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The Rhode Island State Home and School Project

"Let us build a home for such children" - Stories of the State Home and School

ESTABLISHED AT RHODE ISLAND COLLEGE IN 2002, the committee members of the State Home and School Project and its companion Oral History Project have collected interviews from over thirty former residents, workers, and volunteers of the State Home and School. The CD features only the voices of some of these individuals. Interviews were conducted in the homes of the participants, many in the company of spouses and children. Some were collected over the phone. All were taken in environments where the story could be told in a comfortable setting.

Teacher Resources

A collection of articles from The Providence Journal.

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Oral History Resource Forms

Protocols used by the State Home and School Oral History Project

(You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these files. Click here for a free download.)

The State Home and School Oral History Project has collected over thirty interviews with former residents, staff and volunteers familiar with the State Home and School, later known as the Patrick I. O'Rourke Children's Center. These interviews will be preserved in a special collection that will remain at Rhode Island College.

Members of the Oral History Project have created protocols that govern their work. These include forms and procedures that regulate the processes by which individuals are interviewed, the way in which interviews are conducted, and the processes by which transcripts are prepared and approved by the interviewees before deposited in the archives. Procedures are also in place to regulate access to the written transcripts and audio and videotapes.

The documents found here can be used as templates for oral history projects. These include:

CD Transcript

"Let us build a home for such children, and let this home be so situated and so managed that it shall entirely remove its inmates from all degrading and disreputable circumstances; and let us adopt therein every possible method to train them into good citizenship...In each cottage, I would place a good woman and a certain number of children and this should be their home."

-Elizabeth Buffam Chase

View entire transcript.


Audio Samples from "Stories from the State Home and School"

To learn more about the project contact Patricia Nolin, Special Assistant to the President, call (401) 456-9854, or email pnolin@ric.edu.

To contribute to the oral history project contact Diane Martell at dmartell@ric.edu (email) or 401-456-8628 (phone).