Saving Historic Collections


Part of Rhode Island’s heritage includes its historical collections of natural history specimens. Natural history collections, including field notes, documents, and photographs, are an important and irreplaceable record of the state’s past. They allow us to describe the ecological context for different historical periods and trace environmental trends from the present day back into the past. One mission of RINHS is to find and preserve those collections that are neglected and in need of curatorial care.

RINHS documents the location and status of natural history collections in or pertinent to Rhode Island, and offers curatorial advice including written assessments and referrals for more in-depth assessments. Those needing assistance should contact RINHS.

Champlin Cabinet Program

Thanks to grants from the Champlin Foundations and gifts in kind from several donors, the RINHS Champlin Cabinet Program provides state of the art collection storage cabinets to institutions that need help caring for Rhode Island natural history collections. The Champlin Cabinet Program also provides cabinets to schools, nature centers, and others who use natural history collections for teaching. Cabinets are considered long-term loans. If an institution no longer needs a cabinet, it should be returned to RINHS for re-assignment.


Requests for cabinets may be made at any time and are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Please contact RINHS for more information.

Prior Recipients of Champlin Cabinets Include: