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Digital Projects and Exhibits

​​​​​​​The Special and Archival Digital Projects group is a collaborative venture of Digital Publishing Services and the Office of Special and Archival Collections of Phillips Memorial Library. Our mission is to bring to light various the "hidden" collections contained within the Special and Archival Collections holdings that tell the story of Providence College and the history of Rhode Island.

Current exhibits online

"Sons of Providence: The Jewish History of Providence College, 1917-1965"


This multimedia exhibit features the collaborative research of Dr. Jennifer Illuzzi (History) and Dr. Arthur Urbano (Theology) chronicling the story of the Jewish men who attended Providence College from its founding through the era of the Second Vatican Council. Through interviews, student publications, archival materials, and historical context, learn about these alumni and the groundwork for positive interreligious relations between Jews and Christians laid at Providence College at a time when anti-Semitism was high at home and abroad.

"Mr. Public Health" Congressman John E. Fogarty

Rhode island Congressman John E. Fogarty (1913-1967) rose from a humble bricklayer in the 1930’s to become the leading congressional advocate for public health research and policy under the Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson administrations during the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Congressman Fogarty promoted the expansion of the National Institutes of Health, and sponsored legislation funding programs for handicapped Americans and older citizens, as well as for libraries and the arts and humanities. He became known as "Mr. Public Health" for his dedication to federal support for medical research and a broad range of health programs.

The exhibit complements the recent completion of a collaborative project, The John E. Fogarty papers, between Providence College and the National Library of Medicine, highlighting the achievements of Congressman Fogarty in the arena of public health.

The Presidents of Providence College

The Presidents of Providence College collection is an online database featuring images and biographical information on each of the first eleven presidents of the college.

Providence College 1944 Veritas

During World War II in a patriotic spirit to contribute to the war effort, the class of 1944 choose to hand produce their Veritas in scrapbook form. The resulting effort was a unique artifact that contributed to the war effort by not using valuable strategic materials, yet preserved the memories of the graduating class.

The Rebecca Ramos Natural History Book Collection

The Rebecca Ramos Natural History Book Collection contains, among its approximately one hundred titles, works of some of the more well-known as well as lesser known 19th century naturalists and nature illustrators.

From a signed limited edition of Tory Peterson's Audubon's Birds of America to John Lettsom's The Naturalists and Traveler's Companion (1799) and from Bewick's 1804 edition of History of British Birds to a set of select turn of the 20th century Biggle Farm Library books, the collection covers nearly all aspects of nature from the aquatic to flora and fauna.

The selections offered here represent just a small sampling of the works containing richly illustrated examples of the book's particular topic within the collection. 

The Providence College Summer School of Sacred Theology 

The Providence College Summer School of Sacred Theology, while formally instituted in 1948, was a natural outgrowth of the scholastic educational movement within the Catholic Community begun in the mid-19th century.  Scholastic methodology and thought largely came about in response to ‘modernism’, which rejects the idea of a compassionate, all-powerful Creator -- ideology contrary to Christian doctrine.  And by the early twentieth century neo-Thomism became official Catholic doctrine and the Church's spiritual sword with which to oppose ‘modernism’. 

Since those early days Providence College has always been in the forefront of providing religious education for the sisters of the Catholic Church.  Featuring photographs, brochures, news clippings, bulletins, and more, the exhibit highlights the historical story of advanced theological studies for religious women at Providence College.

The Bruce E. Graver Collection of John Greenleaf Whittier Exhibit

Bruce Graver, Professor of English at Providence College, is a scholar of British Romanticism who has published widely on the poetry of William Wordsworth, Romanticism and the Classical tradition, and Transatlantic literary relations in the 19th century.  His interest in John G. Whittier grew from courses he has taught on British and American 19th-century nature writing, as well as from his ineluctable genetic predisposition to collecting things.

In the fall of 2010, Dr. Graver was interviewed by Dr. D. Russell Bailey about how and why he became involved with collecting the writings of Whittier.

This lively interview is enlightening and places the Whittier collection in context of the 19th century abolitionist movement, and traces the transition of publishing techniques spearheaded by the 19th century publishing house of Ticknor and Fields, Co., who was well known for publishing the writings of 19th century poets such as Whittier, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, as well as many other poets of the day.

Providence College War Memorial Grotto of Our Lady of the Rosary

Ever wonder what the stone Grotto in front of

St. Dominic Chapel is all about? Completed in 1948,  the War Memorial Grotto of Our Lady of the Rosary was constructed to honor those Providence College students who made the ultimate sacrifice to free the world of tyranny during the Second World War. 

However, in the late 1990’s, the decision was made by the College to build St. Dominic Chapel on the site to better serve the needs of the growing College community into the 21st century. A one-third scale of the Grotto façade was added to the entrance courtyard of the new Chapel as a reminder of the sacrifice made by every Providence College student who served during World War II.

This new online display by Special and Archival Collections chronicles the history and building of the Grotto, and gives faces to the student names listed on the Honor Roll panels of the Grotto. Visit the new online display by Special Collections to learn more about this little known piece of Providence College history.

The Golden Age of Postcards in Rhode Island

  The postcards in this collection were created and collected during what has been called the "Golden Age of Postcards." Several Acts of Congress during the early part of the twentieth century promoted the manufacture of and economical use of postcards. 

This led to an explosion of postcard collecting as a popular hobby for many while a thriving postcard industry expanded under the new legislation. While millions of postcards depicting countless topics and scenic views were printed during this era, this collection focuses on those topics and scenes relating just to Rhode Island.

Historic Friars Basketball Film Clips

When Coach Joe Mullaney came to Providence College in 1955, the school's basketball team had been in a slump for several years.  However, under Coaches Mullaney (1955-1969) and Dave Gavitt (1969-1979), the team was propelled to national prominence with their annual NIT victories.  And for the next twenty years the Friars were considered to be "the" New England powerhouse and one of the top basketball teams in the country.

Under Mullaney the Friars compiled a 271-94 record that included nine consecutive 20-win seasons, two NIT championships, and a NCAA Elite Eight appearance.  Coach Gavitt racked up a 209-84 record for the Friars that included eight straight 20-win seasons and an NCAA Final Four team.

Relive the Friars excitement of those years when Providence College dominated the court with these video clips of select games.  As many of the clips have the actual radio calls, enable your speakers to hear them.  Clips will be added to the collection on a regular basis so check back often to see what's new.

Chuck Borkoski, Class of 1971, remembers when the Providence College Basketball Team dribbled from Providence, RI, to New York City's Madison Square Garden for the 1971 NIT championship playoffs - watch Dribbling to the Garden.

The Providence College Cowl - (searchable pdf in Digital Commons)

​​​Providence College's student newspaper, The Cowl, began publication on November 16, 1935. It has been published continuously during each academic year since then, with the exception of the years 1944 and 1945 during the Second World War. 

Issues from the paper's inaugural year of 1935-1936 were digitized first, followed by issues from the late 1960's. Work will continue until all archived issues of the Cowl are available for online viewing.

In the meantime, relive the glory days of the late 1960's here on the Providence
College campus through our latest digital collection of the Cowl.

Providence College Basketball, 1921-1941

Providence College started its basketball legacy on the very first day classes began in September of 1919 with an impromptu game.  However, it wasn't until the college's first varsity team began competition in the 1926-1927 season, led by Coach Archie Golembeski, that the legacy began in earnest for the College.

View team and player portraits, and season schedules from 1925 to 1940.  Many players were 3-sport athletes and some never had there photograph taken in uniform, but all are remembered here through our  All-Time Player Roster by Richard Coren.

Providence College Football, 1921-1941

​Providence College's entry into football at the collegiate level began in 1921 and lasted until America's entry into World War II in December of 1941. During those years many great Providence College athletes, such as Hank Soar '37', Mal Brown '33', Dexter Davis '34', and Heck Allen '29', graced not just the academic halls of Providence College, but also the gridiron fields of the college's many rivals.

Relive the days of football glory for Providence College through our digital collection
of team portraits, play action shots, scorecards, and game programs.

The Frank Lanning Cartoon Collection

Frank B. Lanning Jr. (1906-1987) is best known for his long career (1937-1982) as a sports cartoonist for the Providence Journal Company newspapers. The primary focus of his thousands of newspaper drawings and freelance illustrations was Rhode Island athletic teams and personalities.

This online collection consists of the approximately seventy (70) prints that Mr. Lanning presented to members of the P.C.  community over the years.

The John O. Pastore Photograph Album

In 1976, after a distinguished career of 42 years in politics, at the state and national level, Rhode Island Senator John O. Pastore retired from politics and donated his political papers to Providence College. Included among his papers was a photograph album of late 19th and early 20th century images.

These images depict scenes of Rhode Island life and in particular buildings and street scenes of the City of Providence.  Many of the locations and buildings depicted in these images are now unrecognizable as the growing urbanization of the past century has changed the physical landscape of Rhode Island. Buildings have been torn down, roads and streets have been relocated, and of course Providence's famed "Cove" has long been filled in. These few images, however, will provide the viewer with a nostalgic look of the "good ole days" of Rhode Island's past.