Collections in the University Archives

Collection Policy

The University Archives collects, preserves, and makes available  the permanent records of the university from its founding in 1956, including materials that document the history, development, and achievements of the university. There is also a focus on collecting local history and material related to Bristol and the surrounding areas. Formats collected include paper, audio, film, video, slides, photographs, and digital files.The archives is also home to Special Collections, holding items that have significance to the university, but which were not produced by the university itself or any of its members. Special collections include rare and  special/unique books and manuscripts as well as periodicals, pamphlets, and ephemera.

Materials documenting the following activities are a high collecting priority:

  • Founding of the university
  • Governance of the university, including administrative policies and actions
  • Accreditation reports
  • Development of campus buildings and grounds
  • Course/program proposals and academic catalogs
  • Student activities, including residential life, sports, and extracurricular activities
  • Research by faculty and students
  • University publications
  • Commencement and other special events
  • Library exhibits and events
  • Local History - people, places, and events

Finding Aids

Most of the collections in the archives do not have finding aids online. Those finding aids that are available can be viewed inRhode Island Archival and Manuscript Collections Online (RIAMCO)- with links below.  If you are interested in accessing any of these collections, please contact our Archivist, Heidi Benedict, to set up an appointment.

Accreditation Records, 1947 - 2006

Annual Reports of the President, 1956 - 2008

Artifacts and Memorabilia, 1960 - 2009

Anne "Pete" Baker Records, 1978-2001

Birss Memorial Lecture Series, 2000 - 2012

Building Program and Projects, 1964 - 1985

Diversity at Roger Williams University, 1987 - 2009

Downing, George T. Papers, 1850 - 1856

Faculty Research, 2000 - 2009

Fulton/Howe Family Collection, 1840-1977

Newsletters Collection, 1969 - 2000

Roger Williams Family Association Collection, 1636 - 2007

Roger Williams University Library Records, 1969 - 2000

Special Collections 1, 1948 - 2011

Student Newspapers, 1961 - 2010

Student Research, 1983 - 2010

University Policies Reference Collection, 1975 - 2009

Yearbook Collection, 1970 - 2007

Making a Gift to the University Archives

Gifts of materials are an important means of collection building and the archives is pleased to receive offers of materials from individuals and institutions from outside the university. The archives generally does not collect material that it cannot adequately preserve, material to which the donor/creator does not grant public access, published materials (e.g. books and periodicals), and copies of materials held by other institutions.

All gifts must be approved by the university archivist, who reserves the right to determine the usefulness and appropriateness of materials offered to or received for the collection.

The archives will provide for the secure long-term storage of gifts and ensure their accessibility in accordance to established policies. When materials are gifted to the archives, they become part of the permanent collection and are subject to the same terms and conditions for use and reproduction as other items held in the archives. Donors will be asked to sign a gift agreement transferring all rights to the University Archives.