Requesting Information/APRA

The Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission (RIHPHC) is committed to providing information to the public.

  • If you are seeking historical information about a specific topic, please send a detailed email (including your contact information, purpose of request, and address of the specific resource) to [email protected]. We will forward your message to a member of the RIHPHC staff who will let you know if we have any relevant information and provide advice on other research resources. Most information requests to RIHPHC fall in this category.
  • If you are making a request under the Access to Public Records Act (APRA), please consult below:

Public Records Request Guidelines

RIHPHC adheres to the Access to Public Records Act, R.I. Gen Laws 38-2-1, et. seq., and provides the following guidance to help you obtain public records. 

  1. Public Records requests may be made by one of the following channels: mail, webform, email, phone, or delivery/in-person.
    a) Mail requests to: Public Records Request, 150 Benefit Street, Providence, RI 02903.
    b) Use the Public Records Request webform.
    c) Email requests to Sarah Zurier.
    d) Hand deliver requests to RIHPHC's reception desk (150 Benefit Street, Providence) during business hours (Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm).
    e) Phone requests to 401-222-4142.
     
  2. Please provide specific information pertaining to your specific request, i.e. property address, type of preservation project, etc. Please be as specific as possible. If you do not wish to submit a written request, you must contact the Public Records Officer at (401)222-4142.
     
  3. You are not required to provide identification or the reason you seek the information, and your right to access public records will not depend upon providing identification or reasons.
     
  4. You may elect to obtain public records in any and all media in which we are capable of providing them. There is no charge for the first hour of staff search/retrieval time; any additional time is charged at $15.00/hour. If photocopies are provided, there is a $.15 charge per photocopy on letter/legal size paper; additional fees will apply for oversized photocopies. For purposes of calculating search and retrieval time, multiple requests received from the same person or entity within a thirty (30) day period shall be considered as one request. In addition, the entity accessing public records shall be assessed additional fees if RIHPHC is assessed a retrieval fee in order to retrieve records from storage, is required to redact records, and/or the actual cost of delivery if delivery is requested. If your request requires a charge to be assessed, RIHPHC upon request will provide you with an estimate. Upon a request, RIHPHC will provide a detailed itemization of the costs charged for search and retrieval. Copies on paper larger than 8.5” x 14” or made available on media different than that on which the information is stored, will be charged at the actual production and/or reproduction cost.
     
  5. Please be advised that the Access to Public Records Act gives a public body ten (10) business days to respond, which can be extended an additional twenty (20) business days for "good cause." We appreciate your understanding and patience.
     
  6. If you feel that you have been denied access to public records, you have the right to file a review petition with the Executive Director of the RIHPHC. If you are still not satisfied, you may seek further review from the Department of the Attorney General or file a lawsuit in Superior Court.

RIHPHC is committed to providing you with public records in an expeditious and courteous manner.