Under the sponsorship of the Rhode Island Historical Society and the Jamestown Historical Society and a grant from the Rhode Island Committee for the Humanities, Linda Wood and Michael E. Bell interviewed residents of Block Island, Conanicut Island (Jamestown), and Prudence Island during 1985 and 1986.  A total of 64 interviews were conducted with residents whose ages ranged from 55 to 98.

The principal investigators, Wood and Bell, aided by two historians and a cultural anthropologist, attempted to define the Islands culturally and socially, rather than geographically, through oral history. The universal appeal and mystique surrounding island life prompted the investigators to challenge the islanders to reflect on how their lives differ from these ideals and how their lives have been enriched or diminished by their island life.

Wood donated the original interview tapes to the University of Rhode Island Distinctive Collections (FKA Special Collections) in 1987.

This page serves as a landing page for digitized interviews.  At present, only the interviews pertaining to Prudence Island have been digitized.

For more information on the collection, please visit https://webarchives.apps.uri.edu/xml/Guide%20to%20the%20Rhode%20Island's%20Islands%20Oral%20History%20Project.xml.

For questions, please contact Distinctive Collections staff at archives@etal.uri.edu

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Browse the Rhode Island's Islands Oral History Interviews Collections:

Prudence Island Interviews