Students, historians, journalists, and researchers can now go online and check out the state’s catalog of historically significant — and insignificant, but fun — records, documents, and images. Check out the current exhibit, “A Lively Experiment: Rhode Island’s Colonial Charter, 1661-1843.”
Commemorating the 350th anniversary of Rhode Island’s Royal Charter of 1663, this exhibit features an array of original documents including the 1721 recorded copy of the 1643 Parliamentary Patent that preceded the Charter, remnant sections of the wax and resin Great Seal of Charles II that was originally appended to the Charter and the legislative proceedings around the Charter’s arrival in Rhode Island and its first reading to the General Assembly. Other featured items include a published transcript of the Charter printed in England in 1719 and contemporary documents written in the hands of Roger Williams and John Clarke.
Keep in mind, you can see this full exhibit for yourself at the Rhode Island State Archives, 337 Westminster Street, through December 2013. The office is open weekdays from 8:30am to 4:30pm, and free, two-hour validated parking is available at the nearby In-Town Parking lot at the corner of Snow and Westminster Streets. And don’t forget to look up as you approach this fabulous building (seen here in December of 2008 being retouched, repointed, and restored).