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Rhode Island State Institutions Records

Scope & content

This collection contains inmate records for several of the State Institutions from 1839 to 1968. The records are far from complete, and do not include any of the policy-making documents of the institutions. There are, for example, no minute books, correspondence or memos from prison management. One exception is a volume of notes from state prison inspectors, 1839-1912. Other than this volume, the collection contains only specific inmate information, and daily statistical recapitulations.

The bulk of the records relate to the State Workhouse, and its successor institution, the State Reformatory for Women. There are detailed entries for each inmate (Records of Commitment) for 1888-1936, indexed by volume; as well as daily lists of inmates admitted and discharged (Intake/Release Ledgers) for most of the period 1895-1968; the earliest of these ledgers also include information on the Hospital for the Insane, and the State Almshouse. There is also a workhouse visitor register, 1916-1924; and two discharge books, 1885-1896 and 1918-1924.

Other records include detailed Records of Commitment for the State Prison and County Jail, 1919-1932; the Almshouse, 1907-1910; the Federal Reformatory for Women, 1925-1928; the State Farm, 1871-1872.