Joseph O'Neill Ott Fund

In a bequest to the Rhode Island Foundation in 1994, Joseph O'Neill Ott, a leader in the preservation and antiquities community in the state, established a permanent endowment dedicated to document preservation. He requested that the income generated be used to preserve original historical manuscripts, documents, and municipal records dating from the 19th century and earlier for the smaller cities and towns in Rhode Island. 

Grants generally range from $250 to $750 and support direct conservation efforts for paper-based documents, photographs, and other two-dimensional historical evidence (excluding artwork). This can include restoration, preservation (including the purchase of containers or housing for documents), or to defray the costs associated with the acquisition of documents. Proposals that demonstrate concern about long-term storage issues or have planned document storage will be looked upon most favorably. All historical and preservation societies from the smaller cities and towns of Rhode Island are eligible to apply for an Ott grant.

An advisory committee of conservationists will recommend documents suitable for consideration. Only documents created before 1900 will be considered. Please note: Applications will not be considered from organizations with overdue grant reports.

Applicants are encouraged to also look at the Rhode Island Supreme Court Historical Society Fund, to see if their project meets that fund’s similar requirements. Both funds have the deadline to apply of March 8, 2019.

Application Deadline 

Grants are awarded annually. Applications must be submitted by midnight (EST) on March 8, 2019. Please note that no assistance will be available after 5 p.m. (EST).

To Apply

A complete application includes:


LocationOne Union Station
Providence, RI 02903


(401) 274-4564

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