Bristol Phoenix Indexing Project



Roger Williams University Library has partnered with the Bristol Historical and Preservation Society to make its card index to the Bristol Phoenix available electronically, as searchable PDF files. If you have any questions about the material contained in the index contact the Historical Society (401-253-7223). If you would like more details about the content of the articles, you may contact the University Library or Rogers Free Library in Bristol: both libraries hold copies of the newspaper, back to 1850, on microfilm.  Additionally, you can also view digitized versions of the Phenix in our virtual exhibit space, here.

History of The Bristol Phoenix Newspaper Indexing Project

The Bristol Phoenix Indexing Project was the result of a grant through the CETA Program in 1977.  Helene L. Tesser, then curator of the Bristol Historical and Preservation Society, worked on and submitted the grant application.  Lombard J. Pozzi served as the Project's administrator.  Judy Gurling, who had recently left The Bristol Phoenix as its editor, was hired to index the Phoenix issues starting with the newspaper's inception as the The Bristol Gazette in 1834, and its re-inception in 1837 as The Bristol Phenix (the result of a fire in 1836) through 1873.  Concentrating only in local affairs and interests, Ms. Gurling was able to index an average of one year's worth of issues approximately every 7-10 days and typed the referenced material and citations on 3 x 5 index cards.  The Project took 9-10 months, coming to a standstill when the grant money had been exhausted.  (Summary provided by Rei Battcher, Bristol Historical and Preservation Society.)

Recognizing the importance of The Bristol Phoenix and its card index to researchers near and far, Roger Williams University has engaged in a project to make the new index available electronically by converting the cards into a searchable format and mounting the index on its web site.  Please refer to the files listed in the right column to access the index.  Files are arranged alphabetically by name and subject.  When searching the index, please be advised that it uses many abbreviations.  The staff has written out the most commonly used abbreviations - advertisement, Bristol, married, and obituary.  You may search the pdf files by using CTRL - F option on your computer keyboard.