Researcher Information


Reference Service

The Redwood Library receives an average of 500 research requests each year. We welcome requests from members of the library as well as non-members. You may request basic information by e-mail, by phone (401-847-0292) or by visiting the Library at 50 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, Rhode Island.


*Effective immediately, the institutional archives of the Redwood Library and Athenaeum will be unavailable to our members and researchers as we embark upon a year-long project to comprehensively arrange and describe records from the establishment of the Library in 1750 to present day. This processing project will provide optimal intellectual and physical access to our archives for both interested researchers and our own staff. We apologize for any inconvenience as we work to reopen this collection completely for research by early 2016.


Reference appointments are required for research visits and access to Special Collections materials.


The hours of the reference service are Monday - Saturday: 1:00–5:00 p.m.
Occasionally the reference service may be unavailable if there are no pre-arranged appointments for that day.


Reference services are provided free of charge to library members. Non-members are charged for reference services according to the following schedule:
- One-time or first visit: $20 (Students: Free)
- Second and subsequent follow-up visits on same research topic: $10 (Students: $5)
- Two week research pass: $120


Copying Services:

For items from the general circulating and reference collections, members may make photocopies in the Perry Stack area; non-members must request staff assistance. Reference librarians will review requests for image reproduction and copies of Special Collections materials. We reserve the right to deny requests for photocopies of fragile materials.


Preparation for conducting research:

Researchers may want to search the online catalog before visiting the library. There are approximately 66,000 titles in the online catalog, including all of our Newport-related titles and the Original 1747 Collection. Researchers should keep in mind that the bulk of our collection, approximately 140,000 volumes, is found only in our card catalog in the library. Patrons will want to search in both catalogs to find all of the works that may be relevant to their research.


Using the collections:

The Redwood Library staff will be glad to help all researchers to conduct research using both our online catalog and the card catalog. We will be glad to help scholars of all ages and research levels find materials in both the circulating and special collections. Patrons conducting introductory or secondary research may use the Redwood’s very rich circulating collections with materials dating back to the 1870s. Patrons conducting primary research requiring the use of the Special Collections will be invited to work with a reference librarian in the Slocum Scholars' Reading Room. The Scholars' Reading Room materials are delivered to researchers after they have completed registration forms and presented personal identification.



Please contact the reference staff for more information or an appointment.

Email or call (401) 847-0292