The Redwood Community Library in Newport, RI was established in 1747 and is one of the oldest libraries in America to have remained in its original location. The architecture by Peter Harrison was completed in 1750 and designed in the Italian Renaissance style. The original structure of the building’s main room is named after the architect himself. The Harrison Room is still home to some of the library’s very first collections of books. The library has naturally undergone a series of renovations and changes over the years, for instance in 2003, there was the unfortunate collapse of the ceiling, which was soon repaired, returning this historic landmark to its former glory, and upkeep and renovation continues to this day.

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Ezra Stiles, a man of many achievements and known for founding Brown University as well as his time served as the president of Yale College, stands out as one of the library’s most famous librarians.

Although the library still contains around 1522 of its original book collection, some were reported missing when the library became an officer’s club for British troops at the time of the American Revolution. Some of the missing books were later returned, however a few had to be replaced. So be sure to return your books on time, don’t be British about it.

Bibliophiles can rejoice as the Redwood Library has an extensive collection of original manuscripts and extremely rare books to sink your teeth into; not literally, of course, as attempting this will see you promptly ejected; bear in mind these are priceless books. There are over 160,000 volumes and climbing in the library modern collection, so you had better get reading. If bookworming isn’t enough for you, why not join Redwoods very own book club? The book club meets every month to discuss their experiences and interpretations of the previous month's book. The best part about this is it is completely free to join and open to absolutely anyone. Why not join today, who knows what colourful well-read characters you might meet, both in the books and in the club itself?

Opening Hours

The library opens at 9:30am and closes at 5:30pm every day except Wednesdays, when the library stays open until 8:00pm, and Sundays, when the library closes in the morning and is open from 1:00pm until 5:00pm. The library is closed most major holidays.


The library has plenty of event space for hire, perfect for weddings, private events, and ceremonies, with a capacity of up to 350 people. The library's fine architecture is sure to impress guests and make any event unforgettable.


Contributions and support from library members are vital to the library and among the main reasons the library can stay open, so your subscription means a great deal. Members can enjoy such perks as free access to member events, rental of e-books from any location, free entry to any exhibition held at the library, 10% discount on purchases, a free library tour, and much more.

The price of membership is as follows;

Contributor membership: $500

Associate membership: $200

Household membership: $100

Individual membership: $70

Student/youth membership: $25


50 Bellevue Ave, Newport, Rhode Island, RI 02840, Phone: 401-847-0292

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