The Society offers interested scholars, students and other visitors the opportunity to research early Bristol history.  Please review our list of Subject Files for some of the available topics to research. 

The non-circulating LIBRARY contains hundreds of local and regional histories, including works by local authors.  

The ALFRED J. SHEPHERD DOCUMENT ROOM holds our manuscript collections.  (Click on Manuscript Collections on the left hand side of this page to access complete list of manuscripts.)

In addition, there are extensive
genealogical resource material including collections of local family genealogies and a complete set of the Rhode Island Colonial Records.

DIGITAL ARCHIVE OF THE BRISTOL PHOENIX newspaper is indexed back to 1833 and you may search by year or browse by year or keyword.  Go to:

If you plan to do research at the Society, please contact us ahead of time to make an appointment to be sure a staff member is available to guide you through this material.  

Research in the library and document room is free to members and there is a nominal fee for non-members.  

The Society has wireless and researchers are invited to bring laptops for internet connection.

You may also request research to be done for you at the rate of $25 per hour.  Please contact us at or 401-253-7223 for further information.

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