Past Events

Digital Directions 2012
New Foundations: Creation Curation Use
Boston, MA Wednesday, June 13, 2012 8:00 AM - Friday, June 15, 2012 1:00 PM

Digital Directions hosts a faculty of experts who introduce participants to the range of activities and issues associated with digital collections care. Conference sessions are designed to demonstrate conceptual ideas, practical strategies, and instructional guidance for the creation, curation, and use of digital collections and objects.



Day One: Digital Foundations

Day 1 introduces the foundations of digital collections care, offering overview plenaries on creating good digital collections, curating our digital heritage, and opening up those resources to be discovered, used, and re-purposed by scholars, students, and the general public. Each plenary wraps-up with a panel Q&A sessions with Digital Directions faculty. Standards, best practices, and metadata round out the afternoon.

Day 2: Digital Focus

Day 2 brings into focus the nuts and bolts of digitizing images, documents, audio and video; collections management and digital preservation strategies; digital repositories and discovery platforms. Explore the Technology Commons, where exhibitors will showcase the tools you can use to create, care for, and use your digital collections.

Day 3: Digital Future

Day 3 of Digital Directions looks to the future - developing relationships, partnerships, and collaborations - that will carry us forward in the digital world! Learn more about pushing your collections out to where the users are and how to work with colleagues within your organization - and across institutions - to build the digital collections of the future. Register here.
Back Bay Events Center
John Hancock Hall/Dorothy Quincy Suite
180 Berkeley Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116



Smith's Castle
Saturday & Sunday, May 5 - 6, 2012 Noon - 4:00 p.m.
Opening Weekend - Bridge to the Past


The 17th century era of the Cocumscussoc trading posts of Richard Smith and Roger Williams is recalled. Re-enactors and sutlers from around the region lend an air of authenticity to the festivities. Presented in collaboration with the Roger Williams National Memorial.

Archaeologist for a Day for Smith's Castle members -- Colin Porter, a doctoral candidate at Brown University and a member of Smith’s Castle’s site committee, will oversee a community archaeology project. Archaeological excavation will target an area of the site thought to be the location of an 18th century barn, built by the Updike family when Smith’s Castle was the center of a vast plantation spanning thousands of acres and worked by enslaved laborers. It is hoped that discovery of the barn foundation and associated material culture may help illuminate histories of farm labor and African slavery at the site.

Two-hour, hands-on archaeology sessions are available to Smith’s Castle members only. You can choose one of the sessions on Saturday, May 5: 10-12, 12-2 or 2-4 or one of the Sunday sessions, May 6: 10-12 or 12-2. You must reserve your time slot in advance. You can call the office (294-3521) and leave a message with your name, telephone number and preferred time.

55 Richard Smith Drive North Kingstown, RI 02852 (401) 294-3521



Tuesday, April 17, 6:30 p.m. 2012 Annual Newell D. Goff Lecture Jason Opal, "The People's Great Avenger: Andrew Jackson, Borderlands Warfare, and the Nature of Nationalism in Post-Revolutionary Rhode Island" The Aldrich House 110 Benevolent Street, Providence Contact: Caitlin Murphy, 401-331-8575 x28 or programs@rihs.org Cost: Free. Reservations requested.
"The Rhode Island Historical Society and the Newell D. Goff Center for Education and Public Programs present a lecture exploring the role of Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812 and his legacy as "The People's Great Avenger."

Jason Opal's talk considers how Andrew Jackson organized and then justified his invasion of Spanish Florida in 1818, which targeted Seminole Indians as well as escaped slaves and British abolitionists living in the province. A nation-wide debate followed in 1819 over the legality and morality of what Jackson saw as retaliatory violence. After a long and passionate debate in Congress early that year Jackson set out on a triumphal tour of the East Coast, in which he was feted as the "avenger" of the American people and the embodiment of a new kind of national and individual sovereignty. This event, as much as the Battle of New Orleans, marked the end of the War of 1812 - one that people all over the United States, Rhode Island included, could celebrate. Dr. Opal is the author of Beyond the Farm: National Ambitions in Rural New England and has recently published an edited collection of Thomas Paine's writings, Common Sense and other Writings. He is an Associate Professor of History at McGill University."


