RIHS Now Offers Free Admission for Student Groups

Take a free educational tour at the John Brown House Museum, the Museum of Work and Culture, and the Robinson Research Center.
the rhode island historical society

Via RIHS.org, from the “Thunder and Steam” exhibition at the Museum of Work and Culture.

Today, the Rhode Island Historical Society (RIHS) announced some big news: Tours at three RIHS-run sites — the John Brown House, the Museum of Work and Culture and the Robinson Research Center — will henceforth be free for all classes and student groups from preschool through higher education.

It’s a boon for field trippers, as standard tours ranged from $3 to $6 per student. The “History Free for All” initiative was made possible by recent major donations to RIHS’s Newell D. Goff Center for Education and Public Programs.

According to the press announcement, RIHS Executive Director C. Morgan Grefe says, “Studying and understanding our history can help to build empathy, promote civic engagement, foster civil discourse and hone communication skills. These are needs in Rhode Island – in the world – and these gifts have allowed us to remove a barrier to access for our schools to the incredible history resources held by the RIHS.”

Here’s a bit more information about the museums and the tours they offer, courtesy of RIHS:

John Brown House Museum, 52 Power St., Providence
The Scope: This historical mansion — the first-ever built in Providence — was commissioned by the eighteenth-century merchant, patriot, politician and slave trader, John Brown.
The Tours: Students can take sixty-minute tours, from a general exploration of the Browns’ home to a more detailed account of the family’s role in early American trade with China to its role in the slave trade. New this fall, students can also take tours about the Revolutionary War and decorative arts and architecture.

The Museum of Work and Culture, 42 South Main St., Woonsocket
About the Museum: The exhibits allow students to imagine themselves in the position of the state’s industrious immigrants.
The Tour: Docents guide students through the museum, which features nine immersive exhibits and hands-on activities. Now through July 29, visitors can check out “Thunder and Steam: History Reimagined,” a Steampunk fine art exhibit with works by fourteen artists. French-speaking guides available upon request. (Ninety minutes)

Mary Elizabeth Robinson Research Center (RRC), 121 Hope St., Providence
The Scope: Students explore the RIHS’s vast collection of printed items, manuscripts and graphics, from diaries written by Rhode Island forbears to old pictures of the state’s cities and towns.
The Tour: RIHS librarians and curators provide students with an overview of the RIHS, the RRC and its varied collections. Each sixty-minute tour includes a selection of materials from collections to support a chosen topic (from the slave trade to women’s history to architectural research in Rhode Island).

To learn more, visit rihs.org/history-free-for-all.