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Library History

 
State Law Library
History

      Founded in 1827, the Rhode Island State Law Library provides research and reference service to the bench and the bar, to state agencies, to students throughout the area as well as to self-represented litigants and the general public.  The library is open to all, and we encourage the use of and access to the library’s many resources.  These include the laws of Rhode Island and other jurisdictions, case law from throughout the country, general reference materials, and state and federal government documents.

      The main library is located in the historic Licht Judicial Complex, on the river’s edge in downtown Providence, an area that is rich in history and architectural heritage.  Thanks to the generosity of The Champlin Foundations, the library recently completed a renovation project which restored its former brilliance and ensured its proper place in a building envisioned by its founders in 1933 as a “Place not of splendor, but of quiet dignity.” 

      No longer just bricks and mortar, the library is a 21st century repository of print and electronic resources.  We offer patrons a number of premier legal databases.  Westlaw is available in the main library, while Lexis and Shepard’s are at the main library as well as all the county libraries. 

      Our reference staff is there to help you find the material you need.  Please do not hesitate to call or ask at the reference desk for professional assistance.  Please note that library staff cannot interpret material or give legal advice.

  
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