The Ladd School


The Ladd School

All Collections


Photosgraphs, 35mm Slides (1950s — '70s)

This collection of nearly 1,000 photographs provides a broad, candid, and intimate look at life behind and beyond the walls of the Ladd School.



Print, Newsprint (1904 — present)

Spanning one hundred years of history, more than three quarters of this newspaper archive is the genuine article, in newsprint.


Film Reels

Video, Helical Scan Film (1970s?)

More than 15 hours — over six miles — of reel-to-reel film of the Ladd School, recorded between about 1960 and 1972.



Print, Artifact (1800s — 1900s)

These are not reproductions. Stamped, dated, and handwritten, these postcards come from a variety of state institutions, including the Ladd School.


Glass Plate Negatives

Photographs, Artifact (1920 — 1924)

Captured in film between 1920 and 1924, these are some of the earliest known photographs of the Ladd School in existence.


Press Photos

Photographs, Artifact (1960s — '70s)

Professional photographs of public events at and about the Ladd School in the 1960s and 1970s.



Print (1955 — '78)

A tapestry of quaint minutiae interwoven with historical insights into the daily life and operation of The Ladd School.



Print (1870 — 2000s)

The centerpiece of this collection is a 33-inch original blueprint of the Ladd School from 1949.



Print, Artifact (1959 — 1999)

Invitations, speeches, newspaper clippings, photographs, and maps to events in the Ladd School's late history.


"Remember Me"

Print, Book (1972)

An 11-page brochure shedding light on the Dr. Joseph H. Ladd Center's operations and the societal attitudes of a bygone era.


Rhode Island School For The Feeble-Minded

Print, Inkjet on Canvas (2017)

This 1972 painting reporoduction of the Hoxsie House offers a glimpse into the Ladd School's past and its early farm roots.


Stanford Binet Intelligence Measures

Artifact (1937)

This 1937 Stanford-Binet set in near-perfect condition is a sobering artifact from an era when intellect was clinically labeled, shaping lives in lasting ways.


The Dark Days of Social Welfare

Print, Book (1943)

This 1943 book by Dr. Henry Jones is a rare find, with its dustjacket, burgundy cloth cover, and delicate foil stamping intact.


Dr. Henry Goddard & The Kallikak Family

Print, Ephemera, Book (1887, 1913)

Featuring a pristine second edition of 'The Kallikak Family' and an 1887 cabinet card, this exhibit illuminates Dr. Henry Herbert Goddard's enduring impact.


"Give The World a Smile"

Video, 8mm Film (1971 — 1975)

This hour-long silent film collection showcases the Ladd School's vibrant events, from parades to carnivals, featuring Rhode Island local legends.


The Language of Schizophrenia

Audio, Video, Vinyl Records (1962)

Unveiling the haunting audiotapestry of Buffalo State Asylum, this three-record set from 1962 offers a raw glimpse into the depths of mental illness.


Coming Soon

August 2024

Misfits for as Long as They Lived.

At last, the words of those who conspired against them betray the reasons why they were called Exeter Girls.


More to See

Books | Non-Fiction

True stories from the Ladd School

History | Learn More

About the Ladd School

About Us | Who We Are

What we do and why
Exeter Girls: Letters From a Feeble-Minded School on
Exeter Girls: Letters From a Feeble-Minded School on

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do you get your materials?
Most of our materials are donations. They come from good people with private collections.
Can I visit the LSHS?
The Ladd School Historical Society is closed to the public.
Do you accept donations?
Your monetary donations will go toward preserving materials or creating new exibits. If you'd like for us to save or share something, we're very good at that.