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Development Council photographs and drawings

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 1996-14-1998-127-2002-15-1997-136

Scope and Contents

The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation Division of Tourism photographs consist primarily of 8x10 black and white (silver gelatin) photographs and 8x10 corresponding negatives (safety film) from ca. 1950-1980. Negatives exist for approximately 40% of the images. The collection also includes some 5x7 and 3x5 black and white photographs, color negatives (mostly 35mm), a small amount of color photographs and some black and white halftone negatives for publication use. Captions penned by the department are included in many of the files (95%). The captions provide interesting and historical information geared towards tourism and travel. The bulk of the photographs were shot during the 1960's and 1970's with some in the 1980"s though very little documentation accompanies the images. Subjects in the photographs include points of interests in the various municipalities within the state such as monuments, tourist destinations (Burlingame State Park, Roger Williams Park, Goddard Park), events (Newport Jazz Festival, Boat Shows, Tuna Tournaments), aerial shots, and houses of worship among others.

A substantial amount of photographs from accessions 1997-136 and 1998-127 are of manufacturing and industrial parks and sites, highway projects (interstate 95) and large scale building projects (Midland and Warwick Malls). It appears that a portion of the shots employed the use of actors as many activities appear to be posed. Accession 1998-127 consists of 4x5 black and white negatives and photographs. A small amount of photographs predate 1950. Accession 1999-03 includes many of the same themes, some of which are duplicates from previous accessions.


  • Creation: c. 1945-1980

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

No special restrictions unless otherwise specified.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is in the public domain unless otherwise specified. We reserve the right to restrict reproduction of materials due to preservation concerns.

Biographical / Historical

The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation acquires and develops real and personal property and provides financing to others. It provides, promotes and encourages the preservation, expansion and sound development of new and existing industry, business, commerce, agriculture, tourism and recreational facilities. The agency’s statutory authority exists in Title 42, Chapter 64 of the Rhode Island General Laws.
Prior to its name change in 1995 (Public Law Chapter 370, art 12, § 7.) the agency was known as the Department of Economic Development (1974 Public Law Chapter 100). Within that agency was the Economic Development Council whose purpose was to investigate and study the economic conditions of the state and the factors affecting it, such as the industrial structure, the labor force, the number of unemployed, the population and its age and geographic distribution, shifts in the defense program, technological and scientific developments, financial problems of the state and municipalities, and sensitivity of the state economy to domestic and foreign developments.

A division of the Department was the Division of Tourism and Promotion (now the Division of Tourism) whose purpose was to work with tourism and promotion agencies around the state in promoting the state as a tourist destination. The agency was authorized to make grants to recognized tourist promotion agencies, to assist in the financing of their operational costs for the purpose of making studies, surveys and investigations and in planning and carrying out of their promotional programs and projects.


14.44 Cubic Feet


The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation Division of Tourism photographs consist primarily of 8x10 black and white (silver gelatin) photographs and 8x10 corresponding negatives (safety film) from ca. 1950-1980.


The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation Division of Tourism photographs are arranged chronologically by accession.

This collection (specifically accession: 1996-14) was originally arranged by subject into two series. One series contained the negative and one positive image while the other series contained copies of the photograph. Overtime many of the files became mixed, and many of the folders were out of subject order when received by the Archives. The folders were left as is and numbered 1 through 280 and all information, including original folder title, was entered into a database. Some of the files were consolidated to prevent duplication of subjects. The database can be searched by title description, by geographical location, and by the scope note. A user copy of each file containing Xerox copies of the photographs was created to preserve the original photographs. In cases where there were multiple copies of the photographs, a photograph is used instead of a Xerox copy. Many of the original files also contain the corresponding negative. In those files that contain only negatives, the user file contains a note indicating that only negatives exist for that particular subject image. Files numbered 277 though 280 have no corresponding user files. This information is also indicated in the appropriate scope note.

Duplicate images existed and were purged where they were identified although some may exist within different folders within different accessions. Also where no folders existed, they were created with imposed folder titles in brackets by the processor.

Rhode Island Digital Archives

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from Chester Browning, Office of Public Information, Department of Mental Health, Retardation and Hospitals on February 28, 1996.


Accession#: 1997-136
Received: June 11, 1997

Accession#: 1998-127
Received: September 18, 1998

Accession#: 1999-03
Received: July 9, 1999

Genre / Form

Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Rhode Island State Archives Repository

33 Broad Street
Providence RI 02903 USA