1940s Celebration
Saturday, April 14 | 1:00 - 3:30 pm


The CHS is holding a "celebration of the release of the 1940 Federal Census."

Highlights will include:

* An overview of what the 1940 census reveals to researchers.
* Short presentations highlighting the 1940s, including reminiscences about growing up during that momentous decade and the era's mighty industries.
* A tour of the Making Connecticut exhibition, which includes sections on the '30s and '40s.
Tickets are $10.00; includes refreshments. Reservations should be made by April 7. Contact Sue Gallagher at (860) 236-5621 x223 rsvp@chs.org or buy tickets online.

Lecture: Christian McBurney, "The Burning of Bristol RI in the American Revolution"
Tuesday, April 10, 2012 | 7:00 pm | Free to the public
Rogers Free Library 525 Hope Street Bristol, RI 02809


Lecture: Eileen M. Angelini, "A Little Known History of Discrimination in New England: The Ku Klux Klan Attacks on Franco-Americans in the first half of the 20th century"

"Presented at the Connecticut Historical Society in collaboration with Real Art Ways"
Friday, March 30 | 8:00 pm | FREE
"In the early 1900s, over one million French Catholic Quebecers moved into largely English Protestant New England factory towns. They created so many French neighborhoods that New England was called Quebec en sud, "Lower Quebec." These immigrants, only a day's train-ride away from home, were extremely loyal to their French-Catholic way of life. English Protestant residents became fearful of this influx of people, who spoke a different language and practiced a different religion. In towns all over New England tensions rose. English-speaking Protestants formed branches of the Ku Klux Klan, which threatened many French communities, including some in Connecticut.
Eileen M. Angelini, Ph.D., is Professor of French at Canisius College and a Fulbright Scholar. For more information, call (860) 236-5621 x209 or email Mary Muller."


Winter Speaker Series On Pettaquamscutt
Maury Loontjens Memorial Library, 35 Kingstown Road, Narragansett.


Sunday, March 25, 2012 Canonchet: The People & the Place
Jim Crothers, executive director of the South County Museum, will trace the history of the property now known as Canonchet Farm from the time of the Pettaquamscutt Purchase in 1657 to its purchase by the town of Narragansett in the middle of the 20th Century. Time: 1 p.m.


Christian McBurney, "The Rhode Island Campaign: The First French and American Operation in the Revolutionary War"

Thursday, March 15
6:30 p.m.
The John Brown House Museum
52 Power Street Providence, RI

"On July 29, 1778, a powerful French naval squadron sailed confidently to the entrance of Narragansett Bay, and signaled the commencement of the first joint French and American campaign of the Revolutionary War. In his new book, The Rhode Island Campaign: The First French and American Operation in the Revolutionary War, Christian McBurney gives a detailed history of the campaign, one of the most complex and multi-faceted events of the war."











Neil Dunay, "Documenting Slavery at Cocumscussoc"

Saturday February 18, 2012
2:00 p.m.
North Kingston Free Library
100 Boone Street, North Kingston, RI

This presentation forms the basis for a grant proposal to find additional information to provide a more informed picture of the lives of enslaved and indentured laborers at Cocumscussoc, as well as of the Smith/Updike family's roles in the institution of slavery.

"From the late 17th century to the early 19th century, Cocumscussoc (Smith’s Castle) was a large plantation spanning thousands of acres that depended upon slave labor to produce and ship goods and to serve the household. Biographical material about the enslaved people at these sites is scant. Neil Dunay, a past president of Smith’s Castle, will provide a preliminary overview of the information about slaves at Cocumscussoc gleaned from historical records."


Somewhere near obsession...

Somewhere near obsession...