Archival & Manuscript Collections

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 Candance Van Alen signed letters from national, literary and local figures such as Thomas Jefferson, Edith Wharton and Gideon Wanton; autographs and manuscripts compiled by avid collectors Ralph E. Carpenter, Emma Cullum & Kathleen Cortazzo; and additional material documenting the activities of members, donors and Newporters since before the Redwood Library was established.

Van Alen papers

James H. Van Alen (1902-1991) and Candace Van Alen (1912-2002) were a well-known  couple who were instrumental in establishing the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino in Newport, Rhode Island. The James H. and Candace Van Alen papers consist of personal records, correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks, artifacts and other material which document the lives, interests and residences of James H. Van Alen and Candace Van Alen both separately and as a couple.


The photos on the right show the couple on board the Queen Mary and at a Van Alen family wedding circa 1900. A finding aid for the complete collection can be found on, as well as in the Murphy collection of Van Alen papers, found here.