consortium in which the Redwood Library participates. Visit our Special Collections page to view some of our digitized collections and additional resources.


Archival Collections

  • Collection of Redwood Family papers, RLC.Ms.029 & Birkhead Collection of Redwood Family papers, RLC.Ms.025
  • James H. and Candace Van Alen papers, RLC.Ms.003 & Murphy collection of Van Alen papers, RLC.Ms.036


Bound Manuscripts

  • Nailer Tom’s Diary, Thomas Benjamin “Nailer Tom” Hazard, 1778-1840
  • News from the Midell Regions, Dorothy Calthorpe, 1674
    • Pictured to left

Contact Us

If you are interested in scheduling a reference appointment or are
seeking assistance with a research question please contact
our library staff for assistance at or call 401-847-0292