Public invited to explore the waterways of Providence at the Rhode Island State Archives

Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea invites Rhode Islanders to come explore the evolution of waterways in Providence and the impacts of these changes over time at the Rhode Island State Archives exhibit: Waterways: Past and Present.

The new exhibit uses historic maps, photographs, and other archival documents to illustrate how bodies of water have transformed from colonial thoroughfares to the civic gathering spaces they are today. The exhibit also features indigenous cultural objects on loan from the Tomaquag Museum

“The waterways in Providence and throughout the state impact so many aspects of our communities,” said Secretary Gorbea in a press release. “I am excited to share the complex history of our waterways by opening the time capsule that is our State Archives; and explore the complex history of how bodies of water have evolved and impacted our state and how that impact will be felt by future generations.”

Waterways: Past and Present officially opens with an after hours event on Thursday, March 7 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. and will run through June 2019. State Archives staff will be available to answer any questions attendees may have about the exhibit. 

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Waterways: Past and Present is part of Year of the City: The Providence Project, a yearlong showcase of Providence’s history and neighborhoods curated through exhibits, tours, and performances. Additional programming and events will take place during March, April, and May. 

The Rhode Island State Archives is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 337 Westminster Street in downtown Providence. Two-hour validated parking during business hours is available adjacent to the building at Down City Parking.

The Rhode Island State Archives is home to more than 10 million records dating back to 1638. Rhode Island is one of the only states that houses its Archives in a commercially-leased office space that puts our historic collections at risk. Secretary Gorbea is working to build a new State Archives and History Center that will highlight our collections and meet the standards for Archival Storage established by the National Archives and Records Administration.