Rhode Island has a new official state historian laureate. He’s former Providence College history professor Patrick Conley of Bristol, an expert on the state’s past.. Conley, the author of many books and essays on Rhode Island history and law, was appointed to the unpaid post by Secretary of State Ralph Mollis.
The position was created by the General Assembly. Mollis established a three-member search committee, which included Gwenn Stearn, state archivist, state librarian Tom Evans and Deputy Secretary of State Paul Caranci. Conley was the committee’s unanimous choice.